RE: Just for Bertvan

Cliff Lundberg (cliff@noe.com)
Sun, 03 Oct 1999 00:33:43 -0700

Pim van Meurs wrote:

>Bertvan: Yet, after centuries of selective breeding of dogs, nothing
>has been produced but different shaped dogs.
>
>Of course that was the intent of the breeding.

No, they've selected for intelligence as well. But there's no evidence
of bigger brains in modern dogs that I know of.

>Bertvan: After bombarding fruit flies with radiation for a century, nothing
>has been produced but some deformed fruit flies.
>
>Again what was the intent of these experiments?

The point is that they seem to have hit the wall with regard to inducing
morphological novelties, and the monstrous lines seem to revert to
normal over time, rather than becoming fixed and going on to further
mutations.

>>I say let's forget "random mutation and natural selection" and try to
>>figure what really might have happened.

>ROTFL. Let's dismiss the best explanation of the observations and replace
>them with something that lacks totally in supporting data?

Sometimes you have to theorize, sometimes there are phenomena that
the data doesn't explain. Sometimes the best answer is "nobody knows."

>In my opinion there are several possibilities.
>Horizontal transfer of DNA, as is being pursued by panspermia. Some kind of
>symbiosis, as is favored by Margulus. Or the possibility that DNA itself is
>alive and creative, as is being pursued by Shapiro. None of these
>possibilities could be construed as Neo Darwinism.

I would think these could be construed as mechanisms operating within "random
mutation and natural selection". I don't understand why Neo-Darwinists seem
to be hung up on gradualism, why they think macroevolutionary theory died
with Richard Goldschmidt and should never be revived.

--
Cliff Lundberg  ~  San Francisco  ~  cliff@noe.com