Thu - February 26, 2004


What Does Ken Wilber Think About Darwinian Evolution?


The standard neo-Darwinian explanation of chance mutation and natural selection--very few theorists believe this anymore. Evolution clearly operates in part by Darwinian natural selection, but this process simply selects those transformations that have already occurred by mechanisms that absolutely nobody understands...
Take the standard notion that wings simply evolved from forelegs. It takes perhaps a hundred mutations to produce a functional wing from a leg--a half-wing will not do... The wing will work only if these hundred mutations happen all at once, in one animal--and also these same mutations must occur simultaneously in another animal of the opposite sex, and then they have to find each other, have dinner, a few drinks, mate, and have offspring with real functional wings.
...Random mutations cannot even begin to explain this. The vast majority of mutations are lethal anyway; how are we going to get a hundred nonlethal mutations happening simultaneously? Or even four or five, for that matter? But once this incredible transformation has occurred, then natural selection will indeed select the better wings from less workable wings--but the wings themselves? Nobody has a clue...
...The Big Bang has made Idealists out of almost anybody who thinks. First there was absolutely nothing, then Bang! Something. This is beyond weird. Out of sheerest Emptiness, manifestation arises.
This is a bit of a nightmare for traditional science, because it puts a time limit on the chance mutations that were supposed to explain the universe...
...Calculations done by scientists from Fred Hoyle to F. B. Salisbury consistently show that twelve billion years [the apparent age of the universe] isn't even enough to produce a single enzyme by chance.




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