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Sunday, 13 June 2004
Gorgon - by Peter D Ward
Topic: Books - Science
Peter Ward tells about the ten year search for the mass extinction of species between the Triassic and Permian eras, about 250 million years ago. The mass extinction I've always heard about is the one at the end of the Cretaceous era, caused by an asteroid hitting earth about 65 million years ago, which killed off the dinosaurs.

I hadn't known about the T/P extinction and found the search for the reason very interesting. The tentative conclusion, a drop in oxygen, was a surprise but it makes sense. Ward also gets into how the earth is in danger, and it is but it's measured in 100s of millions of years and if it happens, it happens. There isn't much we can do about it.

The bringing forward solutions and then explaining why they don't quite work is one reason I find that evolution makes more sense than creationism. The creationists start with a conclusion and look for explanations that fit and discard explanations and facts that don't. They say a weakness of science is that theories are constantly being revised and even totally discredited, but this is the strength of science. A theory is merely what could be based on what we know but being able to move beyond a theory when additional facts are found is the real truth. I doubt we will ever know everything but the ability and courage to change what we believe because facts that don't fit come up is as close to truth as we're going to get.

This said, yes, I tend to lean toward there being a God but I think that God made the rules that this universe runs by and just lets them run. Does he intervene at times? Sure, probably. Are we descended from primitive primates? Sure, probably. When did we become "human", when did we receive a soul? I don't know. Maybe all animals have souls. I don't know but I don't think God would put fake fossils in the ground to test our faith.

Posted by rachela at 3:33 PM MDT
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