Joined: Sep. 2007
|Quote (Alan Fox @ Sep. 29 2007,04:17)|
So, is there another example that better illustrates Berg's alternative to RM + NS?
Berg's book is full of examples. He makes his case on cumulative evidence, making mention of so many species, orders, organs, locations, periods, races, genera, etc. and etc... that I can't remember half of them, (his examples probably average at least one per page, and there are over 400 pages!). So once again, I'll be unable to provide a "best" example, but I'll give you one example:
Nomogenesis, pp. 123-124, (emphasis his)
|Osborn (1902, 1907), basing his inferences on the study of the teeth of various groups of mammals, comes to the conclusion that teeth have "predispositions" to vary in a definite direction: in the process of the evolution of teeth full development is reached only by what had previously existed in a potential condition. Therefore, similar characters in teeth appear quite independently in various groups, such as horses, rhinoceroses, Titanotheria. Nor is this all. It is possible to detect a similar evolution of the tubercles of the molars in such widely separate groups as Perissodactyla, and Primates (including the Lemuroidea). Tubercles appear in a strictly definite position, so that there can be no question of chance. We have to deal here, says Osborn (1902, p.267; 1907, p. 228), with a definite and determined evolution, governed by certain rules. This may be seen from the following (Osborn, 1902, pp. 267-268; 1907, pp. 235-236):--|
1. Teeth are distinguished by a very singular property, i.e. that they are laid down and formed under the gums. Consequently use or disuse cannot exert any effect upon their form. On the contrary, the more they are used, the sooner they wear out.
2. At the same time, teeth are one of the most progressive organs.
3. The different families and orders of the Mammalia diverged from one another at the time when their upper molars possessed three tubercles each, the lower from three to five. Therefore, only those tubercles are homologous which may be compared to the above mentioned primary ones.
4. New supplementary tubercles are consequently not homologous, but convergent. At the same time the occurrence of such tubercles is independent of individual variation.
Natural selection could thus play no part in the evolution of teeth in mammals, because they appear in perfectly definite positions.
Had the supplementary tubercles appeared without any definite order, at random, we should then have observed an unusual diversity in the teeth of mammals in all parts of the world. But such is not the case: as we have seen, the occurrence of new tubercles follows definite rules in various families; in the upper molars from one to eight supplementary tubercles develop at strictly definite points. We thus unavoidably come to the conclusion that even in the primary tritubercular condition of the molars a tendency has been inherent which to a certain extent predetermines their future variation and evolution (1907, p. 237).
Not only do the teeth, says Osborn, develop independently of chance variations being selected (for tubercles are predetermined); but the skull, the vertebral column and the extremities are subject to the same principle of development in a definite direction (1907, p. 237)
BTW, the "Osborn" quoted above is Henry Fairfield Osborn
OK. The RM + NS theory claims that organisms are shaped by their environments. Where a population exists and is subject to change in that environment, selection will result in adaptive change or extinction. Adaptation is not predictive.
From your quote, Schindewolf is claiming that horses began adapting to life on the plains before arriving in that environment. If true, this would indeed be a grave problem for evolution.
How does Schindewolf establish the prevailing climate and vegetation associated with a particular fossil?
I don't know the answer to that. But normally, when he is about to give a disputed position, he gives the alternate view as well. He gives no alternate view here, so I'm assuming it was the accepted view at that time.
"If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance." Orville Wright
"The presence or absence of a creative super-intelligence is unequivocally a scientific question." Richard Dawkins