Darwin's gradualist theory of evolution not supported by geological history, scientist concludes

This is in line with your book “Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps”, says reader.

9 Nov 10 (Adapted from article by New York University)

“Charles Darwin’s theory of gradual evolution is not supported by geological history, New York University Geologist Michael Rampino concludes in an essay in the journal Historical Biology. In fact, Rampino notes that a more accurate theory of gradual evolution, positing that long periods of evolutionary stability are disrupted by catastrophic mass extinctions of life, was put forth by Scottish horticulturalist Patrick Matthew prior to Darwin’s published work on the topic. ”

“In light of the recent acceptance of the importance of catastrophic mass extinctions in the history of life, it may be time to reconsider the evolutionary views of Patrick Matthew as much more in line with present ideas regarding biological evolution than the Darwin view,” says Rampino, whose research on catastrophic events includes studies on volcano eruptions and asteroid impacts.”

Matthew published a statement of the law of natural selection in his 1831 book Naval Timber and Arboriculture, years before Darwin’s first essay on natural selection in 1842, and publications of his Origin of Species in 1859.

In describing his theory of natural selection, Matthew saw catastrophic events as a prime factor, maintaining that mass extinctions were crucial to the process of evolution: “…all living things must have reduced existence so much, that an unoccupied field would be formed for new diverging ramifications of life… these remnants, in the course of time moulding and accommodating … to the change in circumstances.”

Explicitly rejecting the role of catastrophic change in natural selection, Darwin instead “outlined a theory of evolution based on the ongoing struggle for survival among individuals within populations of existing species. This process of natural selection, he argued, should lead to gradual changes in the characteristics of surviving organisms.

“However, as Rampino notes, geological history is now commonly understood to be marked by long periods of stability punctuated by major ecological changes that occur both episodically and rapidly, casting doubt on Darwin’s theory that “most evolutionary change was accomplished very gradually by competition between organisms and by becoming better adapted to a relatively stable environment.”

Did you catch that? “Episodically and rapidly.” Just what I’ve been saying all along.

Evolutionary leaps recur in a natural, predictable cycle, and the next beat of that cycle is now due.

See entire article:
Thanks to F. Graafland  for this link

Hello Robert,

I just noticed this article on physics.org is in line with your book “Magnetic Reversals and Evolutionary Leaps”. I wonder why they don’t ask themselves “why” an impact from space could hit earth (like clockwork).

F. Graafland

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