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The following are quotes added to my Unclassified Quotes database in February 2007 (2). The date format is dd/mm/yy. See copyright conditions at end.
[Index: Jan, Feb (1); Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec]
15/02/2007 "The neo-Darwinian theory of evolution is not only suffering from an identity crisis but may also be radically transformed to account for the growing number of scientific anomalies that continue to plague it. These were the underlying themes that could be inferred from presentations made by prominent scientists in the recently completed symposium entitled `What happened to Darwinism between the Two Darwin Centennials, 1958-1982?' The symposium was convened under the auspices of the 148th Annual Meeting of the prestigious American Association for Advancement of Science held from January 3, 1982, to January 8, 1982, at Washington, D.C. ... The symposium was a disappointment to the true believers of neo-Darwinism. Implicit in their counteroffensive to stamp out creationism was the recognition that they had to contain and mend the fissures that were increasingly undermining the scientific foundation of their own neo-Darwinist position. To their dismay, the Provine symposium aggravated and deepened the fissures." (Perlas, N., "Neo- Darwinism Challenged at AAAS Annual Meeting," Towards, Vol. 2, Spring 1982, pp.29-30. In Morris, H.M., "Evolution in Turmoil: An Updated Sequel to The Troubled Waters of Evolution," Creation-Life Publishers: San Diego CA, 1982, pp.45-46) 15/02/2007 "Mutation consists of abrupt heritable changes in the composition or arrangement of genes, which are composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). Most mutations producing effects large enough to be observed are deleterious, although other mutations may produce effects of little or no consequence, and certain rare mutations may even be advantageous. The magnitudes of spontaneous mutation rates, the way selection acts on various gene combinations, and the size and structure of human populations are sufficient to maintain a rich source of genetic variability. An artificially increased mutation rate, however, is potentially capable of producing a general decline in genetic health unless balanced by increased selection against deleterious mutant genes; while such selection occurs extensively in most natural populations, the efficacy of modern medicine may increasingly tend to reduce selection against deleterious traits in many human populations. ... Being an error process, mutation consists of all possible changes in the genetic material (excluding recombination and segregation). Furthermore, the severity of any given mutation depends both upon the importance of the affected gene or genes and upon the nature of the mutational lesion itself. ... Since the vast majority of detectable mutations are deleterious, an artificially increased human mutation rate would be expected to be harmful in proportion to the increase." (Environmental Mutagenic Society, "Environmental Mutagenic Hazards," Science, Vol. 187, 14 February 1975, pp.503-514, pp.503-504, 512) 15/02/2007 "Another controversy that has been aroused by the finding of large amounts of variation in populations is the problem of genetic load. If large numbers of less fit alleles are maintained in populations by heterozygote superiority, there will be a very high probability that at each generation a zygote will be homozygous at one or more loci for a disadvantageous allele. As a result a large number of less fit zygotes might be expected, which could be a burden of mortality and infertility too great for the population to bear. Yet it must be remembered that each locus is not subject to selection separate from the others, so that thousands of selective processes would be summed as if they were individual events. The entire individual organism, not the chromosomal locus, is the unit of selection, and the alleles at different loci interact in complex ways to yield the final product. Since alleles are more likely to be tested as members of groups than as isolated units, the cost of maintaining variation in a population is actually far lower than was originally believed." (Ayala, F.J., "The Mechanisms of Evolution," Scientific American, Vol. 239, No. 3, September 1978, p.56) 15/02/2007 "In any case there can be no doubt that the staggering amount of genetic variation in natural populations provides ample opportunities for evolution to occur. Hence it is not surprising that whenever a new environmental challenge materalizes-a change of climate, the introduction of a new predator or competitor, man-made pollution populations are usually able to adapt to it. A dramatic recent example of such adaptation is the evolution by insect species of resistance to pesticides The story is always the same: when a new insecticide is introduced, a relatively small amount is enough to achieve satisfactory control of the insect pest. Over a period of time however, the concentration of the insecticide must be increased until it becomes totally inefficient or economically impractical. Insect resistance to a pesticide was first reported in 1947 for the housefly (Musca domestica) with respect to DDT. Since then resistance to one or more pesticides has been reported in at least 225 species of insects and other, arthropods. The genetic variants required for resistance to the most diverse kinds of pesticides were apparently present in every one of the populations exposed to these man-made compounds." (Ayala, F.J., "The Mechanisms of Evolution," Scientific American, Vol. 239, No. 3, September 1978, pp.56-57) 15/02/2007 "Natural selection is more intense in open environments, because it must offer more efficient resistance to the variations of the populations which live in them, and for this reason it favors a single genotype only. It plays a conservative rather than an innovating role. The mutations which diverge from the wild type or from the privileged genotype are swept away when the environment changes; hence the stability of the species." (Grassé, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.87) 15/02/2007 "Panchronic species, which like other species are subject to the assaults of mutations, remain unchanged. Their variants are eliminated except possibly for neutral mutants. In any event, their stability is an observed fact and not a theoretical concept." (Grassé, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.87) 15/02/2007 "Bacteria, the study of which has formed a great part of the foundation of genetics and molecular biology, are the organisms which, because of their huge numbers, produce the most mutants. This is why they gave rise to an infinite variety of species, called strains, which can be revealed by breeding or tests. Like Erophila verna, bacteria, despite their great production of intraspecific varieties, exhibit a great fidelity to their species. The bacillus Escherichia coli, whose mutants have been studied very carefully, is the best example. The reader will agree that it is surprising, to say the least, to want to prove evolution and to discover its mechanisms and then to choose as a material for this study a being which practically stabilized a billion years ago!" (Grassé, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.87) 15/02/2007 "What is the use of their unceasing mutations, if they do not change? In sum, the mutations of bacteria and viruses are merely hereditary fluctuations around a median position; a swing to the right, a swing to the left, but no final evolutionary effect. Cockroaches, which are one of the most venerable living relict groups, have remained more or less unchanged since the Permian, yet they have undergone as many mutations as Drosophilia, a Tertiary insect. It is important to note that relict species mutate as much as others do, but do not evolve, not even when they live in conditions favorable to change (diversity of environments, cosmopolitianism, large populations)." (Grassé, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.87) 15/02/2007 "How does the Darwinian mutational interpretation of evolution account for the fact that the species that have been the most stable-some of them for the last hundreds of millions of years have mutated as much as the others do? Once one has noticed microvariations (on the one hand) and specific stability (on the other), it seems very difficult to conclude that the former (microvariation) comes into play in the evolutionary process." (Grassé, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, pp.87-88) 15/02/2007 "The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully." (Dawkins, R., "The God Delusion," Bantam Press: London, 2006, p.31) 15/02/2007 "I am not attacking the particular qualities of Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah, or any other specific god such as Baal, Zeus or Wotan. Instead I shall define the God Hypothesis more defensibly: there exists a superhuman, supernatural intelligence who deliberately designed and created the universe and everything in it, including us. This book will advocate an alternative view: any creative intelligence, of sufficient complexity to design anything, comes into existence only as the end product of an extended process of gradual evolution. Creative intelligences, being evolved, necessarily arrive late in the universe, and therefore cannot be responsible for designing it. God, in the sense defined, is a delusion; and, as later chapters will show, a pernicious delusion." (Dawkins, R., "The God Delusion," Bantam Press: London, 2006, p.31. Emphasis original) 16/02/2007 "The all-pervading message of the Cambridge meeting was that genomic DNA is in a surprisingly dynamic state. ... The most obvious comment to make about the genomes of higher organisms is that biologists understand the function of only a tiny proportion of the DNA in them: namely, the genes that code for proteins. In the human genome, for instance, these protein-coding genes constitute marginally more than 1 percent of all the DNA. The rest of the genome is the target of much speculation, but few secure answers." (Lewin, R., "Do Jumping Genes Make Evolutionary Leaps?," Science, Vol. 213, 7 August 1981, p.634) 16/02/2007 "Allan C. Wilson and his associates at the University of California at Berkeley compared blood proteins- specifically hemoglobin, albumin, and transferrin-of various vertebrates to see whether changes in structural genes are related to anatomical evolution. They reasoned that, if structural genes change as organisms evolve, then the most similar species, defined as those that can mate and produce offspring (hybridize), should have the most similar structural genes. If blood proteins are a representative sample of proteins coded by structural genes, the most similar species should have the most similar blood proteins. Wilson and his colleagues found, however, that structural genes for blood proteins accumulate mutations at rates that appear independent of anatomical evolution. Species that diverged most recently, rather than species that are most closely related, have the most similar blood proteins. ... Additional evidence that changes in structural genes may not be correlated with anatomical evolution was recently reported by Mary-Claire King of the University of California at San Francisco and Wilson. They compared a group of 44 proteins of human beings and chimpanzees- two species so dissimilar that they are placed by taxonomists in different families. However, King and Wilson found that the human proteins are, on the average, 99 percent identical to those of the chimpanzees. This means that the structural genes coding for these 44 proteins are as similar as the structural genes of species classified as sibling species. Sibling species, unlike human beings and chimpanzees, are virtually identical morphologically. King and Wilson suggest that changes in gene regulation rather than changes in structural genes are the key to anatomical evolution." (Kolata, G.B., "Evolution of DNA: Changes in Gene Regulation," Science, Vol. 189, 8 August 1975, pp.446-447, p.446) 16/02/2007 "The question of how changes in gene regulation can lead to anatomical changes is open to speculation. Gould, though, has resurrected the `fetalization theory,' proposed in the 1920's by the Dutch anatomist Louis Bolk to explain what sort of regulatory changes could have allowed human beings and chimpanzees to evolve from a common ancestor while retaining nearly identical structural genes. Bolk wrote that `man, in his bodily development, is a primate fetus that has become sexually mature,' and listed more than 20 traits that human beings share with fetal apes and monkeys to support his hypothesis. For example, people and embryonic apes and monkeys have rounded, bulbous craniums, small jaws, and an unrotated nonopposable big toe. Although Bolk's fetalization theory never gained widespread acceptance, Gould suggests that it is essentially correct. Changes in gene regulation, he claims, retarded developmental changes by retarding the sequence of gene expression in humans more than in apes and enabled human beings and apes to evolve from a common ancestor without substantial changes in structural genes. Both Gould and Wilson point out that there are large differences in chromosome structure between human beings and other primates that conceivably could be tied to this developmental slowdown. According to Gould, the adaptive significance of retarded development may be to permit more advanced animals a longer period to mature and thus a longer period in which to learn. Primates mature more slowly than other mammals and, among the nonhuman primates, more advanced species, such as apes, mature more slowly than less advanced species, such -as monkeys. The answer to the question of how species evolve, then, apparently involves changes in gene regulation and so awaits further studies of chromosome organization and control of gene expression in higher organisms. It thus seems evident that the old method of comparing proteins of different species may no longer be the primary tool for investigating the mechanisms underlying the-evolution of organisms." (Kolata, G.B., "Evolution of DNA: Changes in Gene Regulation," Science, Vol. 189, 8 August 1975, pp.446- 447, p.447) 16/02/2007 "Research, not on the archeogenes themselves but on the proteins encoded and determined by them, has not yielded the phylogenetic information expected. Such has been the case of the `paleoproteins,' the cytochromes. The cytochrome c of man differs by 14 amino acids from that of the horse, and by only 8 from that of the kangaroo (Macropus). Similar facts are found in the case of hemoglobin; the ß chain of this protein in man differs from that of the lemurs by 20 amino acids, by only 14 from that of the pig, and by only 1 from that of the gorilla. The situation is practically the same for other proteins." (Grassé, P.-P., "Evolution of Living Organisms: Evidence for a New Theory of Transformation," , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.194) 17/02/2007 "The last quote is from Gillespie again and it concerns Hooker. If you think about it, Hooker was the only professional systematist amongst the Darwin coterie. He was also Darwin's oldest confidant in reading all of Darwin's manuscripts and talking to him solidly since 1840 and yet he remained unconverted to evolution until 1859. Here is Gillespie on the reason Hooker was not converted. `Hooker adopted a view that species were immutable and each descended from a single parent. It was not necessarily his belief but a methodological postulate to make classification possible...Hooker believed that a taxonomist, who was an evolutionist, must ignore his theory and proceed as if species were immutable.' [Gillespie, N.C., "Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1979, p.49] In other words, evolution may very well be true but basing one's systematics on that belief will give bad systematics." (Patterson, C., "Evolutionism and Creationism," Transcript of Address at the American Museum of Natural History, New York NY, November 5, 1981, p.14) 17/02/2007 "Not all instances of biblicism, however, involved a direct theological influence. In his New Zealand flora, Hooker adopted the view that species were immutable (save for local variation) and each descended from a single pair. This was not necessarily his belief, but a methodological postulate to make classification possible. This, one of the most common instances of biblicism in natural history, disturbed Asa Gray, who suggested substituting for `single pair' the phrase `common stock,' which could better accord with the facts and requirements of nature. Hooker, however, continued the usage. In the flora of Tasmania (1860) he considered that the geographical distribution of species from a common center was `all but conclusive evidence in favour of the hypothesis of similar forms having had but one parent, or pair of parents.' Hooker, it should be noted, had by this time been a Darwinian for two years. The doctrine of centers of creation, that each species was thought to have originated as a single pair in a given locality, was, with its aura of Eden, historically an instance of biblicism, if not logically so, as Hooker's usage, and Wollaston's also, show. It could, and did, promote work in understanding the nature of natural barriers and was easily incorporated into Darwin's theory." (Gillespie, N.C., "Charles Darwin and the Problem of Creation," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, 1979, p.49) 17/02/2007 "The fundamental tenet of the molecular clock hypothesis is, that evolutionary rate. of homologous proteins are regular, so that the interval separating having species from common ancestors is reflected in the degree of protein dissimilarity between them. In general, the difference between species in numbers of individuals is accorded a relatively insubstantial role as a determinant of protein divergence measures, a neglect implicit in the concept itself. The postulation of clock-like divergence presupposes protein divergence rates to be uniform despite this (or other) outstanding differences. Indeed, the appeal of one explanation of such stochastic regularity, the neutral mutation-random drift theory (Kimura, 1968, 1960; King, and Jukes, 1969), lies in its assignment of the rate of amino acid replacement to the nucleotide mutation rate alone, assuming the latter to be constant. In order that an equilibrium between mutation and eventual replacement by drift be completely realized, however, the theory requires that species number remain unchanged over indefinitely extended intervals. The difficulty in evaluating empirically the theory's central thesis, that the majority of such replacements are indifferent (or nearly so) to natural selection. is therefore greatly compounded by ordinary recurrent circumstances in the natural history of species-stochastic variation in species number (see, e.g.. Haigh and Maynard Smith, 1972; Nei et al., 1975; Chakraborty, 1977). Perhaps in partial consequence, the validity of the neutrality hypothesis (or more properly, the extent of its applicability) is problematic after a decade of debate." (Korey, K.A., "Species Number, Generation Length, and the Molecular Clock," Evolution, Vol. 35, No. 1, 1981, pp.139-147, p.139) 18/02/2007 "The field of genetics has shed little light on the nature of importance of quantum speciation, in part because the role of regulatory genes in large-scale adaptive transitions has only recently become apparent. Simple estimates of overall genetic distance between species reveal little about degrees and rates of morphologic divergence." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution: Pattern and Process," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, Revised, 1998, pp.61-62) 18/02/2007 "When we consider the net degree of morphologic change between some ancestral mammal species and their living descendants, the mean number of selective deaths per generation is extraordinarily small. Maintenance of continuous selection pressures as feeble as the measured means is virtually impossible. Excluding genetic drift from consideration because of the adaptive nature of the transitions, we must invoke either stepwise evolution within lineages or quantum speciation." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution: Pattern and Process," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, Revised, 1998, p.62. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "The fossil record has failed to yield unequivocal examples of rapid phyletic evolution that produced marked transformations in morphology. Whether this condition militates against the gradualistic model depends upon the quality of the record." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution: Pattern and Process," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, Revised, 1998, p.62. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "The fossil record demonstrates that phyletic evolution (evolution within established species) proceeds very slowly. Especially in episodes of adaptive radiation, origins of higher taxa have generally been too rapid to be attributed to phyletic transformation. Particularly convincing evidence of this relationship is offered by Plio-Pleistocene mammals, for which it is possible to construct histograms representing chronospecies longevities and rates of phyletic evolution. The measured rates are much too slow to account for the origins of genera that appeared during the Pleistocene. Most of these, and in fact most genera of animals in general, must have formed rapidly, by divergent speciation. If typical for genera, this mode of origin must characterize the origins of families and other still higher taxa. Phyletic evolution in the Hominidae (human family) has apparently been even slower than that for other groups of the Mammalia, implying a punctuational pattern in the ancestry of Homo sapiens. The fossil record of marine invertebrates is also complete enough on an appropriate scale to document generally slow rates of phyletic transition. For both vertebrates and invertebrates, increase in body size may be the most conspicuous form of structural change accomplished by phyletic evolution." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution: Pattern and Process," , The Johns Hopkins University Press: Baltimore MD, Revised, 1998, p.63) 18/02/2007 "The sudden appearance of a large self-copying molecule such as RNA was exceedingly improbable. Energy-driven networks of small molecules afford better odds as the initiators of life." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "The Watson-Crick structure triggered an avalanche of discoveries about the way in which living cells function today. These insights also stimulated speculations about life's origins. Nobel Laureate H. J. Muller wrote that the gene material was `living material, the present-day representative of the first life,' which Carl Sagan visualized as `a primitive free-living naked gene situated in a dilute solution of organic matter.' In this context, `organic' specifies material containing bound carbon atoms. Organic chemistry, a subject sometimes feared by pre-medical students, is the chemistry of carbon compounds, both those present in life and those playing no part in life. Many different definitions of life have been proposed. Muller's remark would be in accord with what has been called the NASA definition of life: Life is a self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "Richard Dawkins elaborated on this image of the earliest living entity in his book The Selfish Gene: `At some point a particularly remarkable molecule was formed by accident. We will call it the Replicator. It may not have been the biggest or the most complex molecule around, but it had the extraordinary property of being able to create copies of itself.' When Dawkins wrote these words 30 years ago, DNA was the most likely candidate for this role. As we shall see, several other replicators have now been suggested. ... Unfortunately, complications soon set in. DNA replication cannot proceed without the assistance of a number of proteins--members of a family of large molecules that are chemically very different from DNA. Proteins, like DNA, are constructed by linking subunits, amino acids in this case, together to form a long chain. Cells employ twenty of these building blocks in the proteins that they make, affording a variety of products capable of performing many different tasks--proteins are the handymen of the living cell. Their most famous subclass, the enzymes, act as expeditors, speeding up chemical processes that would otherwise take place too slowly to be of use to life. The above account brings to mind the old riddle: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? DNA holds the recipe for protein construction. Yet that information cannot be retrieved or copied without the assistance of proteins. Which large molecule, then, appeared first in getting life started--proteins (the chicken) or DNA (the egg)?" (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "A possible solution appeared when attention shifted to a new champion--RNA. This versatile class of molecule is, like DNA, assembled of nucleotide building blocks, but plays many roles in our cells. Certain RNAs ferry information from DNA to structures (which themselves are largely built of other kinds of RNA) that construct proteins. In carrying out its various duties, RNA can take on the form of a double helix that resembles DNA, or of a folded single strand, much like a protein. In 2006 the Nobel prizes in both chemistry and medicine were awarded for discoveries concerning the role of RNA in editing and censoring DNA instructions. Warren E. Leary could write in the New York Times that RNA `is swiftly emerging from the shadows of its better-known cousin DNA.' For many scientists in the origin-of-life field, those shadows had lifted two decades earlier with the discovery of ribozymes, enzyme-like substances made of RNA. A simple solution to the chicken-and-egg riddle now appeared to fall into place: Life began with the appearance of the first RNA molecule. In a germinal 1986 article, Nobel Laureate Walter Gilbert of Harvard University wrote in the journal Nature: `One can contemplate an RNA world, containing only RNA molecules that serve to catalyze the synthesis of themselves. & The first step of evolution proceeds then by RNA molecules performing the catalytic activities necessary to assemble themselves from a nucleotide soup.' In this vision, the first self-replicating RNA that emerged from non-living matter carried out the functions now executed by RNA, DNA and proteins." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "A number of additional clues seemed to support the idea that RNA appeared before proteins and DNA in the evolution of life. Many small molecules, called cofactors, play a necessary role in enzyme-catalyzed reactions. These cofactors often carry an attached RNA nucleotide with no obvious function. These structures have been considered `molecular fossils,' relics descended from the time when RNA alone, without DNA or proteins, ruled the biochemical world. In addition, chemists have been able to synthesize new ribozymes that display a variety of enzyme-like activities. Many scientists found the idea of an organism that relied on ribozymes, rather than protein enzymes, very attractive. The hypothesis that life began with RNA was presented as a likely reality, rather than a speculation, in journals, textbooks and the media. Yet the clues I have cited only support the weaker conclusion that RNA preceded DNA and proteins; they provide no information about the origin of life, which may have involved stages prior to the RNA world in which other living entities ruled supreme. Just the same, and despite the difficulties that I will discuss in the next section, perhaps two-thirds of scientists publishing in the origin-of life field (as judged by a count of papers published in 2006 in the journal Origins of Life and Evolution of the Biosphere) still support the idea that life began with the spontaneous formation of RNA or a related self-copying molecule. Confusingly, researchers use the term `RNA World' to refer to both the strong and the weak claims about RNA's role prior to DNA and proteins. Here, I will use the term `RNA first' for the strong claim that RNA was involved in the origin of life. ... The attractive features of RNA World prompted Gerald Joyce of the Scripps Research Institute and Leslie Orgel of the Salk Institute to picture it as `the molecular biologist's dream' within a volume devoted to that topic. They also used the term `the prebiotic chemist's nightmare' to describe another part of the picture: How did that first self-replicating RNA arise? Enormous obstacles block Gilbert's picture of the origin of life, sufficient to provoke another Nobelist, Christian De Duve of Rockefeller University, to ask rhetorically, `Did God make RNA?'" (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "RNA's building blocks, nucleotides, are complex substances as organic molecules go. They each contain a sugar, a phosphate and one of four nitrogen-containing bases as sub-subunits. Thus, each RNA nucleotide contains 9 or 10 carbon atoms, numerous nitrogen and oxygen atoms and the phosphate group, all connected in a precise three-dimensional pattern. Many alternative ways exist for making those connections, yielding thousands of plausible nucleotides that could readily join in place of the standard ones but that are not represented in RNA. That number is itself dwarfed by the hundreds of thousands to millions of stable organic molecules of similar size that are not nucleotides. The RNA nucleotides are familiar to chemists because of their abundance in life and their resulting commercial availability. In a form of molecular vitalism, some scientists have presumed that nature has an innate tendency to produce life's building blocks preferentially, rather than the hordes of other molecules that can also be derived from the rules of organic chemistry. This idea drew inspiration from a well known experiment published in 1953 by Stanley Miller. He applied a spark discharge to a mixture of simple gases that were then thought to represent the atmosphere of the early Earth. Two amino acids of the set of 20 used to construct proteins were formed in significant quantities, with others from that set present in small amounts. (A description of the Miller experiment and the chemical structures of an amino acid and a nucleotide can be found in "The Origin of Life on the Earth," by L. E. Orgel; Scientific American, October 1994.) In addition, more than 80 different amino acids, some present and others absent from living systems, have been identified as components of the Murchison meteorite, which fell in Australia in 1969. Nature has apparently been generous in providing a supply of these particular building blocks.By extrapolation of these results, some writers have presumed that all of life's building could be formed with ease in Miller-type experiments and were present in meteorites and other extraterrestrial bodies. This is not the case. A careful examination of the results of the analysis of several meteorites led the scientists who conducted the work to a different conclusion: inanimate nature has a bias toward the formation of molecules made of fewer rather than greater numbers of carbon atoms, and thus shows no partiality in favor of creating the building blocks of our kind of life. (When larger carbon- containing molecules are produced, they tend to be insoluble, hydrogen-poor substances that organic chemists call tars.) I have observed a similar pattern in the results of many spark discharge experiments." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "Amino acids, such as those produced or found in these experiments, are far less complex than nucleotides. Their defining features are an amino group (a nitrogen and two hydrogens) and a carboxylic acid group (a carbon, two oxygens and a hydrogen) both attached to the same carbon. The simplest of the 20 used to build natural proteins contains only two carbon atoms. Seventeen of the set contain six or fewer carbons. The amino acids and other substances that were prominent in the Miller experiment contained two and three carbon atoms. By contrast, no nucleotides of any kind have been reported as products of spark discharge experiments or in studies of meteorites, nor have the smaller units (nucleosides) that contain a sugar and base but lack the phosphate. To rescue the RNA-first concept from this otherwise lethal defect, its advocates have created a discipline called prebiotic synthesis. They have attempted to show that RNA and its components can be prepared in their laboratories in a sequence of carefully controlled reactions, normally carried out in water at temperatures observed on Earth. Such a sequence would start usually with compounds of carbon that had been produced in spark discharge experiments or found in meteorites. The observation of a specific organic chemical in any quantity (even as part of a complex mixture) in one of the above sources would justify its classification as `prebiotic,' a substance that supposedly had been proved to be present on the early Earth. Once awarded this distinction, the chemical could then be used in pure form, in any quantity, in another prebiotic reaction. The products of such a reaction would also be considered `prebiotic' and employed in the next step in the sequence. The use of reaction sequences of this type (without any reference to the origin of life) has long been an honored practice in the traditional field of synthetic organic chemistry. My own PhD thesis advisor, Robert B. Woodward, was awarded the Nobel Prize for his brilliant syntheses of quinine, cholesterol, chlorophyll and many other substances. It mattered little if kilograms of starting material were required to produce milligrams of product. The point was the demonstration that humans could produce, however inefficiently, substances found in nature. Unfortunately, neither chemists nor laboratories were present on the early Earth to produce RNA." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "I will cite one example of prebiotic synthesis, published in 1995 by Nature and featured in the New York Times. The RNA base cytosine was prepared in high yield by heating two purified chemicals in a sealed glass tube at 100 degrees Celsius for about a day. One of the reagents, cyanoacetaldehyde, is a reactive substance capable of combining with a number of common chemicals that may have been present on the early Earth. These competitors were excluded. An extremely high concentration was needed to coax the other participant, urea, to react at a sufficient rate for the reaction to succeed. The product, cytosine, can self-destruct by simple reaction with water. When the urea concentration was lowered, or the reaction allowed to continue too long, any cytosine that was produced was subsequently destroyed. This destructive reaction had been discovered in my laboratory, as part of my continuing research on environmental damage to DNA. Our own cells deal with it by maintaining a suite of enzymes that specialize in DNA repair. The exceptionally high urea concentration was rationalized in the Nature paper by invoking a vision of drying lagoons on the early Earth. In a published rebuttal, I calculated that a large lagoon would have to be evaporated to the size of a puddle, without loss of its contents, to achieve that concentration. No such feature exists on Earth today. The drying lagoon claim is not unique. In a similar spirit, other prebiotic chemists have invoked freezing glacial lakes, mountainside freshwater ponds, flowing streams, beaches, dry deserts, volcanic aquifers and the entire global ocean (frozen or warm as needed) to support their requirement that the `nucleotide soup' necessary for RNA synthesis would somehow have come into existence on the early Earth. The analogy that comes to mind is that of a golfer, who having played a golf ball through an 18-hole course, then assumed that the ball could also play itself around the course in his absence. He had demonstrated the possibility of the event; it was only necessary to presume that some combination of natural forces (earthquakes, winds, tornadoes and floods, for example) could produce the same result, given enough time. No physical law need be broken for spontaneous RNA formation to happen, but the chances against it are so immense, that the suggestion implies that the non- living world had an innate desire to generate RNA. The majority of origin-of-life scientists who still support the RNA-first theory either accept this concept (implicitly, if not explicitly) or feel that the immensely unfavorable odds were simply overcome by good luck." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "Many chemists, confronted with these difficulties, have fled the RNA-first hypothesis as if it were a building on fire. One group, however, still captured by the vision of the self-copying molecule, has opted for an exit that leads to similar hazards. In these revised theories, a simpler replicator arose first and governed life in a `pre-RNA world.' Variations have been proposed in which the bases, the sugar or the entire backbone of RNA have been replaced by simpler substances, more accessible to prebiotic syntheses. Presumably, this first replicator would also have the catalytic capabilities of RNA. Because no trace of this hypothetical primal replicator and catalyst has been recognized so far in modern biology, RNA must have completely taken over all of its functions at some point following its emergence. Further, the spontaneous appearance of any such replicator without the assistance of a chemist faces implausibilities that dwarf those involved in the preparation of a mere nucleotide soup. Let us presume that a soup enriched in the building blocks of all of these proposed replicators has somehow been assembled, under conditions that favor their connection into chains. They would be accompanied by hordes of defective building blocks, the inclusion of which would ruin the ability of the chain to act as a replicator. The simplest flawed unit would be a terminator, a component that had only one `arm' available for connection, rather than the two needed to support further growth of the chain. There is no reason to presume than an indifferent nature would not combine units at random, producing an immense variety of hybrid short, terminated chains, rather than the much longer one of uniform backbone geometry needed to support replicator and catalytic functions. Probability calculations could be made, but I prefer a variation on a much-used analogy. Picture a gorilla (very long arms are needed) at an immense keyboard connected to a word processor. The keyboard contains not only the symbols used in English and European languages but also a huge excess drawn from every other known language and all of the symbol sets stored in a typical computer. The chances for the spontaneous assembly of a replicator in the pool I described above can be compared to those of the gorilla composing, in English, a coherent recipe for the preparation of chili con carne. With similar considerations in mind Gerald F. Joyce of the Scripps Research Institute and Leslie Orgel of the Salk Institute concluded that the spontaneous appearance of RNA chains on the lifeless Earth `would have been a near miracle.' I would extend this conclusion to all of the proposed RNA substitutes that I mentioned above. " (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007) 18/02/2007 "Life With Small Molecules Nobel Laureate Christian de Duve has called for `a rejection of improbabilities so incommensurably high that they can only be called miracles, phenomena that fall outside the scope of scientific inquiry.' DNA, RNA, proteins and other elaborate large molecules must then be set aside as participants in the origin of life. Inanimate nature provides us with a variety of mixtures of small molecules, whose behavior is governed by scientific laws, rather than by human intervention. Fortunately, an alternative group of theories that can employ these materials has existed for decades. The theories employ a thermodynamic rather than a genetic definition of life, under a scheme put forth by Carl Sagan in the Encyclopedia Britannica: A localized region which increases in order (decreases in entropy) through cycles driven by an energy flow would be considered alive. This small-molecule approach is rooted in the ideas of the Soviet biologist Alexander Oparin, and current notable spokesmen include de Duve, Freeman Dyson of the Institute for Advanced Study, Stuart Kauffman of the Santa Fe Institute, Doron Lancet of the Weizmann Institute, Harold Morowitz of George Mason University and the independent researcher Günter Wächtershäuser. I estimate that about a third of the chemists involved in the study of the origin of life subscribe to theories based on this idea." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "Origin-of-life proposals of this type differ in specific details; here I will try to list five common requirements (and add some ideas of my own). (1) A boundary is needed to separate life from non-life. Life is distinguished by its great degree of organization, yet the second law of thermodynamics requires that the universe move in a direction in which disorder, or entropy, increases. A loophole, however, allows entropy to decrease in a limited area, provided that a greater increase occurs outside the area. When living cells grow and multiply, they convert chemical energy or radiation to heat at the same time. The released heat increases the entropy of the environment, compensating for the decrease in living systems. The boundary maintains this division of the world into pockets of life and the nonliving environment in which they must sustain themselves. Today, sophisticated double-layered cell membranes, made of chemicals classified as lipids, separate living cells from their environment. When life began, some natural feature probably served the same purpose. David W. Deamer of the University of California, Santa Cruz, has observed membrane-like structures in meteorites. Other proposals have suggested natural boundaries not used by life today, such as iron sulfide membranes, mineral surfaces (in which electrostatic interactions segregate selected molecules from their environment), small ponds and aerosols." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "(2) An energy source is needed to drive the organization process. We consume carbohydrates and fats, and combine them with oxygen that we inhale, to keep ourselves alive. Microorganisms are more versatile, and can use minerals in place of the food or the oxygen. In either case, the transformations that are involved are called redox reactions. They involve the transfer of electrons from an electron rich (or reduced) substance to an electron poor (or oxidized) one. Plants can capture solar energy directly, and adapt it for the functions of life. Other forms of energy are used by cells in specialized circumstances--for example, differences in acidity on opposite sides of a membrane. Yet others, such as radioactivity and abrupt temperature differences, might be used by life elsewhere in the universe. Here I will consider redox reactions as the energy source." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "(3) A coupling mechanism must link the release of energy to the organization process that produces and sustains life. The release of energy does not necessarily produce a useful result. Chemical energy is released when gasoline is burned within the cylinders of my automobile, but the vehicle will not move unless that energy is used to turn the wheels. A mechanical connection, or coupling, is required. Each day, in our own cells, each of us degrades pounds of a nucleotide called ATP. The energy released by this favorable reaction serves to drive processes that are less favorable but necessary for our biochemistry. Linkage is achieved when the reactions share a common intermediate, and the process is speeded up by the intervention of an enzyme. One assumption of the small-molecule approach is that coupled reactions and primitive catalysts sufficient to get life started exist in nature." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "(4) A chemical network must be formed, to permit adaptation and evolution. We come now to the heart of the matter. Imagine for example that an energetically favorable redox reaction of a naturally-occurring mineral is linked to the conversion of an organic chemical A to another one B within a compartment. The favorable, energy releasing, entropy-increasing reaction of the mineral drives the A-to-B transformation. I call this key transformation a driver reaction, for it serves as the engine that mobilizes the organization process. If B simply reconverts back to A or escapes from the compartment, we would not be on a path that leads to increased organization. By contrast, if a multi-step chemical pathway--say, B to C to D to A--reconverts B to A, then the steps in that circular process (or cycle) would be favored because they replenish the supply of A, allowing the continuing discharge of energy by the mineral reaction. If we visualize the cycle as a circular railway line, the energy source keeps the trains traveling around it one way. Each station may also be the hub for a number of branch lines, such as one connecting station D to another station, E. Trains could travel in either direction along that branch, depleting or augmenting the cycle's traffic. Thanks to the continual depletion of A, however, material is drawn from D to A. The resulting depletion of D in turn tends to draw material from E to D. In this way, material is `pulled' along the branch lines into the central cycle, maximizing the energy release that accompanies the driver reaction. The cycle could also adapt to changing circumstances. As a child, I was fascinated by the way in which water, released from a leaky hydrant, would find a path downhill to the nearest sewer. If falling leaves or dropped refuse blocked that path, the water would back up until another route was found around the obstacle. In the same way, if a change in the acidity or in some other environmental circumstance should hinder a step in the pathway from B to A, material would back up until another route was found. Additional changes of this type would convert the original cycle into a network. This trial-and-error exploration of the chemical `landscape' might also turn up compounds that could catalyze important steps in the cycle, increasing the efficiency with which the network utilized the energy source." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "(5) The network must grow and reproduce. To survive and grow, the network must gain material at a rate that compensates for the paths that remove it. Diffusion of network materials out of the compartment into the external world is favored by entropy and will occur to some extent, especially at the start of life when the boundary is a crude one established by the environment rather than one of the highly effective cell membranes available today after billions of years of evolution. Some side reactions may produce gases, which escape, or form tars, which will drop out of solution. If these processes together should exceed the rate at which the network gains material, then it would be extinguished. Exhaustion of the external fuel would have the same effect. We can imagine, on the early Earth, a situation where many startups of this type occur, involving many alternative driver reactions and external energy sources. Finally, a particularly hardy one would take root and sustain itself." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis origina) 18/02/2007 "A system of reproduction must eventually develop. If our network is housed in a lipid membrane, then physical forces may split it, after it has grown enough. (Freeman Dyson has described such a system as a "garbage-bag world" in contrast to the "neat and beautiful scene" of the RNA world.) A system that functions in a compartment within a mineral may overflow into adjacent compartments. Whatever the mechanism may be, this dispersal into separated units protects the system from total extinction by a localized destructive event. Once independent units were established, they could evolve in different ways and compete with one another for raw materials; we would have made the transition from life that emerges from nonliving matter through the action of an available energy source to life that adapts to its environment by Darwinian evolution." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "Changing the Paradigm Systems of the type I have described usually have been classified under the heading `metabolism first,' which implies that they do not contain a mechanism for heredity. In other words, they contain no obvious molecule or structure that allows the information stored in them (their heredity) to be duplicated and passed on to their descendants. However a collection of small items holds the same information as a list that describes the items. For example, my wife gives me a shopping list for the supermarket; the collection of grocery items that I return with contains the same information as the list. Doron Lancet has given the name `compositional genome' to heredity stored in small molecules, rather than a list such as DNA or RNA. The small molecule approach to the origin of life makes several demands upon nature (a compartment, an external energy supply, a driver reaction coupled to that supply, and the existence of a chemical network that contains that reaction). These requirements are general in nature, however, and are immensely more probable than the elaborate multi-step pathways needed to form a molecule that can function as a replicator. Over the years, many theoretical papers have advanced particular metabolism first schemes, but relatively little experimental work has been presented in support of them. In those cases where experiments have been published, they have usually served to demonstrate the plausibility of individual steps in a proposed cycle. The greatest amount of new data has perhaps come from Günter Wächtershäuser and his colleagues at the Technische Universität München. They have demonstrated portions of a cycle involving the combination and separation of amino acids, in the presence of metal sulfide catalysts. The energetic driving force for the transformations is supplied by the oxidation of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide. They have not yet demonstrated the operation of a complete cycle or its ability to sustain itself and undergo further evolution. A `smoking gun' experiment displaying those three features is needed to establish the validity of the small molecule approach." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "The principal initial task is the identification of candidate driver reactions--small molecule transformations (A to B in the example before) that are coupled to an abundant external energy source (such as the oxidation of carbon monoxide or a mineral). Once a plausible driver reaction has been identified, there should be no need to specify the rest of the system in advance. The selected components (including the energy source) plus a mixture of other small molecules normally produced by natural processes (and likely to have been abundant on the early Earth) could be combined in a suitable reaction vessel. If an evolving network were established, we would expect the concentration of the participants in the network to increase and alter with time. New catalysts that increased the rate of key reactions might appear, while irrelevant materials would decrease in quantity. The reactor would need an input device to allow replenishment of the energy supply and raw materials, and an outlet to permit the removal of waste products and chemicals that were not part of the network. In such experiments, failures would be easily identified. The energy might be dissipated without producing any significant changes in the concentrations of the other chemicals or the chemicals might simply be converted to a tar, which would clog the apparatus. A success might demonstrate the initial steps on the road to life. These steps need not duplicate those that took place on the early Earth. It is more important that the general principle be demonstrated and made available for further investigation. Many potential paths to life may exist, with the choice dictated by the local environment." (Shapiro, R."A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "An understanding of the initial steps leading to life would not reveal the specific events that led to the familiar DNA-RNA-protein-based organisms of today. However, because we know that evolution does not anticipate future events, we can presume that nucleotides first appeared in metabolism to serve some other purpose, perhaps as catalysts or as containers for the storage of chemical energy (the nucleotide ATP still serves this function today). Some chance event or circumstance may have led to the connection of nucleotides to form RNA. The most obvious function of RNA today is to serve as a structural element that assists in the formation of bonds between amino acids in the synthesis of proteins. The first RNAs may have served the same purpose, but without any preference for specific amino acids. Many further steps in evolution would be needed to `invent' the elaborate mechanisms for replication and specific protein synthesis that we observe in life today." (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 "If the general small-molecule paradigm were confirmed, then our expectations of the place of life in the universe would change. A highly implausible start for life, as in the RNA-first scenario, implies a universe in which we are alone. In the words of the late Jacques Monod, `The universe was not pregnant with life nor the biosphere with man. Our number came up in the Monte Carlo game.' The small-molecule alternative, however, is in harmony with the views of biologist Stuart Kauffman: `If this is all true, life is vastly more probable than we have supposed. Not only are we at home in the universe, but we are far more likely to share it with unknown companions.'" (Shapiro, R., "A Simpler Origin for Life," Scientific American, February 12, 2007. Emphasis original) 18/02/2007 Where did life come from? Natural selection explains how organisms that already exist evolve in response to changes in their environment. But Darwin's theory is silent on how organisms came into being in the first place, which he considered a deep mystery. What creates life out of the inanimate compounds that make up living things? No one knows. How were the first organisms assembled? Nature hasn't given us the slightest hint. If anything, the mystery has deepened over time. After all, if life began unaided under primordial conditions in a natural system containing zero knowledge, then it should be possible - it should be easy - to create life in a laboratory today. But determined attempts have failed. International fame, a likely Nobel Prize, and $1 million from the Gene Emergence Project await the researcher who makes life on a lab bench. Still, no one has come close. Experiments have created some basic materials of life. Famously, in 1952 Harold Urey and Stanley Miller mixed the elements thought to exist in Earth's primordial atmosphere, exposed them to electricity to simulate lightning, and found that amino acids self-assembled in the researchers' test tubes. Amino acids are essential to life. But the ones in the 1952 experiment did not come to life. Building-block compounds have been shown to result from many natural processes; they even float in huge clouds in space. But no test has given any indication of how they begin to live - or how, in early tentative forms, they could have resisted being frozen or fried by Earth's harsh prehistoric conditions. Some researchers have backed the hypothesis that an unknown primordial `soup' of naturally occurring chemicals was able to self- organize and become animate through a natural mechanism that no longer exists. Some advance the `RNA first' idea, which holds that RNA formed and lived on its own before DNA - but that doesn't explain where the RNA came from. Others suppose life began around hot deep-sea vents, where very high temperatures and pressures cause a chemical maelstrom. Still others have proposed that some as-yet-unknown natural law causes complexity - and that when this natural law is discovered, the origin of life will become imaginable. Did God or some other higher being create life? Did it begin on another world, to be transported later to ours? Until such time as a wholly natural origin of life is found, these questions have power. We're improbable, we're here, and we have no idea why. Or how." (Easterbrook, G., "topWhat We Don't Know: How did life begin?," WIRED magazine, Issue 15.02, February 2007) 19/02/2007 "The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution." (Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.119-130, p.127) 19/02/2007 "St. George Mivart (1871), Darwin's most cogent critic, referred to it as the dilemma of "the incipient stages of useful structures"-of what possible benefit to a reptile is two percent of a wing?" (Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.119-130, p.127) 19/02/2007 "The dilemma has two potential solutions. The first, preferred by Darwinians because it preserves both gradualism and adaptation, is the principle of preadaptation: the intermediary stages functioned in another way but were, by good fortune in retrospect, preadapted to a new role they could play only after greater elaboration. Thus, if feathers first functioned "for" insulation and later "for" the trapping of insect prey (Ostrom 1979), a proto-wing might be built without any reference to flight." (Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.119-130, p.127) 19/02/2007 "I do not doubt the supreme importance of preadaptation, but the other alternative, treated with caution, reluctance, disdain or even fear by the modern synthesis, now deserves a rehearing in the light of renewed interest in development: perhaps, in many cases, the intermediates never existed. I do not refer to the saltational origin of entire new designs, complete in all their complex and integrated features-a fantasy that would be totally anti-Darwinian in denying any creativity to selection and relegating it to the role of eliminating old models." (Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.119-130, p.127) 19/02/2007 "Instead, I envisage a potential saltational origin for the essential features of key adaptations. Why may we not imagine that gill arch bones of an ancestral agnathan moved forward in one step to surround the mouth and form proto-jaws? Such a change would scarcely establish the Bauplan of the gnathostomes. So much more must be altered in the reconstruction of agnathan design-the building of a true shoulder girdle with bony, paired appendages, to say the least. But the discontinuous origin of a proto-jaw might set up new regimes of development and selection that would quickly lead to other, coordinated modifications." (Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.119-130, p.127) 19/02/2007 "Yet Darwin, conflating gradualism with natural selection as he did so often, wrongly proclaimed that any such discontinuity, even for organs (much less taxa) would destroy his theory: `If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down (1859, p. 189).'" (Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.119-130, p.127) 19/02/2007 "During the past 30 years, such proposals have generally been treated as a fantasy signifying surrender-an invocation of hopeful monsters rather than a square facing of a difficult issue. But our renewed interest in development, the only discipline of biology that might unify molecular and evolutionary approaches into a coherent science, suggests that such ideas are neither fantastic, utterly contrary to genetic principles, nor untestable. Goldschmidt conflated two proposals as causes for hopeful monsters-`systemic mutations' involving the entire genome (a spinoff from his fallacious belief that the entire genome acted as an integrated unit), and small mutations with large impact upon adult phenotypes because they work upon early stages of ontogeny and lead to cascading effects throughout embryology. We reject his first proposal, but the second, eminently plausible, theme might unite a Darwinian insistence upon continuity of genetic change with a macroevolutionary suspicion of phenetic discontinuity. It is, after all, a major focus in the study of heterochrony (effects, often profound, of small changes in developmental rate upon adult phenotypes); it is also implied in the emphasis now being placed upon regulatory genes in the genesis of macroevolutionary change (King and Wilson 1975)-for regulation is fundamentally about timing in the complex orchestration of development. Moreover, although we cannot readily build `hopeful monsters,' the subject of major change through alteration of developmental rate can be treated, perhaps more than analogically, both by experiment and comparative biology. The study of spontaneous anomalies of development (teratology) and experimental perturbations of embryogenic rates explores the tendencies and boundaries of developmental systems and allows us to specify potential pathways of macroevolutionary change (see, for example, the stunning experiment of Hampe 1959, on recreation of reptilian patterns in birds, after 200 million years of their phenotypic absence, by experimental manipulations that amount to alterations in rate of development for the fibula). At the very least, these approaches work with real information and seem so much more fruitful than the construction of adaptive stories or the invention of hypothetical intermediates." (Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.119-130, pp.127-128) 19/02/2007 "The importance of non-adaptation: The emphasis on natural selection as the only directing force of any importance in evolution led inevitably to an analysis of all attributes of organisms as adaptations. Indeed, the tendency has infected our language, for, without thinking about what it implies, we use `adaptation' as our favored, descriptive term for designating any recognizable bit of changed morphology in evolution. I believe that this `adaptationist program' has had decidedly unfortunate effects in biology (Gould and Lewontin, 1979). It has led to a reliance on speculative storytelling in preference to the analysis of form and its constraints; and, if wrong, in any case, it is virtually impossible to dislodge because the failure of one story leads to invention of another rather than abandonment of the enterprise. Yet, as I argued earlier, the hegemony of adaptation has been broken at the two lower levels of our evolutionary hierarchy: variation within populations, and speciation. Most populations may contain too much variation for selection to maintain; moreover, if the neutralists are even part right, much allelic substitution occurs without controlling influence from selection, and with no direct relationship to adaptation. If species often form as a result of major chromosomal alterations, then their origin-the establishment of reproductive isolation-may require no reference to adaptation." (Gould, S.J., "Is a new and general theory of evolution emerging?," Paleobiology, Vol. 6, No. 1, January 1980, pp.119-130, p.128) 19/02/2007 "In addition to confusion about the concept of irreducible complexity, some displeased reviewers have professed perplexity about the positive argument for intelligent design, or wondered aloud if there even is such a thing. Is the argument simply, as some have caricatured it, that we don't know how Darwinism accounts for biological complexity, and so we naively jump to the conclusion of design? Is it just an `argument from ignorance'? [Blackstone, N.W, "Argumentum ad Ignorantiam," Quarterly Review of Biology, Vol. 72, December 1997, pp.445-447] Of course not. As I wrote in Chapter 9, design is positively apprehended in the purposeful arrangement of parts. Looked at this way, irreducibly complex systems such as mousetraps and flagella serve both as negative arguments against gradualistic explanations like Darwin's and as positive arguments for design. The negative argument is that such interactive systems resist explanation by the tiny steps that a Darwinian path would be expected to take. The positive argument is that their parts appear arranged to serve a purpose, which is exactly how we detect design." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, pp.263-264. Emphasis original) 19/02/2007 "Let me reinforce the positive argument here with the remarks of someone else who is very concerned about the appearance of intelligent design in life. `Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.' Thus spoke Richard Dawkins on the first page of the first chapter of his classic defense of Darwinism, The Blind Watchmaker. Let me repeat, Dawkins says that's the very definition of biology-the study of things that appear designed. In his typically clear prose, Dawkins concisely stated the positive case for design in biology, which of course he was intent on demolishing. What is it about living things that make them appear to have been designed, even to such a stalwart Darwinist as himself? Design isn't some default conclusion we draw when we can't think of anything else, nor is it based on, say, our warm, fuzzy feelings at seeing a pretty sunset. Rather, says Dawkins, it's what we conclude when we get in touch with our inner engineer: `We may say that a living body or organ is well designed if it has attributes that an intelligent and knowledgeable engineer might have built into it in order to achieve some sensible purpose, such as flying, swimming, seeing.... It is not necessary to suppose that the design of a body or organ is the best that an engineer could conceive of. ... But any engineer can recognize an object that has been designed, even poorly designed, for a purpose, and he can usually work out what that purpose is just by looking at the structure of the object.' [Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," Norton: New York, 1986. p.21] In other words, we conclude design from the physical evidence, when we see a number of elements coming together to accomplish an identifiable function- the purposeful arrangement of parts ." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, p.264. Emphasis original) 19/02/2007 "Dawkins doesn't just grudgingly acknowledge some faint impression of design in life; he insists that the appearance of design, which he ascribes to natural selection, is overpowering : "Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning. " [Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker," Norton: New York, 1986. p.21] The positive case for design in life is exactly as Dawkins sees: (1) it is based on the physical arrangement of parts, where the parts work together to fulfill a function; and (2) it is overwhelming . And because the positive case for design is indeed so overwhelming, it requires comparatively less explication. On the other hand, more attention is required to make it crystal clear why random mutation and natural selection, especially at the molecular level, are not the powerful explanations of life that they are so often touted to be pace Richard Dawkins-which is why the bulk of Darwin's Black Box is devoted to them. By the end of the book we see: that there is little relevant evidence to show how Darwinian processes might account for the elegant complexity of molecular machinery; that there is a formidable structural obstacle (irreducible complexity) to thinking that such a mechanism can do the job; and that the appearance of design is even more overwhelming at the molecular level than at higher levels of biology." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, pp.264-265. Emphasis original) 19/02/2007 "Here, then, is the argument for design in a nutshell: (1) We infer design whenever parts appear arranged to accomplish a function. (2) The strength of the inference is quantitative and depends on the evidence; the more parts, and the more intricate and sophisticated the function, the stronger is our conclusion of design. With enough evidence, our confidence in design can approach certitude. If while crossing a heath we stumble across a watch (let alone a chronometer), no one would doubt-as Paley rightly said-that the watch was designed; we would be as certain about that as about anything in nature. (3) Aspects of life overpower us with the appearance of design. (4) Since we have no other convincing explanation for that strong appearance of design, Darwinian pretensions notwithstanding, then we are rationally justified in concluding that parts of life were indeed purposely designed by an intelligent agent." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, p.265) 19/02/2007 "A crucial, often-overlooked point is that the overwhelming appearance of design strongly affects the burden of proof: in the presence of manifest design, the onus of proof is on the one who denies the plain evidence of his eyes. For example, a person who conjectured that the statues on Easter Island or the images on Mount Rushmore were actually the result of unintelligent forces would bear the substantial burden of proof the claim demanded. In those examples, the positive evidence for design would be there for all to see in the purposeful arrangement of parts to produce the images. Any putative evidence for the claim that the images were actually the result of unintelligent processes (perhaps erosion shaped by some vague, hypothesized chaotic forces; would have to clearly show that the postulated unintelligent process could indeed do the job. In the absence of such a clear demonstration, any person would be rationally justified to prefer the design explanation." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, pp.265-266) 19/02/2007 "I think these factors account to a large degree for why, much to the consternation of Darwinian biologists, the bulk of the public rejects unintelligent processes as sufficient explanations for life. People perceive the strong appearance of design in life, are unimpressed with Darwinian arguments and examples, and will reach their own conclusions, thank you very much. Without strong, convincing evidence to show that Darwin can do the trick, the public is quite rational to embrace, design. ... Of course other factors besides the quality of the evidence, such as social pressure, can affect a person's judgment. In the scientific and academic communities as a whole there is strong social pressure to dismiss design explanations for life out of hand. The social situation is quite different for the general public." (Behe, M.J.*, "Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution," , Free Press: New York NY, 10th Anniversary Edition, 2006, pp.266, 309n) 19/02/2007 "Natural selection is the blind watchmaker, blind because it does not see ahead, does not plan consequences, has no purpose in view. Yet the living results of natural selection overwhelmingly impress us with the appearance of design as if by a master watchmaker, impress us with the illusion of design and planning. The purpose of this book is to resolve this paradox to the satisfaction of the reader, and the purpose of this chapter is further to impress the reader with the power of the illusion of design. We shall look at a particular example and shall conclude that, when it comes to complexity and beauty of design, Paley hardly even began to state the case." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.21) 19/02/2007 "We may say that a living body or organ is well designed if it has attributes that an intelligent and knowledgeable engineer might have built into it in order to achieve some sensible purpose, such as flying, swimming, seeing, eating, reproducing, or more generally promoting the survival and replication of the organism's genes. It is not necessary, to suppose that the design of a body-or organ is the best that an engineer could conceive of. Often the best that one engineer can do is, in any case, exceeded by the best that another engineer can do, especially another who lives later in the history-of technology. But any engineer can recognize an object that has been designed, even poorly designed, for a purpose, and he can usually work out what that-purpose is just by looking at the structure of the object." (Dawkins R., "The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design," W.W. Norton & Co: New York NY, 1986, p.21) 19/02/2007 "Heterotroph Hypothesis We might now ask, how did the protocell carry on nutrition so that it could grow? Nutrition would have been no problem because the protocell existed in the ocean, which at that time was an organic soup containing simple organic molecules that could have served as sources of building blocks and energy. Therefore, the protocell would have been a heterotroph, an organism that takes in preformed food. Notice that by this theory heterotrophs are believed to have preceded autotrophs, organisms that make their own organic food." (Mader, S.S., "Biology," , Wm. C. Brown Co: Dubuque IA, Third Edition, 1990, p.331. Emphasis original) 20/02/2007 "HUXLEY: I think that was extremely important. The first thing the Celebration did, I am sure, was to convince a large number of people that there was no point arguing about the theory of evolution. (By the way, the Centennial was not supposed to commemorate the theory; it commemorated an actual event, the publication of Darwin's book On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.) It simply is not just a theory any longer; it is a fact, like the fact that the earth goes around the sun and that the planets do all sorts of things. ... The other point that I think was brought home to the people who attended the panels was that you can no longer talk about creation. Animals, plants, and human beings evolved; they were not created in the biblical sense." (Huxley, J.S., "`All Things Considered': A Television Postscript," December 1, 1959, in Tax, S. & Callender, C., eds., "Evolution After Darwin: Issues in Evolution," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Vol. III., 1960, pp.264-265. Emphasis original) 20/02/2007 "SUTHERLAND: What about the evolution of life? HUXLEY: Of course, that is the field in which most work has been done; after all, it is the area where the theory of evolution was launched. I think two main points emerged from the discussion. First, that all reputable evolutionary biologists now agree that the evolution of life is directed by the process of natural selection, and by nothing else, and that they have demonstrated its happening. Second, that the course of evolution involves three main subprocesses: the process of branching into different forms; the process of biological improvement of the different lines; and the process of stabilization, by which a successful type somehow crystallizes out and persists over many millions of years, unless it is superseded by one of the rare accidental breakthroughs to another type." (Sutherland, A. & Huxley, J.S., "`All Things Considered': A Television Postscript," December 1, 1959, in Tax, S. & Callender, C., eds., "Evolution After Darwin: Issues in Evolution," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Vol. III., 1960, pp.265-266. Emphasis original) 20/02/2007 "`All reputable evolutionary biologists now agree that the evolution of life is directed by the process of natural selection, and by nothing else.' [Huxley, J.S., "`All Things Considered': A Television Postscript," December 1, 1959, in Tax, S. & Callender, C., eds., "Evolution After Darwin: Issues in Evolution," University of Chicago Press: Chicago IL, Vol. III., 1960, pp.265-266] With these words Sir Julian Huxley summed up the consensus of learned opinion at the Darwin Centennial Celebration in 1959. Among the eminent biologists and evolutionists attending the celebration, great confidence prevailed that the origin of living species was now almost fully understood. Evolutionists had clearly established that all living organisms had gradually evolved through small variations in form and function, slowly accumulating, generation by generation, over a vast span of geological time. Geneticists had shown that all biological variations arose from random genetic accidents called mutations. Evolutionary theorists, building on this finding, had clearly identified Darwinian natural selection as the sole guiding force that sorted out these variations and thereby molded the diverse forms of living beings. Although many minute details certainly remained to be worked out, scientists believed they had arrived at an essentially complete understanding of life and its historical development. With this striking unanimity of established scientific opinion reached little more than two decades ago, perhaps we are surprised to hear that the theory of evolution has recently become the focus of a great controversy among evolutionists themselves. The last few years have seen the established theory of mutation and natural selection increasingly challenged by critical studies and dissenting interpretations of the evidence. The theory has clearly shown itself unsound, although scientists have thus far been unable to devise an acceptable new theory to replace it." (Thompson, R.L., "Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation into the Nature of Consciousness and Form," Bala Books: Lynbrook NY, 1981, p.183) 20/02/2007 "Recently this controversy became a near battle, when some 150 prominent evolutionists gathered at Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History to thrash out various conflicting hypotheses about the nature of evolution. After four days of heated discussions (closed to all but a few outside observers), the evolutionists remained convinced that evolution is a fact. Unfortunately, however, they could not reach a clear understanding of just what this fact is . According to a report from The New York Times, the assembled scientists were unable either to specify the mechanism of evolution or to agree on `how anyone could establish with some certainty that it happened one way and not another.' [Rensberger, B.C., "Recent Studies Spark Revolution in Interpretation of Evolution," The New York Times, 4 November 1980, p. C3]" (Thompson, R.L., "Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation into the Nature of Consciousness and Form," Bala Books: Lynbrook NY, 1981, pp.183-184. Emphasis original) 20/02/2007 "Evolution: an Invisible Process When Charles Darwin originally set forth his evolutionary theory, he maintained that the forms of living organisms change slowly and continuously from generation to generation, and that over many millions of years these changes bring about new species and higher categories of organisms. One immediate implication of this theory was that the fossil record of ancient plant and animal life should display a continuum of fossilized life forms, ranging from the most primitive to the most advanced. Given that organisms tend to leave occasional fossilized remains, scientists naturally expected to find a petrified motion picture of evolutionary history entombed in the earth's sedimentary rocks. But in Darwin's time it was well known that the fossil record did not actually reveal such a picture. On the contrary, paleontologists had observed that distinct plant and animal species tended to appear abruptly in the fossil strata without recognizable antecedents. Each species remained essentially unchanged throughout the strata bearing its fossilized remains. Fossils yielded practically no evidence of gradual change from one species to another. Darwin admitted that the fossil evidence, far from supporting his theory, seemed directly to contradict it. He responded by proposing that the fossil record was drastically incomplete. The innumerable intermediate life forms required by his theory must have existed, but they had left no recognizable traces in the fossil deposits known in his time. Darwin suggested that further research would undoubtably uncover many of these missing forms, and their discovery would vindicate his theory. For many years orthodox evolutionary opinion has adhered to Darwin's basic views. But dissenting voices have increasingly been heard. At the recent meeting of evolutionists in Chicago, Niles Eldridge [sic], a paleontologist from the American Museum of Natural History in New York, declared, "The pattern we were told to find for the last 120 years does not exist. " [Rensberger, B.C., "Recent Studies Spark Revolution in Interpretation of Evolution," The New York Times, 4 November 1980, p. C3] Despite intense effort, several generations of paleontologists have found few examples in which one fossil species seems to transform gradually into another, and some researchers say none at all have been found."(Thompson, R.L., "Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation into the Nature of Consciousness and Form," Bala Books: Lynbrook NY, 1981, pp.184-185. Emphasis original) 20/02/2007 "As a result, Eldridge [sic], Steven [sic] J. Gould, and several other prominent paleontologists now propose that species have not actually arisen by a slow process of transformation. As an alternative, they have devised what they call the theory of `punctuated equilibrium.' [Gould, S.J. & Eldredge, N., "Punctuated equilibria; the tempo and mode of evolution reconsidered," Paleobiology, Vol. 3, No. 2; April 1977, p.115-151] According to this theory, evolutionary changes take place in short bursts separated by long periods during which the forms of living organisms remain static. A typical species will arise from an earlier species in a `geological microsecond'-a period of a few thousand years that appears like an instant from the multi-million year perspective of geological time. Also, a species will not arise through a gradual modification of its parent population. Rather, it will arise when a tiny group that has been isolated from the main population, perhaps by a geographical barrier, is rapidly transformed." (Thompson, R.L., "Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation into the Nature of Consciousness and Form," Bala Books: Lynbrook NY, 1981, pp.185-186) 20/02/2007 "One consequence of the theory of punctuated equilibrium is that it makes the evolution of species officially invisible. On one hand, we cannot expect the fossil record to show how a new species evolved, for the evolution takes place in a tiny population during a geological `microsecond.' [Gould, S.J., "Evolution as Fact and Theory," Discover, Vol. 2, May 1981, pp.34-37] On the other hand, we cannot expect to see a new species evolve within the recorded span of human history, for a geological microsecond of 10,000 to 50,000 years is still immensely long when measured in human lifetimes. Of course, we may possibly observe small- scale changes in organisms, like those produced through controlled breeding, or like the famous change in color exhibited by the peppered moths of industrial England." (Thompson, R.L., "Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation into the Nature of Consciousness and Form," Bala Books: Lynbrook NY, 1981, p.186) 20/02/2007 "Explaining superficial variations of this kind is not the real problem confronting evolutionists. The real problem is explaining how higher forms of plants and animals have arisen from lower forms, and how these in turn have arisen from inanimate matter. No large-scale transformations of this kind have ever been observed within the brief span of human history. The orthodox Darwinian theory maintained that such transformations should be directly visible in the fossil record. But the theory of punctuated equilibrium says we should not expect even the fossil record to show these transformations. In fact, the actual process that brings about new species of life has always been invisible. Now, in the new theory propounded by Eldridge [sic] and Gould, this process is held to be invisible even in principle." (Thompson, R.L., "Mechanistic and Nonmechanistic Science: An Investigation into the Nature of Consciousness and Form," Bala Books: Lynbrook NY, 1981, p.186) 20/02/2007 "I count myself among the evolutionists who argue for a jerky, or episodic, rather than a smoothly gradual, pace of change. In 1972 my colleague Niles Eldredge and I developed the theory of punctuated equilibrium. We argued that two outstanding facts of the fossil record-geologically `sudden' origin of new species and failure to change thereafter (stasis)-reflect the predictions of evolutionary theory, not the imperfections of the fossil record. In most theories, small isolated populations are the source of new species, and the process of speciation takes thousands or tens of thousands of years. This amount of time, so long when measured against our lives, is a geological microsecond. It represents much less than 1 per cent of the average lifespan for a fossil invertebrate species-more than ten million years. Large, widespread, and well established species on the other hand, are not expected to change very much. We believe that the inertia of large populations explains the stasis of most fossil species over millions of years." (Gould, S.J., "Evolution as Fact and Theory," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes," Penguin: London, 1984, pp.259-260. [Discover, Vol. 2, May 1981, pp.34-37) 20/02/2007 "Since we proposed punctuated equilibria to explain trends, it is infuriating to be quoted again and again by creationists-whether through design or stupidity, I do not know-as admitting that the fossil record includes no transitional forms. Transitional forms are generally lacking at the species level, but they are abundant between larger groups." (Gould, S.J., "Evolution as Fact and Theory," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes," Penguin: London, 1984, p.260. [Discover, Vol. 2, May 1981, pp.34-37) 20/02/2007 "I suggest that the fault is not with evolution itself, but with a false picture of its operation that most of us hold-namely the ladder; which brings me to the subject of bushes. I want to argue that the `sudden' appearance of species in the fossil record and our failure to note subsequent evolutionary change within them is the proper prediction of evolutionary theory as we understand it. Evolution usually proceeds by `speciation'-the splitting of one lineage from a parental stock- not by the slow and steady transformation of these large parental stocks. Repeated episodes of speciation produce a bush. Evolutionary `sequences' are not rungs on a ladder, but our retrospective reconstruction of a circuitous path running like a labyrinth, branch to branch, from the base of the bush to a lineage now surviving at its top." (Gould, S.J., "Bushes and Ladders in Human Evolution," in "Ever Since Darwin," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1991, p.61) 20/02/2007 "How does speciation occur? This is a perennial hot topic in evolutionary theory, but most biologists would subscribe to the `allopatric theory' (the debate centers on the admissibility of other modes: nearly everyone agrees that allopatric speciation is the most common mode). Allopatric means `in another place.' In the allopatric theory, popularized by Ernst Mayr, new species arise in very small populations that become isolated from their parental group at the periphery of the ancestral range. Speciation in these small isolates is very rapid by evolutionary standards-hundreds or thousands of years (a geological microsecond). Major evolutionary change may occur in these small, isolated populations. Favorable genetic variation can quickly spread through them. Moreover, natural selection tends to be intense in geographically marginal areas where the species barely maintains a foothold. In large central populations, on the other hand, favorable variations spread very slowly, and most change is steadfastly resisted by the well-adapted population. Small changes occur to meet the requirements of slowly altering climates, but major genetic reorganizations almost always take place in the small, peripherally isolated populations that form new species." (Gould, S.J., "Bushes and Ladders in Human Evolution," in "Ever Since Darwin," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1991, p.61) 20/02/2007 "New species usually arise, not by the slow and steady transformation of entire ancestral populations, but by the splitting off of small isolates from an unaltered parental stock. The frequency and speed of such speciation is among the hottest topics in evolutionary theory today, but I think that most of my colleagues would advocate ranges of hundreds of thousands of years for the origin of most species by splitting. This may seem like a long time in the framework of our lives, but it is a geological instant, usually represented in the fossil record by a single bedding plane, not a long stratigraphic sequence. If species arise in hundreds or thousands of years and then persist, largely unchanged, for several million, the period of their origin is a tiny fraction of one percent of their total duration. Therefore, they may be treated as discrete entities even through time. Evolution at higher levels is fundamentally a story of the differential success of species, not the slow transformation of lineages." (Gould, S.J., "A Quahog is a Quahog," in "The Panda's Thumb," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1990, pp.176-177) 20/02/2007 "Of course, if we happen to encounter a species during the geological microsecond of its origin, we will not be able to make clear distinctions. But our chances of finding a species in this state are small indeed. Species are stable entities with very brief periods of fuzziness at their origin (although not at their demise because most species disappear cleanly without changing into anything else). ... Evolution is a theory of organic change, but it does not imply, as many people assume, that ceaseless flux is the irreducible state of nature and that structure is but a temporary incarnation of the moment. Change is more often a rapid transition between stable states than a continuous transformation at slow and steady rates. We live in a world of structure and legitimate distinction. Species are the units of nature's morphology." (Gould, S.J., "A Quahog is a Quahog," in "The Panda's Thumb," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1990, p.177) 20/02/2007 "If evolution almost always occurs by rapid speciation in small, peripheral isolates-rather than by slow change in large, central populations-then what should the fossil record look like? We are not likely to detect the event of speciation itself. It happens too fast, in too small a group, isolated too far from the ancestral range. We will first meet the new species as a fossil when it reinvades the ancestral range and becomes a large central population in its own right. During its recorded history in the fossil record, we should expect no major change; for we know it only as a successful, central population. It will participate in the process of organic change only when some of its peripheral isolates speciate to become new branches on the evolutionary bush. But it, itself, will appear `suddenly' in the fossil record and become extinct later with equal speed and little perceptible change in form." (Gould, S.J., "Bushes and Ladders in Human Evolution," in "Ever Since Darwin," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1991, pp.61-62) 20/02/2007 "The fossil hominids of Africa fully meet these expectations. We know about three coexisting branches of the human bush. I will be surprised if twice as many more are not discovered before the end of the century. The branches do not change during their recorded history, and if we understand evolution aright, they should not-for evolution is concentrated in rapid events of speciation, the production of new branches. Homo sapiens is not the foreordained product of a ladder that was reaching toward our exalted estate from the start. We are merely the surviving branch of a once luxuriant bush." (Gould, S.J., "Bushes and Ladders in Human Evolution," in "Ever Since Darwin," , Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1991, p.61-62) 20/02/2007 "This ten- to twenty-thousand-year transition by hybridization exceeds the time period of the Trinidad and Exuma studies by three orders of magnitude (that is, by a factor of 1,000), but even ten thousand years represents a geological eye-blink in the fullness of evolutionary time-while this transformation , in our snails marks a full change from one species to another, not just a small decrement of leg length, or a change in the timing of breeding, within a single species. (For details, see G. A. Goodfriend and S. J. Gould, `Paleontology and chronology of two evolutionary transitions by hybridization in the Bahamian , land snail Cerion,' Science, 1996, volume 274, pages 1894-97). Harvard University's press release (with no input from me) carried the headline `Snails caught in act of evolving.' A scanning of any year's technical literature in evolutionary biology would yield numerous and well- documented cases of such measurable, small-scale evolutionary change-thus disproving the urban legend that evolution must always be too slow to observe in the geological microsecond of a human lifetime. These three studies, all unusually complete in their documentation and in their resolution of details, do not really rank as `news' in the journalist's prime sense of novelty or deep surprise. Nonetheless, each of these three studies became subjects for front-page stories in either The New York Times or The Boston Globe.Now please don't get me wrong. I do not belong to the cadre of rarefied academics who cringe at every journalistic story about science for fear that the work reported might become tainted with popularity thereby. And in a purely `political' sense, I certainly won't object if major newspapers choose to feature any result of my profession as a lead story-especially, if I may be self-serving for a moment, when one of the tales reports my own work! Nonetheless, this degree of public attention for workaday results in my field (however elegantly done) does fill me with wry amusement-if only for the general reason that most of us feel a tickle in the funny bone when we note a gross imbalance between public notoriety and the true novelty or importance of an event, as when Hollywood spinmeisters manage to depict their client's ninth marriage as the earth's first example of true love triumphant and permanent." (Gould, S.J., "The Paradox of the Visibly Irrelevant," in "The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural History," , Vintage: London, Reprinted, 2001, pp.340-341) 20/02/2007 "Religion is too important to too many people for any dismissal or denigration of the comfort still sought by many folks from theology. I may, for example, privately suspect that papal insistence on divine infusion of the soul represents a sop to our fears, a device for maintaining a belief in human superiority within an evolutionary world offering no privileged position to any creature. But I also know that souls represent a subject outside the magisterium of science. My world cannot prove or disprove such a notion, and the concept of souls cannot threaten or impact my domain. Moreover, while I cannot personally accept the Catholic view of souls, I surely honor the metaphorical value of such a concept both for grounding moral discussion and for expressing what we most value about human potentiality: our decency, care, and all the ethical and intellectual struggles that the evolution of consciousness imposed upon us. As a moral position (and therefore not as a deduction from my knowledge of nature's factuality), I prefer the `cold bath' theory that nature can be truly `cruel' and `indifferent'-in the utterly inappropriate terms of our ethical discourse- because nature was not constructed as our eventual abode, didn't know we were coming (we are, after all, interlopers of the latest geological microsecond), and doesn't give a damn about us (speaking metaphorically). I regard such a position as liberating, not depressing, because we then become free to conduct moral discourse-and nothing could be more important-in our own terms, spared from the delusion that we might read moral truth passively from nature's factuality." (Gould, S.J., "Nonoverlapping Magisteria," Natural History, Vol. 106, March 1997, pp.16-22) 20/02/2007 "Pope John Paul II's acceptance of evolution touches the doubt in my heart. The problem of pain and suffering in a world created by a God who is all love and light is hard enough to bear, even if one is a creationist. But at least a creationist can say that the original creation, coming from the hand of God was good, harmonious, innocent and gentle. What can one say about evolution, even a spiritual theory of evolution? Pain and suffering, mindless cruelty and terror are its means of creation. Evolution's engine is the grinding of predatory teeth upon the screaming, living flesh and bones of prey. If evolution be true, my faith has rougher seas to sail." (Gould, S.J., "Nonoverlapping Magisteria," Natural History, Vol. 106, March 1997, pp.16-22) 20/02/2007 "Here, I believe, lies the greatest strength and necessity of NOMA, the nonoverlapping magisteria of science and religion. NOMA permits-indeed enjoins-the prospect of respectful discourse, of constant input from both magisteria toward the common goal of wisdom. If human beings are anything special, we are the creatures that must ponder and talk. Pope John Paul II would surely point out to me that his magisterium has always recognized this distinction, for `in principio, erat verbum'-`In the beginning was the Word.'" (Gould, S.J., "Nonoverlapping Magisteria," Natural History, Vol. 106, March 1997, pp.16-22) 20/02/2007 "Carl Sagan organized and attended the Vatican meeting that introduces this essay; he also shared my concern for fruitful cooperation between the different but vital realms of science and religion. Carl was also one of my dearest friends. I learned of his untimely death on the same day that I read the proofs for this essay. I could only recall Nehru's observations on Gandhi's death-that the light had gone out, and darkness reigned everywhere. ... The days I spent with Carl in Rome were the best of our friendship. We delighted in walking around the Eternal City, feasting on its history and architecture-and its food! Carl took special delight in the anonymity that he still enjoyed in a nation that had not yet aired Cosmos, the greatest media work in popular science of all time. I dedicate this essay to his memory. Carl also shared my personal suspicion about the nonexistence of souls-but I cannot think of a better reason for hoping we are wrong than the prospect of spending eternity roaming the cosmos in friendship and conversation with this wonderful soul." (Gould, S.J., "Nonoverlapping Magisteria," Natural History, Vol. 106, March 1997, pp.16-22) 21/02/2007 "It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student, from Trueman's Ostrea/Gryphaea to Carruthers' Zaphrentis delanouei, have now been `debunked'. Similarly, my own experience of more than twenty years looking for evolutionary lineages among the Mesozoic Brachiopoda has proved them equally elusive." (Ager, D.V., 'The nature of the fossil record," Presidential Address delivered 5 March 1976, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 87, No. 2, 1976, p.131-135, p.132) 21/02/2007 "We all know that many apparent evolutionary bursts are nothing more than brainstorms on the part of particular palaeontologists. One splitter in a library can do far more than millions of years of genetic mutation. Certainly we had our supreme splitter in the Jurassic Brachiopoda with S. S. Buckman, who produced more genera in one publication (1918) than all the rest of us put together." (Ager, D.V., 'The nature of the fossil record," Presidential Address delivered 5 March 1976, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 87, No. 2, 1976, p.131-135, p.132) 21/02/2007 "The whole record is one of little evolutionary explosions and ecological expropriations. Other explosions, such as Cambrian trilobites or Tertiary mammals, are much more obvious. The latter are particularly interesting because they lay doggo for well over 100 million years before putting in their successful takeover bid. Then they took over all the ecological niches, herbivorous, carnivorous, omnivorous, insectivorous, flying, swimming, running, ambling, and so on, in a very short time indeed. Certainly mixed up with this was the explosive evolution of the flowering plants, but we will come back to this later. The point emerges that, if we examine the fossil record in detail whether at the level of orders or of species, we find-over and over again-not gradual evolution, but the sudden explosion of one group at the expense of another." (Ager, D.V., 'The nature of the fossil record," Presidential Address delivered 5 March 1976, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 87, No. 2, 1976, p.131-135, p.133) 22/02/2007 "Fossils have played only a limited part in formulating evolutionary theory because the biologist can never be certain that all the critical stages are preserved in any particular part of the fossil record. So biologists have tended either to fit fossil evidence into theories derived from knowledge of living organisms or else- and these form the great majority of cases-to assume that the fossil record is too incomplete to be helpful. Lately, this trend has been reversed. Several palaeontologists have tried to assume that the fossil record gives a better view of evolving life than had been supposed, and have then looked at the way such fossil evidence might suggest modifications to existing views of evolutionary theory. For example, the fossil record does not usually show a gradual transition from one form to another. Rather, a species remains the same for a long period of time and then, quite abruptly, is replaced by a different, but closely related species. Rather than blaming the absence of transitional fossils on `gaps' in the fossil record a number of biologists categorised as `punctuationists' argue that evolutionary change did indeed occur, as the fossil record suggests, in a series of jumps. Most evolution is concentrated into brief bursts as new species arise from small isolated populations of other species; the intermediates stand little chance of being captured by the vagaries of fossilisation." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.581) 22/02/2007 "The mammal-like reptiles, or Synapsida, from which the mammals eventually evolved ... existed from the Middle Carboniferous, some 315 million years ago, through to the end of the Triassic, 195 million years ago, at which time the first mammals had just appeared. The fossil record of the mammal-like reptiles is remarkably complete throughout this span of some 120 million years, with no very large gaps. What is more, the group shows a wide and complex adaptive radiation-that is, they evolved from a single stock lineage into many different types filling many different ecological niches. ... The mammal-like reptiles evolved through three distinct phases of adaptive radiation. The first of these consisted of the Pelycosaurs, and the earliest forms are from Middle Carboniferous deposits in Nova Scotia. Archaeothyris, an early pelycosaur, was a lizard- like animal about 50 cm long that differed very little from the primitive reptiles alive at the same time; the major distinction is a small space-the temporal fenestra-in the cheek region of the skull. This little space is important because it permits the muscles of the jaw and the jaw itself to become more efficient. Indeed, the temporal fenestra is a hallmark of all the mammal-like reptiles which persists right through to the mammals; so all the synapsids must have evolved from an ancestral form not unlike Archaeothyris." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.581) 22/02/2007 "Pelycosaurs diverged into a number of groups, each of which reflects a different type of adaptation. The caseids and edaphosaurids were plant eaters, with blunt teeth and short, stout jaws. They were the first successful group of land-dwelling, four-footed herbivores. The ophiacodonts included fish-eaters, with teeth somewhat like those of a crocodile. And the sphenacodonts were the major carnivorous reptiles of the time, with powerfully built skulls and prominent canine teeth. Some of them were pretty large, like the "finback" Dimetrodon, 3-4 metres long. Around 260 million years ago, at the end of the Early Permian, the pelycosaurs suddenly became extinct, except for a few caseids and sphenacodonts which just held on into the Late Permian before they too disappeared." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.581) 22/02/2007 "At the same time, the start of the Late Permian, the first members of the next phase of the synapsid radiation appeared. These were the therapsids, which evolved from an unknown lineage of the sphenacodonts. All the therapsids were distinctly more mammal-like than the pelycosaurs. They had larger temporal fenestrae, which indicates more powerful jaw muscles, and a more advanced form of locomotion. A specialised jaw is one feature that sets mammals apart; the way they move is another. The early reptiles, like the lizards and crocodiles today, generally rested their bellies on the ground. When they walked, it was with their limbs sprawling out to the side; this places a severe strain on the legs which have to hold the body up. Mammals brought the legs under the body, which reduces the strain on them and lifts the body free from the ground so that movement becomes much more efficient. The therapsids clearly represent a trend towards this mammal-like form. Even at their first appearance, the therapsids had already diverged into several groups, and during the course of the late Permian they came to occupy a set of ecological niches very similar to those previously occupied by the pelycosaurs." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.581) 22/02/2007 "The final group of therapsids to appear in the Late Permian is made up of uncommon, and quite small, animals like Procynosuchus. These are the cynodonts, and they form the next link in the synapsid chain, because at the end of the Permian, 230 million years ago, most of the mammal-like reptiles abruptly became extinct. The only survivors were a few lineages of dicynodonts and therocephalians - and, most importantly, the cynodonts. Cynodonts were even more like mammals than were the previous therapsids. They carried on the theme of jaw improvements, developing complex multi-cusped teeth and more powerful musculature. From this Early Triassic stock of cynodonts arose the third phase of adaptive radiation of the mammal-like reptiles. Again, the basic stock diverged into a variety of types; large and small herbivores and carnivores, and as the Triassic went on the fossils come to look increasingly mammalian. But the cynodonts too became extinct at the close of the Triassic, leaving only their tiny descendants true mammals to persist into the Jurassic and beyond." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, pp.581,583) 22/02/2007 "Each of the three phases of synapsid evolution-pelycosaur, therapsid and cynodont-shows a basically similar evolutionary pattern, which suggests that fundamentally similar underlying causes determined the progress of evolution in each case. By considering only those characteristics of the pattern that are common to all three phases, we can come up with a generalised, or "model" adaptive radiation. This general model incorporates the following eight features or rules: Rule 1: The radiation begins after most, but not all, the lineages of the previous radiation have become extinct. This is the phenomenon of mass extinction Rule 2: The radiation begins from one of the surviving lineages of small carnivores. Rule 3: The main groups of the new radiation are more or less fully evolved when they first appear in the fossil record. and they change relatively little in the course of Rule 4: All members of the new radiation are more advanced (that is, more mammal-like) than any members of the previous radiation. Rule 5: Each radiation produces essentially similar kinds of animals each adapted to complementary ways of life: the ecotypes include large and small herbivores and carnivores. Rule 6: Within each lineage, species keep going extinct abruptly, only to be replaced by new, similar species. This is the phenomenon of species turnover. Rule 7: Minor mass- extinctions of several unrelated lineages occur from time to time during a radiation. Rule 8: The end of the radiation is marked by the simultaneous extinction of all the species and most of the lineages composing it. A few lineages, mainly of small forms, survive this mass extinction." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.583) 22/02/2007 "Those are the rules for mammal-like reptiles. The ultimate aim of the palaeontologist must be to interpret the causes that underly the observed rules of evolution. Admittedly this job has not progressed very far as yet, but we can go some way towards providing an interpretation. There are three variables that must be involved in any such interpretation, namely: (i) rates of speciation and extinction in a lineage (ii) rate of morphological change within a lineage (iii) direction of morphological change within a lineage. Rates of speciation and extinction. Rule 6 encapsulates one of the most important observations from the fossil record -species turnover." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.581) 22/02/2007 "Each species of mammal-like reptile that has been found appears suddenly in the fossil record and is not preceded by the species that is directly ancestral to it. It disappears some time later, equally abruptly, without leaving a directly descended species although we usually find that it has been replaced by some new, related species." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.581) 22/02/2007 "The concept of punctuated equilibria-which envisages evolutionary change occurring in a series of jumps, with relatively little change in between-was introduced in 1972 by Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould, and accounts for this rather well. According to this concept, intermediate stages between known species are not found in the record because most evolutionary change occurs in very small, geographically isolated parts of the main species population. Such a peripheral isolate, as it is termed, can evolve very rapidly, for three main reasons. It includes only a few individuals; it is isolated from the main gene pool of the species; and it inhabits an environment different from that of the rest of the species. The large original population of the species is at the same time highly susceptible to extinction; because its population is large its potential rate of evolution is low and therefore it cannot change quickly in response to a minor change in the environment. In the course of time, such a species would become extinct and its place in the habitat would be taken by a related species, newly developed from one of the peripheral isolates. The fossil record shows this as the sudden replacement of one species by another within a lineage, rather than the gradual change of one species into another. (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.583) 22/02/2007 "Rates of speciation and extinction must depend on random events to some extent, but the fossil also suggests that the rate tends to be different in different ecotypes (that is, in animals adapted to ecologically different habitats). For example, because speciation depends on parts of the main population becoming isolated, we would expect that small animals-which can be isolated by less dramatic geographical features would be more likely to speciate than large animals. Perhaps, too, insectivores, with a diet that is typically rather cosmopolitan, might be more resistant to extinction than the average herbivore or large carnivore, with more specialised diets. So-as in Rule 8-the forms most likely to survive a mass extinction are small carnivores (which includes insectivores) followed by small herbivores. And similarly in the minor mass extinctions (Rule 7), it is larger types that are most at risk." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, pp.583,584) 22/02/2007 "Rates of morphological change. The speed at which morphology-form-changes during the evolution of a lineage will depend both on the rate of speciation and on the size of change that accompanies each new species. There has been a lot of speculation recently about whether larger changes than normal can occur during speciation. The fossil record of the mammal-like reptiles can do no more than suggest that such macromutational change is possible. What it does show clearly, however, is that the overall rate of change can vary enormously under varying circumstances." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.584. Emphasis original) 22/02/2007 "Immediately after a mass extinction the main lineages of the new radiation appear in the fossil record more or less fully developed (Rule 3). One possible explanation is that after the mass extinction had removed most of the species in a habitat, relatively ill-adapted species from the periphery were free to invade the range and establish themselves as new species populations. These new species in turn gave rise to their own peripheral isolates, and hence to a further generation of species. Because the present occupiers of the range were relatively ill-adapted some of the new peripheral isolates would be highly likely to form species better suited to the habitat, so that they would replace the existing species. This cycle of events would continue, with each new generation of species being better adapted than the one it replaces. This being so, it becomes less and less likely that a new generation of species will arise that is even better adapted. The outcome is that species turnover is rapid at first, but falls as the species become better adapted. If the earlier phase of this programme (say the first dozen or so species) took a brief period of time (say a few thousand years), then the chance of us finding these forms among the fossils is very low compared to the chance of finding representatives of the later part of the programme, when the members of the lineages were fully adapted, definitive types that lasted for a far longer time. " (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.584. Emphasis original) 22/02/2007 "Direction of morphological change. We will probably never know in detail what exactly caused morphological change in the synapsids to go in the particular directions it did, but there are certain interesting lines of investigation. Most obviously, there are the ecological opportunities available. Thus a normal terrestrial habitat offers opportunities for carnivores and herbivores of various sizes and perhaps a number of more specialised types such as scavengers. So it is only to be expected that each phase of the radiation followed a broadly comparable course, with similar ecotypes in each case (Rule 5)." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.584. Emphasis original) 22/02/2007 "More interesting in Rule 2-that the radiation begins from a small carnivore Small herbivores also survive mass extinctions, so why are the herbivores of the new generation not derived from these? Why, instead, are they remodelled from the carnivore lineage? One possible explanation is that after the mass extinction there is a period when there are no large carnivores around. The surviving herbivores are temporarily free of predation and without this selective pressure they lose their ability to avoid being captured. When, after a period, larger carnivores arise from the small survivors, they are able to wipe out the susceptible herbivores, who rapidly become extinct. This leaves the reptilian plant-eating niche open, to be filled by derivatives of the small carnivores." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.584) 22/02/2007 "The third rule that addresses the direction of morphological change is Rule 4, the progress towards mammalian structure. We can chart the acquisition of mammalian characters by studying those particular fossils that lie closest to the hypothetical lineage from primitive pelycosaurs to mammals. Each biological system that shows in the skeleton-primarily feeding and locomotion but also such things as hearing, respiration, and brain size evolved step by step towards the mammal condition. Since all the systems did this, there is an apparent correlation among them, although this correlation is not absolute because we do sometimes see that one system becomes more mammal-like without the other systems accompanying it. Such a pattern of evolution of the characters is called a correlated progression, and it comes about because all the structures and functions of an organism are integrated within the whole. They must, perforce, change together if the animal is to continue to work properly." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.584) 22/02/2007 "Holding it all together The mammal-like reptiles were terrestrial animals and so faced the three major problems of life on land: temperatures that fluctuate wildly, water loss, and gravity But an animal cannot solve any one of these problems without aggravating the others. For example, if an animal reduced water loss with an impermeable skin, it would no longer be able to use evaporative cooling-sweating-to prevent overheating. Conversely, the animal can isolate itself from the harmful effects of temperature fluctuation by evolving a higher and constant body temperature, but only at the price of aggravating the problem of water loss. It is clear that these problems (along with various lesser ones that face a land animal) could only be solved together, in an integrated fashion. A modification that bears on one of the problems would have to be accompanied by appropriate modifications bearing on the others. Translated into evolutionary terms, any one functional system could only change a small amount and would then be forced to wait, so to speak, for the other systems to catch up before it could take another incremental step." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.584. Emphasis original) 22/02/2007 "Modern mammals have largely overcome the problem by refining the mechanisms that maintain their bodies in a constant state, but all the parts and processes involved are intimately linked. The progress towards mammalness that we see in the evolution of the mammal-like reptiles must therefore be interpreted as a gradual improvement in the level of homeostasis-that is, in the extent to which the body is maintained in a state of constancy-associated with a gradually developing independence of fluctuations in the environment. Homeostasis is probably a virtue of any land organism, and its evolution is therefore manifested in all the ecotypes of mammal-like reptiles." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.584) 22/02/2007 "The fossil record of the mammal-like reptiles, to a greater or lesser extent in common with other fossil records, does contribute to evolutionary theory. It indicates two important phenomena that must be accounted for by any comprehensive theory of evolution, and that cannot be predicted from a study of living organisms alone. The first is species turnover, and the dynamic dimension it gives to an evolving lineage. The second is the part played by mass extinction, both as a filter that allows the differential survival of some lineages and not others, and also because of the events which follow a mass extinction. Conditions at such times seem to have been so different from normal that certain evolutionary events could occur which would not be predictable from a knowledge of the ecology of modern animals alone. Those times seem to have been the periods of maximum evolutionary change and were therefore of the greatest consequence in determining the whole course of evolution." (Kemp, T.S., "The reptiles that became mammals," New Scientist, Vol. 92, 4 March 1982, pp.581-584, p.584) 22/02/2007 "The spectacularly diverse group of creatures that dominated the terrestrial animal world for 125 million years before the dinosaurs arrived, and, more importantly, gave rise to the first primitive mammals, has been relatively neglected by the scientific community and the public at large. This group, the mammal-like reptiles (subclass: Synapsida) was the subject of a recent conference held at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History ... The focus of the interest is of course, on the anatomical and behavioral changes that occurred in typically reptilian stock and eventually gave rise to typically mammalian characteristics." (Lewin, R., "Bones of Mammals' Ancestors Fleshed Out," Science, Vol. 212, 26 June 1981, p.1492). 22/02/2007 "Reptiles evolved from amphibians some 325 million years ago. `They were small insect-eating lizard-like creatures,' said John Ruben, of Oregon State University. `They differed from amphibians not so much in their anatomy but in their mode of reproduction.' They laid eggs bounded by a protective membrane or shell. And so too did the mammal-like reptiles, which arose from the newly evolved reptiles. The earliest mammal- like reptiles, of the order Pelycosauria, were distinguished from their ancestors principally in size and diet: many large species rapidly arose, some of which were specialized carnivores, while others were herbivores. Although not extensive, differentiation of tooth type has its origins in these early stages, `implying a more efficient preparation of food,' explained Robert Carroll, of McGill University." (Lewin, R., "Bones of Mammals' Ancestors Fleshed Out," Science, Vol. 212, 26 June 1981, p.1492). 22/02/2007 "There were three major groups (suborders) of pelycosaurs: sphenacodonts, edaphosaurs, and ophiacodonts. It was the first group ... that gave rise to the second subclass of mammal-like reptiles, the therapsids. The pelycosaurs were hugely successful during their 50-million-year tenure but became extinct in the Early Permian, some 265 million years ago. Their issue, the therapsids (order: Therapsida), were equally fecund, giving rise to more than 300 genera, with species ranging in size from that of rats to rhinoceroses. Again, some were carnivores, some herbivores." (Lewin, R., "Bones of Mammals' Ancestors Fleshed Out," Science, Vol. 212, 26 June 1981, p.1492). 22/02/2007 "The line of advancing mammal-like features passes through the theriodonts, a diverse group mainly of apparently efficient carnivores, to cynodonts, from which the first true mammals evolved some 200 million years ago. The two major trends through the cynodont line were a reduction in size (they ranged from the size of a rat to that of a wolf) and an increasing elaboration of mammalian features. The last of the cynodonts were very small and were probably insect-eaters like the mammals that evolved from them. They may have been nocturnal too, like their descendants. In addition to the steady specialization of teeth, other mammalian characteristics include limbs that move anterio-posteriorly directly under the body rather than straddling horizontally as in reptiles, and the beginnings of an arched vertebral column. Alfred Crompton described the dramatic alteration of the reptilian jaw into the mammalian structure, which has a stronger joint and, through greater flexibility, permits much more effective food processing. `The change occurred as a secondary consequence of the evolution of a more sensitive middle ear containing three bones as against the reptile's one,' said Crompton. The two extra bones derived from part of the reptilian jaw structure." (Lewin, R., "Bones of Mammals' Ancestors Fleshed Out," Science, Vol. 212, 26 June 1981, p.1492). 22/02/2007 "An important mammalian feature is the ability to generate heat and maintain body temperature within tight limits. Is this a mammalian invention, or did the therapsids develop it first? `The vascular structure of the bones, the possession of a secondary boney palate, and reduction in the rib cage all correlate with endotherm said Albert Bennett, of the University of California at Irvine. More telling, though, is evidence in some therapsids of a wet membrane in the nasal cavity. And some of the later species would undoubtedly have had hair. `Although it is clear that some therapsids were warm-blooded, we can't say how precisely they were able to control their body temperature, added Bennett. Neurological evidence, sketchily drawn in brain endocasts, also supports the notion of endothermic therapsids. But most strikingly portrayed in the fossil brain structure is the clear importance of a good sense of smell in these creatures. And this correlates very well with what David Duvall, of the University of Wyoming, sees in the nasal structure of late therapsids. `In animals that employ pheromones for social signaling you always find an important structure, the Veremo nasal organ,' he said. Duvall detects such structures in some of the late therapsids, which points to the emergence of a truly social animal." (Lewin, R., "Bones of Mammals' Ancestors Fleshed Out," Science, Vol. 212, 26 June 1981, p.1492). 22/02/2007 "Why be social? Possibly because these late mammal-like reptiles had also come close to inventing the family. Louis Guillette, of the University of Colorado, speculated on the origin of maternal care through a combination of egg guarding and the development of a brood patch in a warm-blooded animal. Glands of the brood patch might produce little more than an aggregation pheromone, or they might even yield milk. By its nature fossil evidence for such processes is at best hazy. `But,' suggested Guillette `one can readily envisage some kind of situation like this.'" (Lewin, R., "Bones of Mammals' Ancestors Fleshed Out," Science, Vol. 212, 26 June 1981, p.1492). 22/02/2007 "The transition to the first mammal which probably happened in just one or, at most, two lineages, is still an enigma." (Lewin, R., "Bones of Mammals' Ancestors Fleshed Out," Science, Vol. 212, 26 June 1981, p.1492) 22/02/2007 "This sense of an embattled culture was carried from the southwest to California by the migrations of the Okies and Arkies dispossessed from their ruined farms in the 1930s. There was no serious public threat to their religious and family values until well after the Second World War. Evolution, for example, was not part of the regular biology curriculum when I was a student in 1946 in the New York City high schools, nor was it discussed in school textbooks. In consequence there was no organized creationist movement. Then, in the late 1950s, a national project was begun to bring school science curricula up to date. A group of biologists from elite universities together with science teachers from urban schools produced a new uniform set of biology textbooks, whose publication and dissemination were underwritten by the National Science Foundation. An extensive and successful public relations campaign was undertaken to have these books adopted, and suddenly Darwinian evolution was being taught to children everywhere. The elite culture was now extending its domination by attacking the control that families had maintained over the ideological formation of their children. The result was a fundamentalist revolt, the invention of `Creation Science,' and successful popular pressure on local school boards and state textbook purchasing agencies to revise subversive curricula and boycott blasphemous textbooks. In their parochial hubris, intellectuals call the struggle between cultural relativists and traditionalists in the universities and small circulation journals `The Culture Wars.' The real war is between the traditional culture of those who think of themselves as powerless and the rationalizing materialism of the modern Leviathan. There are indeed Two Cultures at Cambridge. One is in the Senior Common Room, and the other is in the Porter's Lodge." (Lewontin, R.C., "Billions and Billions of Demons." Review of "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," by Carl Sagan, The New York Times Review of Books, January 9, 1997, pp.28-32, p.8. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/article-preview?article_id=1297) 22/02/2007 "Carl Sagan, like his Canadian counterpart David Suzuki, has devoted extraordinary energy to bringing science to a mass public. In doing so, he is faced with a contradiction for which there is no clear resolution. On the one hand science is urged on us as a model of rational deduction from publicly verifiable facts, freed from the tyranny of unreasoning authority. On the other hand, given the immense extent, inherent complexity, and counterintuitive nature of scientific knowledge, it is impossible for anyone, including nonspecialist scientists, to retrace the intellectual paths that lead to scientific conclusions about nature. In the end we must trust the experts and they, in turn, exploit their authority as experts and their rhetorical skills to secure our attention and our belief in things that we do not really understand. Anyone who has ever served as an expert witness in a judicial proceeding knows that the court may spend an inordinate time `qualifying' the expert, who, once qualified, gives testimony that is not meant to be a persuasive argument, but an assertion unchallengeable by anyone except another expert. And, indeed, what else are the courts to do? If the judge, attorneys, and jury could reason out the technical issues from fundamentals, there would be no need of experts. " (Lewontin, R.C., "Billions and Billions of Demons." Review of "The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark," by Carl Sagan, The New York Times Review of Books, January 9, 1997, pp.28-32, p.8) 23/02/2007 "Ironically, two of the long-ranging species of Figure 1 belong to Hyracotherium (popularly known as eohippus), the oldest genus of horses. Those who in the past have contemplated the formation of the modern horse by gradual evolution, beginning with this early genus, must now contend with the fact that at least two species of Hyracotherium lasted for several million years without appreciable change. ... It is notable that the evidence of great stability for species of Hyracotherium is complemented, at the other end of equid phylogeny, by data showing that ten species of horses lived through most or all of Pleistocene time-for at least the better part of 2 Myr." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution and the Fossil Record," Evolution, Vol. 36, No. 3, 1982, pp.460-473, p.464) 23/02/2007 "We are not a computer that follows routines laid down at birth. If we are any kind of machine, then we are a learning machine, and we do our important learning in specific areas of the brain. Thus you see that the brain has not just blown up to two or three times its size during its evolution. It has grown in quite special areas: where it controls the hand, for instance, where speech is controlled, where foresight and planning are controlled." (Bronowski, J., "The Ascent of Man," , British Broadcasting Corporation: London, Reprint, 1978, p.416) 23/02/2007 "Consider the hand first. The recent evolution of man certainly begins with the advancing development of the hand, and the selection for a brain which is particularly adept at manipulating the hand. We feel the pleasure of that in our actions, so that for the artist the hand remains a major symbol: the hand of Buddha, for instance, giving man the gift of humanity in a gesture of calm, the gift of fearlessness. But also for the scientist the hand has a special gesture: we can oppose the thumb to the fingers. Well, the apes can do that. But we can oppose the thumb precisely to the forefinger, and that is a special human gesture. And it can be done because there is an area in the brain so large that I can best describe its size to you in the following way: we spend more grey matter in the brain manipulating the thumb than in the total control of the chest and the abdomen." (Bronowski, J., "The Ascent of Man," , British Broadcasting Corporation: London, Reprint, 1978, pp.416-417) 23/02/2007 "I remember as a young father tiptoeing to the cradle of my first daughter when she was four or five days old, and thinking, `These marvellous fingers, every joint so perfect, down to the finger nails. I could not have designed that detail in a million years'. But of course it is exactly a million years that it took me, a million years that it took mankind, for the hand to drive the brain and for the brain to feed back and drive the hand to reach its present stage of evolution. And that takes place in a quite specific place in the brain. The whole of the hand is essentially monitored by a part of the brain that can be marked out, near the top of the head." (Bronowski, J., "The Ascent of Man," , British Broadcasting Corporation: London, Reprint, 1978, pp.417,421) 23/02/2007 "Take next an even more specifically human part of the brain which does not exist in animals at all: for speech. That is localised in two connected areas of the human brain; one area is close to the hearing centre, and the other lies forward and higher, in the frontal lobes. Is that pre-wired? Yes, in one sense, because if we do not have the speech centres intact we cannot speak at all. And yet, does it have to be learned? Of course it does. I speak English, which I only learned at the age of thirteen; but I could not speak English if I had not before learned language. You see, if you leave a child speaking no language until the age of thirteen, then it is almost impossible for it to learn at all. I speak English because I learned Polish at the age of two. I have forgotten every word of Polish, but I learned language. Here as in other human gifts the brain is wired to learn." (Bronowski, J., "The Ascent of Man," , British Broadcasting Corporation: London, Reprint, 1978, p.421. Emphasis original) 23/02/2007 "In this chapter we take up the signs of the times in particular, as these are set forth in the Scriptures. Though it is difficult to work out a systematic overview of these signs, 1 it may be helpful to group them under the following three headings: (1) Signs evidencing the grace of God: (a) The proclamation of the gospel to all nations [Mt 24:14; Mk 13:10] (b) The salvation of the fulness of Israel [Rom 11:25-26] (2) Signs indicating opposition to God: (a) Tribulation [Mt 24:21-22; Mk 13:19 KJV] (b) Apostasy [Mt 24:10-12,24; 2Th 2:1-3] (c) Antichrist [2Th 2:3-10; 1Jn 2:18,22; 4:3; 2Jn 1:7] (3) Signs indicating divine judgment: (a) Wars (b) Earthquakes (c) Famines [Mt 24:6-8; Mk 13:7-8; Lk 21:9-11; Rom 8:22]" (Hoekema, A.A.*, "The Bible and the Future," , Paternoster Press: Exeter UK, British Edition, 1979, p.137) 24/02/2007 "The fossils that decorate our family tree are so scarce that there are still more scientists than specimens. The remarkable fact is that all the physical evidence we have for human evolution can still be placed, with room to spare, inside a single coffin." (Watson, L., "The Water People," Science Digest, Vol. 90, May 1982, p.44. In Morris, H.M.*, "Evolution in Turmoil: An Updated Sequel to The Troubled Waters of Evolution," Creation-Life Publishers: San Diego CA, 1982, pp.72-73) 24/02/2007 "Human paleontology shares a peculiar trait with such disparate subjects as theology and extraterrestrial biology; it contains more practitioners than objects for study." (Pilbeam, D. & Gould, S.J., "Size and Scaling in Human Evolution," Science, Vol. 186, Dec. 6, 1974, pp.892-901, p.892). 24/02/2007 "I know that at least in paleoanthropology, data are still so sparse that theory heavily influences interpretations. Theories have, in the past, clearly reflected our current ideologies instead of the actual data." (Pilbeam, D., "Rearranging Our Family Tree," Human Nature, June 1978, pp.39-45, p.45. In Morris, H.M.*, "Evolution in Turmoil: An Updated Sequel to The Troubled Waters of Evolution," Creation-Life: San Diego CA, 1982, p.73) 24/02/2007 "Unfortunately, the fossil record of pongids is nonexistent, making, a glaring deficiency in the whole story." (Pilbeam, D., "Rearranging Our Family Tree," Human Nature, June 1978, pp.39-45, p.43. In Morris, H.M.*, "Evolution in Turmoil: An Updated Sequel to The Troubled Waters of Evolution," Creation-Life: San Diego CA, 1982, p.74) 24/02/2007 "In the previous portion Jesus foretold the dreadful fate awaiting the people of Jerusalem in the destruction of their city and temple. It will be so terrible (and actually was so) that the Saviour held it up as a clear foreshadowing of the Last Days and the Final judgment, as appears from Mark xiii, where the predictions concerning the fate of the city Jerusalem are constantly expanded into prophecies concerning the Last Days." (Geldenhuys, J.N.*, "Commentary on the Gospel of Luke," Marshall, Morgan & Scott: London, 1950, Reprinted, 1961, p.537) 24/02/2007 "[Luke 21:25-33] After referring in verse 24 to the period when the times of the nations will be fulfilled, i.e. to the end of the present age ... there is in verse 25 an immediate transition to the predictions concerning the Last Things before and at Jesus' second advent. 25, 26 While before the fall of Jerusalem there were only a few miraculous signs (cf. verse 11 " in divers places "), before the end of the age all creation and the whole of the human world will be plunged into dreadful commotions-in the sun, the moon and the stars there will appear miraculous and alarming signs, the whole life of the nations on earth will be disrupted through the anxiety and terror that will overwhelm the people and render them desperate. 27 In the midst of these circumstances of utmost distress the Son of Man, the exalted Christ, will come in His divine power and majesty, and in such a manner that every eye will see Him." (Geldenhuys, J.N.*, "Commentary on the Gospel of Luke," Marshall, Morgan & Scott: London, 1950, Reprinted, 1961, pp.537-538) 24/02/2007 "LUKE 21:25-33 ... 25,26. In vivid apocalyptic imagery Jesus speaks of heavenly portents. It is not easy to see how literally the words are meant to be taken. Such language is often used in apocalyptic to denote sudden and violent change and the emergence of a new order. In any case this will be the main part of the meaning here. Men will be perplexed and fearful. They will know that strange things are happening, but will not understand what is about to befall them." (Morris, L.*, "The Gospel According to Luke: An Introduction and Commentary," The Tyndale New Testament commentaries, , Inter-Varsity Press: Leicester UK, Reprinted, 1986, p.300. Emphasis original. Emphasis original) 24/02/2007 "But Dr. Travis shows how the great unfinished aspect of Christ's return dominates the hope of the New Testament, and indicates general pointers to its fulfilment. It is at this point that the lunatic fringe normally enters the arena. The army of date-fixers, the premillennialists, the postmillennialists, Hal Lindsey and the British Israelites-Dr. Travis handles them all with courtesy but shows clearly and compellingly why and where he believes them to be in error." (Green, M.*, "Editor's Preface," in Travis, S.H., "I Believe in the Second Coming of Jesus," Eerdmans: Grand Rapids MI, 1982, pp.7-8) 24/02/2007 "Luke ... 21:25-28 The coming of the Son of Man (see Mt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27). The second stage in the coming of the end is the cosmic disorder (cf. v 11) prophesied in the OT. Some scholars hold that this is a metaphorical description of the overthrow of the Gentile powers. Then the Son of Man will come, fulfilling the prophecy in Dn. 7:13-14, where his coming is associated with the day of judgment and the final, visible establishment of God's rule. Because the disasters ahead are the prelude to this divine act of release, the disciples should be filled with hope, in contrast to the fear which will characterize everybody else." (Marshall, I.H.*, "Luke," in Carson, D.A., et al., eds, "New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition," , Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester UK, Reprinted, 1997, p.1014. Emphasis original) 25/02/2007 "`We believe we have now shown that there is a tendency in nature to the continued progression of certain classes of varieties further and further from the original type - a progression to which there appears no reason to assign any definite limits-and that the same principle which produces this result in a state of nature will also explain why domestic varieties have a tendency to revert to the original type. This progression, by minute steps, in various directions, but always checked and balanced by the necessary conditions, subject to which alone existence can be preserved, may, it is believed, be followed out so as to agree with all the phenomena presented by organized beings, their extinction and succession in past ages, and all the extraordinary modifications of form, instinct, and habits which they exhibit.' - A.R. Wallace, Ternate Essay, February, 1858" (Hoyle, F. & Wickramasinghe, N.C., "Why Neo-Darwinism Does Not Work," University College Cardiff Press: Cardiff UK, 1982, p.3) 25/02/2007 "This elegant qualitative description by Alfred Russel Wallace of the mechanism of evolution in 1858 was only much later to receive more quantitative expression. Neither Wallace nor Darwin was able to define what it was that caused the `minute steps' to occur, and it required inputs first from Mendelian genetics and later from molecular biology to assess the claims for this evolutionary mechanism. The philosophy of `neo- Darwinism' precludes the occurrence of individual steps that are not minute, and moreover imposes the further restriction that all such steps must be derived from within terrestrial biology. We have argued elsewhere that both these constraints are incorrect (Evolution from Space, Dent, 1981)."(Hoyle, F. & Wickramasinghe, N.C., "Why Neo-Darwinism Does Not Work," University College Cardiff Press: Cardiff UK, 1982, p.3) 26/02/2007 "Modern apes, for instance, seem to have sprung out of nowhere. They have no yesterday, no fossil record. And the true origin of modern humans-of upright, naked, toolmaking, big-brained beings-is, if we are to be honest with ourselves, an equally mysterious matter." (Watson, L., "The Water People," Science Digest, Vol. 90, May 1982, p.44. In Morris, H.M.*, "Evolution in Turmoil: An Updated Sequel to The Troubled Waters of Evolution," Creation-Life Publishers: San Diego CA, 1982, p.76) 26/02/2007 "It is true that the mechanism applied to higher organisms is incredibly complex and the only question that may remain is whether there would have been time for it in the 4.5 aeons since the origin of life on Earth. Even such a basic mechanism as photosynthesis, which of necessity must have come near the beginning, involves mechanisms in the chloroplasts themselves requiring the formation of dozens of specific enzymes." (Bernal J.D., "The Origin of Life," , Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London, 1973, Third Impression, p.137) 26/02/2007 "The origin of the cell factory, the origin of the cell's computer tapes and code; the origin of the copy- typists; the origin of the thousands of machine operatives and their 200 trades; the origin of the shop floor machinery and assembly line-the origin of the Ministry of Fuel and power; and the origin of the mechanism to reproduce further factories and firms. It is easier to take the first two points together - the factory and the code. Dr. Graham Chedd reporting said that the knowledge we have of life's mechanisms "begs one key question. How did the mechanism which allowed subsequent evolution itself evolve?" (Chedd, G., "Crick on the Origin of the Code", New Scientist, January 23, 1969. In Pearce, E.K.V.*, "Who Was Adam?," Paternoster: Exeter UK, 1969, pp.105-106. Emphasis original) 26/02/2007 "A SET of 19th-century drawings that still appear in reference books such as Gray's Anatomy are badly misdrawn, says an embryologist in Britain. German naturalist Ernst Haeckel published the drawings 123 years ago in support of his famous dictum `ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny'. They appear to demonstrate that the young embryos of fish, birds and humans look nearly the same. `He's shown the similarity, but he hasn't shown the differences,' says Michael Richardson of St George's Hospital Medical School in London. Richardson and his colleagues compared the embryos of 50 vertebrates to Haeckel's drawings. They say in Anatomy and Embryology (vol 196, p 91) that Haeckel left out some features, such as the budding limbs that some embryos have, while adding others, such as an excess of vertebra-like `somites'. Although Haeckel confessed to drawing from memory and was convicted of fraud at the University of Jena, the drawings persist. `That's the real mystery,' says Richardson." ("Embryonic fraud lives on," New Scientist, 6 September 1997, p.23. http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg15520984.700-embryonic-fraud-lives-on.html) 26/02/2007 "This is one of the worst cases of scientific fraud What he [Haeckel] did was to take a human embryo and copy it, pretending that the salamander and the pig and all the others looked the same at the same stage of development. They don't. ... There's only one word for this, and Dr. Richardson doesn't flinch from using it. 'These are fakes. In the paper we call them misleading and inaccurate, but that is just polite scientific language'." (Richardson, M., in Hawkes, N., "An Embryonic Liar," The Times, 11 August, 1997, p.14) 26/02/2007 "Using modern techniques, a British researcher has photographed embryos like those pictured in the famous, century-old drawings by Ernst Haeckel--proving that Haeckel's images were falsified. Haeckel once admitted to his peers that he doctored the drawings, but that confession was forgotten. ... he also fudged the scale to exaggerate similarities among species, even when there were 10-fold differences in size. Haeckel further blurred differences by neglecting to name the species in most cases, as if one representative was accurate for an entire group of animals. ... Haeckel's confession got lost after his drawings were subsequently used in a 1901 book called Darwin and After Darwin and reproduced widely in English language biology texts." (Pennisi, E., "Haeckel's Embryos: Fraud Rediscovered," Science, Vol. 277, 5 September 1997, p.1435) 28/02/2007 "I have already declared myself an unrepentant `neocatastrophist' in my book on the nature of the stratigraphical record (Ager, 1973). In that work I suggested that the stratigraphical record, `like the life of a soldier, consists of long periods of boredom and short periods of terror'. I now propose to consider such `neocatastrophism' more particularly in relation to the fossil record. I base my beliefs on three principles. The first is the self-evident truth that man's history has not yet been long enough for him to observe and record all the natural processes that are going on in what, as geologists, we may call the `present day'. In other words we do not yet know enough of the present to use it fully as the key to the past. Secondly, although we must assume that the basic physical laws have not changed, we must also suspect that there have been changes in certain natural processes (e.g. the rate of subaerial erosion before and after the evolution of grass) and parameters (e.g. the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans). Thirdly, we may suspect; from evidence in the geological record, that changes in the past have often been both episodic and sudden. This seems to apply particularly to fossil evidence of evolution and extinction and has been discussed by many authors, most notably by Norman Newell in a whole series of papers, (e.g. 1963; 1967; 1973)." (Ager, D.V., 'The nature of the fossil record," Presidential Address delivered 5 March 1976, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 87, No. 2, 1976, p.131-135, p.131) 28/02/2007 "The doctrine which I have been preaching for years, without knowing it, is what is now most aptly expressed by Gould's term punctuated equilibria (Gould, 1971; Eldredge & Gould, 1972). This represents the concept of the organic world as being normally in a state of equilibrium, but this equilibrium being periodically interrupted or punctuated by short sudden happenings (or catastrophes). The opposite view, which has been, almost subconsciously, accepted by palaeontologists for many years, is that of phyletic gradualism. This sees all branches of the animal and plant world busily but slowly evolving side by side, year in and year out, all through all the eons of the history of life, albeit some groups more rapidly than others." (Ager, D.V., 'The nature of the fossil record," Presidential Address delivered 5 March 1976, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 87, No. 2, 1976, p.131-135, p.132) 28/02/2007 "Just as I cannot believe what I called `the gentle rain from heaven' concept of sedimentation (Ager, 1973, 51), so I cannot believe this slow march of the organic army towards better things. As I have said previously in a review (Ager, 1975a): `It is surely an inevitable conclusion from modern thought about specific evolution that it will occur only in marginal ... communities and is most unlikely to be preserved for us in the fossil record. It is not a general advance of the whole army, like Ostrea changing into Gryphaea up every Lias cliff in the world, it is an outflanking movement of a handful of skirmishers, creeping through the undergrowth on the unseen outermost limits of the battlefield.' But the victory resulting from that outflanking movement is likely to be spectacular!" (Ager, D.V., 'The nature of the fossil record," Presidential Address delivered 5 March 1976, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 87, No. 2, 1976, p.131- 135, p.132) 28/02/2007 "In my book on the stratigraphical record, I used the term quantum sedimentation. I used `quantum' in the physicist's sense, i.e. Max Planck's concept of the emission and absorption of energy occurring, not continuously, but in finite steps, in fixed minimum amounts. Similarly I think we should talk of quantum evolution, that is to say, evolution taking place in short distinct steps rather than in gradual trends. The actual transition from one species to another is probably a very local and sudden phenomenon, occurring only in marginal populations." (Ager, D.V., 'The nature of the fossil record," Presidential Address delivered 5 March 1976, Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, Vol. 87, No. 2, 1976, p.131-135, p.132) 28/02/2007 "The argument here is that while we can recognize a long-ranging species by finding two populations that are nearly identical in form but far apart in time, we will fail to recognize the phyletic relationship between two quite different populations separated by a similar gap (Levinton and Simon, 1980). This argument assumes that the entire fossil record is so imperfect that we are invariably forced to play an imprecise `connect-the-dots' game of taxonomy, in which many lines of descent go unnoticed. My analysis of the longevities of chronospecies of European Pleistocene mammals (Stanley, 1978, 1979), was designed to eliminate this very problem. Here the fossil record is remarkably comprehensive, in the sense that 85% of mammalian species now living in Europe are found as fossils in Pleistocene deposits (many of the remaining species are apparently recent immigrants to Europe). What this means is that we can trace nearly all living species backward into the Pleistocene." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution and the Fossil Record," Evolution, Vol. 36, No. 3, 1982, pp.460-473, p.462. Emphasis original) 28/02/2007 "A segment of the mammalian record that is of superb quality in a different way is the Late Eocene record of the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming. Here many lineages can be traced through hundreds of meters of stratigraphic section. Schankler (1980) has shown that species here turn out to have much greater longevities than previously believed. Furthermore, species that were once believed to intergrade (Gingerich, 1974, 1976; Gingerich and Simons, 1977) can now be shown to overlap in time (Bakker and Schankler, in press). A detailed analysis by Schankler conducted in just one small part of the Big Horn Basin has yielded the stratigraphic ranges for species shown in Figure 1. This figure displays ranges for 69 lineages-all those with good fossil records within the particular interval of about 2 Myr represented by the Haplomylus- Ectocion range zone. The continuity of the records for lineages is indicated by the 10-m sampling intervals marked off by bars in the diagram. An average interval represents a time span of perhaps 40,000 to 70,000 years. This is the most fully documented set of fossil lineages in the world, and it represents an unbiased sample. Here again the scepticism of Levinton and Simon (1980) does not apply. Any one of the well documented segments of lineages could exhibit significant evolution over the span of time represented, but none does." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution and the Fossil Record," Evolution, Vol. 36, No. 3, 1982, pp.460-473, pp.462,464) 28/02/2007 "Ironically, two of the long-ranging species of Figure 1 belong to Hyracotherium (popularly known as eohippus), the oldest genus of horses. Those who in the past have contemplated the formation of the modern horse by gradual evolution, beginning with this early genus, must now contend with the fact that at least two species of Hyracotherium lasted for several million years without appreciable change. ... It is notable that the evidence of great stability for species of Hyracotherium is complemented, at the other end of equid phylogeny, by data showing that ten species of horses lived through most or all of Pleistocene time-for at least the better part of 2 Myr." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution and the Fossil Record," Evolution, Vol. 36, No. 3, 1982, pp.460-473, p.464) 28/02/2007 "Interestingly, the punctuational pattern of mammalian evolution in general holds for human phylogeny in particular. Hominid species have overlapped in time and survived for long intervals (Stanley, 1978). In particular, Homo erectus, a species directly or indirectly ancestral to our own, survived for more than a million years as a distinctive form. Rightmire (1981) has found no statistical basis for appreciable change in the morphology of Homo erectus between about 1.5 and 0.2 Myr ago. This and other evidence of the longevity of hominid species were not included in the recent report of Cronin et al. (1981), claiming a gradual pattern for human evolution." (Stanley, S.M., "Macroevolution and the Fossil Record," Evolution, Vol. 36, No. 3, 1982, pp.460-473, pp.464-465)
*Authors with an asterisk against their name are believed not to be evolutionists.
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