I've been a member over a year now and have only made one post. I thought it might be worthwhile to share a text string between my 31 year old daughter Christen who is newly interested in watches, and myself to enlighten newcomers on the evolution of watches. She texted me from work at the County Clerk's office this morning and the following discussion ensued:
Christen: Hey Dad, check this out:
I wanna talk about that when we get the chance
Christen: listening to David Hume's philosophy
Dad: Slow day?
Christen: Just transferring images into cases. Pretty boring. But I can pay closer attention to the podcast.
I looked up the watchmaker argument because the Podcaster mentioned that the argument was used during David Hume's time
Christen: I've known about it, but it's the first time I've really dug further than the statement by itself
Evolution supposedly gave the argument less sway and I don't understand how
Dad: That's simple. Evolution proved and explained that all living creatures were created by a multitude of incredible accidents accumulating over millions of years. Therefore, the same is true for watches. In ancient times, when the first rudimentary watches crawled out of the sea, they were quite simple. Consisting of nothing more than a circular base with a single vertical staff that cast a shadow on the circular base. While technically "watches," they were blind in the beginning. Having no numbers by which other, still non-existing creatures, could tell the time. As naturally occurring accidents accumulated, numbers began to appear. These numbers too were rudimentary at first and only existed in the form of Roman numerals. While useful to early man, he had yet to invent Roman numerals and therefore, could barely tell time in the beginning. This caused untold confusion, with cavemen and the like suffering frustration due to missed appointments with business associates and grouchy children due to irregular bedtimes.
Through a process of natural selection, Roman numerals were finally nudged out by the more accurate and therefore more fit and able to survive, balance spring watch. These watches, by virtue of their ability to work even in the dark, eventually made the "solar" style watch practically extinct. It being relegated to English gardens and museum entrances. A mere vestige of its ancient beginnings.
By the 1970s, a new rock had evolved that became known as "quartz" and it had, through amazing coincidence, affixed itself to the already existing metal watch case. Over time, the quartz "rock" assumed a certain shape allowing it to replace the balance spring as a source of constant vibration. However, without complex wires and coils, and what later became known as a "battery," it remained useless. In time, thanks to the wonder of Evolution, these difficulties were all overcome by inevitable accidents. The sudden appearance of actual working quartz watches nearly wiped out the clumsy and inaccurate by comparison mechanical spring watches from the face of the earth.
Christen: This is fabulous. Watches and their beginnings should be on the discovery Channel. Very educational
Christen: Keep your watch evolution explanation handy. It'll be great to look back on lol
Dad: Alas, there was found in "man," a rather useless and unnecessary trait known as sentimentality. This trait has no known ability to promote the evolution of the species. In fact, it could be argued that it has slowed its advancement. Nevertheless, it has for the time stalled the inevitable decline and certain demise of the mechanical watch. Weak and inferior men and women the world over are struggling to keep the horribly inaccurate spring watch relevant, even spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a watch that is less accurate than a $10 quartz watch easily found huddled together at a local Walmart store.
No sooner did nature introduce the incredibly accurate quartz watch than the even more precise and complicated "Cell-phone" appear. This marvel of evolution displays the time plus many other amazing complications by virtue of a vast network of connectivity worldwide through the air. It has been argued that it could be thought of as a single organism rather than many millions of evolved individual organisms.
It is yet to be seen if the quartz watch, which has only recently appeared on the long fascinating road that is accidental evolution, will hold the same sentimental value as the mechanical watch. It has been conjectured that due to environmental pressures brought on by the cellphone, that a third species may evolve from the mechanical and quartz watches. In fact, there has been discovered recently, a new species that has been categorized by scientists by the Latin name, Seiko Quartz Spring Drive. This amazing newcomer, while having the inferior balance spring anatomy, has clearly evolved from the quartz species and has internal and external features of both.
Your tax dollars at work, Folks.