Well Darwin was a good observer, and eloquent writer. He had bred pigeons and knew about selective breeding practices. He already knew of the generally accepted theory that living things were related somehow, but the devil is in the details.
Rifkin’s essay about Darwin from Huff Po, is linked below, but there are some questions to ask. Rifkin is satisfied Darwin is a genius–Aristotle was also a genius, but limited by the tools available, so he was wrong on many things–like the 4 elements.
Here’s why Darwin has to be a genius, even though his modification and selection theory has a lot of evidentiary chemical and genetic inadequacies and gaps–Darwin provided secular materialist atheists with the theory that eliminated the God problem. As Dawkins admitted, Darwin allowed for atheists to be comfortable, and I would assert he allowed them to be satisfied and able to reject questions raised about the gaps in the evidence or the explanations for functional complexity and diversity.
Now my objections to the Darwinian theory have nothing to do with religion and a believer in a creator–I have problems with a lack of a chemical evolutionary theory, lack of transitional phyla and species, confusion about INTRA SPECIES MODIFICATIONS BEING USED AS EVIDENCE OF INTER SPECIES MODIFICATIONS.
There are a few orders of magnitude required to explain the difference between an insect and a crocodile or an orangutan, but they are all related and underlying anatomy and physiology are unified by carbon, biochemistry, DNA/RNA cellular complexity.
When people talk about the higher and more complex life forms, important to know that cellular complexity is present at the lowest of life forms, driven by similar biochemical reactions in anatomy that has common elements–for example the cellular membranes.
Darwin, an honest man, said he couldn’t explain inter-species lack of reproduction, or even simple problems of reproduction blocks related to donkeys, mules and horses. He was honest enough to admit that he couldn’t explain the development of complex anatomy and physiology like the eye–he had no idea of the cellular anatomic and biochemical complexity that underlies living things. He didn’t know the mechanism of reproduction and genetics. He thought a cell was a membrane containing a soup, like the scientists of his age, not knowing that electron microscopy would should complexity of a high order.
He was a hedgehog on a mission–find an explanation for what the Borg called in the Sci Fi world–CARBON BASED UNITS.
DNA and Carbon–unifiers and the beginning of the mystery of functional complexity. And who knows how enzymes and feed back loops are developed–dumb chemicals sure don’t know how.
I also have a big problem with chemicals, complex chemicals like DNA and RNA being anthropomorphized to beings with a sense of direction and the ability to “develop” new or more complex phyla.
Chemists would laugh to think that someone attributed intelligence or a purposeful existence to even a protein with a molecular weight in the tens of thousands.
As for coordinated development of extraordinarily complex physiological and structural complexity–chemicals don’t plan and execute.
When an evolutionist employs the tautological argument that enough time will produce a monkey, elephant, horse, ant, spider, crocodile–my response is that we think time since the big bang is estimable and mutations that coordinate development of functional complexity can’t happen in the time allowed when one considered the nature of the chemical complexity and specificity required.
I am not a creationist–but the evolutionists want to park all their enemies in the creationist lot so they can make fun of them. The young earth creationists are looking for a magic, a creator–I’m looking for a chemical and genetic design factor–what Dawkins calls the selfish gene factor. Dawkins and I separate when he claims genes or DNA or RNA could know how to evolve–chemicals don’t ‘know’ nothin’.