The Reactive Mode and Darwinian Evolution

How does this relate to the conceptual approach in biology of theoretically extrapolating microevolution into macroevolution?

A casual, unsophisticated observer on a housing construction site might reasonably misinterpret the field supervisor verbally discussing issues, giving directions, and waving their arms for workers on the jobsite to go here or there and to do this or that, in-the-moment in the reactive mode, incorrectly assuming this visual representation to be the main creative source of the information that designs and builds the house.

What this casual observer is actually witnessing on the jobsite in terms of information dissemination is miniscule in relation to the mountain of information already in-place that forms the “body-plan” design and construction of the house.

Charles Darwin observing the variations among finches on the Galapagos Islands in the middle 1830’s might reasonably infer that what he was witnessing was the creative process in action, totally unaware of the massive body of information contained in the microscopic world of DNA not discovered until a hundred and twenty years later in 1953 by Francis Crick and James Watson.  Without an understanding of the mountain of information that supports the genetic makeup and the incredibly complex body-plan architecture of a finch or any other type of bird, Darwin at the time would be like the casual observer on the housing construction site mistakenly interpreting in-the-moment problem-solving in the reactive mode as the main creative force, rather than merely a few fine-adjustments being made at the marginal periphery of the total information package.

The action of problem-solving in the reactive mode in housing construction is easily recognized, even when mistakenly misinterpreted by the casual, unsophisticated observer.  Problem-solving in the reactive mode becomes even more clearly recognized when it beneficially translates into a written, hard-copy, documented feedback loop of information directly communicated back to the design and construction team to be proactively re-designed and field managed out of the construction of future projects entirely.  Looking for and identifying the reactive mode in housing construction is easy.  It is like looking for something easy to find in broad daylight…with a flashlight.

In the microscopic world of DNA, RNA, proteins, amino acids, and in the diverse body-plans formulated at the initial division of embryonic cells, we do not see any feedback loop of information that would constitute the main creative informational basis for the physical and lifestyle variation of living things we observe in the natural world.

Natural selection, as far as science can tell, as well as by definition, is entirely in the reactive mode.  The mountain of creative information in the living cell and its DNA is already there, fully functioning, and in-place.  The differences in genes that produce the slight variations within species that allow for adaptation to differing ecosystem habitats are already in existence.

The genetic based variations in Darwin’s finches that allows for their survival amidst cyclical weather pattern changes on the Galapagos Islands chain are already in operation.  The inbuilt variability in finch characteristics, adapting to cyclical weather changes affecting habitat conditions, producing temporarily oscillating fluctuations in the relative populations of the thirteen types of finches identified on the Galapagos archipelago, was fully functioning in the mid-1830’s when Darwin first observed this phenomenon.

This microevolutionary process in the reactive mode does not cause fluctuations in the main body-plan architecture of Darwin’s finches.  Genetic variation is not putting out radically creative characteristics that can be naturally selected that would alter Darwin’s finches into something entirely different like a hybrid finch/duck or a finch/hawk or a finch/goose…yet this is the central motive force theorized for common descent.

The casual observer witnessing the field supervisor directing the work on the jobsite, answering questions and resolving problems in the reactive mode, does not result in the house design “type” radically changing mid-stream from a traditional New England Cape Cod architecture to something entirely different like Wallace Neff’s Santa Barbara/Montecito style architecture, circa 1928 to 1932…there are not even existing or imaginable, transitional intermediate hybrids between the two.

Once construction of the house begins, the design “type” of the house remains the same except for slight changes and modifications consistent within the parameters of that architectural style.  Moving a few interior walls a few inches this way or that way to improve function…additional space for door casing to fit or for kitchen cabinets to fit…does not affect the overall architectural design.  When successful hybrids do occur in building design they are the product of intelligent agency…intelligently conceived aesthetic and functional design considerations.

In editing and re-editing and fine-tuning this book, the addition of one key word here and there can greatly improve what I am trying to say.  One key word will improve a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, and even a portion of a chapter.  But a substitution of a key word for a previously chosen word will not change the whole book.

The very rare genetic mutations that are advantageous, acted upon by natural selection, by definition occur in the reactive mode alone.  These advantageous genetic mutations are no more a part of the massive systems of creative information that make up the body-plans of living organisms, than the problem-solving in the reactive mode in housing construction that occurs at the peripheral margins of building design and construction technology.

The notion that macroevolution is said to be a massive collection of infinitesimally small genetic improvements…actually relegates genetic variability and natural selection to the peripheral, outer edges of the body-plans of living things…because functional survivability is not achieved until full development.

The water buffalo newborn on the African savanna plain must be up and running within 20 minutes of birth to keep up with its mother and stay protectively within the herd.  The pathway through inception to embryological development to functional survivability requires foresight…a conceptual leap across from DNA architecture to mature functioning life-form…which contains too much information, too much foresight, and far too much integrated complexity to be anything other than intelligently designed.

The problem with a thoroughly gradualistic scenario is that it requires a leap across a large number of intermediate, non-functional, developmental stages to reach the mature point of function.

But how would function leap across non-function without premeditated foresight?  The growing infant water buffalo in the womb of its mother cannot forego any of the embryological development phases, yet does not reach the point in time of functional survivability until birth.

Common descent as the key element in Darwinian evolution requires innumerable, infinitesimally small improvements acted upon by natural selection, to be plausible as a purely naturalistic explanation for the diversity of life we see today.

Yet the reactive mode has no place in embryological development.  The embryological phase of every living thing is a premature time-period of non-survivability…of non-viability…where the reactive mode has no influence.  The functional “survival of the fittest” has no applicable meaning in the embryological development phase.  Premeditated foresight is needed to bridge the gap between DNA architecture and the fully formed “essence” of the life-form in its functionally mature, unique approach to survival…whether plant, tree, insect, fish, reptile, bird, or mammal.

Charles Darwin did not know about DNA and the molecular machinery in living cells, the inconceivably massive amount of information that went into the Big Bang creation of the universe, or the intelligently designed information that goes into computer software code that crystalized for us the concept of information theory within the last three decades.  Darwin did not know about the enormous base of information content that forms functional systems.  Without this perspective it might be understandable to form enthusiasm for the theory of macroevolution.  But today we are now clearly knowledgeable about these things.

The well-ordered and intelligible precision of the natural world appears to be designed because it is not in the reactive mode.  Natural selection applying genetic variation to procure survivability, and in some rare cases utilizing beneficial mutations to produce permanent variation within species, occurs at the peripheral edges of the total information packages of living things…defined as microevolution.

The natural world can be said to be divinely created by an Intelligent Designer precisely because it is not in the reactive mode.  What we observe in the natural world is not the reactive mode.  What we see in the natural world is not dynamic, obvious, universal change in the middle of reactive transitional revisions continually leading towards radically new life-forms.

Darwinian macroevolution…using the methodology of natural selection responding one-at-a-time to random chance genetic mutations…is a human construction overlaid upon the biological world.  Microevolution extrapolates to macroevolution only if naturalism projects its philosophy over the facts…a philosophy that is no longer tenable in light of our modern understanding of the enormous amounts of information contained within DNA, the Cambrian Explosion, and the Big Bang.

Author: Barton Jahn

I work in building construction as a field superintendent and project manager. I have four books published by McGraw-Hill on housing construction (1995-98) under Bart Jahn, and have six Christian books self-published through Create Space KDP. I have a bachelor of science degree in construction management from California State University Long Beach. I grew up in Southern California, was an avid surfer, and am fortunate enough to have always lived within one mile of the ocean. I discovered writing at the age of 30, and it is now one of my favorite activities. I am currently working on two more books on building construction.

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