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Views on the Theories of Evolution

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"Views on the Theories of Evolution"
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One of the more common objections to the Theory of Evolution that it hasn't been proved' is of course no discredit to it; theories are not proved and disproved, but merely falsified if, or when, they are shown to be inconsistent with observed facts. But this applies to any explanation a conjecture that burglars broke in through the front window' will be quickly brought into question if the glass is found to be on the outside.

In any case, the most that can be asked of a theory and the best that can be said, is that it resist being shown false; for whatever the correct explanation', it alone will satisfy that condition.

However, of the more particular objections to Darwin, many simply appear to involve a rather fundamental misconception of how evolutionary lines are understood to branch, and which sets up to further explain why existing species, and those in the fossil record, are often felt to be too distantly' related.

To begin with, the rather 19th Century Ripley's Believe it or Not' that Man evolved from the Apes does not mean of course from those present-day species of Ape now alive on the planet. Species branch no differently than individual family trees, because that is in fact what they are. For Humans to have evolved from existing Apes would be therefore analogous to claiming that we as individuals might have somehow evolved from our cousins (backward as they may be!), rather than having merely shared a common set of grandparents.

Of course, 20 million years, separate present-day hominid apes and humans from their long-extinct common ancestor, and the separation of genetic lines is typical even greater in most other species. Moreover, since species tend to diversify into highly particular niches and under widely differing pressures, they tend to be far more diverse and discrete than might be the case had they all slugged it out in the same habitat and somehow managed to set up shop together. The mere fact however that two species are the closest living relatives' in no way suggests that they should necessarily resemble one another. Nor that some other' cause for speciation need be found.

In any case, given the tendency for species to diverge, in both habits and accoutrements, and as well, in the process, often parting company geographically as well, here then is the zealous palaeontologist beguiled by an absence of intermediary forms'. Because, whichever branch' of the family stays put is actually less likely to change than those that drift off, to a new set of pressures and comparatively rapid adaptation, and their sudden' appearance elsewhere in the fossil record is liable to add even more confusion, since no prior intermediaries will exist in their new location either.

Such scenarios are typical of the sort of contingencies that must be accommodated in any earnest appraisal of the geological evidence.
Those who make too crucial a distinction of macro-evolution' may simply be losing the bigger picture.

The authors of punctuated equilibrium', for example, have been raked over the coals and forced to retract for even implying a refinement' of Darwin, who himself, far from suggesting that evolution was necessarily a uniform process, had merely stated that individual mutations must be small, which says nothing about their rates of occurrence. A travesty, in short. The supposed runaway surges' cited by Gould and Co, are still in the order of 100,000 years, no more rapid than Homo Sapiens' last sprint, but interestingly enough, making them just too quick to pick using available dating methods. All further reason for the evidence gone missing'.

The point is not that Darwinism can duck and weave out of any effective loophole, but simply that the dynamics of evolving populations do NOT constitute separate stick-on provisos of Natural Selection; they are no more than apparently logical corollaries of the same basic mechanisms.

Once it is appreciated that evolutionary processes are really driven by the environment and that includes everything animate and inanimate, predators, prey, partners and parasites, that impinge on the fate of an organism and its progeny it should become clearer that things are sufficiently complex, and dependant, to actually explain this explosion of color, and frenzy of shrieking and chattering diversity going on outside

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