What Scientific American taught me about freedom of speech

Today, everyone is an expert on freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is limited, some object. The main thing is not to offend anyone. The Police of the Czech Republic lists an extensive list of paragraphs that can be violated by mere comments. “We have freedom of speech, not after speech,” others joke. In fact, it’s much easier.

Many years ago, I was amazed by one thing in Scientific American: In virtually every second issue, they defended the theory of evolution and defended it from creationists. I didn’t understand why: Evolution is proven – and you really don’t have to be a biology expert to understand that it is. All you have to do is know a little bit of history or mathematics or be able to program your own experiment.

Evolution is a general principle where we take a population, let it mutate a little, and then sort it in every step in terms of some evaluation function. We’ll keep the better ones, discard the worse ones. That’s all, there’s nothing more to it. This simple principle will ensure our evolution both in the biological world and in artificial intelligence, because genetic algorithms are basically nothing else. It works quite well, we get a population that meets the criterion function relatively quickly. Natural evolution differs from artificial evolution only in that the natural evolution has no direction, it is simply a function of the environment. Artificial evolution driven by humans and their ideas is much wilder, as shown by so-called crops and domesticated animals.

Whenever I see a pocket dog or a bulldog hissing for oxygen, I just think that this poor animal used to be a fully functional dog during the Roman occupation of Britain. But the English found the dogs with their snouts funny – and set their criteria for breeding in this unfortunate way. Until 1835, bulldogs were used for an English sport called “bull baiting”, when their task was to provoke a bull and somehow survive. Today’s bulldozer they are the product of a ban on this folk bag – his mouth remained shrunken, but it grew smaller and smaller. The evolution of the bulldog is an illustration of how human breeding of humans since natural evolution: That poor animal can barely live. And the evolution from the fighting breed to its parody took only 200 years!

By Philip Reinagle (1749-1833) – Philip_Reinagle_1790-Bulldog.html, Public Domain, Link

One would say that anyone who understands things like microbial resistance or animal breeding also automatically accepts evolution. Not so pious people who believe that everything written in the Bible is literally true. Which is ironic, because the holy texts have also undergone a complicated evolution, and today’s ones are certainly not the same ones we had in Jesus’ day. Even today, sometimes something is deleted, explained differently, or just skipped, because we are evolutionarily behind what was said before.

But no, pious people, especially in the United States, have their own universities and their own biblical science, which is no science because it does not meet the criterion of falsification. The task of biblical science is not to critically verify whether the Bible is right, but to look for the facts that support its claims and ignore those that refute it. In short, it is an ideology like any other, in neo-evangelical form, moreover, quite militant. In fact, they persisted in America disputes o A ban on the teaching of evolution until the 1950s, when it turned out that mocking the teachings about the origin of man from apes means, so to speak, getting stuck behind apes. But the thing surprisingly continues to this day. The lawsuits initially involved an effort to ban the teaching of evolution in schools, but later turned to “if evolution is taught, intelligent design must be taught.”

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