Re: Evolution: A few questions

From: Vernon Jenkins <>
Date: Mon Jun 21 2004 - 16:54:14 EDT


My responses follow your comments below.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn Morton" <>
To: "'Vernon Jenkins'" <>;
<>; <>
Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2004 11:11 PM
Subject: RE: Evolution: A few questions

> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Vernon Jenkins []
> > Sent: Saturday, June 19, 2004 4:38 PM
> > To: Glenn Morton;;
> > Subject: Re: Evolution: A few questions
> >
> >
> > 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.
> I don't believe that is true. Every transition is part of a continuum,
> indeed a continuum of transitions, not some building which is erected
> whose work is finished at a definite point in time.

Yes, I can understand that you would view any transition as part of a
continuum. However, I suggest it is reasonable that we lift this particular
one out of the wider context and treat it as a well-defined sequence

> 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).
> The earliest transitional legs of the amphibians enabled the animals to
> lift themselves up a bit but also to propel themselves through the
> water. There is no loss of function, just an addition to the function of
> fins.

But here, again, you are further along the sequence than I had in mind Come
back a couple of tens of thousands of years. The promise of a substantial
change then must have taken the form of a few lumps and protrusions which
can only have reduced the creature's prospects of survival.

> 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.
> I don't believe I discussed a system that is already up and running.
> Your quotation around those words is inappropriate because they are not
> quotes from my note. The arms I described in my last note were not 'up
> and running'. They couldn't fly. They could propel the animal a bit more
> and help the animal escape predation. As time went on, those with the
> best ability to avoid being eaten were able to pass on their better
> genes and those genes took the animal into flight.

See my comments above.

> >
> > 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.
> This is a belief but not a logical deduction.

But, in the final resort, what makes your view less an article of faith than


Received on Mon Jun 21 17:09:17 2004

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Mon Jun 21 2004 - 17:09:19 EDT