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Blavatsky Net - Theosophy

This site focuses on Madame Blavatsky and her teaching - Theosophy. It features an introduction to Theosophy, study aids, research tools, original text, supporting evidence, membership, and visitor interaction.


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The Fossil Record

Dear Member of Blavatsky Net,

Apologies for a couple of days delay in presenting this newsletter. Estela and I have moved from New York State to the state of Georgia and are happily settling in the beautiful and pleasant mountains of Appalachia. Because of this major move it has taken some days for us to become reconnected to the internet and to accommodate the exigencies of moving.

But on to this month's newsletter and a return to a topic that is profoundly important.

One of the reason's for the appearance of Madame Blavatsky in the latter 19th century was to combat the rise in materialism that was occurring at that time due to the success of a materialistic based science. Today we see this same struggle continuing as materialistic and spiritual philosophies compete for the allegiance of all.

Most notably we see this competition in the very current struggle between Darwinists and those supporting intelligent design. A local school board in the state of Kansas wants to include in the school curriculum information on the problems in the theory of Darwin and it makes headlines in newspapers in Europe. President Bush announces his view that intelligent design should be also presented in schools along with Darwinism. Howard Dean, titular head of the opposing political party announces that it should not. Harvard University announces a one million dollar research program and expresses confidence that they will at last solve the problem of the origin of the species and that the answer will be a simple one. Time magazine devotes a cover story to the issue to bolster the position of the Darwinists. The New York Times newspaper runs a front page series on evolution. While that newspaper generally supports the view of the Darwinist it also presented some of the view of the anti- Darwinists. In general the debate on origins has erupted in press around the world.

The significance of the issue (and perhaps the heat behind its argumentation) is presented well in "The Facts on Creation vs. Evolution".

The issue of creation/evolution is important because, in the end, the subject of origins tells us who we are. Are we the product of the impersonal forces of matter, chance, and time - with all that implies? Or the result of special creation by an infinite, personal God - with all that implies? Because of the larger implications in areas such as science, religion, society, and morality as well as its personal implications for individual identity and meaning in life, no one can deny the relevance of the subject. (John Ankerberg & John Weldon, 1993, pp. 5.)

In pursuit of the truth on this subject I will be covering several subjects.

1. Reveal the generally unknown facts of the fossil record that thoroughly contradict the hypothesis of Darwin.

2. Demonstrate that this issue of Darwinism is one of the strongest proofs of the correctness of Theosophy.

3. The above quote, useful as it is, has yet a flaw. It presents two dichotomous choices - chance or God. After concluding this lengthy newsletter I will lead into next month's newsletter that will show Theosophy - the ancient wisdom - as the third choice.

PROBLEMS WITH THE FOSSIL RECORD
_________________________________

There are three major problems with the fossil record.

1. The first is that the fossil record shows species originating abruptly. This contradicts the predictions of Darwin's hypothesis. His hypothesis calls for very many intermediate forms gradually grading from one species to another. But instead the record shows the opposite - species arise abruptly.

2. Secondly, the geologic record shows that species do not change significantly through time. For millions of years they remain constant - with only minor and random change. This also contradicts the predictions of the hypothesis of Darwin.

3. The "Cambrian explosion" represents a period in which most of the current phyla [broad groups of life forms] all appeared in a very short geological span of time. This also seriously contradicts the hypothesis of Darwin.

The problems with the fossil record are more extreme that it might seem. The evidence of the fossils is in stunning contradiction to Darwin's theory. Generally this contradiction is not well known and so I have attempted in this newsletter to bring out the details.

SPECIES DON'T SIGNICANTLY CHANGE
_________________________________

In pursuit of this subject, I acquired a copy of "The Structure of Evolutionary Theory" by Steven Jay Gould. It is a 1400 page tome that, while well written, would not appeal to the general reader. I wanted to reach a clearly knowledgeable source and Gould is a well known Darwinist who also admits to some of the problems in Darwin's view. Most of the quotes from Gould are from that book.

Gould has called "stasis" the "trade secret of paleontology." One section of the book attracted my interest. In chapter nine that section is headed "What every Paleontologist knows." I hoped that chapter would reveal and prove the "secret". And it did. Most of the quotes here from Gould are from that source. Now more people can learn the "trade secret of paleontology."

Some reasons according to Gould why there naturally occurs such a "secret."

The common knowledge of a profession often goes unrecorded in technical literature for two reasons: one need not preach commonplaces to the initiated; and one should not attempt to inform the uninitiated in publications they do not read. The long-term stasis, following a geologically abrupt origin, of most fossil morphospecies, has always been recognized by professional paleontologists ... p 749-750

But another reason, beyond tacitly shared knowledge, soon arose to drive stasis more actively into textual silence. Darwinian evolution became the great intellectual novelty of the later 19th century, and paleontology held the archives of life's history. Darwin proclaimed insensibly gradual transition as the canonical expectation for evolution's expression in the fossil record. He knew, of course, that the detailed histories of species rarely show such a pattern, so he explained the literal appearance of stasis and abrupt replacement as an artifact of a woefully imperfect fossil record. Thus, paleontologist could be good Darwinians and still acknowledge the primary fact of their profession - but only at the price of sheepishness or embarrassment. No one can take great comfort when the primary observation of their discipline becomes an artifact of limited evidence rather than an expression of nature's ways. Thus, once gradualism emerged as the expected pattern for documenting evolution - with an evident implication that the fossil record's dominant signal of stasis and abrupt replacement can only be a sign of evidentiary poverty - paleontologist became cowed or puzzled, and even less likely to showcase their primary datum. (p 750)

Gould gives a number of quotes to confirm the fact of stasis of species. He concludes with this:

In what I regard as the most fascinating and revealing comment of all, Gorge Gaylord Simpson, the greatest and most biologically astute paleontologist of the 20th century (and a strong opponent of punctuated equilibrium in his later years), [Gould's own theory] acknowledged the literal appearance of stasis and geologically abrupt origin as *the* outstanding general fact of the fossil record, and as a pattern that would "pose one of the most important theoretical problems in the whole history of life" if Darwin's argument for artifactual status failed. Simpson stated at the 1959 Chicago centennial celebration for the "Origin of Species" (in Tax, 1960, p149):
It is a feature of the known fossil record that most taxa appear abruptly. They are not, as a rule, led up to by a sequence of almost imperceptibly changing forerunners such as Darwin believed should be usual in evolution A great many sequences of two or a few temporally intergrading species are known, but even at this level most species appear without known intermediate ancestors, and really, perfectly complete sequence of numerous species are exceedingly rare ... These peculiarities of the record pose one of the most important theoretical problems in the whole history of life; is the sudden appearance ... a phenomenon of evolution or of the record only, due to sampling bias and other inadequacies?
Such a discordance between theoretical expectation and actual observation surely falls within the category of troubling "anomalies" that, in Kuhn's celebrated view of scientific change (1962), often spur a major reformulation. p 755

Translation: The data so strongly disconfirm the hypothesis that it may induce a paradigm shift.

Darwin claimed the reason for the discrepancy was an "imperfect" record. Gould claims this reason "works". But while seeming to excuse Darwin he admits the contrariness is "stunning."

The "argument from imperfection" ( with its preposition purposefully chosen by analogy to the "argument from design") works adequately as a device to save gradualism in the face of an empirical signal of quite stunning contrariness when read at face value." (p 758)

But if an "imperfect" record can excuse the sudden appearance of species, how does one explain the unchanging nature of a species once it appears? This unchanging nature is called "stasis." After hearing so much "explaining away" Gould makes the point that stasis is data. Since those on the spiritual path will have heard of mantras I thought you might enjoy Gould's emphatic explanation.

But how can imperfection possibly explain away stasis (the equilibrium of punctuated equilibrium)? Abrupt appearance may record an absences of information, but *stasis is data*. Eldredge and I became so frustrated by the failure of many colleagues to grasp this evident point - though a quarter century of subsequent debate has finally propelled our claim to general acceptance (while much else about punctuated equilibrium remains controversial) - that we urged the incorporation of this little phrase as a mantra or motto. Say it ten times before breakfast every day for a week, and the argument will surely seep in by osmosis: "stasis is data: stasis is data ..."

The fossil record may, after all, be 99 percent imperfect, but if you can, nonetheless, sample a species at a large number of horizons well spread over several million years, and if these samples record no net change, with beginning and end points substantially the same, and with only mild and errant fluctuation among the numerous collections in between, then a conclusion of stasis rests on the *presence* of data, not on absence!

Another admission from Gould (I respect his honesty):

So if stasis could not be explained away as missing information, how could gradualism face this most prominent signal from the fossil record? The most negative of all strategies - a quite unconscious conspiracy of silence - dictated the canonical response of paleontologists to their observations of stasis.

Paleontologists therefore came to view stasis as just another failure to document evolution. Stasis existed in overwhelming abundance, as every paleontologist always knew. But this primary signal of the fossil record, defined as an absence of data for evolution, only highlighted our frustration - and certainly did not represent anything worth publishing. Paleontology therefore fell into a literally absurd vicious circle. No one ventured to document or quantify - indeed, hardly anyone even bothered to mention or publish at all - the most common pattern in the fossil record: the stasis of most morphospecies throughout their geological duration.

The trade secret comes out:

All paleontologists recognized the phenomenon, but few scientists write papers about failure to document a desired result. As a consequence, most nonpaleontologists never learned about the predominance of stasis, and simply assumed that gradualism must prevail, as illustrated by the exceedingly few cases that became textbook "classics": the coiling of *Gryphae*, the increasing body size of horses, etc. (Interestingly, nearly all these "classics" have since been disproved, thus providing another testimony for the temporary triumph of hope and expectation over evidence - see Gould, 1972.) Thus, when punctuated equilibrium finally granted theoretical space and importance to stasis, and this fundamental phenomenon finally emerged from the closet, nonpaleontologists were often astounded and incredulous. (p 761)

Gould is probably not thinking exactly what I am thinking when he writes these words:

I find this situation particularly frustrating as paleontology's primary example of an insidious phenomenon in science that simply has not been recognized for the serious and distorting results perpetrated under its aegis.

(In his defense, actually Gould refers to problems that result for science in general when this kind of selection against publishing occurs in any field of study. But in this case, the results for humanity are very serious indeed.)

CAMBRIAN EXPLOSION
____________________

The problem with the so-called "Cambrian explosion" is that many basic different body plans of animals appeared relatively instantaneously - in geologic time - about 600 million years ago. This is exactly the opposite of Darwinism's prediction of gradual development of life forms.

I quote here from "Darwin on Trial", a very well written book by Philip Johnson published in 1991 that has significantly raised people's awareness of the problems of Darwinism.

The single greatest problem which the fossil record poses for Darwinism is the "Cambrian explosion" of around 600 million years ago. Nearly all the animal phyla appear in the rocks of this period, without a trace of the evolutionary ancestors that Darwinists require. As Richard Dawkins [a staunch advocate of Darwinism] puts it, "It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history." In Darwin's time there was no evidence for the existence of pre-Cambrian life, and he conceded in "The Origin of Species" that "The case at present must remain inexplicable, and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained." If his theory was true, Darwin wrote, the pre-Cambrian would must have "swarmed with living creatures."

In recent years evidence of bacteria and algae has been found in some of the earth's oldest rocks, and it is generally accepted today that these single-celled forms of life may have first appeared as long ago as four billion years. ... And then dozens of independent groups of multicellular animals appeared without any visible process of evolutionary development. Darwinist theory requires that there have been very lengthy sets of intermediate forms between unicellular organisms and animals like insects, worms, and clams. The evidence that these existed is missing, however, and with no good excuse.

The problem posed by the Cambrian explosion has become known to many contemporary readers due to the success of Gould's book "Wonderful Life". ...

The general picture of animal history is thus a burst of general body plans followed by extinction. No new phyla evolved thereafter. Many species exist today which are absent from the rocks of the remote past, but these all fit within general taxonomic categories present at the outset. The picture is one of evolution of a sort, but only within the confines of basic categories which themselves show no previous evolutionary history. Gould described the reclassification of the Burgess fossils as the "death knell of the artifact theory." [the theory proposed by Darwin that it is only an accident of the record that the evidence is so bad.] ...

An orthodox Darwinist would answer that a direct leap from unicellular organisms to 25 to 50 complex animal phyla without a long succession of transitional intermediates is not the sort of thing for which a plausible genetic mechanism exists, to put it mildly. Gould is describing something he calls "evolution," but the picture is so different from what Darwin and his successors had in mind that perhaps a different term ought to be found. The Darwinian model of evolution is what Gould calls the "cone of increasing diversity." This means that the story of multicellular animal life should begin with a small number of species evolving from simple forms. The dozens of different basic body plans manifest in the Cambrian fossils would then be the product of a long and gradual process of evolution from less differentiated beginnings. Nor should the cone have stopped expanding abruptly after the Cambrian explosion. If the disconfirming facts were not already known, any Darwinist would be confident that the hundreds of millions of years of post-Cambrian evolution would have produced many new phyla. [But none were produced.]

Instead we see the basic body plans all appearing first, many of these becoming extinct, and further diversification proceeding strictly with the boundaries of the original phyla. These original Cambrian groups have no visible evolutionary history, and the "artifact theory" which should supply such a history has to be discarded. Maybe a few evolutionary intermediates existed for some of the groups, although none have been conclusively identified, but otherwise just about all we have between complex mulicellular animals and single cells is some words like "fast-transition." We can call this thoroughly un-Darwinian scenario "evolution," but we are just attaching a label to a mystery.

Sudden appearance and stasis of species in the fossil record is the opposite of what Darwinian theory would predict. (pp 54-56)

Gould's book "Wonderful Life", mentioned above, studies the Cambrian period from the "Burgess Shale in Canada that gives the best fossil record of the Cambrian period up to that time. In doing just a little research on the Cambrian period on the internet, I came across this information on a yet better and more recent fossil record of that period, the Chengjiang site. This site is "much older than the Burgess Shale and the preservation of the specimens is much much finer."

The following interview is between "Real Issue", a Christian outlet, and Dr. Paul Chien, now a Christian due to his findings and who has changed his career in biology to further study this issue. Dr. Paul Chien was born in China and graduated from university in Hong Kong where he earned degrees in chemistry and botany. He completed his doctorate at the University of California, Irvine, and his post-doc at Cal Tech in marine biology. Presently he is the chairman of the biology department at the University of San Francisco.

Chien recently accepted a unique invitation to travel to China to study the fossils at the Chengjiang site. What Chien found and what he has since learned about the Cambrian fauna, has changed the focus of his career. Today, Chien concentrates on further exploring and promoting the mysteries of the Cambrian explosion of life. Subsequently, Chien possesses the largest collection of Chinese Cambrian fossils in North America.

Real Issue: As you became more interested in this and discovered more about it, did you find it really was an "explosion of life"?

Chien: Yes. A simple way of putting it is that currently we have about 38 phyla of different groups of animals, but the total number of phyla discovered during that period of time (including those in China, Canada, and elsewhere) adds up to over 50 phyla. That means [there are] more phyla in the very, very beginning, where we found the first fossils [of animal life], than exist now.

Stephen J. Gould, [a Harvard University evolutionary biologist], has referred to this as the reverse cone of diversity. The theory of evolution implies that things get more and more complex and get more and more diverse from one single origin. But the whole thing turns out to be reversed. We have more diverse groups in the very beginning, and in fact more and more of them die off over time, and we have less and less now.

RI: What information is the public hearing or not hearing about the Cambrian explosion?

Chien: The general impression people get is that we began with micro-organisms, then came lowly animals that don't amount to much, and then came the birds, mammals and man. Scientists were looking at a very small branch of the whole animal kingdom, and they saw more complexity and advanced features in that group. But it turns out that this concept does not apply to the entire spectrum of animals or to the appearance or creation of different groups. Take all the different body plans of roundworms, flatworms, coral, jellyfish and whatever all those appeared at the very first instant.

Most textbooks will show a live tree of evolution with the groups evolving through a long period of time. If you take that tree and chop off 99 percent of [the earlier portion of] it, [what is left] is closer to reality; it's the true beginning of every group of animals, all represented at the very beginning.

Notice Chien's conclusion "all represented at the very beginning." It is also interesting that Gould calls this a "reverse cone of diversity". The complete opposite of what Darwin proposed.

CONFESSIONS OF DARWIN
_______________________

If we did not know better, we would expect that the "Origin of the Species" to contain a dramatic chapter on the fossil record in which Darwin demonstrates how the evidence of the bones confirms his theory. However, Darwin knew quite well that the record was contrary to his theory. Gould tells us:

Only one chapter of the "Origin of Species" bears an apologetic title - ironically, for the subject that should have provided the crown of direct evidence for evolution in the large: the archive of life's actual history as displayed in the fossil record. Yet Darwin entitled Chapter 9 "On the Imperfection of the Geological Record."

Despite this strong belief in geological gradualism, Darwin knew perfectly well - as all paleontologists always have - that stasis and abrupt appearance represent a norm for the *observed* history of most species. I needn't rehearse Darwin's solution to this dilemma, for his familiar argument represents more than a twice-told tale. Following the lead of his mentor, Charles Lyle, Darwin attributed this striking discordance between theoretical expectation and actual observation to the extreme imperfection of the fossil record. (p. 757)

To quote the two most famous statement on this subject from the "Origin of Species," Darwin summarizes his entire argument by closing Chapter 9 with Lyell's metaphor of the book (1859, pp. 310-311)

For my part, following out Lyell's metaphor, I look at the natural geological record, as a history of the world imperfectly kept, and written in a changing dialect; of this history we possess the last volume along, relating only to two or three countries. Of this volume, only here and there a short chapter has been preserved; and of each page, only here and there a few lines. Each word of the slowly - changing language, in which the history is supposed to be written, being more or less different in the interrupted succession of chapters, may represent the apparently abruptly changed forms of life, entombed in our consecutive, but widely separated, formations.

In epitomizing both geological chapters, Darwin begins with a long list of reasons for such an imperfect record, and then concludes with his characteristic honesty (1859, p 342): "All these causes taken conjointly, just have tended to make the geological record extremely imperfect, and will to a large extent explain why we do not find interminable varieties, connecting together all the extinct and existing forms of life by the finest graduated steps. He who rejects these views on the nature of the geological record, will rightly reject my whole theory." ...

In the next quote Darwin asserts that because his hypothesis is true, while the evidence is contrary, it demonstrates how faulty the evidence is. Of course this is backwards. And Gould in presenting this quote twists this into a form of "sophistication" on Darwin's part.

The paradoxes set by Darwin's solution for the current practice of paleontology and macroevolutionary theory receive their clearest expression in another remarkable statement from the "Origin of Species" (1859, p. 302), a testimony to Darwin's sophisticated understanding that nature's "facts" do not stand before us in pristine objectivity, but must be embedded within theories to make any sense, or even to be "seen" at all. Darwin acknowledges that he only understood the extreme imperfection of the geological record when paleontological evidence of stasis and abrupt appearance threatened to confute the gradualism that he "knew" to be true: "But I do not pretend that I should ever have suspected how poor a record of the mutation of life, the best preserved geological section presented, had not the difficulty of our not discovering innumerable transitional links between the species which appeared at the commencement and close of each formation, pressed so hardly on my theory." (p 758)

(Translation: "I know the data does not support my theory. That shows the data is worse than I would have thought.")

FALSITY OF DARWINISM AS CONFIRMATION OF THEOSOPHY
___________________________________________________

In my personal opinion the failure of Darwinism to explain macroevolution is one of the strongest confirmations of the truth of Theosophy - and perhaps the single best confirmation.

While the information presented in this and previous newsletters may seem sufficient to justify that claim, there is yet more reason to support it that requires a brief digression into the epistemological nature of "proof".

Judging the truth of Theosophy occurs in numerous ways for different people. Those ways include intuitive reaction, philosophical reasonableness, internal consistency, integrative capacity, explanatory power, and observation and study of life. Hopefully over time and lives we progress to more direct knowing of the metaphysics. In more external cases some predictions and assertions of Blavatsky can be reasonably tested with objective data. Long time students of Theosophy encounter a seemingly endless series of such confirmations during their years of study.

Obviously her statements on Darwinism can be tested - more effectively as the decades roll on. Specifically I am suggesting testing her claim that Darwinism is true but only a "minor" law, and that Darwinism does not account for the origin of the species.

Since her assertion was quite opposite to the accepted scientific wisdom of her time, its vindication confers all the more strength to her claims.

Her primary book making this assertion was the "Secret Doctrine" published in 1888. Darwin had published his "Origin of the Species" in 1859. By her day Darwinism had taken the scientific world by storm. By her time, any opposition to Darwinism labeled one as ignorant and worse. So when she made her assertion in the face of all the celebration and acclaim for Darwinism, it carries all the more significance when she is finally shown to have been correct.

In a sense, the ideas of Karl Popper are similar. He promoted the value of "falsifiability" of a theory. In more detail he said the theory to be tested should make "risky predictions." Since Theosophy is not presented as a theory but rather as an assertion - determined by eons of testing and checking by seers - we should look for a risky "assertion." And Blavatsky's assertions on Darwinism fully qualify as risky in the sense used by Popper.

Her assertions were not only risky in a theoretical sense but holding her view could destroy a person's career - then and now.

Louis Agassiz is the model of what happened to scientists who tried to resist the rising tide of evolution. Agassiz's tragedy is described in Gould's essay "Agassiz in the Galapagos," in "Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes." As Gould tells it, the Swiss-born Harvard professor was "without doubt, the greatest and most influential naturalist of nineteenth-century America," a great scientist and a social lion who was an intimate of just about everyone who mattered. "But Agassiz's summer of fame and fortune turned into a winter of doubt and befuddlement," because his idealist philosophical bias prevented him from embracing Darwin's theory. All his students became evolutionists and he had long been a sad and isolated figure when he died in 1873." (Darwin on Trial p. 182)

(His "philosophical bias" must have been that he preferred truth and knew the geologic record too well to accept Darwinism.)

While increasing numbers of scientists are beginning to express their doubts about Darwinism, in general the road is still rocky and risky for many. The August '05 issue of Whistleblower, devoted to intelligent design, tells the following story.

The career of a prominent researcher at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington is in jeopardy after he published a peer-reviewed article by a leading proponent of intelligent design ...

Richard Sternberg says that although he continues to work in the museum's Department of Zoology, he has been kicked out of his office and shunned by colleagues, prompting him to file a complain with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel. ...

"I'm spending my time trying to figure out how to salvage a scientific career," Sternberg told David Klinghoffer, a columnist for the Jewish Forward, who reported the story in the Wall Street Journal. ...

[The article he published], "The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories," cites mainstream biologists and paleontologists from schools such as the University of Chicago, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford who are critical of certain aspects of Darwinism.

We might not have thought that the Smithsonian Museum would have been this close-minded and fanatical.

To give just one more example from current days - many will have heard of the fuss in the local Kansas school board. The desire is not to introduce study of the bible. It is not to introduce creationism. It is not even to introduce the theory of intelligent design. All that is desired is to introduce into the public classroom the facts concerning problems with Darwinism. And that makes headlines in Europe and the advocates of presenting this information are pilloried in the press.

So this issue fully qualifies under Popper's rule of a "risky" assertion. Therefore this vindication of Blavatsky's view has first its inherent merits. But in addition, it becomes a greatly stronger vindication because it was so bold, so contrary, and so "risky".

Blavatsky, of course, was simply presenting the ancient wisdom - verified in its turn by eons of seers. What we are witnessing is a very major vindication of the ancient wisdom.

SUMMARY
_________

In this newsletter we see that a century and a half of field exploration of the fossil record does not support Darwinism. It does not resolve the "imperfection" of the geologic record of which Darwin was well aware. To the contrary, one and a half centuries of field world have reasonably shown that the absences in the record that contradicted Darwin's theory are still there. Now we can say, the geologic record is in "stunning" (Gould's word) contradiction to Darwin's hypothesis.

The newsletter of August 1 shows the result of chemical efforts to produce the first life by chance that have been pursued over the last half century. Those efforts have failed. That line of exploration of Darwinism is left without a viable theory and is in disarray.

The newsletter of July 1 discussed the problems presented by the new molecular information that was unavailable to Darwin. Darwinism cannot explain the irreducible complexity found in the molecular arrangements.

In sum, the field work of a century and a half and the hi-tech laboratory analysis of the last half century repudiate the hypothesis of Darwin.

When the details of these newsletters are reviewed, we see that this is not a debate between religion and science - as often portrayed. It is the details of science that are the issue. This is a debate between science and science. The reigning paradigm of the biological sciences is being dethroned - and being dethroned in our time before our eyes. Darwinism is the creation story of materialism - and it has failed.

When this paradigm falls, what takes its place?

A natural assumption is that the "designer" of intelligent design must be the "God" of some theistic religion. But this conclusion does not follow. There are other alternatives.

Students of Theosophy well know that Theosophy presents what may fairly be called a third alternative. In Theosophy Darwinism is regarded as a true but "minor" law of nature. Darwinism is not granted sufficient power to explain the origin of the species. Instead, consciousness is present even before the universe comes into physical existence. Intelligence exists beyond the confines of the craniums of humans. Intelligence pervades nature.

In addition evolution is a grand principle of Theosophy that confers purposefulness to the universe and to each of our lives.

I have spent great length in this newsletter because of the seriousness of the issues. I have wanted to present details adequate to show the very compelling nature of the evidence. That decision has made this well beyond the normal length of these newsletters. The natural questions that follow on Theosophy's view of evolution and on the structure of nature deserve a longer and more attentive presentation than I can simply append here. So the next newsletter will make an attempt to present Theosophy's view in more detail.

That effort will be daunting. Hope you stay tuned.

Reed Carson



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