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

Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 05:53:22 EDT

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    In a message dated 4/17/01 7:10:35 AM, writes:

    << Please list the serious criticism of the theory of evolution.

    Until I know what this serious criticism is I cannot see what the problem is

    Michael >>


    The longest running criticism of Darwin's theory is by St. Georges Mivart,
    and is called Mivart's dilemma. Shortly after the publication of _Origins_
    Mivart stated that natural selection is incompetent to account for incipient
    stages of useful structures. Take for example, the case of the whale
    transition from a small terrestrial mammal to a large aquatic one. The
    lineage had to pass through many incipient stages in which there were neither
    legs nor flippers. The criticism is how natural selection would ever get
    started and continue changing presumably well adapted legs, through incipient
    stages that were neither legs nor flippers and less well adapted than the
    legs, and into future useful flippers.

    Gould, by the way, stated that Mivartt's criticism has never been adequately
    been answered. Gould did not try to challenge it either. It has just been

    Using the same example, no paleontologist that I know of, has seriously
    addressed the problem of how random mutations (with respect to the future)
    selected by the environment could produce the many, many coordinated changes
    that had to take place in this transition. While the fossil record clearly
    reveals that the transition took place, the mechanism of natural selection is
    woefully inadequate to account for it, in my opinion and that of others.

    I have mentioned the problem of the aging of species, and species death.
    Research on species aging was effectively terminated by Simpson, as I
    mentioned in my previous post. To admit the problem of phyletic aging into
    the arena challenges the Darwinian paradigm because it introduces a family of
    causal change agents that is independent of the paradigm and operates on
    different biological processes, namely developmental processes. There are
    studies conducted by evolutionary biologists and paleontologists that can be
    better interpreted with concepts of aging than with evolutionary ones of
    adaptation. I have written briefly on this topic in PSCF. Unfortunately I
    cannot be more specific on references since my library is packed away while I
    am making a permanent relocation in Grand Rapids.

    I hope this helps in a small way.


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