This is the Bibliography "W" page for authors' surnames beginning with "W" of
[Left: The late political science Professor Robert G. Wesson's "Beyond Natural Selection" (1991), Amazon.com. Wesson was an evolutionist but a critic of Darwinism. See `tagline' quotes below (my emphasis bold), which are all from Wesson's book.]
works that I may refer to in my book outline, "Problems of Evolution."
© Stephen E. Jones, BSc. (Biology)
Waddington, C.H., 1948, "The Scientific Attitude," , Penguin: West Drayton UK, Second edition.
Waddington, C.H., 1961, "The Nature of Life," Unwin Books: London, Reprinted, 1963.
Wade, N.J., 1977, "The Ultimate Experiment: Man-Made Evolution," Walker: New York NY.
Waldrop, M.M., 1992, "Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1994.
Walker, A. & Shipman, P., 1996, "The Wisdom of Bones: In Search of Human Origins," Weidenfeld & Nicolson: London.
Walker, B., 1983, "Gnosticism: Its History and Influence," The Aquarian Press: Wellingborough, Northamptonshire UK.
Walker, C. & Ward, D., 1992, "Fossils," HarperCollins: London, Reprinted, 1996.
Walker, G., 2003, "Snowball Earth: The Story of the Great Global Catastrophe that Spawned Life As We Know It," Bloomsbury: London.
Walker, P.M.B., ed., 1989, "Cambridge Dictionary of Biology," Cambridge University Press: New York NY, Reprinted, 1990.
Walker, K., 1944, "Meaning and Purpose," Pelican: Harmondsworth UK, Reprinted, 1950.
Wallace, A.R., 1905, "Darwinism: An Exposition of the Theory of Natural selection, with Some of its Applications," , Macmillan: London, Third edition, Reprinted, 1912.
Walsh, J.E., 1996, "Unravelling Piltdown: The Science Fraud of the Century and its Solution," The Softback Preview, Reprinted, 1997.
Walter, M., et al., eds, 2001, "To Mars and Beyond: Search for the Origins of Life," Art Exhibitions Australia: Sydney & National Museum of Australia: Canberra.
Warburton, N., 1999, "Philosophy: The Basics," , Routledge: London, Third edition, Reprinted, 2001.
Ward, K., 1998, "God, Faith and the New Millennium: Christian Belief in an Age of Science," Oneworld Publications: Oxford UK.
Ward, P.D., 1991, "On Methuselah's Trail: Living Fossils and the Great Extinctions," W.H. Freeman & Co: New York NY.
Ward, P.D., 1994, "The End of Evolution: On Mass Extinctions and the Preservation of Biodiversity," Bantam: New York NY.
Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D.C., 2000, "Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe," Copernicus/Springer-Verlag: New York NY.
Ward, P.D. & Brownlee, D.C., 2002, "The Life and Death of Planet Earth: How the New Science of Astrobiology Charts the Ultimate Fate of Our World," Piatkus: London, Reprinted, 2003.
Ward, R.R., 1965, "In The Beginning: A Study of Creation Versus Evolution for Young People," Baker: Grand Rapids MI, Fifth printing, 1972.
Warfield, B.B., 1932, "Studies in Theology," Banner of Truth: Edinburgh UK, Reprinted, 1988.
Warfield, B.B., 1968, "Biblical and Theological Studies," Craig S.G., ed., Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing Co: Philadelphia PA.
Warfield, B.B., 2000, "Evolution, Science and Scripture: Selected Writings," Noll, M.A., & Livingstone, D.N., eds, Baker: Grand Rapids MI.
Warren, L. & Koprowski, H., eds, 1991, "New Perspectives on Evolution: Proceedings of a Multidisciplinary Symposium Designed to Interrelate Recent Discoveries and New Insights in the Field of Evolution, Held at the University of Pennsylvania, April 18 and 19, 1990," Sponsored by the Wistar Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, The Wistar Symposium Series, Volume 4, Wiley-Liss: New York NY.
Watson, J.D., 1968, "The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA," Penguin: Harmondsworth UK, Reprinted, 1978.
Watson, J.D., 1970, "Molecular Biology of the Gene," , W.A. Benjamin: Menlo Park CA, Second edition.
Watson, L., 1974, "Supernature: A Natural History of the Supernatural," , Coronet: London, Reprinted.
Watson, L., 1979, "Lifetide: A Biology of the Unconscious," Hodder & Stoughton: London.
Watson, L., 1987, "The Dreams of Dragons: Riddles of Natural History," William Morrow & Co: New York NY.
Weaver, R.M., 1964, "Visions of Order: The Cultural Crisis of Our Time," Intercollegiate Studies Institute: Wilmington: DE, Reprinted, 1995.
Webster, C., 1982, "From Paracelsus to Newton: Magic and the Making of Modern Science," Barnes & Noble: New York NY, Reprinted, 1996.
Webb, G.E., 1994, "The Evolution Controversy in America," University Press of Kentucky: Lexington KY.
Weier, T.E., et al., 1982, "Botany: An Introduction to Plant Biology," , John Wiley & Sons: New York NY, Sixth edition.
Weinberg, S., 1977, "The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe," Flamingo: London, Reprinted, 1983.
Weinberg, S., 1992, "Dreams of a Final Theory," Pantheon: New York NY.
Weinberg, S., 1999, "A Fish Caught in Time: The Search for the Coelacanth," Fourth Estate: London, Reprinted, 2000.
Weiner, J., 1994, "The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time," Alfred A. Knopf: New York NY.
Welch, C.A., et al., 1976, eds, "Biological Science: Molecules to Man," , Houghton Mifflin Co: Boston MA, Third edition.
Wells, J., 2000, "Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution is Wrong," Regnery: Washington DC.
Wells, J., 2002, "Critics Rave Over Icons of Evolution: A Response to Published Reviews," Discovery Institute Inquiry, August, Vol. XI, No. II, pp.1-27.
Went, F.W., 1963, "The Plants," Time/Life Books: Netherlands, Reprinted, 1965.
Wertheim, M., 1995, "Pythagoras' Trousers: God. Physics, and the Gender Wars," Fourth Estate: London, Reprinted, 1997.
Wesson, R., 1991, "Beyond Natural Selection," MIT Press: Cambridge MA, Third printing, 1994.
Whalley, P.E.S., 1988, "Butterfly & Moth," Collins Eyewitness Guides, Collins: Sydney NSW, Australia.
White, M. & Gribbin, J., 1995, "Darwin: A Life in Science," Simon & Schuster London, Reprinted, 1996.
White, M.E., 1994, "After The Greening: The Browning of Australia," Kangaroo Press: Kenthurst NSW, Australia.
White, M.E. & Frazier, J.,1994, "The Greening of Gondwana," , Reed: Chatswood NSW, Australia, Second edition.
White, M.J.D., 1978, "Modes of Speciation," W.H. Freeman & Co: San Francisco CA.
Whitfield, P., 1993, "From So Simple a Beginning: The Book of Evolution," Macmillan: New York NY.
Whitehead, A.N., 1926, "Science and the Modern World," Penguin Books: Harmondsworth UK, Reprinted, 1938.
Wichler, G., 1961, "Charles Darwin, the Founder of the Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection," Pergamon Press: Oxford UK.
Wiker, B.D., 2002, "Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists," InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove IL.
Wilcox, D.L., 1990, "The Creation: Spoken in Eternity, Unfolded in Time," Unpublished manuscript, Eastern College: St. Davids PA.
Wilder-Smith, A.E., 1970, "The Creation of Life: A Cybernetic Approach to Evolution," T.W.F.T. Publishers: Costa Mesa CA, 1988, Fourth printing.
Wilder Smith, A.E., 1974, "Man's Origin, Man's Destiny," Telos-International/Morgan & Scott: London.
Wilder-Smith, A.E., 1981, "The Natural Sciences Know Nothing of Evolution," T.W.F.T. Publishers: Costa Mesa CA.
Wilder-Smith, A.E., 1987, "The Scientific Alternative to Neo-Darwinian Evolutionary Theory," T.W.F.T. Publishers: Costa Mesa CA.
Wilkinson, D., 1997, "Alone in the Universe?: The X Files, Aliens and God," Monarch: Crowborough UK.
Wilkinson, P., ed., 1989, "Early People," HarperCollins: Pymble, Australia, Reprinted, 1992.
Willey, B., 1960, "Darwin and Butler. Two Versions of Evolution. The Hibbert Lectures 1959," Harcourt, Brace & Co: New York NY.
Williams, G.C., 1966, "Adaptation and Natural Selection: A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought," Princeton University Press: Princeton NJ, Reprinted, 1996.
Williams, G.C., 1996, "Plan and Purpose in Nature," Phoenix: London, Reprinted, 1997.
Williams, R., 2006, "Unintelligent Design: Why God Isn't As Smart As She Thinks She Is," Allen & Unwin: Crows Nest NSW, Australia.
Willis, J.C., 1940, "The Course of Evolution: By Differentiation or Divergent Mutation Rather than by Selection," Cambridge University Press: Cambridge UK.
Wills, C.J., 1993, "The Runaway Brain: The Evolution of Human Uniqueness," HarperCollins: London, Reprinted, 1994.
Wills, C.J., 1989, "The Wisdom of the Genes: New Pathways in Evolution," Basic Books, Reprinted, 1994.
Wills, C.J. & Bada, J.L., 2000, "The Spark of Life: Darwin and the Primeval Soup," Oxford University Press: New York NY, Reprinted, 2001.
Wilson, A., 2007, "Deluded by Dawkins: A Christian Response to The God Delusion," Kingsway Publications: Eastbourne UK.
Wilson, I., 1987, "The After Death Experience," Corgi: London, Reprinted, 1989.
Wilson, D.B. & Dolphin, W.D., eds, 1983, "Did the Devil Make Darwin Do It?: Modern Perspectives on the Creation-Evolution Controversy," Iowa State University Press: Ames IO.
Wilson, E.O., 1978, "On Human Nature," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 2001.
Wilson, E.O., 1980, "Sociobiology: The Abridged edition," , Belknap Press: Cambridge MA.
Wilson, E.O., 1992, "The Diversity of Life," Belknap/Harvard University Press: Cambridge MA.
Wilson, E.O., 1996, "In Search of Nature," Penguin: London, Reprinted, 1998.
Wilson, E.O., 1998, "Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge," Vintage: New York NY, Reprinted, 1999.
Wilson, E.O., et al., 1973, "Life on Earth," Sinauer Associates: Sunderland MA, Third printing, 1975.
Wilson, R.A., 1937, "The Miraculous Birth of Language," Guild: London, Reprinted, 1941.
Wilson, J.R., 1964, "The Mind," Time-Life International," Netherlands, Reprinted, 1965.
Winnick, P.R., 2005, "A Jealous God : Science's Crusade Against Religion," Nelson Current: Nashville TN.
Witham, L.A., 2002, "Where Darwin Meets the Bible: Creationists and Evolutionists in America," Oxford University Press: New York NY.
Witham, L.A., 2003, "By Design: Science and the Search for God," Encounter Books: San Francisco CA.
Wolf, F.A., 1990, "Parallel Universes: The Search for Other Worlds," Paladin: London, Reprinted, 1991.
Wolpert, L., 1991, "The Triumph of the Embryo," Oxford University Press: Oxford UK.
Wolpert, L., 1992, "The Unnatural Nature of Science," Faber & Faber: London.
Wolstenholme, G.E.W. & O'Connor, M., eds, 1963, "Principles of Biomolecular Organization," A Ciba Foundation Symposium, J. & A. Churchill: London.
Woods, H., 1893, "Palaeontology Invertebrate," Cambridge University Press: London, Eighth edition, 1946, Reprinted, 1961.
Woodward, T.E., 2006, "Darwin Strikes Back: Defending The Science of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI.
Woodward, T.E., 2003, "Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design," Baker: Grand Rapids MI.
Worth, C.B.. & Enders, R.K, 1955, "The Nature of Living Things," Signet: New York NY, Reprinted, 1964.
Wright, J.K., 1994, "Designer Universe: Is Christianity Compatible with Modern Science," Monarch: Crowborough UK.
Wright, J.S., 1955, "What is Man? The Powers and Functions of Human Personality," Paternoster: Exeter UK.
Wright, R., 1994, "The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life," Vintage Books: New York NY, Reprinted, 1995.
Wright, R., 2000, "Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny," Vintage: New York NY, Reprinted, 2001.
Wright, R., 1988, "Three Scientists and Their Gods: Looking for Meaning in an Age of Information," Times Books: New York NY.
Wright, R.T., 1989, "Biology Through the Eyes of Faith," Apollos: Leicester UK, Reprinted, 1991.
Wysong, R.L., 1976, "The Creation-Evolution Controversy: Toward, a Rational Solution," Inquiry Press: Midland MI, Ninth printing, 1993.
"Although a large majority of biologists accept Darwin's theory with few qualifications, many were dubious of it from the time Darwin proposed it until well into this century, when it was systematized in the neo-Darwinist synthesis. The orthodoxy became very firm, especially in the 1960s. Recently, how ever, there have been increasing tendencies to doubt that the role of natural selection is as great as has been assumed, and a growing number of biologists believe that it is not a wholly satisfactory answer. Its inadequacy is a thesis of this book. ... In the light of the vast amount of knowledge of all aspects of living creatures piled up in the last century and especially in the last decades, this book seeks to present a soundly based and objective critique of Darwinism. ... Unhappily, however, pointing out the need for a better explanation means attacking a theory that scientists find useful, if not always satisfying. They certainly do not want to surrender the accepted doctrine unless they have something better. A natural rejoinder to criticism is, What do you have better to put in its place? Natural selection is credited with seemingly miraculous feats because we want an answer and have no other. " (Wesson, R.G., 1991, "Beyond Natural Selection," MIT Press: Cambridge MA, Reprinted, 1994, pp.xii-xiii).
"The accepted modern theory, essentially that worked out by Darwin a century and a half ago, rests on a few obvious and plausible propositions. Animals and plants have more offspring than can survive and reproduce in the long run. The young are not exact copies of their parents, and differences are frequently inheritable. If an inheritable variation gives some individuals a competitive advantage, they will leave more descendants. Differential reproduction with inheritable variation and the sieve of selective survival account for the development, or evolution, of all living things. This idea is summed up as natural selection, although there is no selection in the sense of choice. More descriptive is `survival of the fittest,' a phrase Darwin took from Herbert Spencer. This sounds tautological because the definition of fitness is the ability to survive (and reproduce). However, since the race is to the fastest (or fittest), the winners enter the next race and produce the next set of contestants. Just Why the winners win we may not know, but they are enabled by their varying qualities to procreate others like themselves. This provides the framework for a complete theory of how life evolves. The theory of natural selection is neat and appealing. Undeniably, offspring often differ from their parents, differences can be inherited, and inherited traits can enable some to leave more descendants than others. The logic seems so solid that, in the view of Dawkins, `even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory, we would still be justified in preferring it over all other theories' (Dawkins 1986, 287). Most biologists are not quite so sure, but they accept the conventional theory as their frame of reference." (Wesson, 1991, pp.1-2).
"The materialistic approach is also a useful working hypothesis and hence easy to take as truth. Scientists think in terms of experiments and verifiable results. The view of nature as essentially nonmysterious and knowable helps them frame hypotheses to test and encourages them to dissect their compartment of reality. Fanciful explanations, which amount to a renunciation of exact knowledge, are to be cast aside. A hardheaded approach admits no ghosts in the machine. The phantoms, however, refuse to be banished. The faith that all things can be attributed to analyzable material causation is, in the end, only a faith like more candid faiths. The contention that reality consists of only material particles and their modes of interaction is not even a clear-cut theory. It implies a narrow definition of reality, making the thesis true by definition: if only material substance is real, then material substance contains the whole of reality. But are the laws of nature not real? Are mathematical theorems real? Are patterns real? Are thought and consciousness? It is paradoxical to deny their essentiality, for science could not exist without them." (Wesson, 1991, pp.4-5).
"Darwin-who was better situated, presented more evidence, and was more consistent in his scientific attitude-became the symbol of evolution personified. Acceptance or denial-of the theory of evolution came to be and has remained nearly equivalent to loyalty or opposition to Darwin. Nonetheless, his theory of change by natural selection was based more on plausibility and analogy than solid evidence. It was fairly clear that variations like those observed in domestic animals brought about some changes in nature; Darwin extrapolated to assert that all differences between living creatures were thus caused, ultimately back to the separation of humans, fish, protozoa, and plants. In order to exclude anything savoring of divine intervention, Darwin also assumed that change had to be gradual and random." (Wesson, 1991, pp.6-7).
"The important point is that there can be nothing purposive or teleological in evolution; any notion of inherent purpose would make nature less amenable to objective analysis. For a biologist to call another a teleologist is an insult. Even the idea of direction in evolution caused by internal factors, or orthogenesis, is disliked. The sole force for change must be adaptation. Many biologists go on to refuse to recognize any overall direction in evolution. They even dislike the notion that some creatures are in any important way `higher' than others. In spite of the fact that natural selection implies improvement and that a mammal is much further from its presumed one-celled ancestor than is an amoeba, they sense a contradiction between the idea of `higher' forms and mechanistic means of change. As R.L. Trivers stated, `There exists no objective basis on which to elevate one species above another' (Trivers 1976, v)." (Wesson, 1991, p.10).
"Population genetics is less firm, however, than classical mechanics. Its chief variable, gene frequency, is seldom measurable in practice; its principal independent variable, fitness, can only be guessed because it is impossible to determine to what degree survival is a matter of special genes or accident or special circumstances. More broadly, an organism cannot be treated simply as the product of a number of proteins, each produced by the corresponding gene. Genes have multiple effects, and most traits depend on multiple genes. The selection of individual genes is most important in very simple organisms. That is, population genetics is best applicable to bacteria, and it does not tell much about the evolution of organs and higher animals." (Wesson, 1991, p.11).
"Some biologists have gone far in exalting the gene over the organism and demoting the animal itself to being merely the means of replicating genes (Dawkins 1976). The essence of evolution is said to lie in the competition of genes and their (unconscious) struggle to survive and multiply. In a typical expression, `The individual bodies...throwaway "survival machines"...are designed by genes simply as a means of enhancing gene survival and perpetuation' (Barnard 1983, 119). In other words, `The individual organism is only their [the genes'] vehicle, part of an elaborate device to preserve and spread them with the least possible biochemical perturbation' (E. Wilson 1980, 3). The stark affirmation of the `selfish gene' appeals for its counterintuitive boldness. But to say that the genes are in some indefinable way primary is more of an ideological than a scientific statement. Genes are not independent entities but dependent parts of an entirety that gives them effect. All parts of the cell interact, and the combinations of genes are at least as important as their individual effects in the making of the organism. Selection operates not on genes but on organisms or perhaps groups (and possibly species). .... To make the simplest and smallest part the reason for all the rest no doubt appeals as a token of sophistication, a claim to profundity by paradox. But it is odd to claim that the function of the elephant, a complex, seemingly purposeful, and responsive creature, or of a human is to copy sequences of nucleic acid bases, Which can do nothing outside the body and are of no significance except as they contribute to the making of a new elephant or a new person. An organism interacts with the world and has a destiny; a gene only assists in making an organism." (Wesson, 1991, pp.11-12).
"Evolutionary theory may be modified to meet such difficulties, and evolutionists differ widely in their views regarding the pace, focus, and mechanics of change. They firmly maintain, however, the central ideas: there is nothing purposive, and organisms adapt genetically only by success or failure in leaving descendants. In the words of Ernst Mayr, `The one thing about which modern authors are unanimous is that adaptation is not teleological' (Mayr 1983, 324)." (Wesson, 1991, p.16).
"Darwin answered the intellectual need of the day, and the age recognized itself in him (Barzun 1941, 80, 85). He has been elevated as perhaps the greatest of scientists, and his name stands for a theory that has grown far beyond his work. What is commonly called the neo-Darwinian synthesis, or simply the modern synthesis, has taken on somewhat ideological overtones, especially in the United States. It becomes a little like a revelation by a prophet, whose every word in his major works is recorded in concordances. Darwinism is to be guarded against irreverent attack ... " (Wesson, 1991, p.16).
"The Darwinist model is a good working hypothesis and paradigm for research. Karl Popper, in fact, regarded it as more of a `metaphysical research program' than a scientific theory (Schlipp 1974, 134). In a common view, the accepted evolutionary doctrine, rough hewn as it may be, has to be regarded as true unless it is proved false, even though the evidence for it is admittedly incomplete. Mark Ridley, for example, again and again makes the case for natural selection simply on the grounds that we have no other plausible explanation (Ridley 1985). This perspective is understandable, perhaps persuasive. Theories in which many scientists have invested their careers are not set aside until they can be replaced by more satisfactory theories ... " (Wesson, 1991, pp.16-17).
"Despite the infrequency of any useful mutation, it can always be postulated that the appropriate mutations came along by accident and were selected, bringing about the adaptation in question. For example, it is hypothesized that natural selection has led the female sedge warbler to prefer full-throated males because they should make good foragers for the family. On the other hand, the female lyrebird supposedly has been selected to prefer the male who neglects his offspring and so avoids bringing the nest to the attention of predators (Alcock 1988, 80-81). The female spotted hyena, in the opinion of some, has a set of external genitals like those of the male in order the better to greet her friends (Kruuk 1972, 229). Some weaverbirds are monogamous because food is scarce, others because food is abundant (Crook 1972, 304). Marmot families say together longer at high altitudes because there is less vegetation (Barash 1982, 59); if the young ones dispersed sooner at high altitudes, it would probably be because where food is scarce they have to seek new pastures. Instead of defecating on demand, like other tree dwellers, a sloth saves its feces for a week or more, not easy for an eater of coarse vegetable material. Then it descends to the ground it otherwise never touches, relieves itself, and buries the mass (Forsyth and Miyata 1984, 27-28). The evolutionary advantage of going to this trouble, involving no little danger, is supposedly to fertilize the home tree. That is, a series of random mutations led an ancestral sloth to engage in unslothlike behavior for toilet purposes and that this so improved the quality of foliage of its favorite tree as to cause it to have more numerous descendants than sloths that simply let their dung fall, and thus the trait prevailed." (Wesson, 1991, pp.17-18)
"Biologists, under attack, do not want to admit doubts that might undermine their central theory. This defensiveness should not be necessary. The fact of evolution can hardly be doubted, unless one supposes that God so constructed the universe, with fossils in good order and receding galaxies, as to deceive His rational creatures into doubting the biblical account. There is confusion, however, between acceptance of common ancestries, implying the community of life on earth, and the analysis of how species diverged. One can and should question how a dinosaur gave rise to a bird without doubting that birds had dinosaur ancestors." (Wesson, 1991, p.20).
"The antievolutionists are much more concerned with denying the reality of evolution than with the way in which it is theorized to have occurred, to which they do not usually pay much attention. But they welcome any uncertainties about it. And if they retreat from the dogma that all species were individually created in their present forms, they would at least like to see the evolutionary process as purposeful, perhaps divinely guided. Their position would, of course, be much stronger if they accepted the reality of common ancestries and concentrated their fire on the vulnerable issue of how natural selection can account for many seeming miracles of nature, including thinking beings. Evolutionists, in counterpoint, often seem to take the very strong evidence for the reality of common ancestry as proof of the complete correctness of the mechanism they postulate." (Wesson, 1991, pp.20-21).
"The theory of evolution by natural selection of randomly occurring variations is presupposed to be true because it is logical and simple. For this very reason, however, it should be regarded with suspicion; this inscrutable universe does not lend itself to facile explanations. A mechanistic approach to evolution oversimplifies thinking on an immense subject of the greatest intrinsic complexity." (Wesson, 1991, p.22).
"But at the very time that Max Planck, Niels Bohr, Albert Einstein, Erwin Schrodinger, and their brilliant colleagues were revising the Newtonian view of the physical universe, biology was becoming more reductionist with the application of Mendelism to Darwinism. A little later, molecular biology came to reinforce the materialistic approach. Biology remains laggard. Despite awareness of the inadequacy of reductionism, it generally insists on a reductionist approach to its primordial problem, evolution, accounting for everything by random variation (mutation) and selection, with unessential qualifications and allowance for various unpredictable influences. Many or most of its practitioners would treat organisms in the fashion of classical physics, like objects subject to forces of the environment. During the past decade or so, there has been something of a ferment as more questions are being asked and the certitudes of mid-century are questioned, but evolutionary theory `persists in adhering to the Cartesian and Newtonian mechanical paradigm' (Ho 1988, 87)." (Wesson, 1991, p.29).
"Yet traditional evolutionary thinking does not escape corrosion from the modern intellectual climate. A scientific theory is not an autonomous entity. Scientific theories are shaped by the attitudes and presuppositions that scientists bring to their handling of facts, which are selected according to the presuppositions prevalent in the scientific community and the society at large." (Wesson, 1991, p.35).
"This [Neo-Darwinist] synthesis seemed satisfactory. It well suited the image of most biologists of their science and their intellectual role. Now it seems outmoded. ... The core of the neo-Darwinist synthesis will remain valid. No one doubts that there are small, random mutations, that mutations affect the ability of organisms to survive and propagate, and that gene frequencies in a population vary. But the meaning and centrality of these Darwinian propositions will surely be reassessed. The new mode of scientific thinking calls for a broadened agenda for evolutionary thinking, asking different questions and expecting different kinds of answers, and it is certain to be more sophisticated in its reasoning." (Wesson, 1991, p.37).
"The remains of extinct creatures are probably the most convincing proof of the reality of evolutionary descent of living creatures, but they cast doubt on the theory that random variation and natural selection suffice to account for it. The study of fossils was already fairly advanced in Darwin's day; since then, it has produced a huge mass of information about the life of the past. There are many obviously ancestral or near-ancestral forms, yet many pages of the history of life are conspicuously missing-generally the most interesting pages." (Wesson, 1991, p.38).
"Darwin insisted on gradualism as the essence of naturalism and the repudiation of divine intervention. His theory implied, and he quite reasonably believed, that there should be most evolution in large populations, which would produce a large number of variations, and hence that there should be much evidence of evolutionary change. Consequently he was much concerned with the incompleteness of the fossil record, to which he devoted 28 pages of On the Origin of Species (C. Darwin 1964, 279-311). He attributed it to the accidental absence or erasure of parts of the record and the inadequacy of exploration, and he was confident that in time the gaps would be filled. This was not implausible in his day. But since then the hundredfold multiplication of the number of known fossils has not much improved the continuity of the record. The most impressive intermediate-the reptile-bird Archaeopteryx, the most famous of all fossils-was aptly discovered in 1861 when debate over the new theory was most heated, encouraging the hope that more digging would uncover many more such discoveries. But no equally admirable bridging form has been found." (Wesson, 1991, p.38).
"The problem cannot lie merely in the scantiness of fossilization. True, it is a rare event for an animal, especially a land animal, to leave its skeleton to be dug up millions of years later. It is always possible to say that a transitional form must have existed but has not yet been found. Nevertheless, an enormous amount of information is available. ... Remains of some 250,000 extinct species have been recovered and classified, and they ought to provide a reasonably good picture of the life of the past ... But the fossil record does not tell us what theory promises. We expect to find a great tree, with many forks sending branches in different directions. ... The tree of life as it appears in the rocks is strangely different from this ideal. The beginnings of new limbs are seldom even close to the part of the tree from which they supposedly sprang, and a number of branches usually appear close together without any connection. Charts depicting ancestries through the ages are sometimes fudged by drawing connections where they are assumed; the more honest ones have dotted lines. By corollary, there is little indication of actual change. Stability or stasis is normal. Gradual change appears mostly in dimensions, as increases of size or enlargements of parts (Eldredge 1985, 23, 75). ... It is as though life goes behind the bushes and emerges in new clothes." (Wesson, 1991, pp.39-40).
"A few gaps would be expected in a haphazard record but not the absence of documented transitions. Not only are relationships between the great groups, the phyla, obscure; lesser divisions are also undocumented. Logic suggests that there should be many intermediate forms between widely differing groups, such as the bat and the four-footed insectivore-like animal from which it must have arisen. One is more likely to find transitional forms where change has been less drastic, as between modern carnivores and those of 50 million years ago. The width of gaps tends to lessen, in a taxonomic sense, as one approaches the present because structural change has slowed as organisms become more complex and ecological spaces are filled. But Ernst Mayr goes so far as to assert that there is `no clear evidence for any change of a species into a different genus or for the gradual emergence of any evolutionary novelty' (Mayr 1988, 529-30)." (Wesson, 1991, p.40).
"In the more distant past, multicellular animals of modern phyla appeared abruptly about 570 million years ago in the spectacular Burgess shale formations. About 50 phyla (compared with half that number in today's world) and a large number of classes appeared-about 300 new major body plans developing in a few million years. Many of these were quite odd looking to our eyes, and they were extremely varied. There is no indication of ancestry; no invertebrate class is connected by intermediates with any other. There is very little continuity between the more complex Burgess Shale animals, with hard parts, and the preceding Vendian-Ediacaran soft-bodied animals (Morris 1990, 33; Valentine 1985, 263-267)." (Wesson, 1991, pp.41,44).
"The record of plants is even more discontinuous than that of animals. When fossils of land plants appeared, without recorded ancestry, about 450 million years ago, major lines had already been formed, with no evident linkage among them. Many types arose in about 30 million years in the Silurian period (Thomas and Spicer 1987, 21). Some plant families, such as horsetails, club moss, selaginella, ginkgoes, and cycads, have been almost unmodified for tens or hundreds of millions of years. Flowering plants (angiosperms) appeared about 120 million years ago; for many millions of years, their rise was slow (Stebbins 1974, 318). However, `as soon as angiosperms became well represented in the fossil floras of the Cretaceous, they are largely referable to modern families and even genera' (Bell and Woodcock 1983, 318). Abundant fossils give little evidence of gradual change (Thomas and Spicer 1987, 61-67)." (Wesson, 1991, p.45).
"The gaps in the record are real, however. The absence of a record of any important branching is quite phenomenal. Species are usually static, or nearly so, for long periods, species seldom and genera never show evolution into new species or genera but replacement of one by another, and change is more or less abrupt (John and Miklos 1988, 307). This contradicts the Darwinian approach. Natural selection-and Lamarckian evolution by use and disuse-would imply gradual, progressive change, with randomly diverging lines of descent. This would make a great irregular bush, not the branching ideal tree of life, much less the record that we have, with big and little branches suspended without junctions. Those who study the fossil record, dealing not with equations of population genetics but with hard facts of the past, have been most inclined to be skeptical of Darwin's insistence on slow, more or less steady change. Such paleontologists as Stephen J. Gould, Niles Eldredge, and Steven M. Stanley have recently been in the vanguard of the critics." (Wesson, 1991, p.45).
"Whales have diverged more than any other mammals from the basic pattern of the mammal class. How long they (or seals, dugongs, ichthyosaurus, birds, and bats) may have taken to develop from quadruped ancestors is not known, but their extraordinary specialization (like that of the bats) must have been complete in about 10 million years (Eldredge 1989, 23). It could have been less because whales may have been around long before the first known bones show their presence. But 10 million years is less than a fifth of the time taken by Hyracotherium to become a not extremely different animal, the modern horse. During this period, Whales, besides converting forelimbs to flippers and growing a long and powerful tail, moved the nostril to the top of the head, modified their respiratory system, and made other adaptations for feeding in the depths. They remarkably developed new organs, dorsal fins and flukes, from skin and connective tissue (Young 1981, 498). In addition, before losing the hind limbs necessary to clamber onto the shore, they had to become able to give birth in the water, a process that must have involved new instincts for both mother and calf, including suckling the calf by pumping milk into its mouth, having surrounded the nipple with a cap to keep out seawater. It is difficult to imagine how all of this could have come about without a remarkable series of highly coordinated changes." (Wesson, 1991, pp.51-52).
"Genetic considerations also point up the difficulty of the whale's rapid evolution. By Mayr's calculation, in a rapidly evolving line an organ may enlarge about 1 to 10 percent per million years, but organs of the whale-in-becoming must have grown about ten times more rapidly over 10 million years. Perhaps 300 generations are required for a gene substitution (Mayr 1963, 238, 259). Moreover, mutations need to occur many times, even with considerable selective advantage, in order to have a good chance of becoming fixed. Considering the length of whale generations, the rarity with which the needed mutations are likely to appear, and the multitude of mutations needed to convert a land animal into a whale, it is easy to conclude that gradualist natural selection of random variations cannot account for this animal. After their perplexing rapid development, both whales and bats have for many million years evolved slowly, supposedly because their populations mingle widely, with no territoriality and much dispersal (Carl et al. 1977, 3945)." (Wesson, 1991, pp.52-53).
"Perhaps we should not expect to understand major evolutionary innovations. None has ever been observed; indeed, no one has ever observed a mutation's making even the beginnings of a new organ. Innovation is the central problem that has troubled evolutionists ever since Darwin, and it is no less mysterious today than when he published his great book." (Wesson, 1991, p.53).
"The Wonder of Life In the miracle of life, material substance takes on complex, self-organizing order. Life is not merely the product of the past but a program to make a future, a novelty in the universe, structure shaped for needs. The fundamental problem of life was how a biochemical system could multiply itself, in the long term improving its capacity to do so. Life uses energy (almost entirely from sunlight) to defeat the near-universal principle of increase of entropy, which means degradation or loss of faculties. In the short term, this requires growth; in the long term, it entails reproduction to surmount the decadent individual. When molecules link together to make a crystal, their order serves as a template to which other atoms can adhere and enlarge the structure. But the distance from the most elaborate crystal to the simplest living organism is enormous. Organisms are self-regulating, or homeostatic, maintaining internal conditions despite fluctuations of the external medium. All animate beings selectively exchange substances with their environment, permitting certain materials to pass in and others to go out. Almost at their inception, living things had to become able to process materials absorbed or ingested, using them to carry out vital processes, to grow and reproduce. Such an exchange is the essence of animation. A minimum of about 300 biochemical processes are necessary; in the simplest known self-sustaining organisms, there are about 550 (Morowitz 1985, 248)." (Wesson, 1991, p.49. Emphasis original).
"Certain aspects of the conjectured beginning of life are fairly comprehensible. Amino acids ... are easily formed from the probable components of the prebiotic atmosphere ... Yet the hurdles in the way of life's making itself were formidable. ... It is believed that RNA must have been very close to the origin of life ... But RNA is difficult to make and could not have come into existence by a chance combination; unless there is a guidance mechanism, it does not reproduce itself accurately (Waldrop 1990, 1544). There had to be a set of protein structures to permit nucleic acid to replicate, yet nucleic acid was necessary to make needed proteins. A membrane was needed to contain interacting proteins and nucleic acid, but proteins and nucleic acid were necessary to make the membrane. Moreover, it had to be semipermeable from the outset to admit useful materials and permit waste to diffuse out." (Wesson, 1991, pp.55-56).
"A minor problem is that although amino acids made nonbiologically are randomly optically left or right rotating, biological amino acids are always left rotating. All the amino acids in an enzyme must have the same orientation for it to be functional. The same is true of the sugars that form part of the nucleic acid chain. It seems that for life to begin, there had to be long chains with many units of the same rotational (isomeric) class, but the only known way to produce such a chain is by biological process (Hegstrom and Kondespudi 1990, 109)." (Wesson, 1991, p.56).
"In the simplest bacterium, reproduction is complex. The strands of nucleic acid must be replicated accurately; then strands and corresponding structures must be pulled apart in such a way as to make two complete sets, and a new wall has to be built to divide the new cells. This process requires hundreds of enzymes and proteins. It is subject to a high rate of errors, resulting partly from the never absolute stability of the-intracellular environment, and errors have to be corrected in order to maintain the viability of the organism. Only a very short DNA sequence could replicate itself with sufficient reliability. But a fairly long sequence-the simplest modern genome, has about 3 million bases-is necessary to produce appropriate enzymes to check errors. If a cell had a hundred bases so in its DNA, there would-be too many errors to maintain structures ... yet the bases would be far too few to code for the enzymes needed to correct mistakes of transcription (Maynard Smith 1986, 118). To surmount such barriers, life had to devise, through some process of self-organization, an interlocking structure of many essential components, none of which would seem possible without the others." (Wesson, 1991, p.56).
"Life must have begun on a single track (or else only one track left descendants) because all creatures in their infinite diversity have the same basic chemistry, with similar metabolic processes. Most remarkable, the genetic code, which as far as known is arbitrary (there is no apparent reason that any particular set of bases codes for any particular amino acid except that is the way it started), is universal (with-trivial exceptions). The code is believed to be as old as life itself (Eigen et al. 1989, 673). Once fixed, it could not be changed. It is also possible that the basic chemical reactions shared by all life are the only, or at least the best, attainable way to carry out many of its processes." (Wesson, 1991, p.57).