Saturday, February 27, 2010


I recently read Richard Dawkins' new book called "The Greatest Show on Earth - The Evidence for Evolution" I've not read Dawkins before, and I was really impressed with his engaging writing style and wit. He starts off by stating that "Evolution is a fact, and this book will demonstrate it." and then goes into great and interesting detail on the subject of natural selection.
I kept expecting the natural selection discussion to build into some sort of proof of evolution, but it never came. Showing that natural selection is true isn't surprising or controversial. As a matter of fact, the key word there is "selection." There must be some pool to select from, which is precisely why in the example of the many thousands of generations of E. Coli didn't evolve into something other than E. Coli. Through natural selection, they selected different attributes that were already present, but they didn't become some new thing.
Toward the end of the book, he's honest enough to admit that there's no evidence for what the first steps were, and he comes to the conclusion that "It must have been whatever it took to get natural selection started." That sounds a lot like creation to me.
Far from proving that evolution from nothing to life as we know it today is a "fact", this book simply points out that somehow self-replicating life was created, and life has been making small adaptations since then.

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