If not evolution, then what?

February 27, 2022 | By | Reply More

‘If this was Science Fiction, we wouldn’t even make it up.

  There was a statistic revealed a couple years back that 50% of people have no idea what evolution is today and I would wonder what century we were living in. I doubt if they’re even interested in the other science neither come to that. More like a lack of interest in science generally. They probably contain the people who don’t even believe in religion, so at least we’re spared all the other theories that are out there, including creationism, although you would think that the survey would have asked just what they believed happened to get the world we live in.

From a statistical point of view, it doesn’t state which country or even the entire world. Looking it up, this does appear to for the USA, which is hardly indicative of the entire world, but worrying for a country that has led the world into space. Looking up, it does become apparent that this percentage includes mostly those who are associated with a religion although not in the numbers you would believe. In fact, the Buddhists are top of the tree for not believing in evolution but I doubt if they are out to convert people to their way of thinking, just deeper meaning. Me? I’m just asking the questions and seeing if anyone else has sought answers in a statistical way.

Even so, evolution is not something that needs to be thought of as a theory as there’s too much evidence to prove it is what is happening as a demonstratable action of the world. I don’t even have to say ‘in fact’ because there is nothing available as an alternative. It isn’t as though there isn’t evidence despite a rise in people who don’t believe in what they can’t see. It would be interesting to see that matched who how much scientific knowledge they have. In many ways, this has parallels to the Middle Ages where the folk there were far more likely to believe in anything than what the renaissance scientists were proving time and again. You know, the Earth orbiting the Sun and the Earth isn’t flat.

Today’s lot may not necessarily believe in religious origins because that’s just as invisible but you would have to wonder if they are either letting their imaginations run away with them or thinking there is a world-wide conspiracy. Is paranoia getting so rampant or is there a serious lack of scientific education at schools there days? For such widespread disbelief, there has to be a lot going on and I’m not entirely sure if the Internet helps breeding fake news when we want to confirmation of the truth.

Lost Anatomies: The Evolution of the Human Form by John Gurche (Abrams, £28.99)
Image credit © 2019 John Gurche

I should give a little time-out here and give a little qualifier for those who still get confused. The universe is governed by unseen rules that we define in physics and chemistry. We observed these actions, note their repeatability in ideal conditions, that is with no outside influences, and these become established rules. A scientific theory or hypothesis is something we think would happen based off such rules but not necessarily have enough evidence to become a rule. The dividing line can often be seen in American 1950s SF films where a lacking in scientific knowledge had scriptwriters giving their scientist characters proposing something as a theory on little evidence.

Looking at this from as an extended view, you do have to wonder where all this lack of interest in science is going to lead. After all, the rational is that they can’t see it happen then it doesn’t happen and they can’t see things happening over many generations. Thank the Illuminati for chemical reactions which are a lot faster. I wonder what they must make of nuclear explosions? After all, it’s the chain reaction explosion of atoms that are not visible to the human eye so, by that logic, it’s going to be magic. It’s like being on a generation starship where the passengers forget their science and become primeval. For a long while, we thought that was never going to happen, these days I’m less sure as our spaceship Earth is already demonstrating that.

When you consider how the youngsters of today are getting so hooked into social media, the rest of the population, when you bear in mind the other 50% of the world is supposed to be computer literate and the other 50% who don’t believe in evolution are less likely to use computer tech, then we are probably seeing the end of the world as we know it in a few generations time. Who would have thought the end of mankind won’t be by global warming but by total ignorance and not being able to repair a machine.

Of course, with the imperfection of statistics, something a lot of people don’t understand anyway, there’s bound to be a bit of an overlap and even a percentage of don’t knows or our category, the scientific literate who don’t necessarily keep our heads in our telephones, although might be interchangeable. This might actually be only a few percent but when you consider the population of the world is some 7.7 billion, we could still be talking people like us with various scientific knowledge being akin to that of a small country.

Even so, that small number would have an up-hill battle convincing the rest of the world to do anything that would be in their best interest. Paradoxically, the other half is quite happy to use mobile phone technology for instance and not ponder on the fact it’s a human invention combining several technologies and applications. I guess science can only go so far but it would need the rest of us creating it for those who don’t know its all down to science used in technology.

Even so, this does also extend to other aspects of science as well. One only has to look at the number of people avoiding the vaccination programme where the populations of the third world countries would take it with exposed arms, knowing it will allow them to escape death. Then we have the deniers who think their own natural immunity is enough. Natural attrition will no doubt sort that out, assuming they know what that means.

This article isn’t going to go into another vaccination diatribe but certainly needs to address the general problem of people not accepting recognisable science concepts and going off in wild fantasies that certainly don’t join the dots as conventional science. This doesn’t mean that science is perfect. When something comes along that makes more sense of the universe, it invariably tends to be added and then a look at any repercussions in what else we know. Things is, there are fewer major new scientific breakthroughs any more. Confirmations, like with the Higgs Boson sub-atomic particle, was more a proof of previous evidence just needing the right sensitive instrument like the Large Hadron Collider to find it. If anything, it’s a demonstration of confirmation of evidence. Remember: the universe exists, our science laws are just naming what we observe and then applying it.

When it comes to scientific procedure, it is a practiced craft. Practical scientific experimentation education builds up in the student how chemistry and physics works. The fact that these things are repeatable is a confirmation of proof of the mechanics of what we see as science that is translated into formula. The fact that we can prove the universe acts in a logical way is an assurance of its own and literally universal.

I doubt if there’s a change in any of the established science laws across the universe although it has led to many scratched heads as to why they should happen the way they do and not a specific other way. It’s hardly surprising that they drop into SF territory suggesting other reality universes could have differences if one or more of our science laws was changed, different or lost. There’s no evidence for this, let alone other realities yet, but I doubt if such changes would be localised and would have an effect on the rest of such realities. Think of a game like Jenga and removing the wrong wooden slate and the entire construct collapses.

Science is just that. Observation of what is happening and all the contributing factors. It is then that if one of these factors is changed that we can discover the consequences simply because the scientific laws are predictive.

To not have a belief in science will not stop science happening. It’s like the question if a tree falls in a forest will it still make a noise if no one is there? A noise might need someone there to hear it but the vibration will still happen. Birdsong will still be heard by other birds, even if we’re not there to hear it. Hearing gives a reception for someone to hear but the noise would still happen.

Our use of science gives us the technology we have today. The fact that we are moving to clearer fuel sources comes from the application of science. I’m not saying we live in a perfect world. It is a weave of getting government and corporate wealth into accepting a new type of future and being grateful that world religions do not have as much ability to restrict people by belief or fear or death. Most of them anyway.

The only reason there isn’t seemingly as much public acknowledgement of research going on is various companies want to have sole ownership of any discoveries and its benefits. The one time this hasn’t happened is with the covid inoculation programmes and the exchange of knowledge avoided going in some directions, applying research from other covid inoculations and brought it in record time. If only this happened on a regular basis then science and technology would grow ever faster.

Even so, as we are living in a Science Fiction-like world now, it does cause problems for SF authors in how quickly science might catch up on anything inventive that might be used. It also appears we aren’t working fast enough to see what will happen next with science and technology.

Luckily some of Science Fiction’s fudges haven’t quite gotten into those who have a distain for science. We have no proof that a spacecraft can exceed the speed of light, hibernation as depicted in films is not possible because the freezing of water will cause cell damage and time travel, at least into the past, unproven. However, who says hibernation will depend on freezing? This doesn’t mean they could be totally impossible, just not with our current scientific knowledge. If they ever do, one would hope that some of the scenarios, moral aspects and responsibilities gleaned from our fiction.

Much of the time they are just plot devices to achieve certain things and then rely on ‘human’ problems in a different environment. Probably the strongest message coming out of modern SF is that the problems will always be the same, just dressed a little differently but it still makes them relatable to current times.

Even so, I doubt if people who struggle with science will have much interest in Science Fiction but probably why the fantasy genre has more readers when nothing has to be explained but just happens. If anything, SF should be used to rekindle interest in science. After all, SF has been the way for many people to become scientists, although no one compares the fictional, whether book, film or TV series versions compare. However, the amount of discoveries that have been happening in recent years clearly shows scientists are an important part of our daily lives and we definitely need more of them.

So, even if you don’t want a career in science, at least respect what it is doing to your lives and remind those who don’t get it that it would be worse if we never had it. Do we really want to do go back to Stone Age conditions?

© GF Willmetts

February 2022

Category: Science

Warning: Use of undefined constant php - assumed 'php' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /homepages/40/d502808907/htdocs/clickandbuilds/sfcrowsnest/wp-content/themes/wp-davinciV4.7/single.php on line 65

About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

Leave a Reply