From: Marilyn Burge
To: Kelsey Bjarnason
Date: Dec 5 1993 12:26:28 pm
Subject: Pseudo-Factualist Fol 1/
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On (29 Nov 93) Kelsey Bjarnason wrote to Bill Wolff...

KB> BW> JR> ... could you tell us why there are any genetic mutations
KB> BW> JR> (mongoloidism, hemophilia, etc.) at all? If these enzymes can
KB> BW> JR> fix "damaged" DNA, why do these exist?
KB>
KB> BW>Because it doesn't always work.
KB>
KB>  Oh, look boys and girls.  After being repeatedly pounded from all
KB> sides,
KB>  Herr Factualist has finally changed his tune on this one.  One should
KB>  be thankful that miracles of this calibre take on such a benign form.
KB>
KB> Although if you look at species like
KB> BW>the horseshoe crab which remained stable for hundreds of millions
KB> BW>of years, something must be working okay.
KB>
KB>  Yup.  It's called "natural selection".  You can read all about it in
KB>  any number of books on evolution, any number of posts from users here,
KB>  or creationist tracts.  Of the three, I'd highly recommend using the
KB>  first as the best approach, and the last as the worst.

Steven Jay Gould wrote a book called "Wonderful Life."  It might be
worth the Factualist's time to read it and find out what SJG really
thinks, and get an explanation to all this from one whose life has been
devoted to the topic.

KB>  That is, of course, if you're interested in the facts.  So far, this
KB>  has not been readily apparent from your posts.

The paperback edition of the book is around $15.  Seems like pretty
cheap tuition to me.

KB> BW> JR> That's because fossils really started to form when creatures
KB> BW> JR> started developing hard features: plates, vertebrae, etc.
KB> BW> JR> Before that, they couldn't easily fossilize. Hopefully you do
KB> BW> JR> know that the Cambrian explosion did NOT set down the first
KB> BW> JR> fossils.

Gould dealt with the Cambrian explosion at great length in his lecture,
and I assume he discusses it at equal or even greater length in his
book (I have not yet read it, though I did buy it).

... The first rule of tinkering is to save all the parts.

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