Re: Just for Bertvan

Susan B (
Mon, 4 Oct 1999 19:58:26 -0500 (CDT)

At 11:55 PM 10/1/99 EDT, you wrote:
>Hi Susan,
>I'm not quite sure why you sent me this.

apparently the internet burped. I got another copy of it also. It has the
same date as the original one I sent.

However, I am pleased that you didn't ignore it this time.

>If, in fact erectus is a descendant
>of afairensis, and sapiens is a descendant of erectus. (Since obtaining DNA
>from Neanderthal, some have questioned that Sapiens is even a descendent of

(we appear to be related species like chimps and gorillas, but not ancestral
to each other. Or they may be our ancestors. They are still trying to figure
it out.)

>But if Afairensis did somehow turn into Sapiens, that is no
>proof that it happened by random mutation and natural selection.

that's true, it could have been leprachauns waving their itty bitty magic
wands. However, there's been a lot of observational evidence for mutation
and natural selection and none for the leprachauns. There's no reason to
believe that mutations are only happening in the present or that favorable
mutations are only selected while *we* have been watching. I think there's
no reason at all not to believe that it hasn't been happening all along.

>I don't
>deny that some sort of evolution may have taken place. I just don't believe
>random mutation and natural selection had much to do with it.

I wish you would discuss it rather than just making mindless assertions.
People--acutal human beings--have watched mutation/natural selection happen
in real time.

>selection should be many times faster than natural selection.

It's been 4+ million years since life first appeared on this planet. Are we
in a hurry?

>Yet, after
>centuries of selective breeding of dogs, nothing has been porduced but
>different shaped dogs.

"they" (I have no idea who) estimate that dogs have been domesticated for
about 10,000 years. Selective breeding has been accumulating mutations for
considerably less than that. Evolution has been going on for *millions* of

>After bombarding fruit flies with radiation for a
>century, nothing has been produced but some deformed fruit flies.

actually I'm pretty sure those experiments have been going on for less than
50 years. Someone may correct me on this, but I don't think we've been aware
of radiation for 100 years. And, in fact, a new species of fruit flys has
arrisen as a result of these experiments. The phrase "only some deformed
flies" is lifted directly out of creationist literature and is untrue.

>I say
>let's forget "random mutation and natural selection" and try to figure what
>really might have happened. 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 haven't heard of many of these, but as described here by you, they also do
not contradict neodarwinism.

Peace is not the absence of conflict--it is the presence of justice.
--Martin Luther King, Jr.
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