Especially for Bertvan
Tue, 5 Oct 1999 17:37:13 EDT

Hi Susan,
I think I know you well enough to suspect you will not be tempted by any of
my beliefs and I will not be tempted by yours. The only reason for your
determination to pursue this discussion should therefore be a desire to
understand what I believe. I'll take your word if that is your motive.

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

I am seldom offended by ideas. I don't believe "random mutation and
natural selection is an adequate explanation of macro evolution, but I am not
offended by those who do believe it.

>>Macro evolution has not. (been observed)

>actually it has, just not directly in "realtime"

We probably disagree on a definition of macro evolution. And what is this
stuff that is not in "realtime". (Wouldn't want to accuse you of believing
in fairies!)

>>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?

There is no reason why it might not have happened. I merely don't believe
that is what did happen. Again, the speciation events you cite micro
evolution, I would probably regard as micro evolution-- unless it involved
the introduction of new organs, systems and body parts. I don't regard a
changed immune response a "new system".

>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.

Drift is still a random, accidental process, without meaning, design or
purpose. Sexual selection involves "will". As to gradualism, evolution is
apparrently static most of the time, and macro evolutionary events are rare.
So rare we seldom, if ever, see evidence of them in the fossil record or in
nature. I believe someone cited the notorious horse evolution example, which
has been admitted to be fraudulent. Some of the "earlier" forms actually
appeared later than their so-called descendents. There is no evidence that
any of them descended from any of the others.

>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.

I have given much thought to my beliefs, so it ridiculous to call them
"mindless". Since you must by this time be familiar with all the arguments
against "random mutation and natural selection as an explanation of macro
evolution", why should we waste time arguing over "the evidence". We each
interpret it differently. I'm sure you would label any reasons I might give
for my beliefs "flim-flam", and what would that accomplish?