Posted: Jun 25, 2010 11:56 pm
by CharlieM
I've never understood why it's so difficult for some to go from believing the evidence for short-term, multi-generational adapation via natural selection (for example, the oft quoted example of industrialized moths) to extrapolating this evidence to macro evolutionary change, over evolutionary time-spans.

That isn't a very convincing example because there is no evolution of form during the change in the moth population. Before the change took place the moth population consisted of both light and dark forms. And after the trees were polluted the population consisted of the same light and dark forms only the ratio of one to the other changed. Not only that but get rid of the pollution and the population returns to its original state. This is not a good example of evolution but it is a good example of plasticity within a form.

EDIT: On a side note, from what I seem to have gathered here is that you (CharlieM) have no problem with limited forms of micro evolutionary change, but reject the notion of macro evolution. My question is what exactly DO you think to be the cause of all the diversity and change in life we see around us?

My views are a wee bit unconventional. I look at things mainly from a teleological, holistic perspective. I think there is a lot of wisdom in Blake's words, "To see a World in a Grain of Sand and a Heaven in a Wild Flower."

So to answer your question, I see the diversity of organisms as the individual expression of archetypal forms and not as blind accidents of natural evolution. I have no problem with evolution as such, just with blind, unguided evolution.

J.W. Goethe:
The ever-changing display of plant forms, which I have followed for so many years, awakens increasingly within me the notion: The plant forms which surround us were not all created at some given point in time and then locked into the given form, they have been given a felicitous mobility and plasticity that allows them to grow and adapt themselves to many different conditions in many different places. How they can be brought together under one concept has slowly become
clear to me and that this conception can be enlivened at a higher level [of consciousness]: thus I began to recognize in the sense perceptible form a supersensible archetype.