Archive for June 29th, 2012

June 29th, 2012

Neo-Darwinism

by Max Andrews

Evolution has many meanings.

  • Change over time
    • Evolution of the cosmos
    • Evolution of living things
    • Evolution of culture, technology, etc.
  • Changes within existing species
    • Morphological (anatomical)
    • Genetic (change in gene frequencies)
  • Common ancestry
    • Within a species
    • Descent of all species from a common ancestor
  • Darwinian evolution

Darwinism: Descent with modification through unguided processes

  • Descent:  “I view all beings not as special creations, but as the lineal descendants of some few beings which lived long ago.”
  • Modification:  “The preservation of favorable individual differences of variations, and the destruction of those which are injurious (natural selection).”
  • Unguided processes:  “There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings, and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows. So I am inclined to look at everything as resulting from designed laws, with the details, whether good or bad, left to the working out of chance.”
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June 29th, 2012

If the Big Bang was so Dense then Why Wasn’t it a Black Hole?

by Max Andrews

If the big bang was so dense then how come it wasn’t a black hole?

Think of it as a black hole backwards. At the moment of the big bang there was, what we now know as, the cosmological constant–dark energy which drives the expansion or inflation of the universe.  Without this force there would be no expansion.  Understanding this question will help us understand how the universe will end. We have three options for a physical eschatological scenario to occur. 1) Gravity will overcome the expanding force and the universe will collapse back in on itself creating an intense heat death. 3) If the force keeps expanding forever then there will be a thermodynamic equilibrium and there will be a maximal stretching and a cold death. 3) Or, there will be a big rip in which the force expands so fast that it continually rips the whole universe apart.