Published on February 19, 2009
Slide 1: PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE The origin of Life and the Evolution of the Species The origin of Life : The origin of Life The beginning of life on our planet Bible provided answers and they were accepted until the XVII Century. Agnosticism & Positivism no longer accept Creation. SOLUTIONS?: a) Life came from another planet? b) Life originated by chance? Jacques Monod. No causality. c) Living beings from material components (dialectical leap). Oparin The Theory of Evolution : The Theory of Evolution CAUSALITY: no one can give more than he has. Potency >>Act. But the imperfect seems to precede the imperfect. XVIII: Leibniz, Buffon, Lamarck: capacity to adapt to the changing environment. But, are these properties inherited? Charles Darwin EVOLUTION : EVOLUTION Unfolding & development, continuous transformation of living beings by contingent factors, EXCLUDING DESIGN in the sense of intended direction of the process of evolution. No need of any intervention of God. Robert Chambers (1844): man has descended form higher animals. William Paley: argument of the existence of God, from design in nature. Slide 5: Darwin would have absolutely agreed. Slide 6: EVOLUTION : EVOLUTION Malthus: multiplication of individuals in a geometrical series, struggle for life and extinction of certain species. Positivism of Comte. Opposition science & religion. EVOLUTION : EVOLUTION Herbert Spencer (1852): principle of natural selection & the survival of the fittest. No more argument of design. Species have appeared & disappeared. All organs are variable. Tendencies to variations which explain the genesis of groups (to better and higher forms of life): Lamarck’s view -teleological order. But for Darwin: accidental changes (chance). Blind variations. EVOLUTION : EVOLUTION Thomas Huxley 1863: “Evidence on man’s place in nature” First one to apply evolution to human race. Against Lamarck: no finality, no superior mind needed. Intermediate fossils found? But they belong to sharply defined species: not intermediate chains of evolution>> theory not yet proven. PHILOSOPHICAL EVALUATION : PHILOSOPHICAL EVALUATION 1. The problem of animal species 2. The causes of the process of evolution The essence is not outside but in the individual>> SPECIES are in the existing beings (with same properties). Substantial form, individually realized. Darwin: individuals with countless variations, without any real community. PHILOSOPHICAL EVALUATION : PHILOSOPHICAL EVALUATION Evolution is the modification of these complexes of genes. Mutation into another genus? - Some say YES and there are links. In the cells: genetic code, carrying the message of evolution. Or chance: no goal, no explanation. NO CAUSE. - Some say NO, and intermediate are fully grown species. Besides, how to explain ORDER? NoPhilosophical or statistical explanation EVOLUTION : EVOLUTION Is it possible a transmutation in being? In the mode of being without a cause? Can the cause be internal, immanent cause? How to originate life from prime matter? Can everything be reduced to genetic code & chemical factors? Can the principle of life -the soul, the substantial form- be originated by itself or change? Can it be explained in terms of chemical reactions? EVOLUTION : EVOLUTION Whatever is at a lower degree of reality aspires to become similar to what is higher in so far as it can. Physical things do not aspire to immortality (it is excluded from their nature). NO SELF-CAUSALITY nor NO CAUSALITY. Chance is not an explanation. Can outside causes intervene in the process of a possible evolution? Yes. Cause is needed to direct the process. EVOLUTION : EVOLUTION Spontaneous evolution from one stem -monophyletic development- through chance mutations goes against reason. Chance-variation through random change in an element of the genetic material. Natural phenomena follows laws. Process cannot happen by chance. Creation, with finality vs improvisation & chance. The ticket “man” just appeared in the great lottery of the mutations (Monod) MAN’S DESCENT FROM ANIMALS : MAN’S DESCENT FROM ANIMALS Spiritual faculties differ only in degree? Or essentially, from animals? 1. Homo habilis disappeared 1,500,000 years ago.2. Homo erectus.(Anthropoid): disappeared 1,000,000 years ago.3. Homo sapiens: evolution from homo neanderthalensis to the homo sapiens sapiens (30,000 years ago).Recent discoveries date him back to 90,000 years ago and not from the neanderthalensis. : 1. Homo habilis disappeared 1,500,000 years ago.2. Homo erectus.(Anthropoid): disappeared 1,000,000 years ago.3. Homo sapiens: evolution from homo neanderthalensis to the homo sapiens sapiens (30,000 years ago).Recent discoveries date him back to 90,000 years ago and not from the neanderthalensis. PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE : PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE 1. We are working with hypothesis (not theses). From fossil findings. 2. External similarities in appearance can go with essential differences (material nature vs immaterial mind). 3. It is possible mutation under the influence of the First Cause. A new substantial form in the process of reproduction, or replacing the animal soul. It is SUBSTITUTION, rather than Evolution. PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE : PHILOSOPHY OF NATURE Anthropoid skeletons discovered belong to beings endowed with reason They used tools and fire. Art & religious beliefs (see burials) Homo habilis was first discovered in 1959 in in Tanzania. The nearly complete skull of H. habilis pictured here (inset) was discovered in 1972 at Koobi Fora on the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya. Its age is estimated at 1.8 million years and its brain capacity at 800 cc. Homo erectus: from 900 to 1200 cc Homo erectus : Homo erectus Homo erectus was an accomplished tool maker and tool user; hand-axes like the one above were widely used in addition to sharp-edged flakes. Wooden tools and weapons. H. erectus may have been the first species to use and control fire. Migrated out of Arica Homo sapiens sapiens Skull : Homo sapiens sapiens Skull Anatomically, modern humans : lighter build of their skeletons compared to earlier humans. Modern humans also have very large brains, which vary in size from population to population and between males and females, but the average is around 1300 cc. EVOLUTION : EVOLUTION Evolution & Creation? Matter and laws Evolution & Finality. Evolution & Causality. Integration of new factors producing a new unified system. What is Creation? Mere potentiality or Divine intervention (First cause) in nature. A metaphysical question. ORIGIN & MEANING OF NATURE : ORIGIN & MEANING OF NATURE Einstein: the Universe is dynamic, in constant evolution (without order). 1927, the Belgian priest Georges Lemaître: the first to propose that the universe began with the explosion of a primeval atom. His proposal came after observing the red shift in distant nebulas by astronomers to a model of the universe based on relativity. Edwin Hubble: laws in the Universe: He found that distant galaxies in every direction are going away from us with speeds proportional to their distance. Big Bang : Big Bang Suggested because it explains why distant galaxies are traveling away from us at great speeds. Existence of cosmic background radiation (the glow left over from the explosion itself). The Big Bang Theory received its strongest confirmation when this radiation was discovered in 1964 by Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson, who later won the Nobel Prize for this discovery. Big Bang : Big Bang The four pillars of the Hot Big Bang model Expansion of the Universe Origin of the cosmic background radiation Synthesis of the light elements Formation of galaxies and large-scale structure BigBang : BigBang A Brief History of Observational Cosmology : A Brief History of Observational Cosmology Early 20th century - flattened `island' At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was generally accepted that our galaxy was disk-shaped and isolated. But what were the spiral nebulae Andromeda?- were they inside or outside the Milky Way? Immanuel Kant had speculated that they were other `island' universes. 1912 Slipher - redshifts of spiral nebulae : 1912 Slipher - redshifts of spiral nebulae Slipher measured spectra from the nebulae, showing that many were Doppler-shifted, that is, the frequency of light was affected by speed of the source (just as the frequency of sound alters for a passing train). By 1924, 41 nebulae were measured, and 36 of these were found to be receding. 1918 Shapley - distance measure using variable stars : 1918 Shapley - distance measure using variable stars A key advance in cosmology came with the development of means to measure the distance to these nebulae. Shapley used Cepheids, bright stars which pulsate at regular intervals between a few days and a month. The period of their variability is correlated with their absolute luminosity, which he calibrated in the nearby Large Magellenic Cloud. 1923-29 Hubble - proportionality between velocity and distance : 1923-29 Hubble - proportionality between velocity and distance Hubble was able to resolve Cepheids in M31 (the Andromeda galaxy) with the 100" telescope at Mt Wilson. He developed a new distance measure using the brightest star for more distant galaxies. He correlated these measurements with Slipher's nebulae to discover a proportionality between velocity v and distance d, that is, Hubbles law v=Hd. The constant of proportionality H is called Hubble's constant (it was significantly over-estimated by Hubble himself). 1986 de Lapparent, Geller & Huchra - large-scale structure, superclusters and voids : 1986 de Lapparent, Geller & Huchra - large-scale structure, superclusters and voids Existence of huge bubbles, filaments and sheets. Subsequent galaxy surveys are providing detailed information about the distribution of large-scale structure. Radio galaxy and quasar surveys indicate homogeneity (or uniformity) is approached on scales of several hundred Mpc (that is, nearly a billion light years). The APM survey of thousands of galaxies showing their large-scale angular distribution on the sky. 1992 COBE satellite - discovery of fluctuations in the CMBR : 1992 COBE satellite - discovery of fluctuations in the CMBR In April 1992, the COBE satellite team announced the discovery of anisotropies in the cosmic microwave background radiation at the level of one part in 100,000. These are thought to be a snapshot at t=400,000 years of the primodial fluctuations that led to galaxy formation. This map of the sky is also the best evidence for the isotropy (or spherical symmetry) of the Universe. 1995-96 Hubble Space Telescope - improved determination of Hubble parameter : 1995-96 Hubble Space Telescope - improved determination of Hubble parameter A much better calibration of distance measures. This has allowed more accurate estimates to be made of Hubble's constant H. Early galaxies and quasars have also been observed by the HST raising serious doubts about current structure formation models. Cosmology : Cosmology Cosmology can never demonstrate the origin of the Universe. We can always find a previous matter. Physicists can only talk about physics. Creation (origin of the universe and man) is a metaphysical problem. Christianity provides with answers: God & Creation: compatible with reason. Either self-creation; or Created. The first one is impossible: world would be divine. Cosmology : Cosmology St Thomas: The Universe could have an indefinite duration, & being Created. With reason we cannot demonstrate the beginning in time (only by faith). Finality in the process of the Universe vs random (chance). Direction (it is what science searches of). Functionality: one part works for the whole. We see it better in the biological level. Radical evolutionism denied it (man & others... appeared at random). Cosmology : Cosmology Random does not explain the order of the complexity of the universe, and the functionality. See V Way of the existence of God by St Thomas (teleological argument) Natural bodies act following patterns, laws, tendencies. There is one end, finality. They are irrational: who keeps that order? There is need of One Intelligence to keep everything in order.