Re: Where are the zoologists?

Pat Dooley (
17 Dec 1994 00:10:29 -0500

In article <>, (Phillip Bigelow) writes:

>>NOt everything needs or has an explanation. For
>>instance Dawkins uses the example of the vertebrate eye. The
>>cells are wired "backwards"; that is, the light-receiving part of the
>>faces the back of the eye, and the nerves come out of the cell at the
>>the faces the _front_. All vertebrates are wired this way. Why? is it
>>because it was somehow advantageous? No, it is most likely there for
>>are known as "historical" reasons. It just happened that way, for no
>>reason, and since it was that way in our common ancestor, then all
>>vertebrates have that eye structure.


Evolution can't invent new features out of thin air. if the most primitive
vertebrate ancestor got its eyes mis-wired then all vertebrates are
condemned to share the same fate. But look what has been built
on that base - the acute vision of birds of prey; color recognition;
near night vision...The subsequent develops are pure evolution.

> Exactly so. Steven Jay Gould of Harvard has written extensively on the
>"randomness" of the evolutionary history of life. His point is that
>evolution doesn't _always_ have to have a driving force, or a driving
>purpose. Sometimes, it just happens. Time usually sorts out the "good"
>experiments from the "bad" experiments.
> <pb>
And, in the case of human evolution, time had a good few million years
at its disposal.

Pat Dooley