Re: Especially for Bertvan
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 10:06:19 EDT

>>there is no supporting evidence for any of the events in Kipling's "Just So
>>Stories." The history of life has lefts its traces for us to examine.

>Yes, but the traces of evolution are not evidence of natural selection.
>Don't confuse evolution with its mechanism.


>don't worry about me on that score :-)

>Obviously we can't observe natural selection in process in the past, though
>we can certainly infer it from the examples of evolution we have.

But how do you *infer* natural selection as the mechanism behind
these examples of evolution? What pattern of data, about the
orgin event in question, lead to this inference?

<<Or are we supposed to believe that natural selection only started working
in 1859? And before that it didn't happen? It has certainly been observed to
be occuring today and there's no particular reason I can think of to believe
that it
*only* happens when we are watching and taking notes.>>

I'm sure natural selection has been around as long as life has been
around. But the mere existence of natural selection is not sufficient
for thinking it was the mechanism behind an evolutionary change.
For example, we know evolutionary change can also come about by
drift. And many suggest unknown laws of self-organization may be
crucial. So I guess we're back to finding the most impressive example
of change via natural selection that has been observed. What is it?