Friday, September 15, 2006

How a Major Evolutionary (Internal) Debate Tells Volumes About the Problems with the Theory

Ok, here is the rundown.

One side says that small changes over time (microevolution) has to lead to major changes over time (macroevolution). The other side says that microevolution is not a viable mechanism to get you bigger, grander-scale changes. You need big jumps. Plus, the fossil record supports big jumps.

The first side retorts "there is no viable way to get big jumps."

And guess what? I think both sides are correct.

In other words, evolution has major problems. It has no viable mechanism to make it work.

Here's a quote from a referenced article:
Suppose that, for his part, Coyne is right that viable macromutations don't happen, and that the rules of population genetics must be obeyed in any evolutionary scenario.

But suppose that, for their part, Erwin and Davidson are right about the signal of the fossil record (rapid discontinuity) and the nature of body plan specification (novel architectures can't be built incrementally, because that's not how they work developmentally).

What happens to the theory of the common descent of the animals? -- a theory, by the way, that all parties to this dust-up hold as a given.

That's the body prone on the barroom floor. Unconscious, and bleeding all over the place.

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