You and I stumble into this Universe from a another place where the laws of physics are entirely different. We’re scientists who live for billions of years.
You see Earth and suspect that her life forms’ DNA code was written by a phenomenon called “survival of the fittest.”
I challenge your theory because I’m a scientist. You respect my challenge because you’re a scientist.
We set up a standard scientific study, a blinded, controlled, randomized, prospective, duplicable experiment to settle the dispute. No problem…
1. We randomly select a significant number of planets containing DNA-based life. A few hundred thousand will give us decent statistics we hope.
2. We ask unbiased robots to document the current DNA code of every species on every test planet while we’re not looking.
3. We set up cameras everywhere to document which species are surviving, when and why.
4. We have our robots decode all the DNA so we will later know exactly what each gene does in each life form.
5. We do a thorough search for intelligent DNA code writers – such as humans – and exclude their planets from the study because they would tarnish our data.
6. We put a barrier around each test planet that selectively keeps out extraneous DNA and DNA code writers (but nothing else).
7. We blind the study to make it objective by never looking at any of the data until it’s all gathered by unbiased robots.
8. We locate a few hundred thousand control planets in which the DNA-based life forms do NOT compete for survival. Fortunately we find another Universe where these conditions exist, and our robots set up an identical situation there.
9. We wait 13.8 billion years and have the robots collect the data and analyze it statistically. They also look at what happened on the control planets.
10. They give us a p-value that tells us what the probability is that the changes in the DNA were merely caused by chance.
11. If that number is low enough, we can be at least 95% sure that there is a positive correlation between: (A) any new DNA code that showed up and (B) the “survival of the fittest.”
12. Assuming there is a positive correlation as Darwin predicted, the correlation does not prove that A was caused by B. To prove that we must…
13. Have unbiased artificial intelligences review and interpret all the video, correlate it to the DNA changes in time context, and see if things demonstrate a cause-and-effect relationship.
14. If the DNA changes are appropriate to the survival behavior seen on the 13.8 billion years of video, we publish findings which strongly suggest a causal relationship between B (survival of the fittest) and A (new DNA code). Our paper states that more research must be done to confirm our results.
16. If other scientists come here and are able to duplicate our results several times, then we have come as close as statistics allow to proving scientifically that Darwin was correct and the survival of the fittest does indeed write complex reams of new DNA code in this particular Universe.
Next, since you and I have seen strange things before, we go looking outside of space and time for the intelligent mind that designed the laws of physics for this remarkably clever Universe that writes its own DNA code. We locate a busy, intelligent-looking being and are about to interrupt when we hear a booming voice say, “Let There Be Light.”
Why does this matter to me?
See the post before this one: “Love, Lies and Opposable Thumbs.”
M. Talmage Moorehead
If you’re interested in intelligent design, weird artifacts, genetics and psychology from the perspective of a nineteen-year-old “Hapa Girl,” my in-progress novel may be a fun read. The protagonist, Johanna, is a genius geneticist with a younger brother who struggles with depression, though you wouldn’t know it to meet him. Her evolving story starts here.
It’s an experiment called, Hapa Girl DNA, and is a hybrid itself – a tightrope crossing of fiction and non-fiction. “Hapa” is the Hawaiian term for “half.” Johanna is half Japanese and half Jewish. In writing her novel, she and I ignore some important fiction-writing rules, partly because we like to test dogmas and partly because it’s fun to try new things.
But the “rules” are essential knowledge to anyone crazy enough to either break them or follow them mindlessly.
So you could download my e-book on fiction writing, the second to last chapter of which gives my current opinions on many of the dogmatic rules of fiction writing. Downloading that 10,000 word file will place you on my short list of people who will be politely notified when my traditional novel is done – possibly before the next ice age. (No spam or sharing of your info. I haven’t sent an email to my list yet. It’s been over a year.)
Next time you’re writing emails, if you think of it, please tell your best and hopefully weirdest friend about my blog (www.storiform.com). Thanks! I appreciate your thoughtfulness.