Friday, January 16, 2004

Excel and Evolution...

In my day to day job functions I will, many times, employ the use of a spreadsheet. The company I work for does its business by executing projects. The cost and schedule portions of a project are controlled by initially having a defined plan, and then comparing actual costs and forecasting where future actual costs will go. In setting up a realistic plan one first enters estimated values for the hours needed to perform the various functions of the project. Labor rates are linked to these hours to produce dollar costs. The labor hours and costs are linked to time based schedule activities, which results in expected resource staffing and cash flow charts. It all sounds pretty simple until one adds variable factors such as U.S. vs. International rates, appreciation, profit margins, benefit mark-ups, etc. But even those factors are pretty easy to account for, and that’s because they are expected. It’s the unexpected factors that end up throwing you for a loop. Unexpected factors can be ones such as: management changing their mind with regards to organizational structure, level of detail, payment patterns, etc. These are very difficult, if not impossible, to plan for. Yet, since they are part of the process, we intelligently adapt our spreadsheets to account for them. So, at the end of the day, you typically have a spreadsheet that is a hodgepodge collection of links, references and formulas. The spreadsheet still works, mind you, but it’s easy to recognize the disorganization that resulted from the unforeseen events. In fact, knowing what you know at the end of the process (i.e., the unexpected factors), you could create a much more elegant and efficient spreadsheet at the very beginning. But that’s the catch, you didn’t know then what you know now. At least, though, it isn’t a spreadsheet put together with absolutely no thought or direction. Now that would be a real mess, wouldn’t it? Yet this is exactly how Evolutionists say that Evolution works… all you have to do, really, is take a mindless process, not capable of knowing where it’s going, yet blindly adapting to unforeseen events, and it will produce functional biological systems. Or so the story goes. Now, if a spreadsheet created by intelligent adaptations to unforeseen events can appear so disorganized, then how much more so one that is created solely by blind chance adaptations to unforeseen events? Taken a step further, if biological systems are indeed created by the combination of blind chance adaptations to unforeseen events, shouldn’t these systems exhibit, at minimum, the same aspects of disorganization as our initial spreadsheet? Reasons to Believe posits that the God of the Bible created biological systems and not Evolution. As part of their Testable Creation Model they also posit that if there was a single Designer and that He was working to a plan, then His creations will not exhibit disorganization but, rather, purpose. For example, coding that is referred to as Junk DNA should, in the end, turn out to show function. Time will tell if the Designer knew then what He knows now.

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