Vance Maverick (
23 Jan 1995 04:18:27 GMT

In article <3fv7ps$> (Mark S. Whorton) writes:
> What is intriguing to me is that proponents of biological evolution
> fail to see the glaring deficiencies in their theories to which you
> have alluded. Namely, if there are no clear boundaries betweeen species,
> then why does the fossil record show such distinct boundaries.

Because it's an irregular and *extremely sparse* sample of all the
animals that have ever lived. (Also, as I'll say again below, it's not
generally thought that all populations everywhere are at all times "on
their way" to some new form.) What do you think are the chances that
a given animal will be fossilized after death?

> Alternatively, for those who have recognized the clear implications
> of the fossil record and have jumped from the darwinian frying pan to
> the fire of *punctuated equilibrium*, isn't it amazing that the quantum
> leap in speciation produced coincident organisms of opposite sex (so
> as to allow reproduction).

I think you've confused punc-eq with "hopeful monster" ideas. No
P-Eist is saying that a proto-whale with no flukes gave birth to a
proto-whale with clear modern flukes. P-E adds to "standard"
Darwinism the idea that the rate of evolution fluctuates, and that
large stable populations (whose chances of fossilization are best,
just because of numbers) are not where it's most favored. On the
other hand, the smaller marginal populations P-E claims do the
evolving aren't supposed to be inventing new characters overnight.