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Meditation 494
Gravity & Evolution

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In Ask the Patriarch 120, I was asked about my views on evolution. The individual who raised the issue responded indicating that she did not like my reply, apparently having been somehow convinced that evolution is "just a theory." In a footnote, she claimed about the "theory"

As in unproven and improvable - unlike gravity for instance, which can be witnessed being physically proven beyond a doubt.

In my routine acknowledgement advising her that her comments had been published, I chose to suggest to her that:

...you do some research on gravity before you again make the risible claim that the theory of gravity has been proven beyond a doubt, when in fact there is no agreed on theory today. Research it. Gravity is the problem child of physics. There is a Nobel Prize waiting for the physicist who successfully develops a theory of gravity.

I somehow doubt she bothered with any research (not a surprise as she clearly had not researched evolution either) as she immediately fired back in an e-mail:

Hey moron - if gravity didn't exist we'd be floating.
It's that simple and obvious.

Now please stop bothering me.

I won't address the first point - I'm prepared to let others debate my IQ if they wish to follow up on it. As for the last point, see footnote 1 below.

Let's deal with the issue of gravity, specifically the claim that if gravity didn't exist, we'd all be floating.

This is wrong. Completely and totally wrong. The fact is, things do float - generally because of offsetting forces - in the presence of gravity. The fact we don't float most of the time can be just as well attributed to the Theory of Falling (Unless supported, things fall down and they don't fall up) as it can to some invisible force we call gravity, a relatively recently discovered force of which people were unaware for tens of thousands of years of human existence.

If there were no gravity, we most assuredly would not be floating. We would not exist to be capable of floating. The Earth would not exist for us to float above. The sun would not exist, nor the planets. The entire solar system would not exist. Stars would not exist. Galaxies would not exist. Black holes would not exist. If the Universe existed, it would be something very different than what we see now.

Gravity is currently considered to be one of the four fundamental forces in physics. The Standard Model only includes three of them, the strong, weak, and electromagnetic forces. Gravity still has not been successfully incorporated, and the attempt to find a way to bring gravity into the Standard Model is one of the motivating factors in particle physics research today.

Effectively, right now there is no generally agreed upon "Theory of Gravity."

We all know there is a force called gravity, there is no real debate scientifically or amongst the general public, that gravity exists. Yet, we do not know how it works.

On the other hand, there is a debate, primarily religiously based, about evolution. There is no scientific debate. The mechanisms by which evolution operates have been identified and are understood. The debate is phony.

Diane wants to claim that we can witness gravity. However, the diversity of life that we witness all around us is far better evidence for evolution than the fact we do not float off into space is evidence for gravity.