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Design unintelligent



look at Lake Yellowstone and a diatom species, for an example: All over
the world, a diatom known as S. niagara can be found. However, if one
takes a close look at the sediments of Lake Yellowstone beginning about
14,000 years back, one can see S. niagarae transform into S.
yellowstonensis within 4,000 years with a resolution as fine as 40
years, becoming a species better adapted to the nitrogen conditions in
Lake Yellowstone.

Besides showing
the relative speed with which a change can ripple through a population
and the incremental nature of evolution, this illustrates that once a
species is better suited to its environment, the rate of evolution slows
way down because it is hard to improve on a good thing. There is also
the point that, if all we had from this series was one of the
intermediate examples, we would have recognized it as an independent
species, fully functional with nothing to indicate it was rapidly
improving its adaptation to the local conditions.

this example to more typical fossil collection where a time resolution
of 4,000 years would be considered an improvement, we begin to
understand the situation. If the fossil you are looking at is a member
of a still extant linage, you can consider it to be an intermediate
fossil and there seem to be millions of examples. This leaves open the
question of whether you caught a sample of a well-adapted, long-term
stable form or a sample of a form in the process of improving the way it
interacts with its environment. Either way, it will appear to be a
fully functional, well-adapted species.

Kern appears to have been selective about what he has learned from
various sources. A wider, more fully contextual selection of material
might improve his understanding, if not his faith.

—Clinton Wiles
Oklahoma City

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