Date: Tue, 13 Jan 1998 16:42:29 -0800
To: Andrew Arensburger <arensb@cfar.umd.edu>
From: David McDougall
Subject: Re: Darwin Fish

Andrew,

>	Sorry: what I meant was, I'd like to put your entire e-mail
>message (not just the bit about the upside-down fish) on my web page.
>Maybe trim the headers and perhaps disguise your e-mail address so you
>don't get too much spam, but that's it.

Thanks for protecting my interest in this too!  I definately get my share of
e-mail and don't need to be flamed by those whose interest is simply to cuss
and not discuss.  Thanks also for you integrity in general, having asked my
permission in the first place.

>	(Tempting, tempting... This could be interesting, or at least fun,
>but I _do_ have a job, and do I have the time for this?)
>	Well, let me just ask you: what objective theory best explains the
>known facts (e.g., the number of existing species, their similarities and
>differences, the fossil record etc.)?

First, let me say that there are far better men than me who can present fact
after fact and some extremely interesting sources for the info.  Examples of
info sources would include writings by the the Leakys, Earnst Meyer, Steven
J. Gould, etc, etc.  That's usually enough to get the attention of any true
scientist.  I will be drawing from the observations of some of these men, so
don't be too impressed!  My hope at this point is to convince you that,
while your time is indeed valuable, the investment here will be worth it.
If I can stimulate your interest, maybe you'll be interested in looking into
some astounding presentations by a PhD in Geology that I know of who has
been credited in part, with finding fossil evidence of the coexistance of
dinosaurs and man!

Okay, number of existing species:

        Remember, the premise of special creation, (the only alternative
view to evolution), is that God created plants and pairs of creatures that
could produce "after their own kind."  It would only be necessary then, to
have at the beginning two of a kind of animal whose "seed," when mixed with
that (egg) of another, could produce a similar being/plant.

        There is no doubt that living organisms have the ability to adapt
over time to the environments in which they live and to changes in such.
Obviously, there are hereditary genetic implications of this.  None of that
is under dispute.  What is in question is whether or not an organism has the
ability to change from one kind to another.

        Flowers of different "species" may be cross pollinated to form a
third species, but they are all still flowers.  The same goes for dogs.  I
would never argue that there aren't new species of dogs coming into being
every day.  I would be quick to point out, however, that selective breeding
or isolation to constant living conditions would be necessary to establish a
new recognized breed or species and that breeding would have to be done with
two of a like seed or kind., (ie., two dogs, a wolf and coyote, a dingo and
a Cocker Spaniel - not a dog and a cat).

        Perhaps in the beginning, there were two K-9s.  They had puppies and
so on.  Each pack settled its "territories," moving into different climates
and regions and adapted physically over generations to their environments
based upon temperature ranges, diet and landscape.  Voila, 50 different
species until some from one group bread with another and so on.... 5,000
different species.  On the other hand, the semen of a horse won't do much
good in the embryo of a monkey.... nor would that of a man.  Two different
kinds or "species" can not produce a third.  That's observable science.

Similarities/Differences:

A writer of poetry, a cinematographer, a literary author, a painter, a
sculpter, etc. are all examples of creators.  Those who study in these
fields can often recognize the work of a given creator by means of a
recognizable pattern unique to that creator.  Often, similar experiences,
interests or materials are incorporated by an "artist" to the extent that,
even in very diverse efforts, similarities in their creations can be
detected.  God is apparently no different, although He is obviously far less
limitted in experience, interest, material, intelligence, etc.

Archaeopterix is one of the most touted "proofs" of evolution I know of and
yet his teeth are found in a variety of birds today, as are his scales,
claws, feathers, wings and virtually every feature of his structure.  He is
unique in appearance in today's known environments, but not so in design.

Human blood antegen A is the same as that found in the butter bean.  Did we
evolve from a butter bean?  Many other chemical similarities are found such
as this intermixed among plants, insects, animals and humans that no self
respecting scientist would even begin to suggest were in the same family.
Does this prove evolution?

All any of this proves to me is that a benevolent creator made us with the
ability to adapt to our environment and left his signature on all of His
creation.  It certainly is not a necessary conclusion that one thing came
from another.

The fossil record:

Do I have enough of your interest yet to ask you to be more specific?  What
about the fossil record?  I could fill up your mail box on that topic alone.
Please send me some specific questions and I'll do my best to answer them
with scientific observation.

Fun so far!
David McDougall

Chapter 2 | Chapter 4