Dirtclust, I am probably missing much of the detail you're presenting, but it seems like the general gist is that evolution (and physiology) is far too complex a subject, with far too many unknowns in this early stage of science's development, for scientists to be able to say, "We know evolution is the process by which life developed, and we understand how it happened." They can only say, "It looks like evolution is the process by which life developed, based on the knowledge we so far have."
I've barely studied the subject myself, but from what little I've heard, scientists definitely remain stumped on the earliest inception of life. They have some ideas about how it may have happened, but they can't at all prove that it happened of its own accord. I don't think any environment has yet been reproduced in which life appeared spontaneously.
I can certainly appreciate the perspective of the sophistication and complexity of the human body, from its overall structure going all the way down to its atomic processes. I don't doubt that we have far to go before we really understand the miracle of DNA and its inscrutible workings. I'll also add that I'm certain science as of yet has only the very most primative understandings of the brain and how it works. They know that neurons exchange certain chemicals and electrical impulses, and they know that some classes of thought can vaguely be mapped to certain regions of the brain. As far as I can tell, that's about as far as they've gotten so far.
Suffice it to say the development of life on Earth is an out-and-out miracle, whether it happened alone or whether it was engineered by some omniscient hand. I think perhaps the coolest thing about the human body is the process of pregnancy. One egg cell (with the help of one sperm cell) races through billions of years of -- evolution -- in the space of just nine months. It is very complex indeed how a human baby comes to be, and of course its incalculable brain forms as just one part of that process.
I've probably strayed a little off-topic, but I had to rhapsodize a little about the human body (and other forms of life are pretty darn amazing too), since we were kind of on the subject. As an atheist, I believe/reckon/suppose it came about on its own, but I definitely can't prove that, and in any case I am in awe of the complexity of all forms of life on Earth.
The story of evolution as we've so far contrived it is quite interesting. It includes such notions as the idea that Earth's early atmosphere could never have allowed the species that exist today to survive. That atmosphere was actually changed by the development of early plant life that gradually filled the air with oxygen (and life itself probably barely adapted to that change in time to continue living on this planet at all).
Not only are individual organisms beyond the scope of our current knowledge and comprehension, but we also scarcely understand how all the organisms on Earth "work together" to create a dynamic balance that allows almost every species to survive. That, too, was part of life's development, again regardless of whether it developed spontaneously or by the intervention/guidance of some omniscient hand.
Things are rapidly changing right now, as human life expands faster than its underdeveloped ethics allow, wiping out species and affecting (we think) the planet's climate. The balance of all living things may be in jeopardy. So I don't know how the story of life on Earth ends, any more than I know how it started. I just know that it's all pretty amazing right now.
I believe in the scientific method, and I know that method is extremely rigorous in demanding thorough and qualified cross checking by many scientists working independently. Plus if I understand right, no theory is ever considered 100% certain and decided. There is always room for new discoveries, and revised theories that account for the new information.
I also know that the common man (such as myself) is ill-equipped to understand true and bonafide science, so what we hear about science is the watered-down Kindergarten version, hobbled by our primative assumptions and popular rumors.
"But in regards to you, so you were baptized Mormon huh? You were raised in the church, or just lived in Utah for a spell?"
Ah, I was pretty much as Mormon as one can get. Born and raised in the church in the heart of Utah, on the Provo side of the mountains, by strict parents who made sure I knew, for example, that going on a mission wasn't a "choice" I was going to make; I *was*
going to go. And my farewell and welcome-home services were absolutely not going to be made at all unique by me, even if the bishopric were to approve. Just to throw an example out there.
I've come a long journey in life to arrive at the place I live, and the way I think today. That's a bit of one organism's story here on Earth.