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Mousetrap

Updated: May 2, 2023

Evolution tells us that mutation and natural selection are enough to bring ancient simple life forms to the incredibly complex life forms today, including all plants and animals. Does it sound reasonable?


All evolutionary changes are gradual and take years and years to develop. How does the eyeball “evolved” out of simple organisms which were not even big enough to hold the eyeball? Some mutations happened, that caused a rudimentary form of some tiny part of the eyeball to form and somehow that new piece (not the eye) helped the organism to work better with the environment. So that tiny new portion of the rudimentary eyeball stays. Lots and lots of these tiny parts develop (none of them is the eye!) and each somehow helps the organisms to survive better. Over an unspecified period of time, these little parts somehow work together to form an eyeball.


Can I say that this kind of explanation for the emergence of the eyeball is totally unacceptable? It is exceedingly speculative; however, I cannot say with unbeatable reason that it does not. I did not live through the ages to see it develop or not develop. Yet, nobody can really prove it right for the same reason.


A well-known example to illustrate the above problem with the eyeball is the mousetrap. I found this linked YouTube video to be helpful to understand how a mousetrap work. The parts of a mousetrap include the wooden board to hold the pieces in the right position, the spring to give strength for the kill, a spring-loaded bar that kills, and a trip that triggers the release of the spring-loaded bar.


Let’s try to put in the language of evolution and imagine we want to evolve the mousetrap out in the end. Firstly, let’s evolve the wooden board. Why evolve it? We do not know we need a mousetrap at the end. If we do, then we are designed to have it in the end. No, as pretended evolutionists, we do not know we want a mousetrap now. To evolve the board, the board must provide some advantages to the living organism so that it can survive better. Without the spring, the bar, and the trip, the wooden block does not seem useful. So, what is the reason for keeping the board for the organism? Not sure.


Then, let’s evolve the spring. Why evolves the spring? Following the same reasoning as the wooden board, the spring somehow must be useful by itself, though it is hard to see why it’s useful at this point.


Before getting to the other parts, shall we put the spring on to the wooden board now? But why should we do that? Natural selection says that positioning must be advantageous to the survival of the organisms in order to let it happen. Moreover, the position of the spring cannot be random. It has to be precisely in the right location. Why does natural selection allow it to happen? It is still far away for the mousetrap to function.


The other parts of the mousetrap have to wait until we figure out how to evolve the position of the board and the spring. Or shall we evolve everything out first and then somehow create a reason to put them all together precisely at the right place?


If evolving a mousetrap is difficult to be justified before Mr. Natural Selection, how much more difficult it is for anything in animals and plants! A leaf, or an eyeball? We all know that a leaf is a trillion times more complex than a mouse trap.




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Huo Bin Liu
Huo Bin Liu
May 08, 2023

Good point!

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