Ernst Mayr, Systematics and the Origin of Species
(Columbia University Press, New York, 1942), p. 196.
...The development of the heavy bill [of finches, editor] was a slow
process, probably involving dozens of small mutational steps, each one surviving only if
proving its usefulness in the actual test of selection. It must be admitted, however, that
it is a considerable strain on one's credulity to assume that finely balanced systems such
as certain sense organs (the eye of vertebrates, or the bird's feather) could be improved
by random mutations. This is even more true for some of the ecological chain relationships
(the famous yucca moth case, and so forth). However, the objectors to random mutations
have so far been unable to advance any alternative explanation that was supported by
G.G. Simpson, Tempo and Mode in Evolution
(Columbia University Press, New York, 1944), p. xviii.
...For almost every topic discussed in the following pages the data are
Murray Eden, Mathematical Challenges to the
Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (Wistar Institute Press, Philadelphia,
1967), p. 109.
Aside from the pre-Darwinian postulate that offspring
resemble their parents, only one major tenet of neo-Darwinian evolution
can be said to retain empirical
content; namely, that offspring vary from parental types in a random way.
It is our contention that if "random" is given a serious
and critical interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the
randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an
adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation
of new natural laws--physical-chemical and biological.
G.A. Kerkut, Implications of Evolution
(Pergamon, London, 1965), p. 155.
...It seems at times as if many of our modern writers on evolution have
had their views by some sort of revelation and they base their opinions on the evolution
of life, from the simplest to the complex, entirely on the nature of specific and
intra-specific evolution. ...It is premature, not to say arrogant, on our part if we make
any dogmatic assertion as to the mode of evolution of the major branches of the animal
Sir Gavin De Beer, "In the Genes," New
York Review of Books, vol. 6, 14 April 1966, pp. 27, 29.
...It must readily be admitted that the causes of the origins of
patterns, colors, and of many other things, are not known. ...According to the synthetic
theory, organic evolution is satisfactorily explained, in principle and in many details by
the mechanisms of heritable variation and natural selection.
Walter J. Bock, "The Role of Adaptive
Mechanisms in the Origin of Higher Levels of Organization," Systematic Zoology, vol. 14,
Dec. 1965, p. 274.
...The major problem associated with the question of the adaptive origin
of higher taxa lies...with the description and analysis of the events involved in the
origin and development of the new groups. ...most analyses of the origin of new groups are
very vague and weak in their discussion of the sequence of events involved.
G.G. Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution (Bantam
Books, New York, 1967), p. 252.
...Within the realm of what is clearly knowable, the main problem seems
to me and many other investigators to be solved, but much still remains to be learned.
G.G. Simpson, This View of Life (Harcourt,
Brace & World, New York, 1964), p. 10.
...How evolution occurs is much more intricate, still incompletely
known, debated in detail and the subject of most active investigation at present.
Ernst Mayr, Animal Species and Evolution
(Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1963), p. 12.
...It is not nearly so widely recognized that Darwin failed to solve the
problem indicated by the title of his work. Although he demonstrated the modification of
species in the time dimension, he never seriously attempted a rigorous analysis of the
problem of the multiplication of species, of the splitting of one species into two. I have
examined the reasons for this failure and found that among them Darwin's lack of
understanding of the nature of species was foremost.
Ibid., p. 8.
...The basic framework of the theory is that evolution is a two-stage
phenomenon: the production of variation and the sorting of the variants by natural
selection. Yet agreement on the basic thesis does not mean that the work of the
evolutionist is completed. The basic theory is in many instances hardly more than a
postulate and its application raises numerous questions in almost every concrete case. The
discussions throughout this volume are telling testimony to the truth of this statement.
James F. Crow, "Ionizing Radiation
and Evolution," Scientific American, vol. 201, Sept. 1959, p. 142.
...The general picture of how evolution works is not clear. ...Despite
the clarity and simplicity of the general idea, the details are difficult and obscure.