Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Modest Experiment

How can we know that we are all related evolutionarily speaking? Are all people related to one pair of ancestors, Adam and Eve, or was there a Steve in there too? The Bible doesn't speak of Steve, but then what about Lilith? Or are all people related to one missing link? Is Lucy the mother of us all? Are monotremes mammals? How can we know?

I have devised a simple test to determine the true answers to all of these, and more questions. I have a beaker set up in my lab, and will have sixty million more beakers set up in labs around the world. I've created a soup of pre-cambrian chemicals, and pre-cambrian gases and pre-cambrian electrical storms. Now, it took about 60 million years for the Cambrian Explosion of species. This is described as "and they came into creation at once" (Berlinski). The Discovery Institute has determined that this explosion of all the species in the world all at once is a good proof of Intelligent Design. And Biologists claim that the 60 million year-long explosion of simple and complex species like "the first appearance of molluscs, arthropods, echinoderms and vertebrates." (Dawkins and Coyne) happened over geologic time, and thus proves evolution.

Now since I have set up the proper and exact conditions of the claimed evolution of the Cambrian Explosion, but I don't have 60 million years to wait to see what happens, instead I have come up with the remarkable and far-sighted idea to test the hypotheses presented by these people in one single year, multiplied by 60 million beakers.

The experiment is set to begin on October 1, 2005, and will run until September 31, 2006. At that time we will know the truth. Who will win - Darwin or the Discovery Institute? Stay tuned...

UPDATE: The modest experiment now has its own website, A Modest Experiment. So go visit...

12 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't you need 60 million planets, not 60 million beakers?

Fee Fi Foe Fum,
I smell a disengenious bible-thumper.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Ed Darrell said...

It would be more accurate, easier, and quicker, to do samples of DNA.

OH! That's been done!

What was the result?

We're all related.

So, can you disprove the DNA evidence with your God-in-a-beaker trick?

Your experimental design does not appear robust, or precise, to me.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Aureola Nominee, FCD said...

No, of course not even 60 million planets for one year would suffice.

First, he's talking about abiogenesis, which - in addition to not being a part of the Theory of Evolution - took (as far as we know) much, MUCH longer than 60 MYA.

But even if he had the pre-cambrian biota all worked out, sixty million planets in one year would produce sixty million one-year-later advances, not one 60-MYA-later advance. Evolution works cumulatively, you know.
You cannot climb a 100-mt cliff by lining 100 1-mt ladders one beside the other.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Ediacaran said...

So, by that "logic", if I impregnate 270 women the same day (I'll be sure to eat my Wheaties beforehand), by the end of the day, I should have a newborn baby (along with one very noodly appendage and ground meatballs, given that I am created in the image of the Flying Spaghetti Monster - Arrrr!
%X)

It sure sounds like I'd have fun - or die trying - but I'm not buying it.

Next you'll be telling me that the universe was created in 6 days, and is only 6000 years old. I'm not buying that, either.

Maybe you should just buy one of those god-o-meters I've seen advertised online, and see if the needle ever moves, to test for a supernatural intelligent designer.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Bob Davis said...

Anon-
It would indeed be nice to have access to 60m planets, but einsteinian physics prevents me from completing the project in a timely fashion, and I've found a reliable source for purchasing beakers in bulk.

Ediacaran-
stay away from my sister!

8:50 PM  
Blogger Milo Johnson said...

Wow. I'm going to have to revise my understanding of the way the universe works. The theory of evolution MUST be wrong. Otherwise, how could clowns like this be continuously getting even more stupid?

11:23 PM  
Blogger ts said...

If this is meant to be some sort of funny parody, it isn't, it's just stupid. And if it isn't meant as parody, then it's just stupid.

2:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about just ONE beaker (completely sterilized and airtight) - and you get 60 million people to pray for life to miraculously appear in it?

10:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What will you do with 60 million beakers of pee when the experiment is over, and what size are the beakers, and, and .........awk!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Bob Davis said...

Anonymous said... How about just ONE beaker (completely sterilized and airtight) - and you get 60 million people to pray for life to miraculously appear in it?

Hmmm... That could also be a fruitful idea, but it wouldn't really be a scientific experiment like my idea would, and I don't see how it would prove anything.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Ed Darrell said...

It's been several weeks. Several people have pointed out rather large holes in your experimental design. You know that you don't have enough beakers, and that all of them are too small. You know that the conditions should vary considerabely among the beakers.

What modifications have you made, as a scientist would make, in order to keep your experiment close to the "original conditions" of the early Earth?

1:19 PM  
Blogger Bob Davis said...

Ed-
Thank you for your comments. Believe me, they have been taken very seriously, and have been incorporated into the experiment.

We do have enough beakers, or will by Saturday when we expect to meet our goal of 60 million. And they are large enough, as some of them are quite large indeed. Big beakers.

As for changes - we are constantly fine-tuning the experiment. Our finest scientific advisors from Berkeley, Ann Arbor and Cambridge have been very busy over the last 3 years, and even more so over the last 3 weeks, making sure it's all good. And it is. All good that is.

1:28 PM  

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