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Re: Evolutionary Theory
> Of course, this doesn't mean there is no creator. It simply means He is
> one fantastic engineer.
In that case, we can pretty much scrap Darwin & Wallace's theory of
natural selection. One of Darwin's main points (and the one that
caused him the deepest personal distress) is that evolution through
natural selection is a process that can funtion nicely without God. To
date, hypothesizing about a place for God in natural history has fits best
where the evidence is the most scarce. We can still hypothesize about
God creating life back in the Precambrian since that is basically a blank
slate as far as evidence either way, or speculate that He is manipulating
evolution in a manner so subtle that it seems to be explainible by
undirected natural selection. However, NATURAL selection IS an inherently
atheistic; or at least agnostic, mechanism for evolution.
> it might have meant that an evolutionary chain of
> events was initiated that would lead to the creation of a particular form.
I'm sure the big time Gould readers will jump all over this. For an
example, lets take an overview of human evolutionary history:
Single celled organisms develop and then don't do much of anything
for a couple billion years before the metazoans appear. Some time later,
the therapsids (or "mammal-like reptiles") become the dominant members of
the late Paleozoic vertebrate community; then they get largely decimated
by the Permian-Triassic extinction. The survivors do passably during the
Triassic, while the archosaurs are running things to a large degree.
Mammals evolve from relatively small therapsids right about the time the
dinosaurs take over and most of the remaining therapsid groups go extinct.
They pretty much STAY small for 150 million years until the K-T
extinction. THEN they get diverse and some get big. Primates evolve,
reach thier peak diversity in the Miocene, then decline in diversity.
Hominids evolve during less diverse and ecologically moe stressful times
in the Pliocene.
If evolution was supposed to lead to humans all along, it
certainly took a circuitous route.