Skip to comments.Darwin's theory of gradual evolution not supported by geological history, scientist concludes
Posted on 11/12/2010 8:17:58 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Charles Darwin's theory of gradual evolution is not supported by geological history, New York University Geologist Michael Rampino concludes in an essay in the journal Historical Biology. In fact, Rampino notes that a more accurate theory of gradual evolution, positing that long periods of evolutionary stability are disrupted by catastrophic mass extinctions of life, was put forth by Scottish horticulturalist Patrick Matthew prior to Darwin's published work on the topic...
When Darwin published his Origin of Species nearly three decades later, he explicitly rejected the role of catastrophic change in natural selection: "The old notion of all the inhabitants of the Earth having been swept away by catastrophes at successive periods is very generally given up," he wrote. Instead, Darwin outlined a theory of evolution based on the ongoing struggle for survival among individuals within populations of existing species. This process of natural selection, he argued, should lead to gradual changes in the characteristics of surviving organisms.
However, as Rampino notes, geological history is now commonly understood to be marked by long periods of stability punctuated by major ecological changes that occur both episodically and rapidly, casting doubt on Darwin's theory that "most evolutionary change was accomplished very gradually by competition between organisms and by becoming better adapted to a relatively stable environment."
"Matthew's contribution was largely ignored at the time, and, with few exceptions, generally merits only a footnote in modern discussions of the discovery of natural selection," Rampino concludes. "Others have said that Matthew's thesis was published in too obscure a place to be noticed by the scientific community, or that the idea was so far ahead of its time that it could not be connected to generally accepted knowledge. As a result, his discovery was consigned to the dustbin of premature and unappreciated scientific ideas."
(Excerpt) Read more at physorg.com ...
Other than for what you'd call microevolution which I suspect could in fact be brought about during major catastrophes, I view that as correct. Our living world and the RNA/DNA system it's based on are driven by information and only some sort of a deliberate engineering or re-engineering event could create the information needed for some new kind of animal, whether from ex nihilo or starting with an existing animal of some other sort I don't see that it matters.
“Our living world and the RNA/DNA system it’s based on are driven by information and only some sort of a deliberate engineering or re-engineering event could create the information needed for some new kind of animal, whether from ex nihilo or starting with an existing animal of some other sort I don’t see that it matters.”
This may be true, or may not. This is generally a view espoused “creation science”. If you believe in “ex nihilo” creation as in Genesis, or a deliberate act by, say, space aliens to modify an existing animal that is fine, but for you to assert that Darwin is completely wrong with the Theory of Evolution is not justifiable - since you do not have the ability to directly refute it with verifiable facts. You are at best positing a contrary Theory.
This is again a characteristic of Creationist argument - to espouse certainty to the unknowable (the very definition of faith). This is fine, but it is not scientific certainty. Darwin posited a Theory - not a certainty - a mistake you and many people make is that it must never change, or that if one small part is incorrect it is all incorrect (again - a characteristic of Creationist Christianity - the Bible is all true, or none of it is true).
I am not criticizing Creationism as an element of faith - I do not believe it as a matter of science, but it is consistent if you keep it in the realm of faith. It is when attempts are made to mix certainty of faith to conclude scientific certainty that I find fault.
I think you are making this mistake, which is why I asked previously if you were of Creationist belief.
“steady, gradual progress was an idealistic - and idiotic - concept from the start.”
You compare “steady gradual progress” as in some applications of the Theory of Evolution over millions of years to a graph of your activity during day, week, year, life and draw a conclusion to refute “steady, gradual progress”?
You need to do better than that to be taken seriously.
Really??!! I wasn't aware of that; I've just GOT to look into it. The whole continent, eh...?
...then stated how remarkable gradual change can be.
Just an aside: Does anyone else think they'll puke if they hear the term "evolution" applied one more time to the more likely "adaption" by species? To me evolution implies a more or less steady advancement of organisms and we KNOW that's impossible since we still have Dimtards. Sometimes I want to hurl chunks!
Usually folks that still flog Darwin after 150 years are Creationists.
Seems that has become less and less true over the last few decades as the capability of science(such as it is) has caught up with the theory -- and found it lacking. In any case and NOT having read Darwin's work, I think he has gotten a bad rap for his "theory", in that others that followed took his theory and tried to place it in the realm of settled science, sortof like algore's warming machine. Lyle and others should be exhumed and hanged! ;^)
What I meant was, unlike mechanical systems which can operate steadily for long periods (e.g., computers, power turbines, etc), biological systems - and that’s what we’re talking about, when we’re talking evolution - seem to go at varying rates of activity whether on a short-term or long-term basis.
Has anyone ever explained WHY animals are busy for a while, then need sleep? Yet that is the micro-pattern everywhere in Nature.
I suggest that that, by logical deduction, that trend can be extrapolated macroscopically - hence my argument against “steady, gradual progress”.
If you’ve got a better rationalization, let’s hear it.
“If youve got a better rationalization, lets hear it.”
I can buy into your point now, at least a little bit. The fact that simple organisms have relatively little DNA and with increasing complexity in DNA following increasing organism complexity is another point that points to gradual evolution - if the step is too big, the organism cannot reproduce successfully.
I don’t think this guy is refuting the theory of evolution with his findings, but that may just be my interpretation.
I wanna throw up when I see bozos in other scientific fields use “evolution” for something else, such as the climate scaremongers using it for the freakin’ weather, etc etc.
Call me cynical but I'm convinced that the use of the term "evolve" and its various tenses by scientists is low hanging fruit for those wishing to get published. Oddly enough and I gather like you, I've noticed the term(s) used in the oddest places. We may be on to something here Civ!!!
I've frequently noticed twofers in some of their, er, work; like "The evolution of climate change" or somesuch. Threefers shouldn't be much of a challenge for any "scientist" mining for grant gold. Fourfers could be a stretch but no self-respecting grant miner should overlook the potential for hitting pay dirt -- maybe in a single sentence. For example, ahem, "The evolution of the endangered Spotted Farting Darter has been degraded by the effects of climate change and/or habitat loss because eeevil capatalists insist on using fossil fuels while refusing to install renewable energy sources, therefore stomping Mother Earth flatter than a pancake with their enormous carbon footprint! A ninefer; not bad. Beat that!
Anyhow, I get the impression that publishers stick these essays(?) into their word processors and hit the search/count button for hot phrases. Various terms are probably assigned different weights depending on the reviewers preferences. Sortof like a credit score; the higher the better.
Instead of catastrophe, Gould used (I guess he coined) “diastrophe”, which is the punctuation mark in his punctuated equilibria.
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