>However, evolution in its most basic form is simply change; the idea
>the universe is not static but is fluid. This basic form makes no claim
>to what kind of change is occuring, only that it will occur. So rather
>demanding or even predicting an increase in complexity, evolution can in
>fact include decreases in complexity, cyclical change, pendulum (back
>forth) change, as well as more.
Bill: This is exactly the point that the YECs make in critiquing the theory of
evolution - that whatever chance creates, chance destroys.
Of course that need not be the case. Please explain this symmetry in chance behavior. What if chance created the universe, will it by chance cease to exist? Chance can be a part but there are also deterministic forces which all play together.
As I see it, with a purely naturalistic process, you have no means of preserving
"progress" (in the sense of increasing complexity).
Why not ?
>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
>of phenonena and not just evolution.
Bill: If we assume that the human brain is more complex than an expanding cloud
of hydrogen gas, then what we see is a very real and substantial increase
in complexity, not an artifact (IMHO).
But is that assumption correct ? And even if it is, what relevance does it have ? Nature can create complexity as it does all the time.
Bill: If you would argue that what we see today is merely the apex of the swing of the pendulum and it is now swinging back to the center, I guess I can't fault your logic, but neither would I agree. I hold that you need (require) an outside force to give a vector to otherwise random change. Natural selection can only do so much, and can do nothing on non-living systems.
Outside to what ? An outside force can still give a vector but as Kevin and others have shown a random walk process with a lower limit will give the appearance of increase in complexity.