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Evolution as Manifestation of Cosmic Order

Robert W. Campbell


During Darwin’s time the biblical Genesis account was considered by many scholars to be allegorical and various ideas about the transmutation of species were already in circulation, Influenced by findings on the Beagle trip that embarked in 1831 and by communications with others, including A.R. Wallace who had a nearly identical theory, Darwin eventually published his famous book On the Origin of Species. His idea was that small heritable changes over a long period of time can endow a survival advantage in a process of natural selection that can lead to new species. However, the process was regarded as random without plan or purpose. It met with opposition and various amendments until it became generally accepted scientific dogma in the 1930’s and 1940’s. Work on genetics was believed to solidly confirm the theory, however very recent DNA findings, small RNAs and heritable epigenetic factors are currently beginning to call it into question again, quite apart from arguments for creationism or intelligent design. The views of an ardent proponent of the Darwinian paradigm will be critically assessed in detail followed by a review of compelling evidence for hierarchical organization as a pervasive feature of the cosmic order, from the physical evolution of the cosmos to biological evolution on the planet Earth.

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