As a design engineer, I have designed o-rings into products. They are a pain. It is unbelievable how many things can go wrong with something so trivial in appearance. Problems that I have directly experienced include:1) ruining a ring by pinching it during assembly; 2) having the rings’ seating grooves too rough, too deep, too shallow, or too narrow; 3) not having available materials of proper composition which were suitable for the temperature and pressure requirements; and 4) not having available materials of suitable composition which can last for the required lifetime when exposed to the chemicals. It seems that o-rings and problems go together…

The foundational concept of evolution is that a living cell can develop by starting with simple chemicals and then making small, step-by-step modifications until the final product is reached. This concept can be appealing intellectually and may make sense from a high-level overview. This is particularly true when one applies it to examples of evolution for which the actual details involved are unknown. It then becomes easy to trivialize and count as insignificant evolutionary scenarios which are unknown and not understood. The problems come when one begins to learn and understand the details….

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