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Conway Morris, of course, considers this possibility in relation to a very specific aspect of the problem of organismal form, namely, the problem of explaining why the same forms arise repeatedly in so many disparate lines of decent. But this raises a question. Could a similar approach shed explanatory light on the more general causal question that has been addressed in this review? Could the notion of purposive design help provide a more adequate explanation for the origin of organismal form generally? Are there reasons to consider design as an explanation for the origin of the biological information necessary to produce the higher taxa and their corresponding morphological novelty?
The remainder of this review will suggest that there are such reasons. In so doing, it may also help explain why the issue of teleology or design has reemerged within the scientific discussion of biological origins (Denton 1986, 1998; Thaxton et al. 1992; Kenyon & Mills 1996: Behe 1996, 2004; Dembski 1998, 2002, 2004; Conway Morris 2000, 2003a, 2003b, Lonnig 2001; Lonnig & Saedler 2002; Nelson & Wells 2003; Meyer 2003, 2004; Bradley 2004) and why some scientists and philosophers of science have considered teleological explanations for the origin of form and information despite strong methodological prohibitions against design as a scientific hypothesis (Gillespie 1979, Lenior 1982:4).
And clearly, the neo-Darwinian mechanism does explain many appearances of design, such as the adaptation of organisms to specialized environments that attracted the interest of 19th century biologists. More specifically, known microevolutionary processes appear quite sufficient to account for changes in the size of Galapagos finch beaks that have occurred in response to variations in annual rainfall and available food supplies (Weiner 1994, Grant 1999).
______. 2004. Irreducible complexity: obstacle to Darwinian evolution. Pp. 352-370 in W. A. Dembski and M. Ruse, eds., Debating design: from Darwin to DNA. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Bradley, W. 2004. Information, entropy and the origin of life. Pp. 331-351 in W. A. Dembski and M. Ruse, eds., Debating design: from Darwin to DNA. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
______. 2004. The logical underpinnings of intelligent design. Pp. 311-330 in W. A. Dembski and M. Ruse, eds., Debating design: from Darwin to DNA. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
______. The scientific status of intelligent design: The methodological equivalence of naturalistic and non-naturalistic origins theories. Pp. 151-211 in Science and evidence for design in the universe. Proceedings of the Wethersfield Institute. Ignatius Press, San Francisco.
______. 2003. DNA and the origin of life: information, specification and explanation. Pp. 223-285 in J. A. Campbell and S. C. Meyer, eds., Darwinism, design and public education. Michigan State University Press, Lansing, Michigan.
______. 2004. The Cambrian information explosion: evidence for intelligent design. Pp. 371-391 in W. A. Dembski and M. Ruse, eds., Debating design: from Darwin to DNA. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Nelson, P., & J. Wells. 2003. Homology in biology: problem for naturalistic science and prospect for intelligent design. Pp. 303-322 in J. A. Campbell and S. C. Meyer, eds., Darwinism, design and public education. Michigan State University Press, Lansing. 2b1af7f3a8