Identical copies of the following e-mail were sent to a number of evolution web site authors by an individual named Arda Soysal. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
His e-mail message reveals an inability to organize information in a logical manner and come to a rational conclusion. Mr. Soysal could have found the answers to his questions in the many evolution web sites and their links to other web sites. He obviously did not do that. Instead, it is clear that he relied on creationist propaganda as his only source of information. He is not interested in learning about evolution or understanding the evolution viewpoint. Otherwise, why would he ask for information that is readily available in so many evolution web pages? We know he is connected to the internet because his inquiries were sent via e-mail to web site authors.
He is using the creationist tactic of requesting a one page response to questions that require lengthy detailed information and data to be properly answered. This information is readily available on the internet, so what is Mr. Soysalís motivation? His motivation is to use missing or incomplete responses as a propaganda tool to convince the uninformed that science has no answers. The ultimate goal is to proselytize persons to accept creationist religious beliefs.
It is an imposition to provide detailed information to inquiries from persons like Mr. Soysal who are too lazy or too opinionated to go to the trouble to look it up for themselves. However, I will comment briefly on the content of each question. My responses will be in italics
Date: 11/3/01 5:17 PM
From: Arda Soysal
In biology lessons, we were taught that the first living thing is a primitive one-celled organism. However, there are still few points that confuse me. I would be very much appreciated if you answer the questions I pose below:
1. How did the first living thing come into existence by itself? In the past, if one cell came into existence by itself in the primitive conditions, then why can't anyone bring one cell into existence under the high tech laboratories? Even one of the organelles located inside a cell such as mitochondria, golgi apparatus, endoplasmic reticulum cannot be brought into existence.
Yes, modern science can not create a living cell, and yes, modern science does not know, and may never know, the exact mechanism by which the first living cells were created. But lack of complete information does not mean that the process never took place. Mr. Soysal assumes that since science can not create a living cell, then it has no knowledge of the creation process and therefore a primeval cell never existed. The fact that science can not create a living cell does not disprove the conclusion that the evidence shows that a primeval ancestral cell(s) existed in the remote past.
2. It is believed that various inorganic chemical compounds underwent reactions and caused to form the first living cell. Then, let's think of a fly that just died away. This fly has all the elements necessary for vitality such as proteins, amino acids, and carbohydrates. Would not it be possible to turn the same fly back to life by using the last advanced technologies and applying all the known experiments?
So if you can't bring the fly back to life, then life did not arise from non-life! That conclusion is based on neither fact nor logic. All Mr. Soysal really wants in the way of an answer is an admission that science can not bring a dead fly back to life, and therefore (according to him) any scientific explanation of possible mechanisms of the origin of life must be suspect!
3. It is realized that some living beings have not been changed over millions of years by looking at their fossils. For instance, fish fossils of 400 million years, dragonfly fossils of 140 million years, ammonite fossils of 350 million years, scorpion fossils of 320 million years. How could the above-mentioned living beings manage to reach the present time without going under any evolutionary process?
This question proves that Mr. Soysal has no understanding of evolution as presented in even the most elementary textbooks. I can only wonder why he apparently never bothered to pick up a science book (other than creationist propaganda literature) to an least have an idea of what evolution is all about, even if he doesn't believe it. It has been repeated over and over again in books, web pages, emails, etc. that evolution is a branching process. Once a different species branches off, it may continue unchanged for a hundred million years, or it may become extinct in less than a few thousand years. It may have other new species branching off from it. Based on the fossil record, most of the species that have lived on earth are now extinct.
4. Let us put plenty of materials present in the composition of living beings such as phosphorus, nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, iron, and magnesium generously in plenty of big barrels. Moreover, we can add in these barrels any material that does not exist under normal conditions, but you think as necessary. Let's add as much as amino acids and proteins we like to the mixture and expose these mixtures to as much heat and moisture as they like. Let's call the world best-known scientist beside the barrel. Let these experts wait by the barrels from father to son, from generation to generation for billions or even trillions of years. Let them be free of forming every condition they think would be necessary for the existence of a living thing. After all these means, do you think actors like Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart or scientists like Einstein would come to existence out of these barrels? I mean, can a human that has the ability to think, talk, feel, innovate, and observe his own cells under an electron microscope come into existence out of them? Or, can giraffes, lions, bees, canaries, parrots, horses, dolphins, rose, orchids, cloves, bananas, oranges, apples, figs, olives, grapes, peafowls, pheasants, butterflies or millions of other species be brought into existence?
So in other words, if life can't be created by throwing everything in a barrel with no thought as to environmental conditions, then it could not have been created from non-life under any conditions. Another illogical creationist conclusion! So where did life come from? All the evidence indicates that when the earth was first formed there was no life. Certainly there is no scientific evidence to indicate that poof! life suddenly appeared as we know it today. Experiments have shown that the organic molecules contained in living cells could have been formed from the elements in earthís primeval environment. Nothing prevents Mr. Soysal from believing that this process was part of Godís plan, yet he rejects the idea simply because it does not correspond to his sectarian religious beliefs.
In describing his proposed experiment, Mr. Soysal is vague, to say the least, about choice of materials and conditions. Suppose we place all the elements necessary to form high density polyethylene in a big barrel without any knowledge of the conditions required. Just toss them in a barrel and wait a hundred years. Will high density polyethylene be formed? Extremely unlikely! Mr. Soysalís argument is just plain silly!
5. Ability to see the world very sharply is a matter that I take into consideration occasionally. I examined the highest quality television systems and realized that they cannot provide an image as sharp as a human eye can. There are television producer companies such as Sony, Philips. There are plenty of scientists and engineers working in these electronic companies. Although they have all the technology and many years of experience, they cannot attain the vision quality of a single human eye. Then, would it be reasonable to consider this incredible vision system formed as a result of blind coincidences?
Evolution does not require "blind coincidence." It merely states that natural selection plays a role in the process. Equating natural selection to blind coincidence is another typical creationist distortion. The fact that we will probably never know what role, if any, that God played in the process does not in any way negate the scientific evidence supporting evolution.
6. I considered the same situation for the sound. The hearing system of a human is surprisingly qualified. Despite there are hundreds of thousands of engineers working in well-known companies such as Pioneer, Kenwood, Hitachi, they cannot obtain a clear sound without any static as in a human ear. How can an ear that is made up of flesh and bone develop such a perfect sound system? If we accept them to be of blind coincidences, then wouldn't it mean that we put forth the engineers and the technicians are not as smart as these coincidences?
Same answer as question 5. Mr. Soysal is overlooking that fact that scientists have developed microphones that can pick up sounds inaudible to the human ear.
7. As I have learned from the books I have read so far, there is no transitional form indicating that a living thing turned into another by evolutionary means. Is it correct?
No, it is definitely not correct. There are many examples of transitional forms in this web site and its links. It is obvious that the books he has read so far are all creationist books. Creationist books, like creationist PhD degrees, are a fraud. Their sole purpose is to bolster the distorted perceptions held by opinionated persons who canít be bothered to check out the information supporting evolution.