Saturday, November 14, 2009

"Irreducible..." ... What??




Yesterday, the Knight and I went for a drive up Provo Canyon to the end of the South Fork. During the night before, snow had fallen in the mountains, so that all of the evergreen trees on the north-facing sides of the canyon were picturesquely “flocked.” The blue skies and sunshine artistically illuminated this transformed landscape. It was God’s Christmas card to the world.

We drove slowly so as to savor the wonder of each new view as we passed. “This is good for the soul,” remarked the Knight.

We drove in thoughtful silence. Finally, the Knight asked, “What are you thinking about?”

“The irreducible complexity of eyeballs and flagella,” I said. “And the fact that mathematicians have long looked with skepticism at Darwinian evolution because it is devoid of the precision of mathematical laws, and comprised of too many improbabilities.”

I kid you not.

The Knight was momentarily speechless. You could almost discern the Hopelessly Romantic Knight being abruptly jousted from his steed and tumbling bewilderedly down the mountainside. He recovered nicely however; deftly switching from Romantic to Scientific thought. In retrospect, even I thought it was weird of me to be so not “in the moment” but, instead, exploring intricate intellectual labyrinths and contemplating astonishing philosophical vistas.

This can also be good for the soul.




6 comments:

Zaphod said...

Yes! As I was bouncing from one boulder to another, I said, "What about the mathematics of evolution?" If it is really a science like chemistry or physics, every aspect of the theory should be quantifiable. Once the honest in heart go down that road very far, however, they find the whole notion of organic evolution laughable. There has been no serious attempt to mathematically define Darwinian evolution because it defies logic; the numbers involved are beyond astronomical, and therefore meaningless.

Trillium said...

Yes. The famous mathematician, Kurt Godel, said: The formation within geological time of a human body, by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles is as unlikely as the separation by chance of the atmosphere into its components.

Katscratchme said...

I think my brain just collapsed... However, I'm enjoying the snow outside my window. That has nothing, and yet everything, to do with scientific thought and/or eveolution.

shydandelion said...

I think things like that sometimes. Just looking at the world, and most recently at my new born baby, I am astounded that ANYONE, especially the "intellectual elite," can think that all that is before us was the result of an accident.

Jen said...

Maybe scientists evolved from monkeys and the rest of us were intelligently designed. . .

Rebecca said...

it's fun that you mentioned evolution... I had a very serious conversation with Alex a couple weeks back and explained why the theory of evolution can not be supported. I think he was a little deflated... I guess I better show him the pictures of the snowy mountains to make him feel better.