Zac Trolley

Evolution – I don’t Believe it!

When I hear that someone doesn’t believe in evolution, I imagine they are making a scholarly rebuke to commonly held principles or assumptions. There is nothing unreasonable about this, I have this issue with several theories that I simply to not believe.  For example:

I don’t believe in Time. I’m being serious here, I don’t believe time is the constant that we take for granted in out day to day lives. We count seconds, days and months, but there is no “time”. We can also measure distance. A meter here is the same as a meter somewhere else; that is not the case with time. A second is just 9192631770 vibrations of a cesium atom, at relative rest to us. I’ll save the metaphysics for another time, (HA! I’m punny) but it’s enough to know that time is a variable, time travel is possible and I don’t believe in using it as a constant. The sun and the moon care not that we think it’s 4PM on a Tuesday.

I don’t believe in Potential Energy. They teach potential energy as an opposite to kinetic (My school did anyway) as an analogy to stored energy. If I lift an apple, I store potential energy in the apple and it will fall with kinetic energy it I left it go. I find this absurd. If that were the case, I would have to factor in all the gravitational constants in the universe acting on this object, and we do not do this, we factor the earth only. Then we are not putting potential energy into the apple at all, we are creating a distance between the earth and the apple, and that attraction in the gravitational field makes the apple fall, my arm did nothing to the apple. In fact, the higher we lift the object the less the gravitational force. My 10 year old self got quite angry at a few teachers because they maintained potential energy was real. Bah.

 But I digress. When I hear someone does not believe in evolution, this is what I assume. I assume they have an alternate theory that does not use an assumption commonly held but comes to the same conclusion. I still use a watch and I still believe objects fall, but I don’t agree with their common explanations.  This is the only possible explanation I have. I categorize people who reject evolution in the same place I put Unicorns and Tax Free Income, imagination land. That these people may actually exist is outside my understandable universe. They do believe in evolution, they just don’t know it.

Read on and I’ll explain.

Shepherds are in the bible so I’m assuming most people familiar with Christian dogma knows what a Shepherd is. The act of caring for domestic animals lends it’s self to explaining evolution. Any farmer worth their salt knows about breeding animals. By breeding animals with desirable traits their offspring inherit these traits. If we keep doing this, we get different breeds of sheep. This is not natural selection, it’s selection. This is human beings doing the selecting and creating new life forms. These changes are visible because we accelerate the process and monitor it. The changes happen on a human time scale. (SEE! Time as we know it doesn’t make sense!)

Selective breeding is evolution in action. Full stop. If you understand that black sheep have black babies, white sheep have white babies; you understand the underlying concept of genetics. We choose what traits we want, and we breed those animals that have those traits. Over many generations the offspring evolve so they have desirable traits and lose undesirable ones. This is called evolution.

 To reiterate, I do not believe in the theory that evolution-deniers exists; they are simply evolution-don’t-understanders.

Planetary Resources

Tuesday the world received great news. Planetary Resources  went public with their intentions to mine near-earth asteroids. I have been waiting for new like this for many a year. After reading Mining the Sky a few years ago, my perception of resources changed; the same way my perception of energy changed after reading Sustainable Energy: Without the hot air. I used both these book as sources when I did my presentation at the Ontario Engineering Competition in 2011.  The main point to take away from all of this is that humans do not have a resource problem, the earth does. Now we have a group of people pushing science fiction into reality.

The solution is simple, look for resource sources off-world. We live on a small island in the vast ocean that is our solar system and the solutions to our problems are out in space. I’m optimistic for our future when I hear about powerful people using their intellect and financial capital to put plans in place to get humans to the stars. For those of you who haven’t heard of the X-Prize, shame on you. Their CEO, Peter H. Diamandis came up with the idea to use cash prizes to create an incentive to innovate. The model for this prize was the Orteig Prize that basically created the aviation industry as we know it by showing possibilities. That’s what this is about, possibilities. What can we do with near infinite resources? What will we accomplish if everyone has basic education? What heights can we achieve when all basic needs are met?

After watching the press release for the company, I went and bough this book by one of the founding members of Planetary Resources. It’s been on my radar for a while now,  so I decided it was time to see what the fuss was about. I’m about 10 pages in and he’s already made his point very well. I’ll have to see if he talks about digital media, because the infinite nature of digital information it at great odds with our market system of scarcity… But that’s another topic all together.

In any event, interplanetary gas stations, orbital manufacturing plants and abundant resources are in the cards for the future.