Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Church's Three Denials:(Work in Progress) Chapter One

Chapter One

More than anyone else Nicolaus Copernicus initiated the division between the ancient medieval universe and that of the modern era.This was the Copernican revolution.

Nicolaus Copernicus was born at Torun in Poland on 19 February 1473. How can we appreciate the genius of Copernicus? From the time of Ptolemy (AD90-AD168)all accepted that the earth was the centre of the Universe and it was left to this genius of a man to change our understanding. His education encompassed amongst others medicine and Canon Law in which he obtained his doctorate at Ferrara.

He sought a solution to the age old problem of the planets, a chaotic system which was inherited from Ptolomy and Aristotle. He wanted an elegant mathematical solution or formula. He thought the Ptolomic strategy was a monster which could not be modified.Any modification would be untenable.The universe would have to make sense. He was asked by the papacy to advise on the problem.

Like earlier Greek astronomer / philosopher Pythagoras he embraced the conviction that nature was ultimately comprehensible in simple harmonious mathematical terms.This theme runs through all science, but also of a transcendental eternal quality. A divine creator would not have created a haphazard, slipshod universe or heavens. His work was every where good and orderly Note the words simple and elegant. The solution to most science problems are simple and elegant.

On reviewing all Greek literature he found that several had already proposed a moving earth.In 1512 Copernicus began his cycle of observations of the planets with Mars. In 1514 he theorized a heliocentric universe using mathematical calculations, and circulated it among his friends. From early in his life, he performed astronomical observations and calculations,when ever he had the time but never in a professional capacity.Astrology would have been part of his study in medicine.

Twenty years later he gave a lecture in Rome in the presence of the Pope and made a request to publish. He was very reluctant but his friends prevailed upon him and legend has it,that on the last day of his life he received his copy entitled
De Revelutionibus. For several decades the revolution was not appreciated, but a few astronomers began to find Copernicus's argument persuasive and the opposition began to mount. When it was published by the Protestant Oseander in Leipzig on his own initiative he wrote in the preface, words that meant "Its only a theory". Unwittingly this possibly saved the book.

The first opposition came not from the Catholic Church as one would expect, but from the Protestants.The Catholics allowed considerable latitude at this time.The Protestants claimed that it allowed the pristine literal truth of the Bible to be contaminated. Luther called Copernicus an "upstart astronomer, This fool wants to turn the entire science of astronomy upside down! But, as the Bible tells us, Joshua told the Sun, not the Earth, to stop in its path!" and was soon joined by others like Calvin who recommended stringent measures to suppress the heresy. The Bible said "The world also is established that it cannot be moved" The reformer, Phillip Melanchton, a close associate of Luther voices his opinion of Copernicus:'Some believe that to expound such an absurd matter, as that Sarmatian [Polish] astronomer has done, who would move the Earth and stop the Sun, is an excellent thing. Verily, wise governors should curb such talented rashness'.

The Catholics felt bound to react to the Protestants. They could not allow them to occupy the 'moral' high ground, and took a definite stand against Copernicumism.In March 1616 the Roman Catholic Church's Congregation of the Index issued a decree suspending
De revolutionibus until it could be "corrected," on the grounds that the supposedly Pythagorean doctrine, that the Earth moves and the Sun doesn't, was "false and altogether opposed to Holy Scripture." The same decree also prohibited any work that defended the mobility of the Earth or the immobility of the Sun, or that attempted to reconcile these assertions with Scripture. Between the year 1582 and 1592 there was hardly a teacher in Europe who was persistently, openly and actively spreading the news about the "universe which Copernicus had charted", more than Giordano Bruno. For his efforts he was burnt at the stake. Bruno proposed an advanced version of the heliocentric theory. He had written of an infinite universe which had left no room for that greater infinite conception which is called God. He could not conceive that God and nature could be separate and distinct entities as taught by Genesis,
the Church and even taught by Aristotle. He incidentally also preached a philosophy which made the mysteries of the virginity of Mary, of the crucifixion and the mass, meaningless. (From the Galileo Project) 'It is often maintained that Bruno was executed because of his Copernicanism and his belief in the infinity of inhabited worlds. In fact, we do not know the exact grounds on which he was declared a heretic because his file is missing from the records. Scientists such as Galileo and Johannes Kepler were not sympathetic to Bruno in their writings.'

Into this climate emerged Galileo who was quick to distance himself from Bruno. He was very careful and prudent enough to steer clear of any connection with Bruno. He didn't want any quilt by association.Galileo never met Bruno in person and makes no mention of him in his works, although he must have read some of them. We may not blame Galileo for being diplomat enough to withhold mention of a recognized heretic.

Galileo wanted to break with Aristotelian science which had lately been embraced by the Catholic and Protestant Churches. Not only the movement of the planets but other parts of his science. To argue and question within Aristotelian orbit was quite acceptable but to say that what was written was untrue was heretical so he had to move beyond and outside the churches teachings to promote Copernican theory and not Aristotleism and was therefore heretical. Kepler and Newton were more fortunate in that they were not so much under the influence of the Church. Galileo's influence outside Italy was considerable and opened the way for others to follow. Aristotle had kept science shackled and Galileo had broken those shackles. Galileo has often been criticized because he played for personal safety in the matter of his own difficulties. It was said 'we demand a great deal of our heroes'. Trying to understand science and make progress in an Aristotelian way was impossible but once Copernicus was accepted men were freed to progress.He did not escape the wrath of the Pope. The Heliocentric theory was a fundamental threat to the entire Christian framework of cosmology,theology and morality
viz heaven, hell and purgatory, and God's throne.If the earth moved it could no longer be the fixed centre of God's creation and his plan of salvation,nor could man be the centre focus of the cosmos.So Galileo was forced to recant an placed under house arrest.

The Church's Condemnation of Galileo

The text of the condemnation reads: "We say, pronounce, sentence and declare that you, Galileo, by reason of these things which have been detailed in the trial and which you have confessed already, have rendered yourself according to this Holy
Office vehemently suspect of heresy, namely of having held and believed a doctrine that is false and contrary to the divine and Holy Scripture: namely that Sun is the centre of the world and does not move from east to west, and that one may hold and defend as probable an opinion after it has been declared and defined contrary to Holy Scripture. Consequently, you have incurred all the censures and penalties enjoined and promulgated by the sacred Canons and all particular and general laws against such delinquents. We are willing to absolve you from them provided that first, with a sincere heart and unfeigned faith, in our presence you abjure, curse and detest the said errors and heresies, and every other error and heresy contrary to the Catholic and Apostolic Church in the manner and form we will prescribe to you. Furthermore, so that this grievous and pernicious error and transgression of yours may not go altogether unpunished, and so that you will be more cautious in future, and an example for others to abstain from delinquencies of this sort, we order that the book Dialogue of Galileo Galilei be prohibited by public edict. We condemn you to formal imprisonment in this Holy Office at our pleasure. As a salutary penance we impose on you to recite the seven penitential psalms once a week for the next three years. And we reserve to ourselves the power of moderating, commuting, or taking off, the whole or part of the said penalties and penances. This we say, pronounce, sentence, declare, order and reserve by this or any other better manner or form that we reasonable can or shall think of. So we the undersigned Cardinals pronounce:

F. Cardinal of Ascoli
B. Cardinal Gessi
G. Cardinal Bentivoglio
F. Cardinal Verospi
Fr. D. Cardinal of Cremona
M. Cardinal Ginetti
Fr. Ant. s Cardinal of. S. Onofrio".
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630). In 1584 he entered the Protestant seminary at Adelberg, and in 1589 he began his university education at the Protestant university of Tübingen. Here he studied theology and read widely. He passed the M.A. examination in 1591 and continued his studies as a graduate student.Kepler's teacher in the mathematical subjects was Michael Maestlin (1550-1635). Maestlin was one of the earliest astronomers to subscribe to Copernicus's heliocentric theory, although in his university lectures he taught only the Ptolemaic system. Only in what we might call graduate seminars did he acquaint his students, with the technical details of the Copernican system. Kepler stated later that at this time he became a Copernican for "physical or, if you prefer, metaphysical reasons.".

Kepler was invited by Tycho Brahe to Prague to become his assistant and calculate new orbits for the planets from Tycho's observations In 1609 his
Astronomia Nova ("New Astronomy") appeared, which contained his first two laws (planets move in elliptical orbits with the sun as one of the foci, and a planet sweeps out equal areas in equal times). Whereas other astronomers still followed the ancient precept that the study of the planets is a problem only in kinematics, Kepler took an openly dynamic approach, introducing physics into the heavens. 1618 marked the beginning of the Thirty Years War, a war that devastated the German and Austrian region. Kepler's position in Linz where he now resided, became progressively worse, as Counter Reformation measures put pressure on Protestants in the Upper Austria province of which Linz was the capital .During this time Kepler was having his Tabulae Rudolphinae ("Rudolphine Tables") printed, the new tables, based on Tycho Brahe's accurate observations, calculated according to Kepler's elliptical astronomy. (The Galileo Project)
Kepler of course was not persecuted as was Galileo and using the enormous amount of data from the observations of Tycho calculated the elliptical course of the planets.

This I have called the Church's first denial and it was not until the eighteen hundreds that it withdrew it objections. There was of course no threat to the position of God, if anything it brought order to chaos.Most now accept that the earth is no longer the centre of the Universe but from where we stand on this solid earth it does not appear so.

It is possible that the church could have reacted differently to this triumph. than it did. Seldom in its history had the Christian Religion attempted to suppress so rigidly scientific theory on the basis of scriptural contradiction. For the present most European intellectuals would remain devoutly Christian.(Tarnas)

Today we cannot say that the Copernican theory is 'right' and the Ptolemaic theory 'wrong' in any meaningful physical sense. The two theories when improved by adding terms involving the square and higher powers of the eccentricities of the planetary orbits, are physically equivalent to one another. What we can say, however, is that we would hardly have come to recognize that this is so if scientists over four centuries or more had not elected to follow the Copernican point of view. The Ptolemaic system would have proved sterile because it would have been too hard to make progress that way.(Hoyle)


1.Richard Tarnas
The Passion of the Western Mind.
2. Fred Hoyle.
Nicolas Copernicus, an Essay on his Life and Work 1973.
3.Nicolaus Copernicus
from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
4.The Galileo Project

The Church's Three Denials: Chapter Two

The Scientific world had been placed on a sound foundation. Observation, measurment, and publication of findings for peer review. No sitting in an armchair just pondring. But as before, the work was to discover God's handiwork and his creation.

So we therefore have to move forward quickly and bypass all the philosophers and thinkers that followed. Descartes, Kant Hume, Hegel, etc to Darwin. It was into the new freedom that he was born. It has been said, "with Luther the monolithic medieval Christian world had cracked. With Copernicus the medieval Christian cosmology had cracked but with Darwin the Christian world view showed signs of collapsing altogether. As the earth had been removed from its position at the centre of creation by Copernicus so now was man removed from the centre of creation by Darwin to become just another animal".(Tarnas)

In the first few years on the nineteenth century there was already a movement towards the idea of the evolution of life. Men like Erasmus Darwin and Lemarke had supported the idea but there was no acceptable understanding of the way it could work, though Lemarke proposed the inheritance of acquired features. Virtually all naturalists considered it their place to examine and study God's handiwork and to think of any other point of view was very unpopular.

After an abortive time spent studying medicine and with Darwin's fathers blessing he started studies in Theology with the intention of becoming a priest. This entailed studying God's nature and this is where he excelled and was in his element. Studying all of God's Creation. His studies were very extensive and considering it was at the beginning of the 1800's his studies included chemistry and geology and was tutored and taken under the wings by outstanding men in their fields. These included Sedgwick for Geology and Henslow for Biology. He did have a good education even if much was self taught. He and his brother Erasmus had their own little laboratory in a a garden shed in the garden of 'The Mount' in Shrewsbury where they analysed for minerals in rocks. They made extensive collections of beetles. Darwin even paid others to collect for him.

After he finished his studies he was invited to join Captain Fitz Roy on the Beagle as companion and Naturalist for a circumnavigation of the earth charting various parts. The voyage took five years and included South America, The Galopogas Islands, New Zealand, Australia, Mauritius,,Capetown, St Helena, and Ascention Island. He sent specimens back to England and made copious notes.A number of years after returning, he came up with the idea that Natural Selection was the cause of the great diversity in animal and plant life and that all life had descended from a few or just one. What made Darwin different from all the previous scientists and naturalists was that this theory no longer needed the hand of God but brought in the element of chance with natural selection the architect. This was the Darwinian Revolution. There was much more freedom for Darwin than for either Copernicus or Galileo,as he did not have to concern himself with an all powerful church. The whole of Darwin's life was tied up with his theory. We also know so much more about him because of his and others writings and letters, whereas Copernicus' theory was only his hobby.
"In October 1838, that is, fifteen months after I had begun my systematic inquiry, I happened to read for amusement Malthus on Population, and being well prepared to appreciate the struggle for existence which everywhere goes on from long- continued observation of the habits of animals and plants, it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The results of this would be the formation of a new species. Here, then I had at last got a theory by which to work".
Charles Darwin, from his autobiography. (1876)

Darwin's theory of the origin of species is simple and elegant. Thomas Huxley said "it is so simple,why didn't I think of it myself?" The essential aspects of this theory may be more apparent when divided two interrelated parts
1] . Most species have numerous off spring, more than enough to maintain the population of the species,and they cannot all survive.
2] . There is variation between the individuals of the species, those with favourable traits that are able to reproduce and survive will be successful and those that do no will die out. Later the term coined by Spencer 'Survival of the fittest' was reluctantly adopted by Darwin.
The non acceptance of Evolution by natural selection is the Church's Second denial and they argue that it is "just a theory" Some Theory.However the Church does not understand the meaning of theory.

Darwin's book
On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life was about 500 pages long and in much of it he seemed to be trying to destroy his theory. I will deal with five of his objections
It was the basic picture which I have called 'Darwin's Jigsaw Picture' with many parts still missing and a puzzle to him. Many of these missing parts have since been filled in. I am looking for them in the vast literature presently available to us. .This has been my quest.

Part One

Darwin's Jig Saw Picture.
Part One:
In his Introduction to 'The Origin' Darwin wrote.
No one ought to feel surprise at much remaining as yet unexplained in regard to the origin of species and varieties, if he makes due allowance for our profound ignorance in regard to the mutual relations of all the beings which live around us. Who can explain why one species ranges widely and is very numerous, and why another allied species has a narrow range and is rare? Yet these relations are of the highest importance, for they determine the present welfare, and, as I believe, the future success and modification of every inhabitant of this world. Still less do we know of the mutual relations of the innumerable inhabitants of the world during the many past geological epochs in its history. Although much remains obscure, and will long remain obscure, I can entertain no doubt, after the most deliberate study and dispassionate judgement of which I am capable, that the view which most naturalists entertain, and which I formerly entertained, namely, that each species has been independently created is erroneous. I am fully convinced that species are not immutable; but that those belonging to what are called the same genera are lineal descendants of some other and generally extinct species, in the same manner as the acknowledged varieties of any one species are the descendants of that species. Furthermore, I am convinced that Natural Selection has been the main but not exclusive means of modification. [Charles Darwin' Introduction]
Well Darwin's great idea was like the way we often start a jigsaw puzzle by first doing all the edges of the picture and then leaving the rest to be filled in afterwards. Darwin was unable to fill in much of the picture though he had done much of the edge. It was left to others to start completing the picture. Many tried to put their 'discoveries' within the bounds of the puzzle but found they did not fit and were discarded. These included Lemarke and Lysenko. Even Darwin's pangenisis, Kelvin's estimation of the age of the earth, and those who support 'Intelligent design' must be discarded while others made a perfect fit.Those most notable are Gregor Johan Mendel, Wegener, Creek and James Watson and Alverez,although the latter may be disputed, itogether with those involved in the sequencing of genes in many species including man. It is not possible to put a finger on natural selection and say there that proves it, but the amount of information coming out now is just overwhelming. All the new discoveries reinforce it. There are many like Morgan and Muller, of whom the writer had never heard of. Simply put, and the idea is simple, like all great theories and solutions, is that plants and animals produce far more than can possibly survive, and that there is variation between the offspring and those which show some advantage survive over those that are not as well suited,and of course the surviving ones in turn must produce more offspring. Basically that is all there is to it. Darwin had many other theories within this concept which have turned out to be incorrect but that is irrelevant. He was so upset that Sir Charles Lyall his friend and mentor in Geology, seemed not to be able to tell the difference between Lemarke's theory an hism yet even he found himself doing the same because of his inability to find a theory for the passing on of the small differences that natural selection so depended on. And I must say it is very easy to make the same mistake. The difference can sometimes be very subtle. So then of course there are so very many many others doing patient paleontology research who have perhaps put in just one little piece, and more recently but of the greatest significance the considerable army of scientist involved in the Human Genome Project. But while Darwin's name is most notable in changing the way we think about ourselves those many before him were important as without their contributions to the knowledge of our world, Charles Darwin would not even have boarded the Beagle. We must look at the work of others that followed to see how we come to have a much more complete jigsaw picture.

The Distribution of Species.

In chapter twelve of 'The Origin' Darwin wrote;
New Zealand in its endemic plants is much more closely related to Australia, the nearest mainland, than to any other region: and this is what might have been expected; but it is also plainly related to South America, which, although the next nearest continent, is so enormously remote, that the fact becomes an anomaly. and from his conclusions. Turning to geographical distribution, the difficulties encountered on the theory of descent with modification are grave enough. All the individuals of the same species, and all the species of the same genus, or even higher group, must have descended from common parents; and therefore, in however distant and isolated parts of the world they are now found, they must in the course of successive generations have passed from some one part to the others. We are often wholly unable even to conjecture how this could have been effected.
Joseph Dalton Hooker [1817-1911] was to Botanical Evolution what Darwin was to Animal Evolution. He was a disciple of Darwin and was the first to learn about evolution through Natural Selection from Darwin himself, and kept the secret to himself for thirteen years."I am almost convinced," Darwin told Hooker, "that species are not (and he said 'it is like confessing a murder') immutable," adding that, "I think I have found out the simple way by which species become exquisitely adapted to various ends' (Burkhardt and Smith 1987: 2). This was was of course, natural selection, and Hooker was the first in the world to hear of Darwin’s secret. Hooker noted and discussed with Darwin the similarity between the plant species of Tasmania,New Zealand, Kerguelen Island, and Tirrra del Feugo, to which Darwin gave an unsatisfactory explanation and called it an anomaly. The Podocarpus genus is found in South America, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. In South Africa Podocarpus falcatus is very similar to the Podarcarpus species, Totora, and is just one example. Continental Drift. The solution to this anomaly was left to Wegener who first presented an explanation of this in his theory in lectures in 1912 and published it in full in 1915 in his most important work, Die Entstehung der Kontinente und Ozeane (The Origin of Continents and Oceans). He searched the scientific literature for geological and paleontological evidence that would buttress his theory, and he was able to point to many closely related fossil organisms and similar rock strata that occurred on widely separated continents, particularly those found in both the Americas and in Africa. Wegener's Theory of continental drift won some adherents in the ensuing decade, but his postulations of the driving forces behind the continents' movement seemed implausible. By 1930 his theory had been rejected by most geologists, and it sank into obscurity for the next few decades, only to be resurrected as part of the theory of plate tectonics (q.v.) during the 1960s. [Encyclopedia Britanica] Wegener's proposition was attentively received by many European geologists, and in England Arthur Holmes pointed out that the lack of a driving force was hardly sufficient grounds to scuttle the entire continental drift and won some adherents in the ensuing decade, but his postulations of the driving forces behind the continents' movement seemed implausible. As early as 1929, Holmes proposed an alternative mechanism--namely, convection of the mantle, which remains today a serious candidate for the force driving the plates. Wegener's ideas also were appreciated by geologists in the Southern Hemisphere. One of them, the South African Alexander Du Toit, remained a lifelong believer. After Wegener's death, Du Toit continued to amass further evidence in support of continental drift. [Alexander Du Toit, a South African geologist, in "Our Wandering Continents" (1937),] Of course South America, Africa ,Antarctica,and Australasia were all joined together as one great continent

. The Age of the Earth .

Darwin was worried about the objections concerning the time required for evolution to have taken place
On the lapse of Time. Independently of our not finding fossil remains of such infinitely numerous connecting links, it may be objected, that time will not have sufficed for so great an amount of organic change, all changes having been effected very slowly through natural selection. It is hardly possible for me even to recall to the reader, who may not be a practical geologist, the facts leading the mind feebly to comprehend the lapse of time. He who can read Sir Charles Lyell's grand work on the Principles of Geology, which the future historian will recognise as having produced a revolution in natural science, yet does not admit how incomprehensibly has been the past periods of time, may at once close this volume.
Kelvin was one who was to object and throw a spanner in the works. 'The answer of 25 million years found by Kelvin was not received favorably by geologists. Both the physical geologists and paleontologists could point to evidence that much more time was needed to produce what they saw in the stratigraphic and fossil records. As one answer to his critics, Kelvin produced a completely independent estimate -- this time for the age of the sun. His result was in close agreement with his estimate of the age of the earth. The solar estimate was based on the idea that the energy supply for the solar radiative flux is gravitational contraction. These two independent and agreeing estimates of the age of two primary members of the solar system formed a strong case for the correctness of his answer. As we now know, both of Kelvin's answers were wrong, for reasons that he could not have known. In the case of the earth, the energy released in the crust by the decay of radioactive elements is sufficient to enhance significantly the geothermal flux. This larger flux then causes Kelvin's theory to predict a earth too young. In the case of the sun, Kelvin had no way of knowing that the energy source is nuclear fusion, for which there is fuel enough for at least 5 x 10 9 years. That Kelvin was wrong does not change at all that what he did was good science. His pioneering of the quantitative'{From the internet]

On Extinction
We have as yet spoken only incidentally of the disappearance of species and of groups of species. On the theory of natural selection the extinction of old forms and the production of new and improved forms are intimately connected together. The old notion of all the inhabitants of the earth having been swept away at successive periods by catastrophes, is very generally given up, even by those geologists, as Elie de Beaumont, Murchison, Barrande, &c., whose general views would naturally lead them to this conclusion. On the contrary, we have every reason to believe, from the study of the tertiary formations, that species and groups of species gradually disappear, one after another, first from one spot, then from another, and finally from the world. [Chapter 10 - On The Geological Succession of Organic Beings]
Darwin understood his theory as being a very gradual change over a vast period of time. He accepted that great advances would be made but of course he did not know where these advances would be. He would have been excited to learn about the discoveries concerning the causes of great extinctions such as the K-T Event. In fact there have been five great estinctions and the biggest of these mass extinctions 251 million years ago marking the boundry between the permian and triassic period. At this stage the cause of which can only be guessed at. However the extinction of sixty five million years ago is now fairly well documented. I copy what I have found on the internet concering the K-T mass extinction, also known as the Alvarez Event. Sixty-five million years ago about 70% of all species then living on Earth disappeared within a very short period. The disappearances included the last of the great dinosaurs. Paleontologists speculated and theorized for many years about what could have caused this "mass extinction," known, as the K-T event (Cretaceous-Tertiary Mass Extinction event). Then in 1980 Alvarez, Alvarez, Asaro, and Michel reported their discovery that the peculiar sedimentary clay layer that was laid down at the time of the extinction showed an enormous amount of the rare element iridium. First seen in the layer near Gubbio, Italy, the same enhancement was soon discovered to be world wide in that one particular 1-cm (0.4-in.) layer, both on land and at sea. The Alvarez team suggested that the enhancement was the product of a huge asteroid impact. On Earth most of the iridium and a number of other rare elements such as platinum, osmium, ruthenium, rhodium, and palladium are believed tohave been carried down into Earth's core, along with much of the iron, when Earth was largely molten. Primitive "chondritic" meteorites (and presumably their asteroidial parents) still have the primordial solar system abundances of these elements. A chondritic asteroid 10 km (6 mi.) in diameter would contain enough iridium to account for the worldwide clay layer enhancement. This enhancement appears to hold for the other elements mentioned as well. Since the original discovery, many other pieces of evidence have come to light that strongly support the impact theory. The high temperatures generated by the impact would have caused enormous fires, and indeed soot is found in the boundary clays. A physically altered form of the mineral quartz that can only be formed by the very high pressures associated with impacts has been found in the K-T layer. Geologists who preferred other explanations for the K-T event said, "show us the crater." In 1990 a cosmochemist named Alan Hildebrand became aware of geophysical data taken 10 years earlier by geophysicists looking for oil in the Yucatan region of Mexico. There a 180-km (112-mi.) diameter ring structure called "Chicxulub" seemed to fit what would be expected from a 65-million-year-old impact, and further studies have largely served to confirm its impact origin. The Chicxulub crater has been age dated (by the 40Ar/39Ar method) at 65 million years! Such an impact would cause enormous tidal waves, and evidence of just such waves at about that time has been found all around the Gulf. One can never prove that an asteroid impact "killed the dinosaurs." Many species of dinosaurs (and smaller flora and fauna) had in fact died out over the millions of years preceding the K-T events. The impact of a 10-km asteroid would most certainly have been an enormous insult to life on Earth. Locally, there would have been enormous shock wave heating and fires, tremendous earthquake, hurricane winds, and trillions of tons of debris thrown everywhere. It would have created months of darkness and cooler temperatures globally. There would have been concentrated nitric acid rains worldwide. Sulfuric acid aerosols may have cooled Earth for years. Life certainly could not have been easy for those species which did survive. Fortunately such impacts occur only about once every hundred million years. A whole new world of paleontology has been opened up in the last decade which changes the way Darwin envisioned the process of evolution by natural selection though it must be said that the rate is really relative. After each mass extinction life seemed to have been so stunned that change occurred very slowly at first then gradually gathering speed till it reached a stage of stability which then lasted for millions of years.Within this stability there was always change

The Geological Record and Intermediates. From Darwins Conclusions:
The noble science of Geology loses glory from the extreme imperfection of the record. The crust of the earth with its embedded remains must not be looked at as a well-filled museum, but as a poor collection made at hazard and at rare intervals. The accumulation of each great fossiliferous formation will be recognised as having depended on an unusual concurrence of circumstances, and the blank intervals between the successive stages as having been of vast duration. But we shall be able to gauge with some security the duration of these intervals by a comparison of the preceding and succeeding organic forms.
Most of the work done by fossil hunters covers still a very small portion of the Earth's crust and so much remains to be discovered.Unfortunately though much has been lost through erosion and movement of the land masses. There would have to be really new thinking if a elephant fossil was found amongst the dinosaur fossils without good reason. Fossils are found in the right geological place and not where you would not expect them to be found.. Intermediate forms are not the successful ones and are rare. Considering the number of individuals that have inhabited the earth, the number of fossils are few indeed.As it is understood at present the explosion of types of animals after the great extinctions was fairly rapid and occupied only a few million years, followed by very long periods of virtual stability occupying tens of millions of years. It was more likely that fossils came from the stable periods as the we occupied the greatest time period.

Part Two

The Laws of Variation.

When Darwin proposed his evolution theory of natural selection there were scientists working on the very problem that Darwin had with the means of variation and its mechanism. None of these people made the connections. On the one hand we have Gregor Mendel working on the laws of inheritance while there were others wanting to find out the chemistry behind it all. All completely independently without taking any notice of each other It was almost a hundred years later that it all came together.
Our ignorance of the laws of variation is profound. Not in one case out of a hundred can we pretend to assign any reason why this or that part differs, more or less, from the same part in the parents. But whenever we have the means of instituting a comparison, the same laws appear to have acted in producing the lesser differences between varieties of the same species, and the greater differences between species of the same genus.[Chapter Five. laws of Variation]
Yes this is what gave Darwin his greatest problem and he cast around for an answer. Darwin did not know that the mechanism of natural selection had been worked out by Gregor Johan Mendel with his work on peas, but because it was published in an obscure journal it never found its way into Darwin's hands. Gregor Mendel was born in Heinzendorf, Austria on July 22, 1822. He died in Brno, Austria January 6, 1884. Mendel's first presentation was on his eight years of experimentation with artificial plant hybridization. During his studies he became a member of the Zoologist-botanisher Vernin in Vienna. His first two communications were published in 1853 to 1854. Both articles contained information about damage to plants by insects. Between 1856 to 1863 Mendel cultivated and tested almost 28,000 plants. His explanation was that hybrid germinal and pollen cells that are in their composition correspond in equal number to all constant forms resulting from the combinations of traits united through fertilization. He bred two lines of peas, amongst others, through inbreeding. Short and Tall. Once he was satisfied that they bred true he crossed them obtaining only tall plants. These first crosses were planted when tall and short plants resulted. These he counted. The experiments were repeated again and again using different traits.The results were always the same. A 3:1 ratio. His experiments were simple,elegant.

Unfortunately Mendel's work never reached Darwin though Mendel had Darwin's The Origin in his possession. Mendel had sent all the results of his experiments to a Swiss German botanist Karl Wilhelm von Nageli, son of a physician, who studied botany in Vienna and eventually became Professor of botany at Munchen. Nageli seems not to have read it properly or not understood its importance. All Mendel's publications collected dust on shelves around Europe having never been read. He was involved and was the first to see chromosomes and report on them. Even more strange Nageli corresponded with Darwin.While this was going on there were arguments on the chemistry of inheritance and the molecules involved. They were centered on the nucleus which contained two substances, protein and what was then called nuclien. This is a whole story of its own. To add too the intrigue Friedich Meisenger was the man working on this and he was the one who discovered DNA. He too corresponded with Nageli who now held all the cards but the light was too dim for him to see.Just think,Nageli had been given Mendel's work to peruse,it was clear work,elegant and almost perfect in explaining the mechanism of inheritance. He himself had been the first to observe chromosomes which of course are made of thousands of genes. These genes are made of DNA discovered by Meisenger who had made it known to Negeli. In turn Negeli knew of Darwin and his work. Every thing was there in his hands.It would have been at that time impossible for any mortal to understand. We had to wait till 1953.These three disciplines eventually came together to form one coherent theory of evolutionary Biology. Mendels works were rediscovered in 1900 independently by three workers and brought a close to an era of speculation on heredity and opened up a new pathway of study on heredity to reveal a new mechanism operating in the sense of evolution[.Parts submitted by Peter Koerner]

The writer first learned about Mendel in 1946 in his Matriculation year. His class was being taught by a pretty young student teacher for a short period and he remembers being taught about mitosis and meiosis.The class gave her a bad time as she was not that much older than they were. In 1955 he did a course in Genetics and learned all the basics of Mendelism with the 3:1 ratios. He understood it well at the time, though he never really tied it in with Evolution even though all of Botany and Zoology had used evolution as a foundation quietly in the background, though not taught as such or made much of. Was it a sensitive issue? Bill Hamilton , a tall, white-haired man of sixty-three, a Royal Society professor at Oxford widely considered the most influential evolutionary thinker since Darwin, had been deeply dissatisfied with the lectures on evolution he received as an undergraduate at Cambridge University, where it seemed to him that his professors did not give Darwin's mechanism of natural selection its proper due.[ Volume 9, NO. 8 - November 1999 OH MY DARWIN! Who's the Fittest Evolutionary Thinker of Them All by James Schwartz ]

Thomas Hunt Morgan

The work of Mendel was soon to be confirmed by Thomas Hunt Morgan. To a geneticist Morgan had a very good pedigree. Morgan's father, Charlton Hunt Morgan, was a U.S. consul, and his uncle, John Hunt Morgan, had been a Confederate army general and leader of a guerrilla group known as 'Morgan's Raiders'. A great great grandfather John Wesley Hunt amassed a fortune and founded a railroad. and Francis Scott Key another great great grandfather wrote the Star Spangled Banner. A good pedigree indeed, genes do count.Early in life Morgan showed an interest in natural history. In 1886 he received the B.S. degree from the State College of Kentucky (later the University of Kentucky) in zoology and then entered Johns Hopkins University for graduate work in biology. At Hopkins, Morgan studied under the morphologist and embryologist William Keith Brooks.the subject of his PhD thesis was the classification of spiders where his research was in the naturalist tradition.

In 1904, he accepted an invitation to assume the professorship of experimental zoology at Columbia University, where, during the next 24 years, he conducted most of his important research in heredity. Like most embryologists and many biologists at the turn of the century, Morgan found the Darwinian theory of evolution lacking in plausibility. It was difficult to conceive of the development of complex adaptations simply by an accumulation of slight chance variations. Moreover, Darwin had provided no mechanism of heredity to account for the origin or transmission of variations, except his early and hypothetical theory of pangenesis. Although Morgan believed that evolution itself was a fact, the mechanism of natural selection proposed by Darwin seemed incomplete because it could not be put to an experimental test. Morgan had quite different objections to the Mendelian and chromosome theory. Both theories attempted to explain biological phenomena by postulating units or material entities in the cell that somehow control developmental events. To Morgan this was too reminiscent of the preformation theory--the idea that the fully formed adult is present in the egg or sperm--that had dominated embryology in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Although Morgan admitted that the chromosomes might have something to do with heredity, he argued in 1909 and 1910 that no single chromosome could carry specific hereditary traits. He also claimed that Mendelian theory was purely hypothetical: although it could account for and even predict breeding results, it could not describe the true processes of heredity. That each pair of chromosomes separate with the individual chromosomes then going into different sperm or egg cells in exactly the same manner as Mendelian factors, did not seem to be sufficient proof to Morgan for claiming that the two processes had anything to do with each other.Morgan could have been famous because of his ancestry and for opposing Darwin,evolution chromosome theory and Mendel, but who becomes famous for being so very wrong. Luckily for him he started work on Drosophoila which led to him to the truth and confirmed Mendel's work and enabled him to support evolution and Darwin.

The work on Drosophila.

Morgan apparently began breeding Drosophila in 1908. In 1909 he observed a small but discrete variation known as white-eye in a single male fly in one of his culture bottles. Aroused by curiosity, he bred the fly with normal (red-eyed) females. All of the offspring (F1) were red-eyed. Brother-sister matings among the F1 generation produced a second generation (F2) with some782 white-eyed flies, all of which were males. 3470 were red eyed of which 1011 were males. This was supposed to be near enough to the 3:1 ratio. There seems to be less than 50 /50 ration of males to females. To explain this curious phenomenon of having no white eyed females, Morgan developed the hypothesis of sex-limited--today called sex-linked--characters, which he postulated were part of the X-chromosome of females. Other genetic variations arose in Morgan's stock, many of which were also found to be sex-linked. Because all the sex-linked characters were usually inherited together, Morgan became convinced that the X-chromosome carried a number of discrete hereditary units, or factors. He adopted the term gene, which was introduced by the Danish botanist Wilhelm Johannsen in 1909, and concluded that genes were possibly arranged in a linear fashion on chromosomes.So much to his credit, Morgan rejected his skepticism about both Mendelian and chromosome theories when he saw from two independent lines of evidence--breeding experiments and cytology--that one could be treated in terms of the other. In collaboration with A.H. Sturtevant, C.B. Bridges, and H.J. Muller, who were graduates at Columbia, Morgan quickly developed the Drosophila work into a large-scale theory of heredity.

Particularly important in this work was the demonstration that each Mendelian gene could be assigned a specific position along a linear chromosome "map." Further cytological work showed that these map position could be identified with precise chromosome regions, thus providing definitive proof that Mendel's factors had a physical basis in chromosome structure.. To varying degrees Morgan also accepted the Darwinian theory by 1916. .In 1924 Morgan received the Darwin Medal; in 1933 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology for his discovery of "hereditary transmission mechanisms in Drosophila"; and in 1939 he was awarded the Copley Medal by the Royal Society of London, of which he was a foreign member. In1927-31 he served as president of the National Academy of Sciences; in 1930 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and in 1932 of the Sixth International Congress of Genetics. The work was carried on by Theodosius Dobzhansky, who was a geneticist and evolutionist whose work had a major influence on 20th-century thought and research on genetics and evolutionary theory. In 1927 Dobzhansky went to Columbia University in New York City as a Rockefeller Fellow to work with the geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan.

Between 1920 and 1935, mathematicians and experimentalists began laying the groundwork for a theory combining Darwinian evolution and Mendelian genetics. Starting his career about this time, Dobzhansky was involved in the project almost from its inception. His book Genetics and the Origin of Species (1937) was the first substantial synthesis of the subjects and established evolutionary genetics as an independent discipline. Until the 1930s, the commonly held view was that natural selection produced something close to the best of all possible worlds and that changes would be rare and slow and not apparent over one life span, in agreement with the observed constancy of species over historical time. Dobzhansky's work with Drosophlia pseudoobscura was important in that he was able to produce flies through heat treatment that were virtually different species in that they were unable to breed with each other.

The Chemistry of Inheritance

This part of the story began at about the same time as Gregor Mendle did his work on peas and published his Origin of Species. and has continued up till the present time. Criek and Watson brought the work all together, by adding to the work of Mendel with their discovery of the very secret to the way DNA passed information from one cell to another.In 1953 Francis Crick and James Watson built a model of the double helix of the DNA molecule. Afterwards Francis Crick said to a friend in a pub 'I think we have discovered the secret of life'. Their discovery [and I should include Rosalind Franklin] remained the best kept secret for much of the rest of the century, so little was known of it by the general public and still remains so. It was really earth shattering but only in the cloistered halls of biological institutions did some scientists appreciated its implications. Now it is recognised by many scientists as the most important biological discovery of the twentieth century and perhaps only second to Darwin's a century earlier.

The solution was both simple and elegant,but it just crept up on us .I spent six years at university studying at various times the parts of what has is now known as Molecular Biology, the coming together of Biochemistry, microbiology and genetics All that has come after has its foundation in the double helix of the phosphate and pentose sugar, with its rungs of the bases, Adenine, Cytosine, Guanine and Thiamine, spelling three letter words which make up the amino acids, as for example ACGACGAGTAGTAGT. The Three letter triplets of bases each form an amino acid and chains of amino acids form Proteins.

Central Dogma of Molicular Biology.

This states that once “information” has passed into protein it cannot get out again. In more detail, the transfer of information from nucleic acid to nucleic acid, or from nucleic acid to protein may be possible, but transfer from protein to protein, or from protein to nucleic acid is impossible. Information means here the precise determination of sequence, either of bases in the nucleic acid or of amino acid residues in the protein.

In the beginning was the word and the word was made flesh, and never once remember hearing about DNA. This work has been expanded in the latter part of the twentieth century with the sequencing of the human genome. Many genes have been identified along with so many mutations that have caused diseases. The whole understanding of genetics has exploded to such an extent that it is filling whole areas of Darwin's jigsaw picture,no longer a a puzzle..Matt Ridley in 1999 has enthuastically written about the Human Genome Project that we will' be able to know more about our origins, our evolution, our nature and our minds than all the efforts of science to date. It will revolutionise anthropology, psychology, medicine, palaeontology and virtually every other science'.... 'In a few short years we will have moved from knowing almost nothing about our genes to knowing everything'. [Matt Ridley. Genome]and continues 'we are living in the greatest intellectual moment in history. Perhaps Matt Ridley is a bit optimistic but this all fits perfectly into Darwin's jigsaw picture. What is impressive is that the science of genetics is that it is a young science and yet it has made such great advances. In a Penguine book on Genetics written by H Kalmus in 1945 there is little to find fault with and little that is incorrect. Many of the gaps were recognised and ideas advanced on their solutions which have proved almost correct. The same can be said about a book 'Genetics and Man' written by C D Darlington in 1976. There have been no big mistakes, no back tracking, no new direction, just a relentless advance in filling in Darwin s picture from the 1945 book to the present. This ongoing research is of the utmost importance and will tell us so much about ourselves, our past , present and future.

Part Three

Darwin resisted writing about the evolution of man but eventually relented and in 1871 published a book The Decent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. He made the right guess by suggesting that man evolved in Africa.Explorers returning from Africa brought back gorillas and chimpanzees which showed that they were more like humans than orangutans were.Darwin was able to show that humans had evolved from apelike ancestors. This was a great leap forward considering that he did not have the evidence that we have available to us now. There were no stone tools or fossils for him to examine

"It's an old-fashioned, even Victorian, sentiment. Who speaks of "racial
stocks" anymore? After all, to do so would be to speak of something
that many scientists and scholars say does not exist. If modern
anthropologists mention the concept of race, it is invariably only to
warn against and dismiss it. Likewise many geneticists. "Race is social
concept, not a scientific one," according to Dr. Craig Venter - and he
should know, since he was first to sequence the human genome. The idea
that human races are only social constructs has been the consensus for
at least 30 years. But now, perhaps, that is about to change. Last
fall, the prestigious journal Nature Genetics devoted a large
supplement to the question of whether human races exist and, if so,
what they mean. The journal did this in part because various American
health agencies are making race an important part of their policies to
best protect the public - often over the protests of scientists. In the
supplement, some two dozen geneticists offered their views. Beneath the
jargon, cautious phrases and academic courtesies, one thing was clear:
the consensus about social constructs was unraveling. Some even argued
that, looked at the right way, genetic data show that races clearly do
exist. The dominance of the social construct theory can be traced to a
1972 article by Dr. Richard Lewontin, a Harvard geneticist, who wrote
that most human genetic variation can be found within any given "race."
If one looked at genes rather than faces, he claimed, the difference
between an African and a European would be scarcely greater than the
difference between any two Europeans. A few years later he wrote that
the continued popularity of race as an idea was an "indication of the
power of socioeconomically based ideology over the supposed objectivity
of knowledge." Most scientists are thoughtful, liberal-minded and
socially aware people. It was just what they wanted to hear. Three
decades later, it seems that Dr. Lewontin's facts were correct, and
have been abundantly confirmed by ever better techniques of detecting
genetic variety. His reasoning, however, was wrong. His error was an
elementary one, but such was the appeal of his argument that it was
only a couple of years ago that a Cambridge University statistician, A.
W. F. Edwards, put his finger on it. The error is easily illustrated.
If one were asked to judge the ancestry of 100 New Yorkers, one could
look at the color of their skin. That would do much to single out the
Europeans, but little to distinguish the Senegalese from the Solomon
Islanders. The same is true for any other feature of our bodies. The
shapes of our eyes, noses and skulls; the color of our eyes and our
hair; the heaviness, height and hairiness of our bodies are all,
individually, poor guides to ancestry. But this is not true when the
features are taken together. Certain skin colors tend to go with
certain kinds of eyes, noses, skulls and bodies. When we glance at a
stranger's face we use those associations to infer what continent, or
even what country, he or his ancestors came from - and we usually get
it right. To put it more abstractly, human physical variation is
correlated; and correlations contain information. Genetic variants that
aren't written on our faces, but that can be detected only in the
genome, show similar correlations. It is these correlations that Dr.
Lewontin seems to have ignored. In essence, he looked at one gene at a
time and failed to see races. But if many - a few hundred - variable
genes are considered simultaneously, then it is very easy to do so.
Indeed, a 2002 study by scientists at the University of Southern
California and Stanford showed that if a sample of people from around
the world are sorted by computer into five groups on the basis of
genetic similarity, the groups that emerge are native to Europe, East
Asia, Africa, America and Australasia - more or less the major races of
traditional anthropology."

New research shows that 'Human races are evolving away from each other.Genes are evolving fast in Europe, Asia and Africa, but almost all of these are unique to their continent of origin. We are getting less alike, not merging into a single, mixed humanity. This is happening because humans dispersed from Africa to other regions 40,000 years ago, and there has not been much flow of genes between the regions since then'(Harpending)

Part Four

In 1976 Darlington wrote'
The problem which, in the age of enlightenment, the learned and even. the ecclesiastical world thought might engage the curiosity of all thinking men' became in the following century a dangerous subject divorced from polite conversation as tending towards atheism, obscenity and sin. A gulf was fixed between the secluded specialists who discussed these matters in profound or at least technical language and a public who were educated on moral principles laid down 2,000 or more years ago. Modern education is often attempting to bridge this gulf. But it is doing so under great difficulties. Discovery is proceeding at a great pace Those engaged in it are very deeply engaged in it, often to the exclusion of wider public or cultural interests. The fact that, the advances of the last fifty years requires new thinking out of our social, moral and intellectual ideas has therefore almost escaped notice. The system of teaching, even in the most advanced centres, is inevitably twenty or thirty years behind-hand in facing this problem. Educated men and women are therefore by no means ashamed of professing an ignorance of the discoveries which should determine their conduct. They are content to use the ideas of life, heredity and society which have done service since Old Testament times.'
.Nothing has changed in the last quarter of a century. There is still this great gulf Then Keith Devlin writes in the Guardian Weekly in 2001, that'
Any British academic who drains his or her brain across the Atlantic soon finds there is a lot of truth in the quip that Britain and the United States are "two countries divided by a common language For a British university scientist who makes the big trip, one startling discovery is that 44% of Americans believe the biblical story of Creation is true. For almost half the population the Big Bang theory and the theory of evolution by natural selection are rejected outright. And this in a country that leads the world in scientific discoveries and technological advances, whose universities and research laboratories are homes to more Nobel prizewinners than anywhere else, and whose vast resources put a man on the Moon. Yet a person who has made meaningful contribution in his or her own career field takes a superficial glance at another field like science and evolution, finds things that are not understood by a large portion of the population, and then exploits that general ignorance in a way that is profitable, yet demonstrably incorrect. Richard Dawkins writes; 'It has become almost a cliché to remark that nobody boasts of ignorance of literature, but it is socially acceptable to boast ignorance of science and proudly claim incompetence in mathematics. In Britain, that is'.
Devlin is writing about the country that produced scientists of the calibre of James Watson of the 'Double Helix', and Craig Venter who has made such a contribution to hastening the sequencing of the Human Genome and hence the discovery of many genes and their possible function. From the beginning of the 1990's many misspellings in the DNA have been discovered that are responsible for a multitude of illnesses which include schizophrenia, dementia, Alzheimer's, asthma, MS, muscular distrophy, obesity, diabetes, psoriasis, porphyria varigata[VP], migraines, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer ,hemophilia and cystic fibrosis to name but a few. About twenty five percent of brain diseases are caused by genetic mutations. Some genetic mutations are beneficial. A small percentage of parts of the European population are completely immune to AIDS through having two copies of a gene for an alteration of the receptor on the white blood cells preventing the entry of the HIV virus. This was a result of the exposure to the plague 700 years ago where the population was put under evolutionary pressure and selected for those immune to that disease. Their descendants have inherited that immunity which by good fortune provides immunity to Aids. Sickle cell anemia gives immunity to malaria but makes you feel unwell.. You take your choice.

Mutations and disease have had a considerable effect on our evolution We are who we are because of our genes, but our environment originally shaped the genes we humans have and made us what are. Having said that these genes are then switched on or off by our environment so we can't get away from our genes or the environmental effects.Our original bodies we have to accept but we can in some cases choose or improve our environment and in a way control many of the damaging effects of mutations by not having them switched on. Environmental effects such as smoking, pollution,nutrition,exercise, sunburn, alcohol,housing and temperature Why would God, a God of Love, have created man in his own image with about five thousand genetic mistakes that have played havoc on our health. Diseases that we will soon be able to correct with gene transfers or genetic engineering.Some high profile genetic diseases or disorders are Huntington's disease,Down Syndrome,Dyslexia,Hemophilia,Cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. All this does not prove that there is or is not a God but just that he is not the God we have created for ourselves.The Church through the ages has taught that God's creation is perfect and that the faults in man are through man's sin This can't be right because through our own ingenuity we can correct these faults.Things aren't wrong or right they just are. I do not know but I have a feeling that most people talk glibly about DNA finger printing and analysis and evolution but really don;t understand the implications of it all. There are science writers like Matt Ridley and Steve Jones,themselves PhDs who explain very clearly these implications but I am sure the books are not that widely read. Are there so many copies in private hands that the library copies are not read ,because they remain there week after week, they are not in the book shops. Do people learn of these advances in science through Science fiction like Jurrasic Park? These are up to date writings so it seems to me that many people are simply ignorant of what goes on.Or am I wrong,we seem to absorb information by osmosis. According to recent research [Keith Sutherland JCS on-line]Astrology has been growing in popularity. Surveys suggest that a majority of people in Britain believe in it, compared with only 13 per cent 50 years ago. The Association of Professional Astrologers claims that 80 per cent of Britons read star columns, and psychological studies have found that 60 per cent regularly read their horoscopes. To my mind this is because of the ignorance of the general population about the findings of science.Is the all cause of mystical and religious beliefs, one of ignorance?.

In the same way as we can compare the Ptolomiac and Copernicum theories and say that neither are right nor wrong in a meaningful way, we can take the two theories, Darwins evolution by natural selection on the one hand and the Creation explanation on the other, both of which may seem meaningful, but to this we must add the words of Dobaninsky 'that nothing in Biology makes sense except in the light of evolution' so one can therefore say scientists would have made no progress if the creation point of view had been elected. This has been the Church's second denial but in this case it can never come to terms with Darwinism. If it accepted evolution by natural selection everything would come tumbling down. Darwinism and Creationism are mutually exclusive and can't both be right. Intelligent design is a way in through the back door to evolution but it is not really compatible with Biblical teachings and does not fit Darwins jigsaw picture. The designing force is natural selection not intelligent design. Surely the fate of Aristotleism does not await Darwinism. .Nothing of our discoveries fit Aristotles theories but all fit Darwinism or do we await a Copernicus to put us right? I find it much more conceivable that animals gradually evolved from a very primitive beginning than that they were placed on the earth in one fell swoop
ex nihlo . The evidence is overwhelming that animals and plants evolved. What could have brought about their evolutioin other than a gradual adjustment to the ever changing environment than by a process of natural selection. We do not have to look for evidence in fossils we can see it all written in our genes. The unity of life . We are all related to everything else. To the chimp and the fruit fly. We all belong to one great gene pool.,but we can trace the evolutionary history in the genes.

References. Sayre, April Pulley Rosalind Franklin and Dna
Janet Browne, Charles Darwin, Voyageing Charles Darwin, The Power of Place 2003
Steve Olson, Mapping Human History, discovering the past through our genes.
Martin Brookes. Fly : the unsung hero of twentieth-century science /2002 1st ed. London [England] : Phoenix, 2001.
Kevin Davies. The Sequence : inside the race for the human genome / London : Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001. Portugal and Cohen. A Century of DNA.
Matt Ridley, Nature via Nurture, genes,experience what makes us human 2003
Matt Ridley, Genome