I get along with most people. I respect most people, because I appreciate people for whatever virtues they have.

I do not believe that people decide what they believe. They only decide what to profess - what they believe is determined by what makes sense TO THEM. What makes sense to them is determined by their upbringing, their education and studying and thinking.

I don't have any desire to change your mind. I only point out things that I think are wrong. I forgot which philosopher said it, "To free a man of error is to give not to take away: Knowledge that a thing is false is a truth."

I can appreciate that you believe there are some things that could not possibly have evolved. But this opinion is based on 1) faulty information and 2) faulty reasoning.

The case of the bombadier beetle, for example, is widely known to have been based on a mistranslation of the original paper. More generally though, this belief - that something could not possibly have evolved - is based on prejudice and perhaps a misunderstanding of the power of chance.

Some years ago, David Vogel had an article in IEEE spectrum in which he outlined the four steps to an evolutionary algorithm. For fun, I coded this up in VB (or maybe it was java ... I forget ... anyway) and set it out to solve the TSP. I was really wasn't expecting a success. I was quite amazed by the results. An interesting thing, though, the solutions it found (and it converged much quicker than I expected) were ALWAYS much better than what I think a human could have achieved unaided by a computer; HOWEVER, no matter how good the computer got (and I ran it several hundred times) I could always take one look at it and find several ways to improve it immediately. The best solutions were not human generated or computer generated - but hybrid.

But it got me thinking about this whole thing of what it means to be random. I don't think it's a proof of evolution and I don't expect it to convince you of anything. But it's convinced me - not of the fact of evolution which I already accepted - but of the possiblities of power of evoluton.

BTW, I attended a conference once and met a world expert on genetic algs and evolutionary progs and asked him about my results. He hinted that it was because I followed the exact algorithm Vogel outlined. I killed off all the least optimal cases. But evolution overall does better when there you allow some of the nonoptimal entities to breed. Here is the perfect demonstration of why diversity is important. It's not proof. It's not even evidence, really. It's just something that makes me understand that "randomness" isn't what I thought it was - and THAT is one of the great things, it seems, that sticks in most peoples' craws.

I don't expect you to change your mind. And I'm sure we would be friendly adversaries were we to sit across a coffee table.

I could meet you and after a short while come to understand and appreciate your virtues - the things you are good at, the things you understand and believe in. And I could respect and love you for these virtues - and believe to my core that you are a smart and good person. But I can predict already that your knowledge of evolution isn't among those virtues.