Re: Don't forget about me! (distal vs. proximate)

From: george murphy (
Date: Sat Apr 14 2001 - 08:15:11 EDT

  • Next message: Howard J. Van Till: "Re: The Future of Evolution" wrote:

    > In a message dated 4/13/01 9:40:04 AM, writes:
    > << A critical study of evolution in
    > this sense will conclude that it's a pretty good theory, the best we have at
    > present, though certainly not perfect. >>
    > George,
    > Pretty good, but not good enough. You seem to be content to stop there. We
    > shouldn't be. Someone on another list serve said that the theory of
    > evolution is _overextended_. That is a fair assessment, IMHO. I do not think
    > Darwinian evolution can accomplish all that is claimed for it. For a final
    > biological theory I think we will need to include (1) intelligent design, (2)
    > development not only at (2a) the individual level, but also at (2b) the
    > phyletic level, and (3) Darwinian evolution, and perhaps others, such as
    > self-organization.
    > Not only must the remarkable _diversity_ of the biota be considered, (which
    > is the favorite property of the biota for evolutionists) but also its
    > _discontinuties_, and its _hierarchical organization_. To expect natural
    > selection to account for all this is just too much. We need thinkers who can
    > think outside the evolutionary paradigm.
    > In short, I believe we should be looking for other processes at work in the
    > organic world besides evolutionary ones. Then evolution will then be seen as
    > one of several or more coordinated processes, rather than the only one, that
    > have shaped the organic world to what it is.

            The sentence of mine which you quote was intended just as a quick summary
    of the situation, not a comprehensive evaluation of evolutionary theory.
            The basic idea of biological evolution, that there has been a long
    process of "descent with modification", is so well established a theory that the
    likelihood of it being overturned is extremely remote. The views of the great
    majority of opponents of evolutionists, all the YECs and crypto-YECs, are out of
            The questions you're raising have to do with the nature and extent of an
    adequate theory of evolution. "Darwinian evolution" may be convenient shorthand,
    but what does it mean? Does anyone today accept evolution exactly as Darwin
    posed it - including his complete lack of knowledge of Mendelian genetics? Does
    "Darwinian evolution" just mean "natural selection"? That is certainly very
    important but natural selection can't be the entire story because there has to be
    something to "select".
            I have no problem with the suggestion that present evolutionary theories
    may need significant modification. What I do have a problem with is the notion
    that that modification must involve miracles, which is what ID claims amount to.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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