Re: Especially for Bertvan

Cliff Lundberg (cliff@noe.com)
Tue, 05 Oct 1999 10:57:43 -0700

MikeBGene@aol.com wrote:

>Maybe it's not a question of whether macroevolution can or cannot occur
>within the context of RM&NS. Perhaps the question is whether RM&NS
>are sufficient cause for macroevolution. To help answer this question,
>perhaps you can provide the single most impressive example of
>evolutionary change via RM&NS that is well founded in observation and
>data.

RM&NS to me is kind of axiomatic; I look for naturalistic explanation of
natural phenomena, and I accept the logic of natural selection as a valid
explanatory principle. I wouldn't call it a *metaphysical* principle, but
maybe you would. In any case, I accept it.

As to impressive examples of evolutionary change, I think the most
impressive in the sense of indisputability are those that show gradual
change in a sequence of fossils, as in the evolution of the modern horse
from little eohippus. Obviously such sequences show only trivial
modifications in morphology. But it takes very little faith to extend the
notion of evolution further, to presume descent where there are
clearly homologous structures.

It takes more faith than I have, to presume that simple chordates became
complex vertebrates through the same gradual process, when there are
no fossils of intermediate forms. But given my belief in evolution through
RM&NS, I must theorize that macroevolution occurred here, through
mechanisms we haven't yet figured out.

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