An Evolutionary Manifesto: A New Hypothesis For Organic Change
by John A. Davison
Abstract— This work represents an elaboration of material presented by the author in courses offered at the University of Vermont, especially Biology 255, The Comparative Physiology of Reproduction and Biology 202, Quantitative Biology. It is my hope that this treatise will reach not only the professional biologist but all others who realize how little we really understand concerning the history of life on this planet. I have assumed little in the way of background and I have defined most technical terms as they appear. The basic ideas put forth here were first published in 1984. I hope that this expanded and more completely documented treatment will reach a larger and more receptive audience.
My own background is in General and Developmental Physiology which is to say that I am interested in how things work. Like others before me, I have come to the realization that Darwinism simply does not work. That conclusion has led to a series of questions which I pose and attempt to answer. Answering one question often leads to asking another. Only by asking questions is one compelled to provide answers. I employ that approach throughout this presentation.
Among those questions are the following: Is evolution finished? Is sexual reproduction incapable of supporting evolutionary change? Is selection, natural or artificial, incapable of producing new life forms? In contrast to the Darwinian view, has evolution proceeded by means of leaps (saltation) rather than gradually through intermediate forms? Is there an alternative to Darwinism which, unlike that hypothesis, is compatible with all the facts revealed by paleontology, embryology, cytology, taxonomy, physiology and genetics? Do internal factors have a role in evolution? Is evolution irreversible? Is the individual, rather than the population, the instrument of evolutionary change? Are there laws governing evolution? Is there compelling evidence that evolution (phylogeny), like the development of the individual (ontogeny), involves the release or derepression of preformed information? Finally, the most controversial question of all: Has evolution been guided? With the exception of the last question, to which no certain answer will probably ever be given, I will answer yes to each of these questions.
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