Especially for Bertvan
Tue, 5 Oct 1999 14:48:57 EDT

Cliff wrote:
>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.

Thank you for admitting your belief in a naturalistic explanation for macro
evolution is based on faith. Few Neo Darwinists are so honest. I have no
argument against your (or anyone else's) faith. My belief that completely
naturalistic explanations for everything will probably not be found is based
on nothing more substanstial. I can tolerate your faith if you can tolerate