That video’s hilarious. I laughed my ass off. I was able to answer every question without sounding like an idiot before they were off the screen.
First the creator of the video sets the stage by misrepresenting evolution. He does so the popular way…he rolls cosmology into it…the big bang. He also misrepresents the big bang. According to big bang cosmology there was never nothing. At the moment of the big bang everything expanded very rapidly for a very brief amount of time…but the key is that everything already existed to expand. There was never nothing, there’s no reason to believe there was ever nothing, it’s unscientific to argue for a state of the universe that we never observe existing in the universe. You tell me where I can look and see a complete absence of matter and/or energy and/or spacetime anyplace in the universe. Nonexistence of anything doesn’t appear to be a natural state.
As for why cosmology shouldn’t be considered part of evolution…evolution is a process which requires 3 things. 1) self replicating systems, 2) the self replicating systems must have traits which can be inherited by the next generation of the system by some mechanism, and 3) this mechanism for inheritability of traits must be variable by some mechanism. Then if the system satisfies the Markov property (as our biological systems do) evolution becomes an inevitable result. I wrote an argument for evolution being inevitable in any system which meets these requirements here: http://intelsblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/proof-of-evolution/
There is also the subtle implication of some kind of special importance of “complexity” in reality complexity is merely an index as to how simple something will be for the average person to immediately and completely comprehend. The more complex a thing is considered to be the less likely the average person will immediately and completely comprehend it. More specifically, though, this can be measured by considering the number of components in a system and the number of possible interactions between all of the components and possible states for each component to exist and interact in. There more of each of these things there are the less likely the average person will be able to immediately and completely comprehend a given system. Nothing about this definition of complexity precludes the possibility of extremely intricate self organization, however.
Also no one claims that abiogenesis happened only once, but on earth only one organism is the ancestor of all species suggesting that only one instance in which it happened stuck. The conditions on earth now are likely unfavorable but even if there were pockets in which abiogensis could be happening on earth unchecked what are the odds that a simple proto-cell will be competitive against even the simplest organism which has been optimizing its fitness for billions of years? Not good, would be the simple answer.
However as the real support for evolution is a proven stochastic mathematical model known as a Markov chain we don’t need to observe how evolution began to know that evolution happens. Abiogenesis is more simply supported by the nonrandom nature of chemistry.
I will give 3 examples of a mutation increasing the useful, beneficial information of a genome. The evolution of 3 novel enzymes for the metabolism of by products of nylon production, known as Nylonase.
The mutation of melanin in melanin producing fungi to allow them to use beta radiation as an energy source.
The evolution of the ability of e.coli to metabolize citrate…the lack of this feature was previously considered a defining characteristic of the e.coli bacterium.
I can think of more, I’ll stick to just those.
I’ll name 2 transitional fossils.
I’ll also note that the question is loaded and belies a misunderstanding of evolution on the part of the creator of the video. Markov chains such as evolution can only produce nested sets in a branching process. The fundamental problem comes from confusing the classification system with an accurate representation of evolution, which is not the case. The classification system in wide use was created by creationists before the theory of evolution existed. It’s inherently incompatible with the theory but it is kept around because it’s useful enough and a better alternative has not been worked out yet. Since evolutionary processes can only produce nested sets in reality you can never see one species turn into another. Instead you should see traits from a transitional fossil being passed down and slightly modified by that species descendants. In the case of Archeopteryx we see the flight features first found there in all of the bird species which are its descendants (flight feathers, wings, hollow bones, etc). And in the case of Tiktaalik we see the 1 bone, 2 bones, lots of bones, digits limb pattern in all tetrapods.
As Markov chains are a proven mathematical fact so is evolution.
Evolution doesn’t deal with the appearances of atoms or quantum particles because neither are self replicating systems nor products of self replicating systems in which traits are inherited via a mechanism which is subject to variability. As these are necessary for the process of evolution to occur any system which lacks these features or the products of any system which lacks these features cannot evolve or be a product of an evolutionary process. Evolution as a more generic process does not require living things, however. Living things are merely the only systems we know of which satisfy the requirements for an evolutionary process.
Evolution also does not say that everything came from nothing. Instead evolution describes a set of processes which act on self replicating systems with traits which are inheritable by some mechanism which is variable if that system satisfies the Markov property as biological systems do. The origin of the universe is not such a system so evolution can’t say anything about the origin of the universe. Consequently big bang cosmology also does not say that everything came from nothing.
The watchmaker argument as proposed by the creator of this video fails for this same reason. The reason why it’s ridiculous to assert that a watch must have come about by evolution is entirely due to the fact that rocks and watches are not self replicating systems, they have no traits which are inheritable by a mechanism which is variable and they do not satisfy the Markov property. Thus they cannot evolve. Complexity plays no important role except as simply a fact of life. Living things are observed to satisfy all of the requirements for evolution, complex or otherwise the complexity just means it will be a challenge to uncover all of the specific details of the implementation of the evolutionary processes within our planet’s biological systems.
Also even the most complex life form is only finitely more complex than a watch, though again, the complexity is essentially unimportant. I only bring it up as another point of error albeit a minor one.