Re: Ted Davis Review of Johnson, Behe, and Moreland

Keith B Miller (
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 21:21:03 -0600

Pattle wrote concerning Bob's comment:

>You have pointed out the most salient feature of the ID/Theistic Evolution
>debate. I hope the TD camp sees the weaknesses of Natural Selection in
>accounting for discontinuities and hierarchies that may be addressed by
>some versions of ID if they are allowed to be legitimately developed.

Natural selection, _ combined with mutation, genetic drift, speciation, etc
_ , is perfectly consistent with both hierarchy and morphological
discontinuity (at a given point in time). I have already stated in a
variety of ways that a branching tree (or more properly bush) of life will
of necessity generate a taxonomic hierarchy. Furthermore, the higher
taxonomic groupings will appear in itme before most of the lower groups
within them. If common descent is accepted, all (monophyletic) higher
level taxonomic groups will originate with a single species.

Also, discontinuity results because not all moprhologic space is occupied.
As the evolutionary tree grows, historical contingency results in much
morphologic space never being explored. Continuity between species in an
evolving and dichotomously branching lineage will only be seen at and near
the time of speciation.

These issues are dealt with in my ASA webpage on "Taxonomy, Transitional
Forms and the Fossil Record."


Keith B. Miller
Department of Geology
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS 66506