Evolution, directional and random
nemonemini at cosmiverse.com
nemonemini at cosmiverse.com
Sat Dec 1 12:46:14 MST 2001
John, are you saying that you would accept some form of selection
effect within the scheme, but that the theory needs a good dose of
Kauffman's "spontaneous emergence of order"?
just trying to understand your position. as you well know from list
comments you receive, you're not the easiest guy to pin down on what
you're really saying.
There are many stages of evolution, from the cosmic, to the onset of
life, to the issues of the Cambrian, species evolution or
differentiation, and then cultural and historical evolution. Here
Darwinists have no consistent theory, despite the endless promotions
of natural selection. As Kauffman points out, there is likely to be
something extra involved behind the process of random evolution. He
speaks however only of the early stages of life's emergence, and he
speaks of self-organization. These theories are confusing, since they
are bound to be right in a general sense, but may not work yet as to
particulars. There is probably some greater process of cosmological
or other unknown naturalistic factor in the emergence of life and its
evolution, and this doesn't, as such, contradict, the facts of
The basic facts and processes of random variation, and natural
selection, are certainly observed and confirmed, but it is
extrapolation to say that all complexity arises from this. As Henry
Gee, an editor at Nature, now points our in In Search of Deep Time,
the confusion here is chronic and has gone on too long. Enough's
enough. Between any two fossils there exist a host of theories, and
to claim that random variation and natural selection work in all
cases here is simply speculative. Maybe its true, but it hasn't been
confirmed. The problems are immense in that claim, and the descent of
man gets awfully tight, there must therefore have been an awfully
convenient ultra lucky mutation set around fifty plus thousand years
ago. Really damn lucky. I am required to believe this fairly tale,
but I don't. That's that. The whole theory is dangerously speculative
here, and Creationists, and I don't like saying it, are justified in
saying 'Bullshit!'. It is not however likely to be a spiritual versus
material question, that is not my point at least.
But to answer your question, we do see this random variation process
at work, no doubt about it. Cf. the recent Seven Daughters of Eve
(cf. Amazon) where the author traces the genetic families in the
Paleothic back to seven mothers. Remarkable. But this still does not
prove a thing about the emergence of culture, the brain, language,
and everything else. You know, Wallace is constantly maligned, but he
said finally 'I don't buy it'. His spiritual confusions are
irrelevant here. We simply don't know and can't produce a theory of
what must be missing, large scale directional evolution, the latter
being Number One Hard to observe, study, or scientize. But they must
be there. Gould goes blah blah they aren't there. I say, look at
history, there are all too visible.
If we restrict our study to history, I claim to be able to show such
processes at work in history, a bare glimpse: large scale directional
evolution. The study of this is not so simple. But the basics are
clear. And this argument throws severe doubt on the impudent claims
of Darwinists as to the descent of man.
So, random variation and selection are always present. If someone
gets run over by a truck, that's natural selection. But it is not
exclusively the process of evolution. There is something else.
Being a Darwin critic is hard, tread warily. I have a web page,
which needs upgrading again, perhaps that can help. The Creationists
and extreme Darwinists have confused the issue in their hard
But, as Gee points out, we don't know. That's the bottom line.
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