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Evolution as a theory that explains phenomena ranging from the development of the universe to the development of society - Yuval Neman

Prof. Yuval Naaman's lecture, summer 1999, Institute for Technological Education - Holon

The late Yuval Na'eman. Photo from his private collection
The late Yuval Neman. Photo from his private collection

In this article: background to the series of lectures, Darwin's time, his biography and the implications of the theory of evolution.

(Explanation background for the lecture)

In the last 30 years, people who study technical subjects should still be given a background that links their subjects with the subjects of social sciences, life, and life in the humanities, so that they simply understand better how their subject fits into the overall picture. Here in Holon, at the initiative of this institution, there is a plan to develop a connection between the technological subject and the social subject, I thought it would be interesting and would add something to those studying a technological subject if he could better see on a very fundamental level the place his subject has in the overall social aspect in both directions, also what technology actually is Doing for society and also what society can do for technology.

I say all this and I emphasize it because this is actually the goal in the fourth lecture, we will deal with it only in this. But since we want to see the overall picture and better understand how we fit into this overall picture, it turns out that there are really big misunderstandings on both sides of the map, but mainly even the non-scientific public does not understand, for example, what research for development is, should research for development be funded only when It is clear to you that it leads to a goal that you are sure of and that you think is important. For example, in the American Senate there was a senator named William Proxmeyer until a few years ago (I think he was not elected in the last Senate [not elected, GF]), but until 4 years ago he headed some kind of committee which is the Senate Appropriations Committee for issues that approve the programs The research is scientific, and he would publish every year - giving a lot of publicity to his decision regarding the "golden bug" award, or something like that, which was an idea to look for some research topic that sounded very far from reality, someone interested in the prostate in moles, something like that... and he would do It's ridiculous, and of course he wouldn't have given money for it, and he would have put the scientific community in a ridiculous situation because of it, and it turns out that directly from studies on the prostate of moles came a method by which prostate cancer is cured today. Senator Proxmire (who I don't know if he even knows this) continued this method for many years. If you really want to understand how scientific research can even be judged, when can you know if there really is a chance that something useful will come out of it or not, and if so, then when? For this, it is useful to understand the general picture, what scientific research does within the whole aspect. If we want to, or don't want to, because this is actually his feature. And when I was looking for the basis for this topic, it turned out to me that in order to understand science and research, you need to understand the theory of evolution, the theory of development that actually, it is said, began its journey with Charles Darwin.

One hundred and forty years ago, in 1859, Darwin published his book
Origin of species, The on the origin of the varieties, or the species,
the species").

This theory also has implications for the development of society, because development, it turns out, works not only at the level of the individual animal, not only at the level of matter, for example all the chemical elements in the universe are products of an evolutionary process. We know that they are being formed even today within the stars and within the sun. The sun is a kind of device that cooks helium from hydrogen, and from that we exist because all our energy comes from the sun, and we are made up of the same elements that were cooked in the big stars.
It turns out that there is also an evolution of society. Human society has moved from the Stone Age to the Copper and Bronze Age, and today it is entering the computer age. The species in nature, the chemical elements and human society have a common denominator, and if you study the rules of the theory of development regarding biology, you can draw conclusions about the other parts, and then there are surprises, very interesting surprises.

In the first (this) lecture we will deal mainly with biological evolution, that of Darwin, that of the updated Darwin, because Darwin himself did not yet know how it is done, he only grasped the general principle, today we know that there is DNA, in which, like in computer software, we find The information that builds the person, and we also know the mechanism by which the mutations occur, that is, how the transition from one species to the other was made, what were the stages that had to be passed through, and today it is possible to calculate, for example, when the AIDS virus, which affects humans today, when it separated from the AIDS virus that only affected monkeys and animals others in the Congo and made the necessary mutation to be able to attack humans, and it turns out that this only happened about 30 years ago.

It is worthwhile to invest some effort in understanding this biological system in order to understand later and look for the analogies in the other systems, and it turns out that we will learn a lot from this. So today the lecture is about the biological part. In the next lecture we will deal with the evolution of the still, of the heavenly bodies, of the universe, it simply also gives a slightly broader picture, and there are some interesting variants that occur then. The third and fourth [lectures] are dedicated to man and society, in one of the lectures we will see what role science and technology have in the development of society, this is called progress.
Today there is a philosophy called "postmodernism", and this philosophy says that progress is a lie. I'm still waiting to see that they will return to the trees and give up the cars, and at most ride horses... etc., but some treat the front with disdain and with a bad eye that it seems to have caused all kinds of problems. We will also deal with this issue of how technology changes society, and at the same time we will learn how technology itself develops, because it turns out that ideas also go through an evolutionary process, and it follows exactly the same rules. So the development of ideas - we can also learn from this aspect, and we need it because there is a certain combination between how science and technology develop, and how they develop society.
So that's the plan, four lectures. A transcript of a similar series I gave at the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem last year was recently published in a book published by the Van Leer Institute.

Part II - Darwin's biography and the background to the birth of the theory of evolution

So let's start with Darwin. The year was 1859. Darwin himself is an interesting person, there are those whose background helps him, in this respect that he is a very poor company, etc., then this is a challenge that is created for him and that is why he progresses faster, there are those who are the opposite, because he starts from the beginning Very difficult - doesn't get that far, or at least not as far as it could have gotten otherwise. Darwin started at a very high level. His father was a very famous doctor, Robert Darwin, and his two grandfathers were both famous people; One grandfather, Armesus Darwin, on the father's side, was a well-known philosopher, and one can even look for the beginnings of evolutionary ideas in his writings, and the other grandfather, who was also very rich, Joshua Wedgwood (whose porcelain company still exists today), So Darwin started on a high note.

His parents sent him to study medicine, he ran away from it. He ran away because he said he couldn't bear people's suffering. So those who studied medicine did not have the years of preparatory studies, but went straight into working with patients, and many did not know what to do with the patients, so they suffered. The whole idea seemed to him not for him, and he ran away from it. I would say that it is not clear that any suffering did not please him, because for example later he was a well-known hunter as well. But he probably cared less about animals...
Because he ran away from medical studies, his father sent him to Cambridge thinking that he might become a priest. A priest could at that time study anything he wanted, general studies. From the age of eight he started collections of plants and animals, mainly cockroaches and all kinds of insects interested him very much, and he began to study them and collect them and sort them, and in Cambridge he became friends with Henslow, who was a professor of botany, and Henslow arranged for him that one summer - a search for fossils With Sedgwick, who was the first geologist to understand what fossils are, and even started to think about the age of the earth through the fossils, and how long it took for the different species to appear and disappear, etc.

The trip with Sedgwick in Wales lasted a month and they collected specimens, fossils, etc. - all while being a student. During his studies he met another professor who had an influence on him there - Liel (this data is important for the next steps). In any case, when he finished he had no desire to become a priest, he had a general education, Henslow received an offer from a ship of the British Navy called "The Badger", "The Beagle is a research ship, which was going to go for five years around the world, to patrol the the Southern Hemisphere, and to go through the whole of it like this "shwai shwai" [in Arabic - Lat-Lat, GP] in five years, and learn everything there is to learn, everything that the British Navy was interested in, in terms of cartography, geography, and marking of water in different places, etc. '.
He didn't care if someone also, on this occasion, explored all these places and the animals and everything he wanted to explore in those places. Henslow - the botany teacher - was offered this position, and he wanted it. However, it turned out that his wife - absolutely did not think that he would disappear for five years, and she did not agree. Henslow offered it to the successful student - Darwin. His father said; "No way", "what will you do, nothing will come out of it, not a profession, not anything", etc., but to soften him, he said "show me one intelligent person who will tell you that this is a worthwhile topic". There was some family event and at the event was Uncle Wedgwood, the second Wedgwood, the second generation of the Wedgwoods.

Darwin told him about the idea, Wedgwood said: "Wonderful thing". So since he was also an industrialist, and rich, etc., the father would not be able to claim that he was not a wise man, so he brought him to testify before the father and the uncle explained that in his opinion it would definitely promote him, Darwin, and Darwin received the approval and went on a journey. He left for five years and those five years started in Central and South America, first in Colombia, and from there to Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands, Southeast Asia, South Africa, back to Brazil and from there to England. In the Galapagos Islands he learned a great deal. He saw animals on different islands. - And he saw that they differ from island to island and the animals on the continent.

He saw how the islands suddenly received some different development that is not on the continent. He began to understand, things began to work out for him this way, and during this journey, along with some things he received in preparation for his departure on the journey, he also received some material from Sedvik, and studied it on the journey. He didn't have much to do (by the way - he didn't receive a salary for those five years, that was his business - he had to pay for the food he consumed on the way, this is perhaps one of the things that the father didn't like) but in any case from Sedgwick's material , he also began to understand that he had much larger time intervals to understand the development. And then the journey was over, he had a complete thesis. He had an idea. Now here you have to understand one thing; But we'll get to that, what was one of the fundamental things that helped him in that matter, we'll get to that right away.

In any case, when he returned, he was on the voyage for five years from 1831-36, in 39-XNUMX he published a book, "The Voyage of the Beagle", which is simply a report of the five years, from a story about the voyage of the ship . And by the way, this ship was in the entire southern hemisphere - also in Asia, India, Indonesia and more.

In fact, 6 years after he returned, he published a booklet that was actually the essence of the idea of ​​the theory of evolution, but he didn't dare to publish it yet - he published it and showed it to the various teachers in Cambridge, who, by the way, were very impressed. They were very open, and suddenly it explained a great many things and a great many connections that were not clear before, so they encouraged him and enjoyed the matter, and in any case they encouraged him, and this draft was studied by these three: Lyall, Hawker and Gray. Asa Gray was a professor at "Harvard" and he corresponded with him from his residence in Cambridge. He received encouragement from all three experts, but did not dare to publish and decided to work more on the matter. Worked on it for 15 years, and might not have published at all, not even 15 years later, if he hadn't suddenly one day received a package with a draft of a book from a young man named Alfred Russell Wallace, who sent it to him from Indonesia, actually from Sumatra.

Wallace was on a similar journey, a research journey, and even before he left he heard about the fact that Darwin had such ideas, through the various teachers at Cambridge, but with him things were even more solidified, so that he went through the process and he had already written the book. And Darwin was so modest and not of a strong character, and thought: "If that's the case anyway, the discovery of one will say, and the book of the other", but these teachers intervened and said "we will make an order", they wrote to Wallace, and concluded by reading Darwin's draft and a section of Wallace's book At the meeting of the Linnaean Society.

Carl von Linnaeus, who is called Linnaeus, because when you sort plants and herbs you do it in Latin, a matter of ancient European tradition, so Carl von Linnaeus, who signed "Linnaeus", the plants he classified and the animals - he wrote in Latin, and therefore also changed the His name is Latin. Carl Poe Lina classified the flora and fauna, in fact even some of the inanimate. He made the first classification of the minerals, and sorted the flora and fauna, and then there is the Linnaean Society, which is an association, which was an association of those who deal with issues of flora and fauna, he was a member of the association, and it published a journal called "of the Lineal Society," Journal of the Proceedings then in 1858 issued in this journal, a file of four papers. One document was made up of excerpts from Darwin's letter to Asa Gray, since he did not correspond with his colleagues in Cambridge but spoke orally, but to Harvard he had to write because... it's in America. These letters showed the readers that already in 1830 he had a solid idea. To this was now added Wells' new document, several more letters from Darwin, and the fourth document - an introduction by one of these teachers, Lyell, who explained that he had done justice to the matter.

In fact, the veteran author gets credit here as well. On the other hand, the young man who reached the same results also receives some credit, but in fact the Torah appeared for the first time in the general public, in the public of science, as a common Torah of Darwin Wells.

It is also interesting from a collegial point of view, there are many cases in science where there are fights about priority, about "who was the one who invented first". The quarrel between Newton and Leibniz, regarding the invention of the differential calculus, is well known, so if such greats as Newton suffered and fought these quarrels, all the more so all the rest of the scientific community these things hurt him, and here was a beautiful case of making peace and preventing a collision. In any case, this is the background to the birth of the Torah.

Part C - Neo-Darwinism

Darwin actually sketched the general idea, the idea could not have taken the form to get to the structural side and to understand the actual mechanism, if he had not at the same time, more or less, been an Austrian monk, an Austrian-formal, because at that time the Czech Republic was part of Austria-Hungary , so in the books they write about him being Austrian, on the other hand, if he spoke German then you can say Sudeten German, ZA- he is a Czech man, a Czech, if he was born today) named Mendel, Gregory Mendel, and he He basically built genetics, and then when Mendel bred different breeds together and could, he could see, within the breed itself - see what was happening between the traits of, say, father and mother, etc., the whole genetic issue was understood.

Darwin, by the way, had never heard of Mendel, even though it was at the time. Mendel came from the opposite, from complete anonymity, no one took him seriously, he wrote his results, his findings, and sent it to all kinds of researchers, and they put it aside and didn't even read it. And only about 40 years later was he rediscovered by other researchers on the biological side, who read the things he did and saw that he grasped the matter, and Mandel did hear
About Darwin. By the way, Mandel worked until a certain year, in that year he became the head of the monastery, and then for the next 20 or 30 years he was no longer involved in it. So it was kind of a window in time when he made his contribution. Anyway, it gave the genetics.

In molecular biology there was Linus Pauling who was a quantum chemist, who understood quantum theory and was a talented man, he managed for the first time to see a very interesting organic molecule that is related to our blood, but the great achievement was the group in London, England, in Cambridge, of a physicist named Francis Crick, a biologist named Jim Watson and one other chemist [Morris Wilkins, GP] and a girl named Rosalyn, I forgot her last name, who is the only one who was not given a Nobel Prize because she was a girl, and they thought less of girls then. So the other three got it, and it's on
The discovery of DNA and the structure of the DNA molecule and since then, after understanding DNA we understand exactly how the evolutionary process takes place. We know that the DNA is actually the software, we know that the body has its own mechanisms. It has a mechanism that replicates this software, because you need it at least for the sperm cells, but also in general - this software is found in the body and works in the cells. So there is replication, and if this replication is not perfect, and it happens that it does, usually it is a huge molecule - millions of atoms, then the replication is rarely free of any mistakes. So there are mistakes, and if these mistakes are in the sperm cells, or in the DNA of the sperm cells, etc. - you can get a mutation.

According to most - most of these mistakes are neither useful nor harmful because there is a lot of redundancy, seconds say in my past? [A comment from the audience: "Redundancy"] Redundancy - lots of redundancy, and biology works on redundancy, at least two - we see it in the body like this, but apart from that, a much greater redundancy; Four-five systems that repeat the same thing. And in this case the DNA has a lot of redundancy. So for the most part it is neither helpful nor harmful. But sometimes it is also harmful, and then this species becomes extinct and ends and this software is closed, and sometimes it also gives something successful and then we stand in a situation where a new stable level has been created, Z- we understand the mechanism as a whole, let's write down for ourselves what the things that constitute an evolutionary mechanism. So we have this, by the way - this is called neo-Darwinism, because Darwin did not know the existence of the reproductive mechanism and. DNA knew that something was happening and that if this creature didn't work out then it would gradually become extinct, but he didn't think about the fact that something might already be happening in its software, etc.
It wasn't clear to him, he couldn't know, because they didn't know things back then, but today, when the picture is more complete - it's called neo-Darwinism, and neo-Darwinism says this: that without replication there can't be evolution at all, because the mistake has to happen While some kind of change is happening, otherwise it has no meaning. So there needs to be a dynamic mechanism, and this dynamic mechanism, I might upload it so that we can see it, the list of results and findings, the mechanism, where do I start, once again at the end... a control system with a memory that stores the production programs of the given organism, it could be In biology, DNA and elsewhere is something else, but in society, I can already tell you today, it is actually the complete treasure of the education we give and of all the materials that include what we pass from generation to generation. Then a mechanism that creates random changes in this software, it requires this movement, as I said, the copying, I will go back to the part of the page that I skipped over, because there are stories there with an interesting background.

Now, there must be dynamic, selective criteria that determine which changes create a new stable level. In Darwin's organism, this is where the term "Survival of the Fittest" came from, which, by the way, you won't find it in Darwin, he didn't write it, etc. There was an English philosopher named Spencer, Herbert Spencer, his contemporary, who was looking for a way to talk like evolutionary theory, but he was not a biologist and there was no picture at all in this matter, as soon as he saw what Darwin did - he gave it a philosophical background, and he inserted the word Evolution Spencer , and he also introduced this matter of Survival of the Fittest, and this, by the way, caused very great difficulties in other directions, for example, I will give you a story about this in one of the next lectures, for example - read Nietzsche, the German philosopher at the end of the last century, and Nietzsche very Influenced by Darwin and the "Survival of the Fittest" then in "Thus said Zarathustra" then he talks about the man of the future, the superman, the man who will come after man, the "superman", then he describes him that for example mercy he does not know because mercy is a weakness and needs To rise above these weaknesses, and other such cruel things, went in this direction.
I can show that this argument is professionally, scientifically incorrect, we will deal with that separately. In any case, it worked out - but there is a problem with Rama's survival, is she really becoming more of a survivor, so she has a chance - this mutation will continue to live.

Part IV Darwin and religion
Teleology, it's a situation where you look back and marvel that the billion possibilities actually the particular possibility you are in happened. But if you look back, then you see as if there were stages until you got here. This does not mean that before when you were in stage A, someone knew that you would reach this stage C, because there are mutations here, who knows what other mutations could have happened?

Always, when you look back, it seems as if the steps lead to you, to the step it is in at that moment. So it's called teleonomy. In religion there are two completely different approaches; There is an approach that is expressed in America, it is called: "The Monkey Law", because in the South of the USA, that the people are very religious, Protestant, fundamentalist, meaning that they accept the simplicity of the Holy Scriptures, so this seems to be in contradiction, because it is said that the world was created in seven days, And here - this leads to a different creation. So in this matter, in the South of the USA they also took it - they were offended by the fact that we come from monkeys. So I think that here in Israel too there was an election campaign of one of the parties. The matter of our descent from the monkey was mentioned as an insult. For someone to say that we are descended from monkeys, in any case, as if they were offended by the matter.

And in the south of the USA, I know - I was once driving in a car, I turned on the radio and I hear a preacher explaining that the communists introduced this whole thing of evolution to tie us to monkeys and lower human dignity, etc.

Along with this, I suggest you read Rabbi Kook, in "Orot HaKodesh" he has a chapter, in which he uses the word "development" when he talks about evolution. In the episode called "The Rise of the World". Rabbi Kook literally sings the song of Darwin and evolution because he sees it as the divine way by which the divine vision is fulfilled. He says: if you search, you will see it this way, and he, on the contrary, sees evolution as the fulfillment of religious ideas from this point of view. Now, there is a French Jesuit monk named Pierre Thierry de Chardin who has written several books on this subject.

He came after Rabbi Kook, but with the same thesis on the Christian side, and his words had a lot of weight in terms of influence in the Western world. But Rabbi Kook is actually ahead of Pierre Tierra de Chardin, with the same idea. Things actually started - a French Jew named Harry Berkson, who was a philosopher in the first half of this century, and Berkson wrote a book called "le evolution creative[?]", "the creative evolution", but there he did not enter the religious side, but entered the question, the very idea , that evolution is the way in which the universe changes itself all the time and progresses to better things, and becomes more orderly. Rabbi Kook related it to the religious image, and Pierre Thier de Chardin did the same.

And by the way - Berkson was very accepted in France and very respected, and when the Nazis came - then the people in power wanted, I think he even converted to Christianity at some point, so they wanted to ignore the fact that he was Jewish and not oblige him to carry the yellow stain, etc. in Paris, so he went and converted back and wore the yellow patch.

He died about a year after the occupation. From this point of view, in Judaism, I would say this - there are two approaches regarding the miracle - a miracle can be, an approach that Rabbi Kook represents, is that the miracle is in the light of day, za that the miracle happens through the laws of nature, za - the laws of nature themselves were created by The Creator, therefore, has no interest in looking for a detour, so the miracle occurs through the laws of nature. So you can accept the evolution as it is - as part of its software. If you see the miracle as an exception to nature, there is also such an approach, then you stand in this contradiction, and the picture is different. In any case, in the US there is something called Creationism, which is an attempt to dress up the other thesis in an apparently scientific way, ZA - so the idea is that the world is as if it was created, the universe, 15 billion years ago, the Creator - when he created it 5000 years ago, Make it look like it was created 15 billion years ago. Then they try to draw scientific conclusions from it, etc. It's called Creationism. There is a struggle in the South of the USA for schools to teach both theses together, not to prefer one over the other, and to teach both.

This is related to the fact that in Judaism we didn't have Galileo's theorem, we had other prohibitions, Spinoza, and Costa, but in any case there was no need for Galileo's theorem because in Judaism there is paradise, it is simple, allusive, preached and secret, and seemingly at least there is a possibility to choose one of the ways The goddess, in each of them, and if you take the path of the hint, that her Alexandrian friend was the one who gave her a great impetus, and by the way - she took a very strong hold on Christianity,

The reason why Aristotle became so important in the world of the Middle Ages, there are 1500 years after that, was that the Alexandrian friend showed that it is possible to find no contradiction between the principles of the Jewish scriptures and Greek philosophy, and then the Christian church included Aristotle almost in the scriptures, and so he Preserved for 1500 years, while all other Greek philosophy was forgotten, but that's another story. In any case, it is important to see these philosophical aspects that exist here. Rabbi Kook, I've copied a section here, because I think he expresses what he meant here mainly, it's a kind of summary like this: "Development, which follows the path of transcendence, gives the optimistic foundation in the world, because how can one despair when you see that everything is being transcended? When we penetrate the intricacies of the element of transcendental development, we find in it the divine matter illuminated with absolute clarity." That's how he saw things. More on the other aspects of the matter.

I mostly mentioned the Nietzsche thing. Nietzsche was already a continuation of several others who then decided on the matter. Nietzsche is flourishing today and there is a wave of opinion thinkers that flourished in the previous 50 years, called postmodernism, it is a very strange wave that grew mainly in France, pushed it, there were some, there were some professors who actually created it... In any case, this wave - for science it is Very hostile, he claims, he convinced himself that science is subjective. Newton's laws are not Newton's laws because that's how nature works, unless you wanted there to be other laws.

It may make a caricature, but that's what comes out of the sections that are, there is a claim that science is non-objective, it's actually subjective. And they hang, among other things, in Nitsha. He is a kind of their spiritual father, in that he attacked, among other things, he also attacked Judaism, but he attacked the entire Western approach that is influenced by the humanistic approach that comes from Judaism, and then they hang in Nitsha as a spiritual pain to this whole wave. Now the reaction began, and a collection of writings by some ten philosophers came out, giving the book a name, the title: "Why We are Not Nietzsche".

It's a wave coming back from there. But Nietzsche himself, as I said, is very influenced, I will bring you excerpts from him, so it is clear that he grasped the matter of evolution only on a biological level, and that the one conclusion is that you have to be strong and cruel. And the Nazis used Nietzsche as an ideological justification for what they did. In fact, they actually used his theses. I said what is happening regarding Tier de Chardin and Rabbi Kook, it is more of a resonance and not a conflict in this respect. It is a positive grappling instead of a negative grappling with the evolutionary issue.

And you will be surprised, there was resistance to evolution among scientists. Yes, scientists. They didn't like that the Cambridge man developed this theory when he was a young student and even when he came back from the boat tour he still didn't have any degree. Nevertheless, the thesis was accepted because it explained a lot of things. Then later critics came, and the big, main claim was that there is no time, in terms of the history of the earth, there is not enough time for anything in which evolution could really have been fulfilled. They usually tell you: "Imagine that you are..." Or let's say, we will give two examples, two stories that are always brought up in this regard; They say - imagine you are walking down the street and suddenly find a clock on the floor. So what, is there any probability that the clock, which is composed of ten to the power of 27 atoms.

By chance, so many atoms will line up that there will be a clock here. So obviously it's not like that, so therefore there is a creator and the whole evolution thing is nonsense. This is one approach. (By the way, among those involved in the life sciences, etc. - you will not find anyone with such an opinion, but among people who are outside the matter, they may be impressed by it.

In Israel - someone initiated a conference on the topic of evolution, which was mistakenly received by the Academy. Prof. Auerbach, who was the president of the Israeli Academy of Sciences, came to open the conference, and it turned out that this conference mainly dealt with the description of the background of evolution and anti-evolution. There was not a single biologist there, there were several engineers, and mainly it was led by people in mechanical engineering, for some reason, but simply because of their background. After that, the mistake was discovered and the academy canceled its sponsorship of the event. In any case, from the point of view of the academy and the support it gave to this conference. In Israel it was quite rare.

I talked with a very great French mathematician and he told me the story of the clock, it is very common, this story. or they say; What is the chance that ten to the power of 29 atoms will arrange by chance to make a human brain? So of course that's not how evolution works. Evolution works from stage to stage. The antithesis to all this, the most successful story, the most successful slogan I found in literature, regarding the opposite of this, was from Dawkins, a well-known biologist,
who wrote an article about the bridges of the Mississippi. What talent do these bridges have, that the Mississippi winds as it winds, that they all succeed, they all managed to settle on its course, along its windings? And this is the answer to the matter, because in fact evolution goes as it goes, and you can later determine - yes, that's right, it went through such and such stages. But you can do a computer experiment, and today it is possible through the Internet to simulate the evolution of animals. You get a sketch of some kind of insect and slowly make gradual changes to it, each time some kind of different change, and you see all kinds of things that happen then, and you can learn the way in which these things happening Of course, today it is also done in the laboratory and the matter of mutations can be speeded up.

Chapter XNUMX - Computer evolution and the clock argument.

It was Professor Miller, in Texas, in the 20s and 30s who irradiated to test the formation of mutations. It occurred to him as soon as it became clear that there was radioactivity, etc., to radiate and see. If it is not one of the things that can accelerate mutations, and it turned out that it is, it accelerates mutation. There is damage to the atoms of the DNA inside the DNA and then it moves them out of place, and all kinds of things can happen, and then he did the experiments on Drosophila, it's flies that he irradiated them, and he started to see what mutations started to occur, changed the color, He changed size, all kinds of other things, it depended on what he would do, what he would take... Today you can follow such a process and calculate the time and see that actually the number of steps, you can check the steps that reach man, from the state in which the first living cells were formed.

There is a whole study that is currently dealing with the creation of cells, of the first cells, in fact - you start with the type of atmospheres that existed on Earth, such as there are now on Venus. This is an atmosphere that has methane and CH4, oxygen and some other gases, methane and NH3. In fact, you heat such an atmosphere and then you see to the left certain organic molecules are formed, and then molecules that replicate themselves begin to form, you begin to follow the path that leads the cell the animal The picture today is different, and you can see that in the three billion years that the earth has existed, in fact the life on earth is worth a billion, a billion and a half, there are beginnings in the beginnings; The simplest forms were found in Australia and the Great Lakes region of the USA", about one and a half billion years ago. So this story of the clock and how things are created, you can also check it in another way. You can take letters at random, in Hebrew it is said, so if you take a line of letters completely at random, there will be words here and there. Leave the words and start once again to change or to... but those words that are already there - you will already keep them. So gradually, you can evolve, until there is a coherent sentence, which is a meaningful sentence. You can estimate the times that such moves take.

There is, by the way, another very interesting conclusion, it's called a "farm story", it's not exactly our mother's farm, but it's similar. Scientists followed the DNA of about 5000 people from all human races, and sought to build a tree from it, and took a certain type of DNA that resides only in the mother. This DNA was passed down through the mothers, and then it turned out that all the DNA on the planet, including the dwarfs in central Africa and the Tutsis and the Hutus over there in Rwanda, the Tutsis are huge and the Hutus are small, but also, all the human races actually, they're all descendants, at least - they all have In their origin one woman, who lived about 200,000 years ago. Now, this does not mean that they are all descended from one couple that gave birth to them all, but there could have been many in the beginning, but anyway things worked out so that everyone happened to have this woman anyway in their ancestry in their previous generations. The theory is called the "Eve" theory, and this woman. According to this genetic data, Zaa of where do you see her more, where do you see her less, and you can calculate, she was probably in North Africa.

It is clear that Homo sapiens left Africa for the rest of the world about 200,000 years ago and this picture has an overlap today from three directions; There is the geological side, za, za findings, not geological, but archaeological in this case, or prehistoric, which are simply findings of bones and skeletons and camps, etc. on the surface of the earth and which you can try to tie together and see, also document in terms of dates , you date it with carbon 13(C13), or some kind of documentation method, dating method, and then there's that archaeological side. There is the linguistic side that you, for example, as we reconstructed the Indo-European language, which is actually common to most peoples of Europe + India and Persian and Indian and Hindu are languages ​​of this family, and you can try to see where the Indo-Europeans originally lived, when they were one nation. how do you know that? For example, you are looking for words common to everyone. For example, the word "Laksh", we are talking about "Laks", a fish that is red in color, so in Indian, Hindu, Lakshmi is beautiful, there is beauty, the color red and a tree with red leaves are called the same word, and when you check the differences then it is clear that it comes from... That Indo-Europeans probably came from the Baltic region, that they lived on salmon, from which the lax came, and that it was red, and that red was good, it was rich, therefore rabba is laksh as well, in some of these languages.

There is the linguistic find, the archaeological find, the genetic find from Africa about 200,000 years ago, between 100,000 and 200,000 CE to be very rough, and the genetic I mean through that farm. Another thing we will come across in the other aspects is something called "punctuated evolution". It's a novelty, two Americans, Hendridge [?] and Gold [?] conceived it about 20 years ago, and it's getting richer. The innovation is that evolution works faster when the group is small, isolated and small. why? Because there is more chance that a change will last, survive. Because let's say there is a mutation in a male, and he needs to find a female of the same type, so if it's in a very large group then the matter is too sparse and he won't find the partner who has the same mutation. However, in a small group it can happen.

Now, in small groups, the stages are much faster because of this. And then you find that most of the rapid evolutionary developments happen when one group went to the side, for example all the Bantu peoples, all the languages ​​that are in Africa, from central Africa to the south, to the edge, they are all, all these languages ​​are quite recent developments in the last ten thousand years probably from some tribe in the Nige A shoot that wandered into this space and spread, and once it split then the mutations changed very quickly, and this is one example. Second example; How are we, why do we speak Hebrew today, why did Ben-Yehuda succeed? He succeeded because... for example the Irish failed. The Irish wanted to bring back the ancient Irish language, and it didn't work. why? Because there were about 5 million people in Ireland and English was strong, and there was no chance, so they tried, but except for very nationalistic people who switched to speaking Gaelic, the majority remained in English anyway, and it didn't help. Ben-Yehuda- was not a group in the Land of Israel, a group of 70,000 Jews were here in the Land, when he began his work, up to 100,000 Jews. There were of course several other things that were the common thing that allowed the Sephardim and Ashkenazim, we say, to cooperate and there was communication between them. But for the fact that he had a fairly small group, so the matter could catch on quite quickly and then all the 5 million Jews that exist in the country today - this is the result that whoever came - he no longer had a choice, he already received the Hebrew. But if there were 5 million in the beginning, this matter would have been impossible, failed with the Irish. So these are examples of "punctuated evolution" an evolution that goes faster when you separate a small group and do the mutations in it, you can then go much faster. So these are, like that, included, and there is one more inclusion - this, I called it Survival instead of the Fittest - Survival of the Luckiest. A question arose as to why when they built the ages the geologists on Earth said that the previous one was,

You know all the Primer, Sconder (Primer, Sconder) in the history of the earth and the internal division, etc. In fact, why actually start a new era? Because suddenly it turns out that the animals are completely different, everything has changed. So now, the dinosaurs ran out at the end of the Cretaceous period and they became extinct. There are no more dinosaurs after that, all that's left of them are lizards. But all the big dinos - suddenly disappeared. The question arises - how, why does change happen so quickly? And then my colleague, also my friend, named Walter, Luis Alvarez, his son is Walter, son Walter was a biologist. He was a physicist, Lewis. And they worked together on this question, and Lewis suggested that maybe it wasn't a matter of evolution of the kind we've been talking about until now, but that there was some kind of drastic change. What could have been a drastic change? So it turned out - they found a layer in different places where dinosaurs were found, they found in that period, there is a period - the end of the Cretaceous period, that there is a layer of iridium in all kinds of places on Earth. Iridium is typical of meteors, and then the possibility arose that some large meteor, perhaps even a comet, had hit the earth, and then as a result of such an impact it could have burned a lot, and of course, let's say create 4 times the atmosphere that could remain in the atmosphere for 100 years.

Calculate these things, and this is the hypothesis of the extinction of the species through a sudden catastrophe, not a gradual evolutionary process, but elimination by catastrophe. This, by the way, gave the opportunity to the mammals, who were small and not so dependent, they didn't need acres of grass, like the dinosaurs - they needed hundreds of acres of grass to survive. The mammals somehow, first of all they could live on the corpses of the dinosaurs for a long time because there was a lot of material there, and then they could always manage somehow, unlike the dinosaurs who suddenly, as soon as there was no vegetation, they had no way to survive. So today it is tested in many different ways and it is quite acceptable and there is, I found a science fiction book that understood the matter of Survival of the Luckiest, the refinement is this - he did, it is a book called Ring World by Larry Niven, and in this book there is some kind of culture where it is not allowed To give birth to children, once a year from grills, and when grills then those who win the lottery are allowed, let's say 50 people. And then, once again, lotteries, and only in this way. So what they do, they actually do, they are lucky breeders, because it's like you breed cows that give more milk, etc. genetically, so here it's like genetically, since everyone who is born was only born because their father won the lottery, so you perfect - So the Luckiest is even luckier for that matter. Of course it's impossible, this is fiction, because the random is random, and you can't improve the random like that. to improve himself.

But this matter of catastrophes, evolution does not necessarily have to be all gradual and there can certainly be catastrophes from time to time that change the picture, change the picture as well. We, in Jewish history, had several of these. These are basically the main points.

Now, what I wanted from the stories I told today to get the most out of it is that what determines this evolutionary process, there should be some order, software or something like that. In this order there should be a mechanism that causes errors to enter, a random mechanism for errors. It's like saying you don't know where the Mississippi will go. Maybe you know in general that he will reach the sea, it is written in Ecclesiastes, but apart from that - no, there is no predefined destination, you can only look at the destination from behind. There is teleonomy, ZA - at least looking back it always seems as if there was an order that led up to this point, and that this was the goal.
There is a sorting of stability, there are random changes, these changes can spoil or help, there are some criteria that need to be identified, which determine the stability, and then you have a stable system from which the next stage will come. If we look for a moment at the final goal of these lectures, which is the matter of society, you can already begin to understand what is going to be the innovative thing here.

Friend: What are its regular levels, the stable levels, we can take it simply from the literature, we see that there was the stone age, the sharpened stone and the dull stone, etc., and there was the copper age. The Bronze Age. It turns out that what defines it, what sets the criterion of a new level, is a new technology. The computer age. The question you can ask yourself is this - where is the randomness in this matter? Because without a random mechanism there would be no evolution. Who enters the randomness, how does it enter? Because you need something to happen for such a level to rise to another level and there needs to be something random here that will happen for the sake of evolution.

So we will talk about this in the next lectures, when we get to the point. It will all be very similar in this respect! By the way, in the philosophy of science there were, you may have heard of them, the main philosophers in our century were Popper, Karl Popper, an Austrian Jew, who said that...he had the theory of falsification, ZA- You can never prove that something is real, you can prove which is, if it is mistaken - you can show where the mistake is. Once you do an experiment that shows that the Torah is... you disprove it.

This is, in fact, the theory of refutation. There was Karl Popper. There was another Jew named Thomas Kuhn, who passed away last year, who spoke about the paradigm, about the "paradigm doctrine", that there are some such principles, that science goes from one paradigm to the next, and there is a third Jew named Fairbant, who says "everything is accidental"; By chance this is discovered, by chance something else is discovered, etc., and there was a fourth Jew, a Hungarian, named Lactus, and he said that there were programs. All four of these pieces of evidence we will be able to see what part they play in the overall picture, because we have looked closely at biological evolution - then we can apply it to these approaches and it will then explain to us what is happening in society as well.

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