Re: Especially for Bertvan

Susan Brassfield (
Tue, 12 Oct 1999 13:16:16 -0600

>Bertvan wrote [to 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?

mutations (purposeful or not) are prior to natural selection. The mutations
give nature something to select.

>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?

"design" (i.e. supernatural intervention) would become mainstream after
supporting data began to mount up. So far ID theorists haven't been able to
come up with a description of what something would look like if it were
"designed" and not natural.

Most of us can tell the difference between a plastic toy starfish and a
living one. But how do you tell the difference between a starfish
manufactured according to a supernatural design and one that was "designed"
by completely natural processes? ("it looks designed to *me*" doesn't



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