HoJu: Whatís up?
Ddot: Not much, whatís up with you?
HoJu: Eh Iím alright.
Ddot: Whatís wrong?
HoJu: I dunno, just reading about this shit in Kansas, how the school board approved ĎIntelligent Designí to be taught in science class. It bothers me.
Ddot: Whyís that?
HoJu: Doesnít it bother you? Theyíre subjugating science strictly to promote their own religious agenda.
Ddot: Well, I canít say I agree with it if thatís their motivation, but I donít think you should be so quickly dismissive of intelligent design.
HoJu: Why do you say that?
Ddot: Well, one of the primary reasons people like the idea of intelligent design is that it reinforces their own superiority over the animals. Surely you canít disagree with that.
HoJu: Oh, believe me I can.
Ddot: Really. So you wouldnít say that human beings are the peak of evolution?
HoJu: Certainly not. Evolution is an ongoing process. It went on for millions of years on earth, and will continue to go on after Iím gone.
Ddot: How can you be so sure?
HoJu: How are you not sure?
Ddot: Well, letís take a step back and look at this logically. Surely you can acknowledge that there are some differences between Homo Sapiens and other species.
HoJu: Well yeah. Thereís language, complex thought processes, analytical thinking, things like that
Ddot: Donít dogs and cats have language? Can they not communicate with other dogs or with humans? And certainly they have thought processes too, maybe not as complex, but there nonetheless.
HoJu: Yeah true. Alright well the only other thing I can think of is that Homo Sapiens use tools.
Ddot: Exactly. What kind of tools?
HoJu: Well at first it was just things like knives, spears, fire, clothes to keep warm, etc. But I mean nowadays we use things like that all the time. Cars, planes, boats, microwaves, air conditioning. A lot of things.
Ddot: So in other words, we use tools to facilitate life.
HoJu: Yeah thatís a good way of putting it. Tools like that help us live in sub-freezing temperatures and in regions where it gets above 40.
Ddot: Yeah cuz living in 50 degree weather is so tough.
HoJu: 40 degrees centigrade. Címon, you of all people should acknowledge the advantages of the metric system.
Ddot: The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and thatís the way I likes it!
HoJu: Isnít it four?
Ddot: No, itís forty. Anyways, you can see how we humans use tools of all sorts in order to adapt to different environments.
HoJu: Yes, Iíll agree with that.
Ddot: Okay, now letís look at evolution. How would you describe evolution.
HoJu: Itís the survival of the fittest. Natural selection. Adapt or die, that sort of thing.
HoJu: Well, to use a tired example, Iíll talk about the dinosaurs. Dinosaurs were unable to adapt to their new environment, so they succumbed to extinction.
Ddot: Isnít it succame to extinction?
HoJu: No, itís succumbed.
Ddot: That doesnít sound right.
HoJu: Well, itís right. Anyways, evolution is about natural selection. If a certain species cannot adapt to changed in their environment, they will become extinct. So when one particular member of a species is born with some different feature that gives them an advantage, they will flourish and pass that trait on to their children.
Ddot: Can you give me an example?
HoJu: Sure. Farmers have problems with fruit flies, so theyíd spray their crops with DDT, a substance which kills flies but doesnít harm the plants. The flies nearly all perished. But before long, one was born with a resistance to DDT. It wasnít killed, so it flourished and passed that trait onto its ancestors. The same can be said of flu viruses that build up an immunity to antibiotics.
Ddot: So in other words, these species need to adapt to their environment or theyíll die.
HoJu: Yeah exactly.
Ddot: What if these creatures came up with another way of adapting to their environment that insured their survival. Would they evolve or no?
HoJu: I donít see why they would. Such a resistant trait might be useful but if itís unnecessary then thereís no reason why it would spread.
Ddot: Well didnít you say earlier that humans use tools in order to adapt to their environment?
Ddot: So if human beings have the necessary tools to survive in any environment, why would they need to use evolution to adapt?
HoJu: I suppose they wouldnít.
Ddot: And if man doesnít need to use evolution in order to adapt to a new environment, wouldnít that stand to reason that human beings are the peak of evolution?
HoJu: Well, just because we can use reasoning and tools in order to adapt doesnít mean that natural selection stops.
Ddot: Think back to the example with the fly and the DDT. Letís say that instead relying on a fly thatís born with a resistance to it, the flies come up with an antidote to DDT and donít die. Would there be any reason for that trait (resistance to DDT) to spread around the fly population? Itís not flourishing any more than any other fly.
HoJu: You have a good point. I guess any species that is capable of advanced reasoning and can use tools has the means to adapt to anything. That is, unless we blow up the world and the process begins again.
Ddot: Yeah, I guess I never thought about that. But you get my point.
HoJu: So does that mean that you believe in intelligent design?
Ddot: haha no. The idea that trillions and trillions of life forms died so that I could come into existence is ludicrous.
HoJu: Itís gotta be more than trillions.
Ddot. Well what comes after trillions? It goes millions, billions trillions, what?
Ddot: Okay, well then quadrillions of life forms.
HoJu: Thatís more like it.