Honorable members of this forum Everybody knows that the living systems are too complicated, but they must have been formed stepwise through evolution. However, I perceive that the existing evolutionary theories are not sufficient to fully explain this phenomenon. But no person with a sane head on his shoulders can support the Intelligent Design theory as an alternative. However, if I do, I can do it in a different way. I can see all the natural forces leading to evolution as part of an Intelligent Design and the entire Nature as an Intelligent Creator.
However, I suppose that in addition to the known mechanisms, some very crucial other mechanisms might be operating to guide the wheel of evolution. I have always thought that random mutations followed by natural selection are too slow a process to create such complicated biological phenomenon in the given time period as we see. But it is wonderful to see in Prof Thornton’s work that even a single mutation can have such a large effect on evolution, thus highly accelerating the process.
I have an intuition that there might be some ‘yet unknown, unseen power’ that helps organisms to evolve the most favorable way. Or else, could there be some ‘pre-destined course’ that evolutionary mechanisms tend to follow? Or, are these two things ‘linked together’.
In my childhood, whenever I spilled some water on a floor, I would closely observe the course it took while flowing down. I still do it. It always flows in the direction of slope, but never takes exactly the same course every time and never a straight one. When I try to analyze the event, I find that primarily, it is the slope of the floor, aided by the fine structure of the surface, that determines the course (the ‘pre-destined course’?) of the water-flow. The major force working behind this factor is the unseen gravity (the ‘the unknown, unseen power’). These are the two principal but ‘linked together’ factors. However, the properties of water and the force exerted by air and some other unknown factors are also affecting the course of water. But these factors are working as the ‘wheels’ for movement, not as the ‘power’ for movement.
I try to find an analogy between the water-flow on a surface and evolution. The evolutionary process also tends to drive species towards a common destination- better adaptability to environment, better survival and more offspring (can it be taken as a ‘pre-destined course’?). (Is evolution of cognition and consciousness of human beings a part of better adaptability to environment, or something else, I cannot understand.) But the course it takes is also never a straight one and never the same for different species. It appears to me that the hitherto known factors (mutation, natural selection etc) steering ahead the process of evolution are actually the ‘wheels’ of evolution. Is there also an invisible but quite natural ‘power’, like the gravity in case of water flow, working to drive forth the evolutionary process? regards Dayalanand Roy