Re: Especially for Bertvan

Susan Brassfield (
Tue, 5 Oct 1999 14:20:31 -0600

>>>I don't
>>>deny that some sort of evolution may have taken place. I just don't
>>>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.

>You seem firm in your beliefs, and I get no pleasure from pointless arguing.
> I read this list mostly to learn of new developments and ideas about
>evolution. Articles offered by Steve Jones, Brian Harper and David Tyler,
>for instance. I usually read your posts. You do often repeat yourself, but
>you don't do it six or seven times every day. I don't answer unless I have
>something new to offer. We are surely both familiar with most of the
>arguments and evidence for and against "random mutation and natural
>selection" as the explanation of macro evolution. I agree that micro
>evolution has been observed.

so you believe that mutation and natural selection actually happen and it's
just the word "random" that offends you?

>Macro evolution has not.

actually it has, just not directly in "realtime"

>It is apparently your
>belief that macro evolution is merely lots of micro evolutiuon.

yep. Why not? What stops the mutations (whether random or not) from
continuing to accumulate over millions of years? Species boundaries? the
evolution of new species has already been observed. I'd love to point that
fact out to some creationist and have him not begin to back up the
taxonomic tree. Are you going to surprise me?

>I disagree,
>but until more conclusive evidence is found, one way or the other, I have no
>desire to change your beliefs. If I occasionally post something, it is a
>reaction against assertions such as you sometimes make that anyone skeptical
>of neo Darwinism must believe in fairies and leprachauns. Neo Darwinism is
>"random mutation and natural selection" as an explanation of macro evolution.
> That was Darwin's entire contribution to the theory. Anything else is not
>Neo Darwinism.

actually my understanding of "neo" Darwinism is that, drift and sexual
selection have been added to natural selection as mechanisms. Also, Darwin
(probably because of the influence of Lyell) believed that evolution was
always gradual. "neo" Darwinism includes the idea that it is only
*sometimes* gradual.

>I do speak up in support of most skeptics, for I feel the
>public must be educated to the fact that any criticism of Neo Darwinism is
>not "mindless assertions",

that's a straw man and not what I said. You just restate your opinion with
no supporting evidence. That's what makes it a mindless assertion. Even
Henry Morris tries to produce some evidence for his claims even if they are
all flim-flam.



"Life itself is the proper binge."
--Julia Child