I get email

This is from א ב.

i have 2 interesting thoughts about evolution

according to evolution- a feces (a group of bacteria) can evolve into a supermodel (human)

according to evolution if we will find a watch with a dna and a self replicating system- we will need to think that this watch just evolved. because its have a living traits

have a nice day

I’m sorry, you’re entirely wrong. You do not have any interesting thoughts about evolution.

“Feces” is plural (singular is Latin “faex”, but English did not adopt the singular form). It is not a group of bacteria; it is waste material from digested food with additional bacteria. Evolution does not predict that it will evolve into a human. Quite the contrary: the bacteria in our guts are already specialized far beyond the state of the ancestral microorganisms that evolved into eukaryotes, they are quite unlikely to evolve multicellularity (which is another derived condition), and they’ve got better things to do.

Essentially all the organisms you can find in the natural world contain DNA, reproductive processes, and clock-like mechanisms — circadian rhythms are ubiquitous. Think about circadian rhythms, monthly and yearly cycles, and internal regulatory mechanisms, like the cell division cycle. Creationists are people who, if they found a squirrel in the woods, are more likely to strap it to their wrists and call it a Rolex.


  1. Becca Stareyes says

    Can I just say the idea that intelligent tool users like humans are the ‘goal’ of evolution is currently on my pet peeve list? Because as PZ said, as my gut bacteria evolve, they don’t have to move in the ‘more human’ direction. Many, many species have evolved on this planet, and only one branch and twig on the evolutionary tree of life moved towards ‘modern human’. (And, really, trying to compete with humans at the things humans are good at is not a successful evolutionary strategy as long as humans are around.)

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    error: Poop evolved! Became POTUSelect. Shitstorm brewing (literally).

  3. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    interesting choice of nym:
    א ב. –> A B
    [no I’m not trying to mock, just reporting my results from Google Translate to spare others the effort]
    always wanted to use the nym of asdf but decided against it.*shrug*

  4. says

    Creationists are people who, if they found a squirrel in the woods, are more likely to strap it to their wrists and call it a Rolex.

    I don’t care what they call it. As long as it scratches and bites the shit out of them, and gives them leprosy and the plague.

  5. Jessie Harban says

    @5, slithey tove:

    interesting choice of nym:
    א ב. –> A B

    The nym is the first two letters of the Hebrew alphabet but the aleph (א) isn’t an A; traditionally, Hebrew is written only with consonants. The letter א is basically a silent consonant whose function has some linguistic name I can’t remember off the top of my head. (Glottal stop maybe?)

  6. robro says

    Perhaps the writer meant “fetus” rather than “feces.” Doesn’t make the statement any less inane but a little more on topic. Plus we wouldn’t be dealing the scatalogical humor. And on that note, I will mention the ad I saw last night for a product called Poo-Pourri that was amazingly candid. You can look it up, if you’re interested.

  7. Greta Samsa says

    robro, #9
    Well, he did call it a “group of bacteria”, so I think he meant what he said.

    He raises an interesting(ly stupid) question: if humans evolved from poop, why is there still poop?

  8. Rich Woods says

    have a nice day

    Thanks, א ב, but I was doing fine until I read this faecem you just plopped out.

  9. woozy says

    “a watch with dna”

    Okay… If you are going to propose a weird hypothesis, I think you are obligated to explain it yourself. *What* is a “watch with dna”? In your scenario, where the heck do *you* think the watch with DNA came from? Who do you know who knows how to make a watch with DNA (I assume you don’t simply mean a watch with dead animal material smeared over it, but rather a watch that … has biological functionality and a reproductive code.) It’s inconceivable how such a thing would exist and how I’d stumble across it somewhere. But if I did I’d know for darn sure no human made it.

  10. robro says

    Greta Samsa @ #10 — Yes, I saw that, but thought…perhaps he’s heard that in its earliest stages the fetus is little more than a blob of cells, and as bacteria are cells…well, so on and blah blah blah. Still stupid, but a little less weird.

  11. says

    There was a book a couple decades back by James P. Hogan with an interesting premise. The prologue is short and covers the key idea pretty well.

    Now, the creatures coming from that process would have some basis for speculating about ‘intelligent design’. They would have some features that looked ‘evolved’, and others that looked ‘designed’. Manufactured objects don’t show a nested hierarchy of descent – e.g. automobile windshield wipers all got an ‘intermittent’ setting at about the same time, across manufacturers. Fiat didn’t have to independently ‘mutate’ to get them, they just copied them from Ford. (Who stole the idea and had to pay up later after a lawsuit.)

    However, terrestrial biology shows nested hierarchy practically universally, except for cases that can be accounted for by various kinds of ‘lateral gene transfer’ (e.g. endogenous retroviruses) that also don’t require ‘intelligent design’. That’s a key difference from manufactured, designed goods like a watch.