Re: P.Johnson on James Dobson

Wendee Holtcamp (wendee@greendzn.com)
Fri, 19 Nov 1999 11:13:26 -0600

Bob wrote:
>The problem for macroevolutionists is to employ natural selection to
account
>for "incipient structures", for example, between the mammalian land
ancestor
>to the "useful structures" of modern blue whales.
AND
>However, I am open to evidence that confirms macroevolution by natural
>selection if you have any that I may not be aware of.

Natural selection is primarily a mechanism of microevolution. Mutation is
the sole source for the origin of new structures (ie macroevolution). People
often claim one mutation can't create a "wing" --- but... one mutation can
create a two-headed snake - we know that because people have seen it within
our lifetimes

In addition, the definition of "species" is completey man-made. We define it
as two organisms that can't mate and/or produce viable offspring -- but
sometimes such populations are just separated by geographic distance, and if
we brought them physically together they would be able to mate and produce
viable offspring. Sometimes geographically separated populations turn
(evolve) into creatures that can no longer mate and produce viable offspring
because their body shape changes slightly. This is, according to definition,
macro-evolution and it has occurred on time scales that human beings can
observe). Two species that once could have mated can no longer because of
changes caused by microevolution and therefore - by human definitions - are
no longer a single species. However, I don't know if the good Lord considers
them still one "kind" (as the creation account defines what we call species)
or not.

How does one know God didn't create organisms as broad "kinds" that are able
to then diversify? That certainly seems to be what has happened if you look
at creation and what non-biased science has revealed. What we call a species
is not necessarily what God calls a "kind".

As for Gould's opposition to Mivart; Gould proposed the theory of punctuated
equilibrium, and he rejects certain of Darwin's ideas but not natural
selection as a whole. Mutation can cause new structures to appear and not
natural selection solely as proposed by Darwin. Certainly no single
scientist, Darwin and Gould included, have a perfect picture of the way
things work. Each person's ideas and theories and studies add a small bit of
information to the great wonderful puzzle.

My apologies if I have made a mistake in my understanding of the above
things, but in my reading of both popular and scientific literature and my
graduate studies in ecology, that is my understanding. I am happy to listen
to new insight!

Wendee

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Wendee Holtcamp -- wendee@greendzn.com -- http://www.greendzn.com
Environment/Travel/Science Writer -- Poet -- Photographer
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But the child's sob curses deeper in the silence than the
strong man in his wrath. -- Elizabeth Barrett Browning