Re: evolution method

Robin Mandell (
Sun, 20 Dec 1998 22:53:36 -0600

At 11:14 AM 12/21/98 +1030, you wrote:
>> >Do the believers on this list who really grasp biology feel that
>> >the evidence for descent and the mechanisms themselves are
>> >logically separable or is this wishful thinking?
>> At this point, I would say it is wishful thinking. If you allow
>> common descent then you need the variation and selection which is
>> produced by your "motors" to get the variation we see. If you allow
>> the "motors" you get variation from common ancestors. It is a
>> package deal.
>I disagree.
>First, it is my understanding that in the evolutionary community
>today, there are a number of competing theories proposed as
>explanations of "common descent". Many in the academic community
>would like to paint these as mild variations of a theme, but it seems
>to me that there is scope here for significantly differing theories.
>I would not be at all surprised if in the next 50 years or so, there
>were a major shift in our understanding of evolutionary mechanisms.
>Perhaps I am wrong, but it seems to me that the evidence we have so
>far doesn't pin us down to the Darwinian mechanisms which are commonly
>accepted. If I am right, then it is entirely reasonable to accept
>common ancestry while remaining agnostic about the precise mechanisms
>which gave rise to common ancestry.
>Second, progressive creationism is entirely consistent with "common
>ancestry" (broadly understood). That is, God could have created life
>in a hierachical manner (the essence of "common ancestry"), where each
>branching in this hierarchy was achieved via a miracle.
>Since there are a range of different explanations all consistent with
>"common ancestry", it seems to me quite reasonable to accept the
>latter without being committed to any of the former

Hi Mark,
I guess you would have to name the range of different explanations to get
further here. Can they reasonably accomodate the specifics that Darwinists
feel point away from
designer intervention like "junk" DNA, "vestigial" items , and the
evolutionary dead ends. I am sure there are tons more. I think most other
ideas I have heard put forth are in general sweeping pictures which sound
good but few wade into the messy details.
I think there is something of a bother to a miracle studded broken chain of
life in the molecular clock scene but I am just wading in there and am a
useless rookie. I am not disagreeing with you I just have not found anyone
with a clear alt. scenario. I imagine
that might be consistent with miraculous punctuations as they would make
things hard to track. I have one new book here called the Biotic Message
that claims to be a new Message theory that can accomadate the data better
than Darwinism but I am just into it. Anyone out there read it? The author
is a Walter ReMine. By the way Mark, I am just a layman leeching of the
info on this list. I am the asa lists authority on fork lift driving and
celtic punk rock. So far I have yet to be called in on the scientific
implications of either. My day will come though....