Wow, almost a month since my last post. I've been on something of a summer break, with 9 internet free days while I went to Trinoccon and then to the beach. The month hasn't been completely unproductive. I read the book Darwin on Trial, which was very interesting. It's a critique of Darwinism by an attorney who is quite adept at building arguments. (Sorry, the author escapes me--I'd have to walk almost twenty five feet to my bedroom to find out his name.) Anyway, it was a very good read--he's a good writer, very thought provoking. And, I will say that after reading the book, I am convinced that there are holes in the evidence for natural selection, and a lot of sloppy science has been done over the years in support of the theory. But, I thought this before I read the book--science is sloppy because people are sloppy, and any time you are trying to account for a 4 billion year timeline of life, you are probably going to be filling most of that time line with guesswork. But, I closed the book still feeling confident that natural selection is the best theory we have toward explaining the origin of species. The author, and attorney, claims that you don't need a competing theory to disprove Darwin, any more than you need to produce the real murderer to clear a man of a murder charge. But, sorry, that's the thing about a theory being the "best" theory. I would need to hear another, better theory before I would be willing to toss it in the trash.
In physics, there are some awfully big holes in the theory of gravity. Our theory of gravity predicts that galaxies should behave in a certain manner--yet when we observe them, their is a 90% discrepancy between theory and observation. This is a pretty big honking discrepancy. And scientists are resorting to imagination, mostly to explain the gap, postulating new forms of invisible "dark" matter. And so far, almost every prediction about the nature and form of this dark matter has proven to be unsupported by evidence--tests designed to find the matter almost invariably get negative results. Yet, scientists don't toss out the theory of gravity. It works on the short scale--we can put spaceships in orbit around Saturn within inches of where we aim them, using the theory. One day, I have faith that a new, better theory of gravity will emerge--but in the absense of the better theory, I'm not going to say the old one is nothing but bunk.
The unspoken argument in "Darwin on Trial" seemed to me to be, if Darwin was wrong, then God still created species. But where's the evidence for that? It's as if logic and evidence can be used against a theory built on logic and evidence, but we can toss those out the window if we come to a theory built only on faith. I confess, I can't see how this arguement can win anyone over.
In writing news, I've spent much of July working on a story I just finished yesterday. I really, really want to talk about this story, but I can't because it's getting entered into a contest, and people who might judge stories in that contest are also occasional readers of this blog. I will only say that it may be the worst thing I've ever written. And when I use the word "worst," I mean in a moral sense, as in contributing to the further degredation of all that is right and good in the universe. Writing-wise, I think it's spot on.