Re: Recent rhetoric

Kevin O'Brien (
Sun, 4 Apr 1999 16:00:28 -0600

>On Sat, 3 Apr 1999 18:13:13 -0700 "Kevin O'Brien"
><> writes:
>>Evolution does not demand an increase in complexity (as you yourself
>>admitted), but even if it did it would be a clear and certain increase
>>in complexity, not a vague increase.
>Hello Kevin,
>I probably missed something since I really haven't followed this thread,
>but could you please clarify the above. I thought that if only
>naturalistic explanations were allowed for the transition from the big
>bang to what we see today, that an increase in complexity would be part
>and parcel of that model. You seem to indicate otherwise. How come?

Part of the problem is that the term "evolution" is being used as an antonym
for creation, which is for the most part inappropriate. Biological
evolution only deals with the diversification of life. It is separate from
chemical evolution, which deals with elemental nucleosynthesis, the origin
of molecules and compounds and subsequently the origin of life, which is in
turn separate from cosmology. The view of "molecules to men" as the
creationists define it is really a combination of cosmology, chemical
evolution and biological evolution.

However, evolution in its most basic form is simply change; the idea that
the universe is not static but is fluid. This basic form makes no claim as
to what kind of change is occuring, only that it will occur. So rather than
demanding or even predicting an increase in complexity, evolution can in
fact include decreases in complexity, cyclical change, pendulum (back and
forth) change, as well as more.

What we see as an apparent overall increase in complexity is actually an
artifact produced by the process as a whole, which involves a wide variety
of phenonena and not just evolution. For example, gravity can account for a
wide variety of "complex" results independent of evolution, including
planets, stars and galaxies, while basic chemistry and physics can account
for atmospheres, hydrospheres and even biospheres.

>I finally got my copy of NCSE Reports today. I look forward to reading
>your article.

Thanks; I look forward to your comments.

Kevin L. O'Brien