Re: Comments

David Campbell (
Mon, 24 May 1999 20:18:12 -0400

>> As a paleontologist, the advantages that come to mind first are with regard
>> to understanding those. However, there are practical advantages. In
>> medicine (and agriculture), an understanding of evolutionary patterns in
>> pests such as bacteria and viruses better enables us to stop them.
>> Likewise, understanding evolutionary connections helps choose what would be
>> good animals to test a possible new drug on or likely organisms to look for
>> useful genes in. (E.g., wild relatives of agriculturally important
>> organisms may be able to tolerate conditions that kill domestic varieties.
>> Transferring the responsible gene into the domestic form could produce a
>However, lets just take the word "evolution" out of your model and
>insert "connectedness" or some other such word of your chosing. You
>we can look to the sequence of ancient animals as true without inserting
>into our this our view of how the transitions occurred. This sequencing
>of animals
>and there connectedness or relatedness is a usefull and operational
>paradaigm but it does not require the acceptance of either materialistic
>evolution or anything of the sort or any other view of the changing of
>the species of the moment.

It is necessary to accept that things change and adapt today in order to
deal with pest insects, bacteria, viruses, and other organisms with rapid
generation times.

Although any sort of explanation of past events is enough to allow one to
accept the existence of present patterns of similarity, it is simpler to
assume that they are similar in explanation to present events. Also,
common descent is the only idea I know of that accounts for all the
similarities or predicts most of them. I cannot think of any other
explanation that accounts for biochemical similarities and transitional
fossils between hoofed mammals and whales, for example.

David C.