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Evolution from Space (English Edition) eBook Kindle
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Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide
On the other hand, you have his opposition to big bang theory and, well, this book, which really ought to be seen as the founding of contemporary intelligent design theory. There's much more to this book than that, however, and it's worth reading in it's own right.
Hoyle makes three basic hypotheses:
1) Life came to earth from space
2) Genes from space carried in on viruses are constantly impacting the genetics of life on earth.
3) Life is so improbable that it must have been intelligently designed.
I think the third point is the least persuasive. At best one can argue that intelligent design is a superior theory to the theory that all enzymes were created through random shuffling of amino acid blocks. However the random shuffle theory has never been particularly scientifically accepted. Furthermore the Darwinist theory he was arguing against isn't even close to current evolutionary theory. Consequently I think one has to discount this theory, or at least suggest it's an argument against a straw man.
The evolutionary theory he argues against may have been current in the 1970's but it's not current today. He approaches evolution as a linear, progressive process instead of a complex, nonlinear, adaptive process. Claims that no evolutionary potential is left in mice is evidence of an idea that evolutionary potential is something inherent in the genome. Many of his complaints, from rapid speciation to a lack of transitional fossiles are based on this fundamental poor assumption. However, his survey of older pre-Darwin ideas is interesting in part because it allows for those who are interested in the history of ideas to see how in some areas, current thought has returned to ideas which were supposedly disproven by Darwin's hypothesis (for example, the idea that evolution speeds up when animals are under stress is one such pre-Darwinian idea that the field has returned to). I suppose it proves Heisenburg (Physics and Philosophy: The Revolution in Modern Science) right. Scientific theory is not implied by data but a combination of assumption and data.
At the same time, I think that his theories about genetic material coming from space may have some merit. Something like 8% of the human genome appears to be of viral origin, and more evidence is slowly surfacing interplanetary space is full of organic chemicals. Additionally it's become more and more clear that microbes can survive in outer space. It may not be as large of a change as he suggests but it may be a change nonetheless.
The main virtue of this work though is that despite the fact that the author was a reputable scientist, his critique essentially transformed the creationism capm in the culture wars into the intelligent design camp. It's interesting for this reason beyond any others.
This is not a book to be read uncritically. There's a lot wrong with it, but it's also an interesting and thought provoking read nonetheless, and hence I'd certainly recommend it.
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