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Hatta's Journal: Intelligent Design 2

Journal by Hatta

Whew, long topic on ID. While reading through it, I was reminded of a passage from an ecology book I once read. I paraphrased it from memory, I hope its relevance to ID is obvious:

Let me tell you a little story about long shots and averages and how not understanding the two lead to an incorrect hypothesis. Some time ago ecologists were interested with the rate that trees would repopulate a volcano after an eruption. They observed the trees, and figured out the average distance that a seed would fall from the tree, and from that they calculated an expected movement of the treeline.

However this was wrong, the trees repopulated much more quickly than expected. While the ecologists had figured out the averages correctly, they failed to realize that a small proportion of seeds would be carried much further than the average. The seeds that came from these trees would have a head start and some small portion of the next generation would be carried even further.

Do you see what I'm getting at here? Are you sure that in your calculations of expected rate of evolutionary change you're not making the same mistake these ecologists did?

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Intelligent Design

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  • by nizo (81281) *
    So the seeds were carried further by an Intelligent Wind Blower. Got it :-)
  • The biggest knowledge gap the anti-evolutionists have, in my experience, is a much simpler mathematical concept than that:

    Really Big Numbers(TM)

    After all, rate of change in humans is very, very slow, relatively speaking. We don't generally procreate until at the very least the early teens, and in most cases around the age of 18 to the mid 20s. When you consider that a human has to be around for upwards of 2 decades before it spawns a new generation, you are led to believe that evolution from bacteria up mus

In any formula, constants (especially those obtained from handbooks) are to be treated as variables.

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