Re: Evolution: A few questions

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sat Jun 19 2004 - 23:32:04 EDT

On Sat, 19 Jun 2004 22:38:18 +0100 "Vernon Jenkins"
<> writes:
> Glenn,
> My disappointment with your recent answer stems from the fact that
> you
> appear unable to see the simple point I am attempting to make. Every
> major
> evolutionary sequence (eg fish>amphibian) has, necessarily, a
> beginning, a
> period of development, and an end. What concerns me - and, I
> believe, Jason
> also - are the earliest stages of this alleged process, when the
> normal
> functions of the creature concerned must be impeded (and thereby
> diminished)
> by changes which, though possibly producing a selective advantage in
> the
> long run, render it particularly vulnerable to extinction at the
> time (and
> continuing). I am suggesting, therefore, that to take as your
> starting point
> a new structure that is already 'up and running' misses the whole
> thrust of
> the argument.
> Logically, I suggest, the alleged transition could never have taken
> place;
> thus the 'intermediates' found in the fossil record are, I believe,
> more
> reasonably explained as special creations.
> Vernon

Seems to me that you are adopting a remodeling model for creaturely
change. It is certain that, if I decide to remodel the kitchen, normal
activity will cease. Dishes, utensil, tools, etc., will have to be moved
out so that cabinets and appliances can be taken out and new ones
installed. The kitchen will be down for a period.

However, I recall a remodeling during which every meal was prepared in
the functional kitchen and eaten in the attached breakfast nook. What had
been a service porch with stationary tubs and washing machine (before the
days of dryers) became part of the kitchen, with floor to ceiling
cabinets to serve as a pantry. The kitchen appliances did not have to be
moved or replaced, of course.

In contrast even to a benign remodel, let me note what happens during the
metamorphosis of a frog. The embryo hatches and begins to grow as a
purely aquatic form, breathing through gills. It strips algae off
supports or consumes eggs or other tadpoles. With every original part
fully functional, the tadpole sprouts legs, first rear, then front. Only
when the legs are fully functional for swimming does the tail resorb.
While the external changes are taking place, lungs are developing within.
With the lungs fully developed, the gills are lost. But. at the same
time, the small frog can "breathe" through its skin. Without impeding
feeding, another change within produces a tongue capable of catching
insects. The aquatic tadpole has become a frog capable of swimming in the
water or hopping on land with no down time at all.

It does not matter, in the developmental process, whether it is an
individual creature or a sequence of evolving creatures, there is no down
time while some early part is taken out and a later part installed. You
cannot force the way humans remodel houses with natural development of
living things.

Note that I am not claiming that all metamorphosing follows the amphibian
pattern. I understand that pupating insects dissolve the larval organs
and form new organs for the adult. This occurs, necessarily, during a
resting stage. But not all insects pupate. And pupation is not relevant
to a sequence of creatures.

Your suggestion that intermediates are special creations raises a
question: why would God have to work out a series of intermediate
creatures leading up to current forms? I think of only two answers.
Either God produced these forms so that sincere men would think that they
had evolved, or God wasn't bright enough to design and produce the final
forms directly. A deceitful deity or a stupid deity are not what I find
revealed in scripture.
Received on Sun Jun 20 00:02:34 2004

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