Re: Evolution being slow ...

From: Stephen D. Williams (
Date: Mon Apr 23 2001 - 11:27:04 PDT

Jeff Bone wrote:
> "Stephen D. Williams" wrote:
> schools of thought as to how those original nucleotide chains happened: either by
> interaction with the surface chemistry and structure of clay beds, or by
> interaction among organic molecules in the presence of surfactants, i.e. on the
> surfaces of bubbles. Either way, certain structures in the environment may have
> dramatically influenced how these molecules got laid out --- in some senses, you
> can regard DNA as a "mask" for proteins, etc. that they came into contact with in
> the environment. No surprise that cell membranes are a lot like various naturally
> occurring organic bubbles...

A couple weeks ago I happen to watch a nature explorers show about
divers in the sinkholes and underground streams of Florida. Far below
what should have been the kill line, they found crustaceans, etc., and
further down found a cave with a fresh/saltwater split separated by a
thin layer of bacteria that was providing the sulfur (I think) based
food for the local population. It was just a milky film extending
horizontally throughout that level.

> Third miss is in the fact that some changes are self-reinforcing. DNA doesn't
> ONLY interact with the environment, it also interacts with itself and with other
> nucleic acids. Finally, all of these things --- plus natural selection --- add up
> to a "hill climbing" process that is very much nonlinear, and much more effective
> than endless iterations of random bit twiddling.
> I think it's MUCH *more* wonderful, awesome, and magnificent to assume that such
> things can happen naturally, as a consequence of the laws of physics and nothing
> more, than to assume some omnipotent watchmaker manually turning the crank.


"Any sufficiently advanced biological process is indistinguishable from
divine intervention." - sdw
(paraphrasing Arthur C. Clarke)
(Where 'advanced' = not yet fully understood and duplicated from 'raw'

> Just some lunchtime musings over a Sonic burger...
> jb


Stephen D. Williams
43392 Wayside Cir,Ashburn,VA 20147-4622 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 

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