RE: Developing story: Steve Gould's friend says Gould wouldnever have signed NCSE's "Steve" list

From: Alexanian, Moorad <>
Date: Tue Oct 25 2005 - 14:40:27 EDT

Local natural selection is an experimental fact. Witness dog breeding.
What is in question is global natural selection. I am often bewildered
of the intellectual capacity of humans and its possible emergence from
random mutation and natural selection. Surely, that rational power goes
beyond what is needed for survival and is the source of highly complex
ability to do rational thinking of the highest form, viz., mathematical
abstractions and the talent to describe nature by mathematical


-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Ted Davis
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 2:15 PM
Subject: Re: Developing story: Steve Gould's friend says Gould
wouldnever have signed NCSE's "Steve" list

The "Steve" list claims that "natural selection is a major mechanism in
[evolution's] occurrence."

Behe's testimony last week went after natural selection, and natural
selection alone, among the five "theories" of evolution as Ernst Mayr
presents them. I found this part of his testimony unclear and somewhat
confusing. On the one hand, he did clearly question the idea that NS is
adequate the explain the whole shebbang, and I would agree with Behe
that NS
by itself might not be able to do it. In support of this, he brought in
(for example) Kauffmann's work on self-organizing complexity, as a
challenge to NS. On the other hand, he also seemed to imply that ID is
questioning whether NS really does much of anything. This confuses me.
When I mention "microevolution" to my ID friends, they tell me that they
have no problem with this, and yet microevolution (or adaptation if you
prefer) is run by NS, at least in my understanding. If so, then it
*has* to
be "a major mechanism" in evolution. Saying that NS is a major
mechanism is
not at all the same thing as saying that it is the one and only
or even the one single major one. The choice of the indefinite article
does seem deliberate, and appropriate. Am I missing something?

Received on Tue Oct 25 14:42:01 2005

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