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29+ Evidences for Macroevolution
Copyright © 1999-2003 by Douglas Theobald,
previous points are all evidence of macroevolution alone; the evidence and the
conclusion are independent of any specific gradualistic explanatory mechanisms
for the origin and evolution of macroevolutionary adaptations. This is why
scientists call universal common descent the "fact of evolution". As explained
in the introduction, none of the predictions directly address how
macroevolution has occurred; nevertheless, the validity of the macroevolutionary
conclusion does not depend on whether Darwinism, Lamarckism (i.e. inheritance of
acquired characaters), or something else is the true mechanism of adaptive
evolutionary change. The macroevolutionary conclusion stands, regardless.
This point has an interesting parallel in physics. Newton's theory of
universal gravitation describes a phenomenon of matter, just as macroevolution
describes a phenomenon of life. The theory of universal gravitation is also
independent of the specific explanatory mechanism for gravity, and in fact
Newton never gave a mechanism for gravity. Why does the force between two masses
follow the inverse square law and not another law (perhaps an inverse cube law)?
It took nearly 300 years before any
plausible mechanisms for gravity were proposed (by quantum field theorists).
None of these proposed mechanisms currently have any experimental support.
Additionally, theories of gravity are strictly dependent upon the concept of
mass, and there currently is no empirically supported mechanism
for giving mass to matter. Charles Darwin is considered such a great
scientific mind because, unlike Newton and Einstein who proposed only
descriptive theories, Darwin proposed both a descriptive theory and a plausible
mechanism. That mechanism is, of course, heritable variation with natural
Mike Hopkins has generously donated his expertise and time to provide
off-site links to the references cited in this FAQ, for which I am extremely
grateful. I also wish to thank Brett Vickers, John Wilkins, Wesley Elsberry,
Edward Max, Jim Foley, Laurence Moran, Ashby Camp, Cornelius George Hunter,
Richard Harter, Matt Silberstein, Neil Rickert, Larry Handlin, John Harshman,
Paul Gans, Sarah Clark, Paul Danaher, Howard Hershey, maff, Adam Noel Harris,
Rich Daniel, Wade Hines, Chris Nedin, Peter Nyikos, Gavin Tabor, Andrew McRae,
Ken Cox, Ken Cope, Mike Goodrich, Norm Pace, Scott Classen, Tom Schneider, Steve
Schultz, Carl Woese, and Catherine Theobald (and others I am surely, yet
unintentionally omitting) for their helpful comments, corrections, suggestions,
discussion, and criticism. All remaining errors are mine and mine alone.