I attended the ASA Annual meeting where I presented a paper entitled "Did
Phyletic Lineages Evolve
it and expect to submit it to _Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith_,
the journal of
the ASA, for publication. I would like to share it with anyone who would
care to give me feedback on it.
Here is a brief summary of the paper. It starts with a brief
explanation of the Linnaean system of taxonomic classification. It then
identifies the origin of the bottom-up hypothesis in Darwin's diagram in his
_Origin_. He hypothesizes that varieties and species are modified until,
generations, they can be classified as genera, families, and even orders.
Several Darwinian authors are quoted endorsing this specific-to-general
direction of change. What began as obvious speculation on the part of Darwin
has become established fact in the scientific community and in large segments
of society at large, as evidenced by its having found its way into scientific
and philosophical dictionaries as definitions of evolution.
My article reviews data that are offered as support for the bottom-up
hypothesis--changes in coloration in peppered moths, changes in shapes of
Darwin's finches' beaks, changes in camouflage coloration in guppies. These
studies, showing only minor variations, are regularly extrapolated by
Darwinian authors into claims that they produce major innovations of higher
level taxa. This claim is evaluated in the article.
The article then presents data supporting the top-down hypothesis. Starting
with the Cambrian explosion, the article supports the top-down direction of
change with semi-quantified data from fossils of marine invertebrates--phyla
peaked in the fossil record before classes, which peaked before orders.
Studies of trilobites show that abundance of families appeared in the fossil
record before genera. Mammals show the same pattern--orders suddenly
appeared before families which peaked before genera. Birds show the same
top-down order of development. Species of marine invertebrates, moreover,
are underrepresented in the Cambrian when the body plans of all modern phyla
were formed, when according to the bottom-up Darwinian theory, they should be
present in abundance. In the last 250 million years, species have been
produced in abundance, without, however, any new higher taxa being formed.
How can this top-down direction of change be explained? The article suggests
that the biological process of development has the proper requisites for a
phyletic change in the history of organic life in the last 530 million years.
There is a remarkable symmetry between individual development, phyletic
development, and the Linnaean classification system. This symmetry is
explored in the last section of the article, suggesting that phyletic
development, called _macro-development_, is the critical factor in the
top-down direction of change in phyletic lineages.
The conclusion is that Darwinian bottom-up hypothesis fails to find support
in biological data, but that an expanded concept of development shows a
extraordinary match with paleontological data.
Anyone interested in receiving a copy of the paper, please send me your
surface mailing address, and I'll forward a copy to you. Thanks
for your interest.
Bob De Haan