In a message dated 8/24/2000 10:37:13 AM, email@example.com
<< I think Gould overemphasizes the Cambrian radiation in an effort to
emphasize the randomness and contingency of evolution as he sees it. It
seems ironically appropriate that this has been seized upon so much by young
earth or ID advocates as evidence of the opposite. >>
I think you're right. Gould has a certain perspective, and he views the
evidence from its vantage point. That's not bad, except in so far as it
causes him to overlook, or suppress, data that does not fit his viewpoint.
I do the same thing. It's a tendency we all have to deal with.
The same holds true of evolutionary authors. A case in point.
Phylogerontology has been discredited since the days of George Gaylord
Simpson, who ridiculed the idea. The reason probably is that phylogerontology
is subversive to the evolutionary paradigm, with its commitment to
extinction, not phyletic aging and death. Consequently a considerable body
of data supporting the hypothesis that phyletic lineages have become
senescent has been ignored if not suppressed. And our understanding of
biological reality is diminished.
Likewise, the current evolutionary model calls for continuity in the fossil
record, not discontinuity as the Cambrian Explosion suggests. Data
suggesting discontinuity make evolutionists uncomfortable; and efforts are
mobilized to wipe it out. Again, that's not bad. But in the process, let us
hope that evidence for discontinuity is not ignored, downplayed, suppressed.
The effort we are all engaged in is to gain a greater understanding of
physical and biological reality. If that reality includes continuity and
discontinuities, so be it.
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