Re: James Shapiro Article and Neo-Darwinism

David Campbell (
Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:32:07 -0400

>In a message dated 9/14/98 David Campbell wrote:
><<Catastrophes are another factor outside of natural selection that may have
>had a large impact on the course of evolution. [snip]>>
>Catastrophes, of course, are irrelevant to the debate on the origins of
>systems such as those described by Shapiro in his article.

The only way I can think of in which catastrophes may have helped the
evolution of complex systems is by reducing competition, thereby allowing
less fit mutants to survive and evolve novel features. My point in regard
to catastrophes is that they are a factor outside of natural selection that
affected evolutionary history.


>Can you give any reason why "intelligent guidance" should not be included
>among the novel ways of looking at long standing problems?

I do not know how to test for it. Unless there is a convincing explanation
of why intelligent guidance would invariably produce one result and nothing
else would produce it, I do not see how to include it. I do not see any
reason to expect God to have not used "natural laws" as the patterns by
which He creates and sustains living organisms, except for their spiritual
aspects (which may follow supernatural laws or a more "interventionist"
approach, given our limited knowledge). Thus, the pattern I would expect,
given God's intelligent guidance of evolution, is the same pattern as that
expected by someone who claims that all the governing laws exist by some
miraculous chance.

David Campbell