Especially for Bertvan
Tue, 5 Oct 1999 15:11:58 EDT

Cliff wrote:
>It would be great if someone could define 'Neo-Darwinism' in contrast to
'>Darwinism'. Is it just a synonym for 'contemporary evolutionary theory'? Who
>are the Neo-Darwinists? Are they simply those who don't have any important
>problems with current mainstream theories?

Hi Cliff,
I believe a meeting was once held to define Neo Darwinism. Certainly,
Darwin's only contribution to the theory was "natural selection". Whatever
the exact definition, most people I've met who defend Neo Darwinism seem to
believe macro evoltuion is merely lots of micro evolution--which is defined
as gradualism: random mutations (without purpose or goal) and natural
selection. Any explanation which included mutations which appeared acording
to a pattern or design, or contributed toward some goal or purpose, wouldn't
necessarily require natural selection, would it? To use your definition of
Darwinism, we would still have to define "current mainstream theories",
wouldn't we? Do you think a concensus could be reached on that? Would
"design" become "mainstream" when enough people consider it a possibility?
Would you agree your belief that completely naturalististic explanations
exist for evolution (and life) is a philosophical position? And as such,
shouldn't be imposed upon anyone as "scientific fact"?