Dennis Campbell
July 7, 2007
A bowl of primordial soup: Darwinism made simple
By Dennis Campbell

Is Darwinism really so complicated as its proponents suggest? They tend to clutter the issue with esoteric terms and processes from biology and chemistry in their attempts to make it an issue of hard science.

Best-selling author Michael Crichton Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain and many other popular novels really made Darwinism quite simple with two statements from his recent novel Prey. Since I do not have the book in front of me, I will have to paraphrase.

Mr. Crichton essentially said that in the beginning cells hung around a few billion years until they learned how to multiply, and that we owe our existence to the fish deciding to leave the sea.

Now, that is really getting down to the essentials. Cells came into existence. They learned to multiply. Then, the fish left the sea and became mammals and evolved into people. In that vein, the following is a simplified version of Darwinism, accounting for the world as we now know it.

In the beginning, a single cell one day popped into existence, and then up popped another, and another, until there were bunches of them. These cells not only thrived in the tumultuous "primordial soup" that was their world, but one day they learned to divide and multiply. Soon in geological terms, of course, which means millions of years there were billions of these cells in the soup.

But some mighty force was at work here, and they did not just remain simple cells. They began to develop additional characteristics, until billions of years later there were myriad little fishes swimming in the soup, which itself had changed into something less primordial.

Then one day one of the little fishes was washed up on dry land. My, what a surprise. The little fish looked around in amazement and thought, "I think I would like to live here. This looks like fun." But, of course, the little fish had no lungs. Suddenly, he was gasping for air, just about the time a big wave came in and took him back to the sea.

Well, our little hero no longer was satisfied with his watery life, and he began to tell other fishes that there was more to be had "out there," and he recruited a school of them to work on a project called Escape from the Sea. Again this mighty force began to work so that the gills of their descendants began to change into lungs over millions of years.

You can imagine what a difficult time this was, since they still had to live in the ocean, and there was a period when the Project was in great doubt, because the fishes had neither gills nor lungs and almost died. But one day the transformation was complete, and they all locked fins and headed for dry land.

But you see the problem immediately. They had fins, not arms and legs and hands and feet, so they caught a wave back into the ocean to resume their transformation. Soon, in geological terms, their fins turned into arms and legs and hands and feet and they returned to land.

Of course, there was another problem: They had no food. How would they live? As they got hungrier and hungrier, they eyed each other. Yep, you guessed it. They started to devour one another, but because Darwinism is based on the survival of the fittest, some of them survived. As more and more fishes joined them from the sea, some survived and some were eaten.

Millions more years passed, and some of the fishes decided they would be safer if they could fly, so they grew wings and feathers. Others were tired of shivering in the cold, so they shed their scales for fur.

This process continued for a long, long time, even in geological terms, until the earth was inhabited by all sorts of creatures, some big, some small, some so tiny you couldn't even see them, until one day some of them decided to become monkeys. They grew opposable thumbs, which gave them a big advantage over other creatures, and started using their brains more than their brawn to survive.

Well, they didn't stop there, and the monkeys became men. But they needed a way to reproduce, so some of the men became women and, low and behold, the planet soon, in geological terms, was populated by men and women.

And that's how it all came to be. The rest, as is commonly said, is history.

© Dennis Campbell


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)