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Molecular systematics - is it all rubbish?

Eirikur Sigurdsson eiriksig at rhi.hi.is
Wed Jun 14 09:37:15 EST 1995

In <3rmlb8$i5u at cronkite.ocis.temple.edu> gold at astro.ocis.temple.edu (Bert Gold)

>I am struck by the issue of what the driver is behind evolution.
>That is, what drives variation sufficiently to propel selection into
>being a creative process.

There is no driver behind evolution by natural selection.  It is not a 
creative process.  If you have variation, heredity and different rate of
reproduction you get......NATURAL SELECTION.

>This is the issue that Darwin never solved in his lifetime and was
>thought to have been solved by the rediscovery of Mendel by Tschermak,
>Correns and DeVries.

I guess here you mean what makes NS produce all the beuties of our worls, for
example the eye, or very sophisticated gene regulation-systems.  Darwin agreed
that explaning so perfect things was a major challange for his theory.  But
not a challenge that one cannot overcome, as he shows when he writes about
the eye in "The Origin of Species".  And what makes those beuties, in other
words adaptions.  Darwin clearly answered this when he added the fourth
principle: "The struggle for existance".    
What the rediscovery of Mendel did for Darwinism was just to show that vari-
ation is not lost in breeding populations.  

Eirikur Sigurdsson
Institute of Biology

eiriksig at rhi.hi.is

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