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Author Topic:   What would happen if the ToE were disproven? (A suspense/thriller novel project)
Blue Jay
Member (Idle past 1925 days)
Posts: 2843
From: You couldn't pronounce it with your mouthparts
Joined: 02-04-2008


Message 16 of 39 (526794)
09-29-2009 10:08 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by swalker2001
09-29-2009 9:28 AM


Hi, Walker.

Welcome to EvC!

I, like you, am a science fiction writer hoping to someday have a published product that successfully integrates plausible scientific ideas with an entertaining story.

Good luck to you!

swalker2001 writes:

The point of the book is that when the ToE goes away, all that is left is God.

Here, I must intercede: do not write this into your book!

It is completely untrue! God is not the only alternative to ToE. There are more than two teams in the league, so to say. There is always spontaneous generation, aliens, alternative modes of biotic modification over time, repeated panspermias, Earth is actually just the Matrix, etc.

I think there would definitely be thousands of people who would believe that God is all that is left after ToE dies, and that should be expected, but don't assume that the failure of ToE means scientists will have to suddenly take Genesis seriously. In order for that to occur, you need evidence that supports Genesis (i.e. evidence of a global Flood or actually finding the Tree of Knowledge, etc.), not evidence that undermines ToE.

But, by all means, write about the public controversies and fundamentalist backlash. Make your protagonist go through a crisis and question himself. But, please, science fiction does enough character assassination of scientists already, so don't turn it into another secular humanist conspiracy story. You don't seem to want to, but there's the danger that people will interpret it as such.


-Bluejay (a.k.a. Mantis, Thylacosmilus)

Darwin loves you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by swalker2001, posted 09-29-2009 9:28 AM swalker2001 has replied

Replies to this message:
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PaulK
Member
Posts: 17166
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 17 of 39 (526796)
09-29-2009 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by swalker2001
09-29-2009 9:28 AM


I think that you are making a huge mistake in simply asking for evidence against the theory of evolution and not evidence for some alternative. Because what the alternative is, will greatly affect what happens.

quote:

The point of the book is that when the ToE goes away, all that is left is God.

Then you will have to have the evidence specifically point to God. Because if the evidence supports some other view THAT will be left.

quote:

what happens when a society that says it believes in God overall, but doesn't believe in things like The Great Flood, the creation story of Genesis, etc has to re-examine those stories?

It doesn't. Those things are already adequately contradicted by the evidence, simply getting rid of evolution will do nothing to make them viable.

quote:

So special creation will be the theory of the day after my hypothetical fossil(s) are discovered.

I think that you will need a huge rewrite of the fossil record for that to be an option.

quote:

I do not have an agenda to try and promote either theory. I really just want to see what might happen.

Then it is very odd that your post seems to suggest that the only possible alternative to evolution is Creationism (and it even looks as if you mean Young Earth Creationism, at that). Why not consider other - more scientifically plausible - options ?

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


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swalker2001
Junior Member (Idle past 4518 days)
Posts: 12
From: Dallas, TX USA
Joined: 09-28-2009


Message 18 of 39 (526797)
09-29-2009 10:12 AM
Reply to: Message 15 by greyseal
09-29-2009 9:56 AM


Re: i think you don't get the problem...
I guess it doesn't need to say that evolution never happened. Just that it didn't happen by chance and random mutations.

Or maybe I should not try so hard to get the science right. Maybe I should just have something discovered that proves the earth is only 6000 years old. Maybe that is a better premise.

It doesn't have to be likely or even possible, it just has to be a literary device that will get me over the hump from no-God to God.

Again, if that bothers anyone, don't assume that I am going to craft a story where everyone suddenly believes in God and the world changes into a beautiful place where everyone is always smiling and all wars cease and they all live happily ever after. I don't expect that it will go that way...


Steve Walker
Engineer, Author, Social Media Specialist

This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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Wounded King
Member (Idle past 3322 days)
Posts: 4149
From: Edinburgh, Scotland
Joined: 04-09-2003


Message 19 of 39 (526804)
09-29-2009 10:24 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by swalker2001
09-29-2009 9:46 AM


In many ways the fossils thing seems like a bit of a dead end, for the very reasons you mentioned.

The discovery of some sort of direct message in the genome seems like a more usable device, but that is more in line with an old earth ID approach with continual genetic tinkering than YEC special creationism.

As I see it the main problem is that you can't really make your idea work unless you end up with some sort of last thursdayism or your fictional world operates on an entirely different basis from our own. Its easy enough to handwave away any evidence with the supernatural especially an omnipotent god, its much harder to come up with the sort of gradual accumulation of evidence you need for a satisfying plot. Otherwise you might just as well have Jesus turn up and tell everyone that the fossil record was just a joke.

I can see how you can have a satisfying story with an intelligent design alternative to darwinian evolution, but I can't see how you could have one with special creation in a world that resembled ours even remotely. I'm not saying you couldn't have that scenario, a modified form of last thursdayism again for example, I just don't see how it would make a satisfying or coherent story as you describe.

I think Brian Aldis's book Cryptozooic was unsatisfying in a similar way, the key revelation just made no sense at all.

TTFN,

WK


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Percy
Member
Posts: 20724
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 20 of 39 (526813)
09-29-2009 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by swalker2001
09-29-2009 10:12 AM


Re: i think you don't get the problem...
Hi Swalker, welcome aboard!

I do have some strong opinions, but they're not worth much because the vast majority of your potential audience won't know enough about the evidence for evolution to spot any flaws in any story where it's disproven.

The only thing I could accept would be that all the evidence for evolution is correct, just not the whole story. I liked WK's idea of a coded message, so we could discover that coded messages have been placed in all genomes in all populations around the world, somewhat similar to Sagan's Contact where a message was uncovered in pi. We're then forced to conclude that instead of evolution what we have is continuous intervention over time by some outside force or entity that tweaks genomes along what appears to be a predefined path.

I wish you all the best with your book.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by swalker2001, posted 09-29-2009 10:12 AM swalker2001 has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by swalker2001, posted 09-29-2009 11:05 AM Percy has replied
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swalker2001
Junior Member (Idle past 4518 days)
Posts: 12
From: Dallas, TX USA
Joined: 09-28-2009


Message 21 of 39 (526821)
09-29-2009 11:01 AM
Reply to: Message 16 by Blue Jay
09-29-2009 10:08 AM


New approach?
The Tree of Knowledge....hmmm...now there is an idea. I might be able to work with that.

Thanks, Bluejay!

Simplifies a lot of things in the storyline, doesn't it? Also opens up some new possibilities for subplots and allows me to ignore the other options you mentioned...I don't want to get into that much depth on other alternatives.

[BTW--How many of those alternatives have the kind of serious following that ToE and Creation/ID have? I hear you saying that they have enough that they couldn't be ignored in my original scenario but although I have heard all those ideas I didn't think any of them were taken that seriously...]

I will still need new theories and explanations for why the ToE seems to work so well in a lot of ways. But this may be just what I was looking for. Anybody else have thoughts?


Steve Walker
Engineer, Author, Social Media Specialist

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swalker2001
Junior Member (Idle past 4518 days)
Posts: 12
From: Dallas, TX USA
Joined: 09-28-2009


Message 22 of 39 (526822)
09-29-2009 11:05 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
09-29-2009 10:46 AM


Re: i think you don't get the problem...
Another great post. Thanks.

Between this and the Tree of Knowledge, I now have a much better feeling about coming up with a scenario that will work. This one seems to take me completely away from the notion of a fossil unless some dna is found within the fossil and something about it prompts the discovery of the hidden code....that could work, right?

I am thankful for all the suggestions on how to do this and how NOT to do it...please don't stop because there are so many good ideas in just 12 hours I can only imagine what may be yet to come... :-)


Steve Walker
Engineer, Author, Social Media Specialist

This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 09-29-2009 10:46 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 279 days)
Posts: 16112
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 23 of 39 (526832)
09-29-2009 11:30 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by swalker2001
09-29-2009 9:28 AM


The point of the book is that when the ToE goes away, all that is left is God. So what happens when a society that says it believes in God overall, but doesn't believe in things like The Great Flood, the creation story of Genesis, etc has to re-examine those stories? What about the non-believers who have found scientific explanations for everything What happens when some of those scientific explanations are found to be wrong?

I think there will be many new theories advanced, some totally outrageous, others possibly viable, there will be much wringing of hands, jobs will be lost, new industries created, preachers saying, "I told you so," and lots of things I haven't thought of yet.

So special creation will be the theory of the day after my hypothetical fossil(s) are discovered.

I do not have an agenda to try and promote either theory. I really just want to see what might happen. I am sure there will be a segment of the population that will be more at peace but others that will feel like their whole world has been pulled out from under them. Will chaos ensue? Maybe.

Ah, I see. You propose some observation where nothing will be left but God, but no specific concept of God. You also note that chaos will ensue.

This is an excellent sci-fi idea, but it has been so totally done.

If you have not yet read Silverberg's famous novella "Thomas The Proclaimer", then go and read it. Your idea is a good one, but it's been done, and done extraordinarily well. "Thomas The Proclaimer" is one of the great classics of science fiction, and a story that every serious sci-fi fan knows. Unless you can think of a new twist on the idea, then you should really go away and think of a different story to write.


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 Message 11 by swalker2001, posted 09-29-2009 9:28 AM swalker2001 has replied

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swalker2001
Junior Member (Idle past 4518 days)
Posts: 12
From: Dallas, TX USA
Joined: 09-28-2009


Message 24 of 39 (526843)
09-29-2009 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by Dr Adequate
09-29-2009 11:30 AM


About "Thomas the Proclaimer"
Great story...I must try to find a copy and re-read it. I'm sure there are many other stories that deal with the overall subject I am espousing in some form or fashion. A truly unique story idea is really hard to come by. It is the author's treatment of the story including character development, subplots, tension, etc that will make an audience want to embrace a book (or not).

I don't have any delusions that I can do something better than one of the true masters, Robert Silverberg. But although there are similarities in where I THINK my story may go, I won't know until I get there. And who knows...there just MIGHT be a couple of interesting twists and turns afoot....

I will most certainly see to it that I don't create something that could be considered a sorry clone of a great piece.

Thanks for the response! If anyone else knows of a story or book that is similar in some form or fashion to what I propose, I would be interested in hearing about it for the same reason....


Steve Walker
Engineer, Author, Social Media Specialist

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Percy
Member
Posts: 20724
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.3


Message 25 of 39 (526853)
09-29-2009 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 22 by swalker2001
09-29-2009 11:05 AM


Re: i think you don't get the problem...
swalker2001 writes:

Between this and the Tree of Knowledge, I now have a much better feeling about coming up with a scenario that will work. This one seems to take me completely away from the notion of a fossil unless some dna is found within the fossil and something about it prompts the discovery of the hidden code....that could work, right?

A paleontological setting might be a more interesting opening than a genetics lab. Perhaps someone can suggest or make up some interesting fossil anomaly that could be the loose thread that when "tugged upon" leads to the genetics lab and the eventual unraveling of evolution.

--Percy


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Larni
Member
Posts: 4000
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 26 of 39 (526868)
09-29-2009 1:03 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by swalker2001
09-29-2009 10:12 AM


Thought of this?
Why not have a message written into junk dna?

The author (aliens, gods, whatever) could have left it there to be found when civilisation is sufficiently advanced to able to comprehend the implications.


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Perdition
Member (Idle past 2465 days)
Posts: 1593
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 27 of 39 (526871)
09-29-2009 1:06 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
09-29-2009 10:46 AM


Re: i think you don't get the problem...
This was sort of done in Star Trek: The Next Generation. Picard's favorite professor goes off on a search to sample all the DNA of humanoid species in our area of the Universe. After he dies, Picard must take up the search and with the reluctant help of the Klingons, Cardassians and Romulans, they discover a program written throughout the DNA fo all these species that shows how the first humanoid species in the Universe found the place empty and decided to seed all these planets with DNA that would somehow force the development of other humanoid type life forms.

This message is a reply to:
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AChristianDarkly
Inactive Member


Message 28 of 39 (526945)
09-29-2009 6:45 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by swalker2001
09-28-2009 10:55 PM


The Death Of Evolution
{If this has not been done before...}

Since this is sci-fi/ fiction, you can play it loose.

What about letting Wolfram be correct in his ‘new kind of science’ that natural selection is the not the fundamental cause of complexity in biology.

Next let some little virus thing exist which stops ‘it’ cold. In everything with DNA. (Let the ‘virus’ be really, really well hidden. To start with.)

Let’s say the clock starts ticking at around 6000 years ago. (Maybe a stray volcanic rock from Mars. Perhaps scientists re-discover the bug in a rock brought back from a Mars mission, as the story trigger.)

So what happens next?

Everything starts to fall apart. Or rather, started to fall apart, as scheduled, biblically. Then today, we get the disasters: tipping points, etc.
Exactly how this would all go would make for some interesting speculation. What would happen if evolution just - stopped. 6000 years ago. {Grin.}
If you could get this part right, you should have a really good book.

You could link things like climate change to it.
Or you could go smaller, and let a few critical critters start to buy the farm. (Plankton, the flu, etc.)

Since it would then turn out that there has been no evolution for the biblical period, you get a radical upswing in, well, radicalism. Like really heavy religiosity. Like attend church, or your house gets burned down - for your own good. Viva the friendly, peaceful, neighbourhood inquisition.
You get politicians who do nothing because the threat is not immediate enough; as always.
And the scientists running around screaming that we are all going to die. Must act now! Save the Earth now! (Nice reversal, there.)

This should still classify as sci-fi, methinks.
Unless I'm missing something. Even so, you could then write certain things out; in this parallel world, certain things just never happened. Which could be an alternate, and perhaps much more interesting story trigger.


This message is a reply to:
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swalker2001
Junior Member (Idle past 4518 days)
Posts: 12
From: Dallas, TX USA
Joined: 09-28-2009


Message 29 of 39 (527073)
09-30-2009 9:22 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by AChristianDarkly
09-29-2009 6:45 PM


Re: The Death Of Evolution
You're definitely talking sci-fi (or Syfy as the cable channel now wants to call it on tv) which is fine.

I need to digest this post further. There is a lot in there to think about. I also am hoping to hear from others on any similar books or stories. Someone mentioned "Thomas the Proclaimer," which I have read, and somebody mentioned "Cryptozoic" by Brian Aldiss, which I have ordered a copy of.

Not sure if what you propose has been done or not...but it is an interesting idea.

Thanks!


Steve Walker
Engineer, Author, Social Media Specialist

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Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3876
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001


Message 30 of 39 (527277)
09-30-2009 5:03 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by swalker2001
09-30-2009 9:22 AM


Darwin's Radio
We have a topic than went nowhere. You may wish to consider that book for whatever it may be worth.

Moose


This message is a reply to:
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