By Larry Pleasant.
Nothing I have written has raised as much controversy as my repeated assertion that INTENT, along with natural selection and gradual adaptation, is one of the three primary mechanisms of evolution. This month’s Ingredient of the Month explores Intent, the guiding force of creativity and possibly even evolution.
More than one friend thinks I am a lunatic on this point. Evolution (they patiently explain) occurs very, very slowly, and over vast amounts of time. Superior genetics usually wins out in the end and biology evolves towards increasing complexity over time. I do not dispute these observations, they seem self-evident.
What is not self-evident is how new creatures, with their new longer, DNA molecules arose. How could these newly evolved monstrosities even survive long enough to be born? And once born and of child- bearing age (assuming it is by some miracle capable of reproduction) another fairly similar critter with the same number of DNA molecules must appear to mate with it. The odds of this happening even once are astonishing. Now imagine this occurring for each unique critter that has ever popped up on this diverse planet.
Superior genetics and the urge towards complexity do not explain the proliferation and diversity of life, (that’s you and me, Buckwheat).
You see, it’s very difficult for finite beings (see above) to understand the infinite. Fortunately for people who want to think about such things, life and in fact all of creation has a few basic rules that it uses over and over again. Each new critter that arose here did not need a complete redesign as each new critter is in essence built upon all the operating systems that came before.
As above so below.
This is very easy to prove. For example, one basic principle of life is that it seeks to cover surfaces and declare territory. Photosynthesizers try to cover fertile ground with solar collectors (leaves). My wife covers every unused surface in the house with books. The same principle is carried through all of creation.
Likewise life seeks to cover all possible niches on all possible levels. You didn’t think mega-corporations arose out of nothing, did you? They are following a blue print that is hard wired into every creature on earth. Like cancer, it is obvious what happens when organisms are allowed to seize territory unchecked and de-regulated.
My friend Deb insists that only humans have intent. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that one of the warning signs of insanity is the belief that you are the only one! Deb is an intrinsic part of nature. She did not arise in a vacuum and contains the entire range of DNA that came before her. Deb has intent. Therefore intent MUST be part of the biological process that begat her and is reflected in her as a holograph of the universe.
As far as I can tell there are only three possible choices governing the mechanisms of dramatic genetic evolution.
1) We are here with the ability to have this discussion because of an infinite series of a random coincidences occurring over vast amounts of time. (Coincidence Given Enough Time Theory)
2) We are here with the ability to have this discussion because forces external to creation guided things to this point (God, Elementals, Fairies, E.T. etc.)
3) We are here with the ability to have this discussion because the mechanisms of evolution are hardwired into the process and respond quickly to environmental changes. This hypothesis explains how DNA makes major jumps regularly; including adding additional DNA molecules to the strands. These changes or evolution is the result of an inside-out push in response to the ever- changing environment. (Theory of Intent)
That ancient fishy-critter really wanted to crawl around on dirt (who wouldn’t – no competition). It must grow legs (huh?) and breathe air instead of water (equally improbable). How does the DNA know what to do? Clearly, DNA responds directly and efficiently the environment it finds itself in. In every generation it will create the offspring that are most likely to succeed. But it doesn’t throw every possible random mutation out there to find the direction to go.
Most mutations never make it to birth — ask a nurse. Rather, the new critters and the dramatic, sudden jumps and changes in critter form and function are exactly suited to that niche, at that time.
And THAT is what I mean by intent. Nature, like Deb, evolves because it intends itself to do so. This is infinitely more efficient than trying every possible solution to a problem in hope that one of them will work.
Leaves near the ground are becoming scarce because of draught and overgrazing so long-necked critters quickly appear to fill the niche. There isn’t time to test every possible leaf-gathering solution before the draught kills off all the leaf eating critters. Clearly the short necked critters running around at that time INTENDED to have longer necks on their shoulders. The scheme apparently worked and their children got that longer neck. We now have the long-necked critters to prove it!
This is what I mean when I say:
“The fact that something exists is proof if the universe’s intention that it be so.”
That is unless you believe in coincidences — lots and lots and lots of coincidences.
This is the Soapman telling y’all that however you think we came to be here, remember to keep it real, homies. And keep thinking about evolution – you never know where it may lead…