In Smartphone Wars, Darwinism Triumphs Over Intelligent Design

In Smartphone Wars, Darwinism Triumphs Over Intelligent Design

Summary: With the release of the Verizon Droid, the smartphone market now has two apex predators with advanced, feature rich mobile embedded operating systems. There's no room for smaller or less evolved players, and survival of the fittest in the war of the handsets may very well mean industry and carrier consolidation.

SHARE:

With the release of the Verizon Droid, the smartphone market now has two apex predators with advanced, feature rich mobile embedded operating systems. There's no room for smaller or less evolved players, and survival of the fittest in the war of the handsets may very well mean industry and carrier consolidation.

At around 8PM Friday evening, I walked into the Route 4 Paramus, New Jersey Verizon corporate store and walked up to the counter and said two words: "DROID Me."

The store was busy, but there were plenty of demo units and lots of staff around -- a far cry from the iFAIL experience I had when I first attempted and failed to purchase my wife an iPhone 3G at AT&T's Fort Lee, New Jersey store during its launch in early July of 2008.

Click on the "Read the rest of this entry" link below for more.

The saleswoman, an attractive and smart 20-something young sandy blonde was more than happy and patient with my purchase as she went over the various wireless plans and helped me pick out my accessories, including helping me pick out the exact phone number I wanted (after going through about two dozen choices over a period of five minutes until we got a "lottery" phone number I liked with repeating digits) and showed me how to use the device, including how to set up my GMail and FaceBook connectivity.

In total, the saleswoman spent probably a half an hour with me answering all my questions and to make sure I was happy before I walked out of the store with the DROID in hand, which seemed like a LOT more time than AT&T ever spent with me when I first signed up with my BlackBerry 8820 just over two and half years ago, and when I had to face the dreaded "Early Upgrade" on my Bold 9000 when my 8820 died mid-contract and just out of warranty.

AT&T was happy to take my money when I signed up and sell me a full retail replacement when my phone died, but actually help me out with my purchase provide me with a pleasant customer experience? Fuhgeddaboutit. Verizon's saleswoman also volunteered up front to tell me about the $8.00 per month protection plan, which AT&T never did. This time, knowing full well of what the consequences would be if my $600 retail phone dies a year from now, I gladly took the insurance.

If Verizon store potential DROID customers are being treated with even half the care as I was on Friday's busy launch day, then all I can say is that the other carriers had better watch out -- Verizon is about to eat your lunch, particularly if you don't have a device that's as compelling as the DROID or runs on a 3G network as comprehensive as Verizon's.

There is certainly an emerging Darwinist trend in the smartphone and mobile wireless business, a natural selection, if you will. And if I may be so bold or so arrogant enough to say, this natural selection process is going to trump any "Intelligent Design" that the other smartphone players and carriers may currently be enjoying, despite any unique features that they may have.

In the new smartphone ecosystem, there is really only going to be room for two "Apex Predators" so to speak -- the iPhone, which resides temporarily at the top of the food chain, and phones based on Google's Android, with Verizon's  Motorola DROID and HTC DROID Eris clearly taking the lion's share of that market for any foreseeable period to come in North America.

While Apple and iPhone may have nothing to fear for the time being with their 90,000 App-store strong developer ecosystem, its multi-million corps strong cadre of faithful Apple customers and a 17 percent world-wide market share in the smartphone industry, other device OS players such as Research in Motion, Palm,  NOKIA, Sony Ericsson and Microsoft had better start scurrying for cover and re-trenching their battle plans.

It would seem that on the surface, Research in Motion, the Canadian-based manufacturer of the BlackBerry occupies a position of dominance in the corporate messaging device portion of the smartphone market, with a 30 percent market share according to recent IDC estimates. However, the reality is that the company is at serious risk of losing most of their consumer customer base to Android, and to a much lesser extent, the iPhone.

To those who say that RIM has nothing to be afraid of and that I'm engaging in New Media fear-mongering, I would also submit that there used to be a lot of wooly mammoths as well until the end of the Pleistocene and global warming came along. Dramatic climate change introduces a lot of unforeseen variables that can result in serious consequences, and if the current economic climate and disruptive technology coming out of Google and Verizon is any indication, we're due for a mass extinction event.

Let's face it, from the perspective of your average consumer, the Android 2.0 OS does everything and more than what a Blackberry can do for the same price or less, will be available in multiple forms on every major mobile carrier in 2010, has 10,000 applications and growing, and has a far more sophisticated user experience and better GMail/Google web services integration than what is available on even the most advanced BlackBerry phones or even on the iPhone now.  And as good as their Canadian-based NOCs are, RIM also cannot compare to the massive back-end web infrastructure and services available to consumers in Google's own cloud.

On the corporate side, the BlackBerry's core customer base, things aren't looking so rosy for RIM either. While Android 2.0 and iPhone OS  don't use the same "Push" messaging model or have nearly the same level of security controls and policy support the BlackBerry OS has (due to its use of a private communications network rather than the public Internet cloud) both competing smartphone OSes now support Microsoft Exchange, which runs on the majority of corporate email systems. With BlackBerries being declared a luxury for all but management-level employees at large companies these days, the "Bring Your Own" smartphone model may become more of the norm.

Instead of companies issuing BlackBerries to their mobile employees, all but the most security-paranoid firms may opt to allow iPhone and Androids and other devices into their networks rather than eat the significant BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) per-device licensing overhead.

Given the compelling nature of iPhone and Android's software and application stacks, why would a Bring Your Own employee choose a long-in-the-tooth BlackBerry OS-based device for their personal use over the iPhone and Android competition? RIM's BlackBerry may occupy 30 percent of the smartphone market today, but that could very quickly change if corporations cut out a large portion of their BlackBerries in order to reduce costs.

Given the economic climate, It would behoove RIM to migrate its secure messaging services to Android and iPhone, before Google and Apple develop competing and more economical services of their own. I had suggested in the past that RIM partner with Google on a Android-based BlackBerry device, but realistically, RIM is unlikely to make such a dramatic platform migration unless it had full proprietary control over it, which is something no device manufacturer ever can truly have with Android.

Google's smartphone OS is completely Open Source and open up to community development, and the best Android experiences will be with phones that use Google's-branded Android experience in which it partners directly with a carrier, such as with the Verizon DROID.

If things are looking bad for the corporate mobile messaging titan RIM, then you can imagine how bleak things look for the smaller and meeker creatures in the ecosystem. While Palm indeed has a compelling open development platform with its Linux-based WebOS on the Pre and the soon to be released Pixi, the phones are only available on one of the smallest 3G national carriers in the US, Sprint Wireless.

There is very little chance that WebOS will attain the critical mass of Android without a LOT of additional help, and without compelling back-end web services it will have little to offer a potential customer compared to what Google has to offer, particularly when Android will be the privileged recipient of those services.

Perhaps, instead of partnering with Google, Research in Motion might want to consider the platform capabilities of WebOS for future generations of the BlackBerry and take PALM off the market entirely, so it would have a Linux-based smartphone OS all to itself. Combined with RIM's datacenters and corporate messaging services, Palm may rise again, and RIM will have at least a fighting chance against DROID and iPhone and a compelling platform to offer up carriers where Android and iPhone are currently falling short on secure corporate messaging. At a current market cap of $1.61B, it could be a worthwhile investment for the Canadian firm.

And what of NOKIA?  The company has a reputation for making some excellent quality high-end devices, most of which haven't landed here in the US. But with Android's popularity, can it continue with it's niche offerings? NOKIA recently launched their own high-end Linux-based smartphone, the N900, but it's awfully expensive and their Maemo OS doesn't have nearly the community supporting it that neither Android nor even WebOS has.

NOKIA may have a lot of marketshare right now worldwide with their lower-end handsets, but that could very soon change, now that Android 2.0 is available for the taking from competitors in China and Korea.

Many of NOKIA, Samsung, Sony Ericsson's and Fujitsu's smartphones currently use the Symbian platform, which while mature and now Open Source, the platform never really took off in the United States and standardization efforts between the various manufacturers that support it largely failed to occur. For Symbian, there's no "App Store" per se for a common development target that consumers can buy from, although Nokia recently launched its own, called Ovi.

Given Symbian's failure to get overall smartphone mindshare from consumers and developers, it wouldn't surprise me if all the remaining member manufacturers participating in the Symbian Foundation decided they wanted to take an "experimental" dip in the Android pool, to test the waters for a potential alternative as Sony Ericsson appears to be doing with its upcoming and high-end XPERIA X10 "Infinity" phone, which is largely targeted at the European market.

And Microsoft? For all practical purposes, Windows Mobile is a dead platform, which is why I didn't even bother to include it in my evolutionary chart accompanying this article. Compared to Apple and Google's offerings, there isn't a Windows Mobile phone on the market that can compete in terms of technology and capability with either iPhone or DROID.

Windows Mobile is currently the smartphone equivalent of Vista, nobody wants to touch it. While reports of Windows Mobile 7's development at Microsoft are promising, the company is probably a year away from device manufacturers and carriers releasing products which use it -- the very same manufacturers and carriers which will be enjoying success with Android well into version 2.x/3.x territory by that time.

Are we about to see a mass-extinction event in the Smartphone industry as a result of Android reaching critical mass? Talk Back and Let Me Know.

Topics: Hardware, Android, Google, iPhone, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry, Smartphones, Verizon

About

Jason Perlow, Sr. Technology Editor at ZDNet, is a technologist with over two decades of experience integrating large heterogeneous multi-vendor computing environments in Fortune 500 companies. Jason is currently a Partner Technology Strategist with Microsoft Corp. His expressed views do not necessarily represent those of his employer.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

173 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Android phones

    Droid phones seem to have some significant features, and I can understand pundits' excitement over the fact that they seem to bring the most exciting competition to the iPhone in the Smartphone market. I'm however not that impressed with them. I doubt if Android will provide the same caliber of foundation support Microsoft and Apple will provide - given the fact that the OS is offered for free. So I therefore have serious doubts about the OS long term status in the Smarthpone market.

    I must admit that key elements of MS' mobile division seemed out of touch reality, when they produced an underwhelming base UI with Windows Mobile 6.5. I mean practically everyone wanted an ultra-slick UI on Windows Mobile, and Windows mobile under-delivered. I do think though that the Windows Mobile UI is probably the third best UI out there - after the iPhone and the Palm Pre. (Though its lack of multitouch support may push it further behind.) I just hope MS gets itself out of the mess it created Windows Mobile 6.5, ASAP, as the longer it takes to get its act together, the more it will cost the company - credibility, and sales wise.

    Also, I'm not so sure Google backed Android phones will do all that well in the enterprise, as many companies may have apprehension handing over a lot of their data to Google to keep.

    As for the Evolution vs. Intelligent Design quip, even the mechanism called Natural Selection referred to in Evolution, bears the mark of underlying intelligence, since the only way such a sophisticated mechanism could be implemented, is via a highly sophisticated and capable intelligence. I mean if men do not have the intelligence and resources to implement natural selection, doesn't it mean that much more capable beings with the requisite intelligence do so? Evolution is predicated on the luddite assertion, "Because I can't perceive intelligent beings beyond what my puny senses can detect, they don't exist!" (And man can probably detect much less than 1% of things that exist!) Evolution type thinking: a bunch of blind guys trying in vain to make sense of an elephant, while laughing at those with better perception, who claim that the elephant is in fact an elephant.
    P. Douglas
    • OT, but what the heck.

      The remark:

      "...even the mechanism called Natural Selection referred to in Evolution, bears the mark of underlying intelligence, since the only way such a sophisticated mechanism could be implemented, is via a highly sophisticated and capable intelligence."

      flies in the face of established creationist beliefs. The creationist view is that everything is designed to be exactly the way it is. The defence of creationism has been that no random process could possibly have created the variety of life that exists on Earth, nor made it fit so neatly within the environment in which it is found. Of course, natural selection is not random and there is plenty of evidence to support it - otherwise, it would have been refuted by scientists long ago. Unfortunately for creationists, each new fossil discovery reinforces the theory of evolution.

      The notion that a creator created evolution is a novel concept, but somewhat contradictory. The creator is supposed to be some omnipotent, omnipresent being. Why would it create life forms that must use natural selection to adapt to changes that this being already knew about (since it is omnipresent)? Or was the design flawed (oops, there goes omnipotence)? Or were certain species created purely so they could die off later on? If that's the case, it's not a particularly benevolent deity.

      "Evolution is predicated on the luddite assertion, "Because I can't perceive intelligent beings beyond what my puny senses can detect, they don't exist!""

      Wrong. Evolution is a [b]scientific theory[/b] based on empirical evidence. It is based on what we [b]know[/b] about the natural world and explains what we see. It might be wrong, but so far there is no factual evidence that it is. On the other hand, creationists believe that because they can't conceive of how life might have occurred on Earth, their deity of choice must have created it.

      The fact that their deity is invented also gives believers the freedom to invent capabilities, including the ability to create evolution when evidence shows either that the original design must have been flawed or that the environment changed in a way that the deity didn't predict. Either way, their omnipotence and omnipresence is refuted.

      And scientists don't categorically deny the existence of "intelligent beings" beyond our comprehension, they just say there is no evidence for their existence. They are not about to ignore scientific theories that have been supported by almost two centuries of research and discovery in favour of a theory that has no supporting evidence what so ever.

      Or are you saying that <insert deity> created the iPhone?
      Fred Fredrickson
      • An important specie of intelligent design

        [i]The remark:

        "...even the mechanism called Natural Selection referred to in Evolution, bears the mark of underlying intelligence, since the only way such a sophisticated mechanism could be implemented, is via a highly sophisticated and capable intelligence."

        flies in the face of established creationist beliefs. The creationist view is that everything is designed to be exactly the way it is. The defence of creationism has been that no random process could possibly have created the variety of life that exists on Earth, nor made it fit so neatly within the environment in which it is found. Of course, natural selection is not random and there is plenty of evidence to support it - otherwise, it would have been refuted by scientists long ago. Unfortunately for creationists, each new fossil discovery reinforces the theory of evolution.

        The notion that a creator created evolution is a novel concept, but somewhat contradictory. The creator is supposed to be some omnipotent, omnipresent being. Why would it create life forms that must use natural selection to adapt to changes that this being already knew about (since it is omnipresent)? Or was the design flawed (oops, there goes omnipotence)? Or were certain species created purely so they could die off later on? If that's the case, it's not a particularly benevolent deity.[/i]

        In as much as there are variations of views within the Evolution camp regarding the mechanisms of Evolution, not everyone thinks exactly the same in the camp of Intelligent Design. Mystic Theology (MT) asserts that all things that exist, are a massive assembly of beings of all kinds. Even all abstract things are beings whose effects we refer to and see - even though we cannot directly perceive the beings ourselves. (This is similar to diseases whose effects man have always been able to see. It has only been recently though that man has been able to perceive the invisible beings [germs] behind them.) Metaphysics essentially alludes to the same. Now <a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_selection>Natural Selection</a> is essentially the princlple that fittest things tend to survive and prosper within environments. It is not necessarily connected with Evolution (from what I understand) - it is just that Evolution uses it. I see nothing in Mystic Theology that supports Darwinian Evolution. Mystic Theology does support beings evolving from one state to another - like a caterpillar to a butterfly. However this is not the same are Darwinian Evolution.

        MT, which is thousands of years old, paint a creation story that is in line with what we observe. E.g. gnostic theology asserted almost 2,000 years ago, that our physical universe is likely millions of years old. This is consistent with carbon dating, fossil, and other recent evidence. Mystic Theology also asserts that the creation story in Genesis, is more of a cryptic account of the worlds created in righteous men, rather than the physical world in which men reside. Also MT asserts that God created an imperfect world indirectly, as proving grounds for men. Another important thing is that mystic theology asserts that all things that exist, are a series of emanations of beings from an ultimate source, God, and that the source of an emanation is always greater than that which it emanates. I personally put stock in the above, because it is the best whole explanation I can find about all things I'm able to observe.

        [i]And scientists don't categorically deny the existence of "intelligent beings" beyond our comprehension, they just say there is no evidence for their existence. They are not about to ignore scientific theories that have been supported by almost two centuries of research and discovery in favour of a theory that has no supporting evidence what so ever.[/i]

        Many politically motivated scientists all but deny the existence of intelligent beings beyond our direct perception. They do not temper their views with philosophical reasoning. The fact of the matter is that most things in this world are abstract, meaning that they come from invisible sources. Even everything that we touch and see comes from the invisible - i.e. stuff beyond known subatomic particles. Therefore the truths about our world cannot be found in petri dishes or telescopes. They can only be found by exploring the invisibles, and I know of no other competent way to do so other than by religion.
        P. Douglas
        • Natural selection does not imply Evolution

          Creationism does not believe in randomness but intelligent design. However that does not mean that natural selection, that is, genetic specialization doesn't happen. It just doesn't happen without an involved God who rules over all things.

          However natural selection does not imply an improvement just a specialization. It is one thing to say that the most fit will survive, at least most of the time. It is totally a different thing to say that the fit jumps from one species to another. It is not inconsistent with creationism for a moth to adapt to its surroundings or people to breed dogs better suited to herding sheep. That speaks of intelligent design that a species is adaptable. What is inconsistent with creationism and entropy is that a moth becomes a bird such that you can explain away the biblical account as false.

          And contrary to any fossil reports there has never been demonstrated a clear line of evolution. Rather the fossil reports seem quite random and full of huge gaping holes where people have to read a large amount of information between the lines.

          In my industry we don't use primate's hearts for testing pacemakers but pigs and dogs because their hearts more closely match our own not the primates. That can be said of other organs as well.

          The ability of a species to adapt is one thing. The ability of a species to become another species (basically grow in complexity) is another. Natural selection should be viewed as a filter, some things get through but it doesn't mean they become something different. And over time the effect would be attenuation not advancement. Evolution speaks of advancement which is contrary to everything we observe i.e. entropy.

          DevGuy_z
          • Well said, I agree. (NT)

            NT
            PantherDave
          • ap store

            the "reason" pig hearts match human hearts better than do rhesus monkeys' is that "heart" "eyeball" etc are all aps that run in different environments.
            yeah, there is no "line". it's a net.
            just as mousetraps demonstrate >>mice<< as the "irreducibly complex" the path from maxwell's equations to the droid is along the line of "desire to communicate".
            gabriel bear
          • God is too important a subject to be left to religion.

            Religion, viewed globally, is a quaint collection of local cultural myth and practices used to explain, commune, and seek intervention from a divine being or beings.

            Christianity, for example is a mish-mosh of Zoroastrianism (borrowed monotheism via the Jews), Egyptian (eternal life through rebirth as symbolized by the Scarab beetle) and Greek Myth (the Son of God born of a Virgin Mother aka the Herakles myth) with a good deal of marketing prowess contributed by Paul.

            What that has to do with any meaningful discussion of God, I have never been able to discern.

            For God to have created the universe, God must precede the universe. Unless God was created along with the universe as a simple force of nature. Like entropy - the tendency of all things to move from a state of higher energy to a state of lower energy. All life and consciousness appears in seeming contradiction of entropy. Unless God is nothing more than that force which is counter to entropy. Then that accounts for the whole deal. Good vs Evil is nothing more than the force of anti-entropy opposing entropy - on a universal scale. Evolution is not random, it is simply guided by the force of anti-entropy. Randomness is then merely order on a scale which we cannot comprehend. I hate use an analogy here, but I understand the implications of a pool single shot, but the trajectories of a breaking rack are so far beyond my tracking, it appears random. We might understand isolated instances of physical phenomena, but as a whole, the order is appears random.

            That leaves chaos, to which I offer the definition of the absence of order. Since all matter, force, or energy is ordered, chaos can then only be the absolute lack of order. The inside of an impenetrable black box without matter, force, energy, or physical law. Lacking all those, chaos lacks all order, and thus predictability at any level.

            And God? This view doesn't require a consciousness, which requires a physical presence, or even an intent. God is that which opposes entropy, as do we all, but in a universe destined to ultimately succumb to entropy, this becomes the ultimate tragic myth, writ large across the night sky. Try as those forces marshalled against entropy might, the effort is doomed to failure, and meaning is what we create along the way only to be destroyed via entropy.

            Unless, there is some infintesimally small advantage that order has over entropy, and when our universe is cold and dead that force slowly begins to pull it all back together towards singularity. The greatest possible cosmic drama, fit for participation by a God, not some pedestrian squabble on a minor planet in some obscure galaxy that happened, for a moment, to be occupied by a curious species of sentient life.

            panzrwagn@...
          • Christianity & Myths

            "Christianity, for example is a mish-mosh of Zoroastrianism (borrowed monotheism via the Jews), Egyptian (eternal life through rebirth as symbolized by the Scarab beetle) and Greek Myth (the Son of God born of a Virgin Mother aka the Herakles myth)..."
            Keep telling yourself that, even though there's not a single reputable scholar in the world who believes it. Better yet, go watch the debate between Dan Barker and James White on this topic.
            klockheed
          • Barker vs White

            You have a link to any youtube videos...that would be an intersting debate. What would ave been real instersting is if they could have brought Joseph Campbell in on that while he was a live ;-0
            owner@...
          • An imagination is not science either

            Some people think that because they can imagine materialist scenarios that make them scientists. They imagine that a theory is proven when a observation may seems to support it and readily discard all other observations that deny its validity. But even science itself have proven that there are things that can't be verified. Fro example Chaos theory explain why we can't predict precisely the future state of a chaotic system (at least for a appreciable time). Quantum physics shows us that the laws for which we account all things doesn't applies well at that level of physics where time and space constrains seems to disappear.

            Imagination is just a step of the science, and real good science is able to reproduce things. Technology has no choice to be good science, but interpretation science can be sometimes a lot less than good and nobody will have to account for it.

            At Darwin time, when cells looks like minuscule jellos under microscope, nobody had an idea of biochemistery, so it was easier to say: if we mix proteins, sugars and lipid in a such tiny space it will CERTAINLY can turn into something living given enough time. Easy to imagine... but not yet science. Now that we see inner workings of the cells (and some novels structures are found again theses days), we understand that such a na?ve idea needed a much more complex proposition.

            Let me say something about it. Even today many are still na?ve about more sophisticated materialist scenarios, and thinks na?vely of being enough informed to be sure about what they imagine in front of the sophistication of the things we have in front of us. So your imagination is just as na?ve as those of Darwin time about first cells apparition. You doesn't have an idea of how you still un-understand what life is in reality.

            So your imagination conforts you in putting aside any attempts to know the One who made theses marvels. It's a heart problem toward him, not a knowledge problem. Just look at this marvelous animation of inner cell workings. If you still refuse to ear the One you speaks to you toward this is up to you.

            http://multimedia.mcb.harvard.edu/media.html

            Don't imagine this animation shows all about what cell life really is, it just gives an impression of knowledge. This is just what is actually known about a single cell process.

            P.S. You will miss interesting things in that video if you don't have some basics biochemistery concepts. It will just appeares being more simple that what it is really. There is a french song saying : When I was young I was used to say: I know, I kown, I know about this... and that and ends when the guy grew older: I know that I know nothing...

            This is the real feeling of real sceintists amazed by what they have in front of them. They are usually less dogmatic about their own theory than their followers?
            Mp_z-19638143033623892347080463286370
          • I was under the impression...

            That the engineers who designed the iPhone and DROID are intelligent.
            I also thought that the people who build and assemble these things also
            have some intelligence.
            I propose a test: get a collection of electronic parts, chips, plastic cases,
            glass covers and see if by a process of natural selection, whatever that
            is, you get a working iPhone or any other kind of phone.
            arminw
          • I have a tail bone... some people even today are

            born with tails. Odd that if "intelligent" design was a factor. Our eye's
            are basically flawed. Our retna is a reflective film on the back of our
            eyes while other creatures have a sounder design where the entire
            surface of the rear eyeball is reflective not a film that can become
            dislodged by a sharp impact or be torn away by vein issues in the eye
            itself. I've had several organs removed that as far as I can tell I do not
            miss nor ever needed the only purpose that one organ seemed to
            have was to become infected and eventually explode into my body
            puss that would of course kill me. None of these things can be easily
            explained by "intelligent" design but evolution can explain such by
            slow changes over a long period of time. At one time in our past our
            ancestors it would seem had tails. Our eyes developed not to be the
            best but good enough to do the job. Some organs we might have had
            a need for in our early past but no longer.

            Pagan jim
            anonymous
          • Nonsense

            I really think you need to go and educate yourself about TOE before coming here and spewing so much creationist nonsense.

            Natural selection is one of the mechanisms that drives evolution, so your statement 'Natural selection does not imply Evolution' is meaningless.

            Fossilization is by its very nature a rare event so the fossil record will always be incomplete and contain gaps. However, gaps in the fossil record do not imply that organisms somehow magically poofed into existence.

            The fossil record is abound with transitional forms that record evolutionary transitions such as: fish-amphibian, amphibian-reptile, reptile-mammal, etc. It clearly shows a progression from earlier life forms to later ones.

            The argument that evolution violates the laws of thermodynamics is so flawed that not even creationsts use it anymore.

            I could go on and on but I really don't have the time. It's not my job to educate you. If you really want to learn something about evolution you can go to this website: http://www.talkorigins.org/
            zambesi
        • Among other things, religion is a placeholder...

          ...for the response those interested in discerning the *non*fantastic properties and relationships of objects and energies in the Universe would frame as "I don't know, but let's find out." (Religion is also, among other things, a means of building and maintaining trust communities and narrowing the world to That and Those Trusted. Think of it as creation and maintenance of a virtual comfort zone.)

          On the contrary to your view that the mechanism of evolution itself implies underlying intelligence, you are thinking magically. All that's necessary for events to unfold as they do is for matterenergy to have intrinsic properties and proceed/operate/interact accordingly. (I left out spacetime, because in fact there is no such thing as space and no such thing as time. There is, we can observe, spacedness and timedness, and we can by applying metrics make of those qualities a tool/construct called spacetime, but backforming "space" and "time" from spacedness and timedness is fantasy. Nonetheless, the fantasy of spacetime can be a highly useful tool, as can naming the whole shebang spacetimematteryenergy and treating it as such. What we perceive as spacetime is a result of matterenergy operating according to its intrinsic properties.)

          Do not overrate intelligence; it's merely a tool of creaturehood that operates by selectively ignoring some inputs while paying hypervigilant attention to others. The effects of the operation of intelligence are always greater than what intelligence perceives, understands, and knows about its own effects in real time. (After introducing a fly to control gypsy moths, *later* we learn of that fly's propensity for also decimating members of the giant silkworm moth family--you get the picture.)

          We live in a world in which--so far as we understand--nothing is preordained and nothing is random, in which everything is simultaneously cause and effect. All that is necessary for the Universe to work as it does--for Being to unfold the way it does, if you will--is for events to proceed according to the innate compellingness of the intrinsic properties of matterenergy. Which they cannot but do.
          TriangleDoor
          • Religion has legitimate uses

            [i]On the contrary to your view that the mechanism of evolution itself implies underlying intelligence, you are thinking magically. All that's necessary for events to unfold as they do is for matterenergy to have intrinsic properties and proceed/operate/interact accordingly. (I left out spacetime, because in fact there is no such thing as space and no such thing as time. There is, we can observe, spacedness and timedness, and we can by applying metrics make of those qualities a tool/construct called spacetime, but backforming "space" and "time" from spacedness and timedness is fantasy. Nonetheless, the fantasy of spacetime can be a highly useful tool, as can naming the whole shebang spacetimematteryenergy and treating it as such. What we perceive as spacetime is a result of matterenergy operating according to its intrinsic properties.)[/i]

            Natural Selection requires underlying intelligence, because of its complex and sophisticated nature. In our sphere of operations (e.g. when we build houses, cars, etc.), we see the principle that intelligence is required to establish order, and the more sophisticated the order, the more the required intelligence. There is no reason to believe that this principle does not extend everywhere to everything - consistent with the claims of Mystical Theology (MT). We also see in the cases of diseases and other situations, that just because we cannot readily perceive the intelligent agents behind certain natural effects, that does not mean that intelligent agents don't exist. It seems to me therefore that the weight of evidence, is that there is actually intelligence behind all things (even chaos) consistent with the claims of MT.

            Now many scientists deny the above and assert that things just occur naturally - without the work of intelligent beings beyond our perception. However they cannot prove this. They just say that they see no intelligent beings, so they have no reason to believe that they exist. These scientists cannot however simply ignore the principle I cited, and honestly hold fast to their views. Unless they can definitively prove that order (and even chaos) can be established without the work of intelligent beings, they are making flawed assertions discredited by universal law.

            [i]We live in a world in which--so far as we understand--nothing is preordained and nothing is random, in which everything is simultaneously cause and effect. All that is necessary for the Universe to work as it does--for Being to unfold the way it does, if you will--is for events to proceed according to the innate compellingness of the intrinsic properties of matterenergy. Which they cannot but do. [/i]

            The above underscores the problem with so many scientists. Similar to the way that it is impossible for a colony of blind men, cut off from the rest of the world for generations, to present an accurate picture of the world around them; it is impossible for us to do the same with our egregiously limited perception of our world. It is a hopeless cause. The only credible option we have, is to rely on beings who have the greatest perception, and to trust their accounts of things based on their credibility and our knowledge of universal law. (We rely on universal law to make a judgment of these beings likely existence, if claims about their communications are real, and if their claims are also real.) Therefore trying to make a definitive assertion about our universe based on your limited perception, is not very constructive at all.
            P. Douglas
          • Testable Theories

            From what I can see, people use religion to explain things that they don't understand. This is acceptable except for those things we do understand. Religion is not based on observable and testable truths, it is based on the understandings of people many generations before us.

            If there are intelligent but invisible or undetectable beings controlling evolution then this should be testable. There should be some observable anomalies that can be used to test whether there is active intelligence making changes. If it can not be tested then we either don't have the data or there is no data.

            Occam's razor also says not to add unneccesary complexity to a problem that can be explained in simpler terms.
            sboverie
          • Re: Testable Theories

            [i]From what I can see, people use religion to explain things that they don't understand. This is acceptable except for those things we do understand. Religion is not based on observable and testable truths, it is based on the understandings of people many generations before us. [/i]

            As far as I can tell, there are many schools of thought containing varying degrees of truth. These schools of thought span religion, philosophy, law, science, etc. In all these schools of thought, exist fantasies and falsehoods to varying degrees. How you distinguish the truth within and across these schools of thought is essentially the same. If a particular school of thought makes assertions that violate observable universal laws, you know that it cannot be true. Also if there are contradictions within the school of thought, you know that it cannot be true. Now what further distinguishes true religion from all other forms of thought and endeavors, is its innate perfection. Now my observation of Christianity related religions (when pursued correctly), is that they cause a person to exhibit fundamental goodness in a consistent fashion (particularly when that person is subjected to testing). This in my view, attests of the fact that the religions' source is good and greater than this world, since it causes a person to become fundamentally impervious to the imperfect influences of this world. All of the above are consistent with the claims of Christianity related religions. So while it may be true that many religions are inventions of man (like many other pursuits of thought) I have found that the correct pursuit of Christianity related religions, lead to thought and behavior which bear up under testing.

            [i]If there are intelligent but invisible or undetectable beings controlling evolution then this should be testable. There should be some observable anomalies that can be used to test whether there is active intelligence making changes. If it can not be tested then we either don't have the data or there is no data.

            Occam's razor also says not to add unneccesary complexity to a problem that can be explained in simpler terms.[/i]

            Christianity related religions assert that there are beings beyond our perception, which establish and maintain all things. Generally the way you verify these claims (as best you can), is through observation of universal law, and by performing deductive reasoning. E.g. for prophecies to come true, there must be intelligences guiding the unfolding of history, to ensure that they come true. For us to be able to predict various aspects of our world (people's behavior, the weather, various physical phenomena) there must be intelligences affecting our world, establishing the predictive patterns we are able to take advantage of. All these phenomena bear the mark of underlying intelligences. Further, it is contended that some men (e.g. Jesus and the prophets in the Bible) had deep knowledge of these intelligences, and knew how to invoke them at will in a manner which can be observed. But I've never seen such men.

            Regarding Occam's Razor, I believe Einstein restated the principle better when he said to make your solutions as simple as possible, but no simpler. In other words, while it is prudent to come up with the most straightforward solutions, you should at the same time ensure that your solutions are not oversimplified or lacking. It's kind of like sitting on a jury in a trial. You cannot merely disregard important evidence in your effort to come out with a judgment, because it makes your life easier. Many proponents of evolution do the same, by coming to their conclusions while disregarding many key considerations that have bearings on their conclusions.
            P. Douglas
          • I've met many a so called "Christian" in my time on

            this earth. I've known several who were not so when I first met them
            and then they say the light so to speak. What for the most part I've
            found is that these people both pre-christian and post christian were
            and continued to be JERKS of varying degree's. In fact in some cases
            they became bigger jerks after the conversion. Now a days they are
            cruel and judgmental. Abusive to their mates for the Bible makes
            them king of the house hold. It would seem the "Holy Spirit" that is
            suppose to enter them on their conversion is well not all that useful
            except to make sense to them of Bible passages that I have read and
            found great evil and cruelty within said passages but they have the
            Holy Spirit within them showing them that it's not evil or cruel and
            when I ask for an explanation they say I must first submit to said spirit
            to understand. Which sounds like a bit of self delusion to me. Words
            and meaning of said magically change when you suddenly except
            them to be the true word of god eh:{ Yeah right....

            Worst of all is the fact I was born with diabetes and have had to live
            with this killer for over 40 years now. The disease had slowly but
            surely taken it toll and well over a decade back I had some level of
            hope for my future and the quality of my life in Stem Cell's. Now over
            a decade has passed with my one true hope being put on hod due to a
            belief system I do not even share. I feel everyone has a right to
            believe what ever they choose just as long as they do NOT bring their
            beliefs in the invisible magical man (why is it always a man?) into my
            life. Effect the quality of said, the pain and suffering of said, and by
            forcing their beliefs onto myself and others like me to speed up our
            deaths and make what remains of our lives that much less than it
            could be. Do you have any idea how my life has been effected!?! The
            pain I've known? The lack of freedom for I need a job that provides
            health care. The constant fear of loosing said job or jobs? Not
            because I might loose my car but because I could loose my life. Every
            single moment of every single day I am under the weight of my
            condition and I have remained so not because science in unable now
            to do something about it... No that I could live with. No I and many
            like me suffer because of some one's faith in the invisible man in
            space. Great!!!!

            I have on the other hand met a few people a very small percentage of
            those calling themselves christian who I were impressed with. They
            were calm and at peace with themselves and the world around them.
            They had an inner security and peace that was and is quite impressive.
            However I have met similar peoples of many a faith and ideology. So it
            is not unique to christianity but rather it is very rare to all faiths and
            ideals. I would hazard a guess that while I have not met all
            practitioners of all faiths and philosophies that it I would find it true
            for their cult as well. Many are simply flawed human being struggling
            with their internal demons and while the turned to a given concept to
            aide in their struggles it did not help them much or in fact made the
            situation worse. While others a few have indeed found some inner
            peace. I would also hazard a guess that those who did would have
            found said within any given faith or ideal and that it was not the
            specific faith or ideal but rather it was within themselves the ability to
            find said.

            Pagan jim
            anonymous
          • @James Quinn

            I am sorry about your condition. Many members of my family have (had) diabetes II as age onset. I am hoping to dodge the bullet or at least delay it.

            It is unfortunate that politics and religion combined to set research back for nearly a decade. I am not sure that stem cells would work as a cure for diabetes and other diseases but it probably would lead to other solutions.

            It is one thing to die for your beliefs but something totally different to die because of someone else's beliefs.
            sboverie
          • No.

            "Natural Selection requires underlying
            intelligence, because of its complex and
            sophisticated nature."

            No.

            "Intelligence is required to establish order,
            and the more sophisticated the order, the more
            the required intelligence."

            No.

            Natural selection is nested electrochemical
            reaction encountering boundary conditions
            outside of which it cannot proceed. Orderedness
            is a discoverable resultant of substances,
            energies and objects possessing, and operating
            according to, intrinsic, objective properties.
            Through natural selection and evolution, that
            Life which does not work--that which bumps
            against boundary condition--ends or fails to
            thrive. Evolution is the process through which
            Life, through dying or failing to thrive outside
            of boundary conditions, discards forms that
            don't work and, in effect, chooses/moves toward
            what does work. In effect, Life, through
            evolution, is the ongoing most-efficient
            solution to an unimaginably complex equation.
            Only evolution takes *all* inputs into account
            as it shapes Life's forms and average individual
            life spans to maximally exploit boundary
            conditions across the unfolding of Being. No
            overarching intelligence need be involved; the
            presence of such, though widely believed in--
            which is to say, fantasized--has yet to be
            objectively proven. It is the aim of the
            scientific method to systematically supplant
            imagined Property, Cause, and Effect with
            understanding of *non*fantastic Property, Cause,
            and Effect--because nonfantastic Property,
            Cause, and Effect are, we discover, what
            actually works in the absence of Observer.

            Recall that I said both that nothing is
            preordained and that nothing--we're still
            working on this at the quantum=physics level :-
            )--is random. To ascribe preordainedness is to
            profess certain knowledge of both ordainedness
            and an/the ordainer; such objectifiable
            knowledge we have not. To ascribe randomness is
            to believe, short of investigation, that an
            event is nondeterministic, that it somehow
            operates by chance--which is to say, magically.
            In fact, if we to examine any random event and
            investigate its drivers exhaustively, we find
            that it was not random but actually
            deterministic. In practice, what this means
            almost sounds prosaic: Not only wherever and
            whenever conditions are right to form Cloud
            there is Cloud, but wherever and whenever
            conditions are right to form Cloud there
            *absolutely _must_* be cloud. Likewise, for Life
            itself: If what we understand of intrinsic
            properties of energies, substances and objects
            holds across what we can perceive of the
            Universe, not only can there be Life when the
            conditions for Life exist, but there *absolutely
            _must_* be Life when the conditions for Life
            exist. As Being proceeds according to the
            intrinsic properties of energies, substances,
            and objects, so must it be.

            Enjoy your intelligence: You are a singular
            glint in sun-dappled water and are sufficiently
            sentient to be aware of it. And yet somehow the
            realities provided you by your senses somehow
            dissatisfy; "surely, there must be more." And
            there is, as we can discover through
            investigation (or occlude with fantasy): None of
            it's secret, none of it's sketched in, and
            absolutely nowhere is there Nothing--anywhere,
            ever.
            TriangleDoor