A Proposal for a Development Theory of Biological Origins and Change


Dr. Robert F. DeHaan


  A scientific theory of biological origins and change derived from developmental principles will be presented. Development is one of the most ubiquitous processes in the biological world. It is the engine that drives the cascade of changes that occur in individual creatures, from fertilized egg to mature adult through senescence, in all complex organisms of modern design. It is described in scientific literature as an end-directed, internally driven hierarchical process. Developmental principles are currently applicable only to individual organisms. They also have the capability, however of illuminating changes that occurred in major groups of animals, called phyla, over the history of organic life during the last 530 million years. Development of major groups of animals, called phyo-development, has not been utilized, largely because macroevolutionary theory dominates studies of this geologic period. Phyla-development, will be presented as the primary motor which drove changes that have occurred in the great groups of animals during this geologic time. Developmental principles will thus be applied to large-scale, historic changes in major animal groups as well as to individual organisms. What place does Darwinian theory have in this framework? Darwinian mechanisms add adaptive variations to the major innovations brought about by phylo-development, thereby enhancing the survivability of the phyletic lineage. Development is the process, moreover, underlying biological design. It will be presented as the Creator's instrument of choice for bringing about both individual and large-scale innovative biological design.

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