I was thinking today, of an unusual phenomenon in biology...the tendency for lay persons to consider themselves qualified to seriously argue for or against theories in biology. In almost every case where this occurs, grossly incorrect assumptions are made and the field of genetics is blatantly ignored. For people unacquainted with these topics, lay arguments seem plausible, but to those with in-depth knowledge of the field, the absurdity of these claims is painfully apparent. What puzzles me is that these people persist, but not in other fields. You do not see lay persons arguing the merits of string theory, or dark matter, or polymer synthesis, or computational theory. These topics require just as much background as evolutionary biology, in order to discuss honestly, yet laypersons intrinsically realize this. What is so special about evolution, that every average joe imagines himself a master of the topic? Is it the fact that it goes to the very core of what it means to be human? Or is it simply because it blatantly disregards the teachings of half-a-dozen religions? --- What makes me consider this topic now? Today, we were discussing techniques for building artificial lifeforms, and how we can utilize evolutionary mechanisms to rapidly optimize our designs, simplifying the process. This would not be possible, if evolution was false. Yet, here we are, in 2010, building organisms through evolution. Playing "god," so to speak. While lay people are busy convincing themselves that evolution is an atheist lie, we are using those very principles to do the once unimaginable...making life from non-life.