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Evolution by Catastrophe: Does it indicate Intelligent Design? (cont.)
By Bibhu Dev Misra (IIT, IIM)

It is easy to see that the sudden extinction of life forms every 26 million years, brought about by large body impacts from outer space, and the equally sudden appearance of ‘fully developed’ new species after the extinction event, supports the Vedic accounts of the events that transpire in a Day and Night of Brahma. The Vishnu Purana tells us that myriad different beings with different characteristics, both physical and mental, were created by Brahma in previous Kalpas. It provides a list of nine such creation events, which is strongly suggestive of the ‘punctuated equilibrium’ model of evolution.

We find mention of similar episodic creation events in the accounts of the Mesoamericans as well. Their myths tell us that the gods Tepeu and Gucumatz decided to create a race of beings who can worship them. Huracan, the Heart of Heaven, who is the Supreme Deity, did the actual creating while Tepeu and Gucumatz guided the process. First the Earth was created. However, the gods went through many trials and errors before creating humans. First the animals were created; however, with all of their howling and squawking they did not worship their creators and were thus banished forever to the forest. Man was first created of mud, but they just crumbled and dissolved away. Man was next created of wood but he had no soul, and they soon forgot their makers, so the gods turned all of their possessions against them and brought a black resinous rain down on their heads. Finally man was formed of masa or corn dough by even more gods and their work was complete.

These mythical accounts seem to describing an episodic process of creation, spanning across many Kalpas i.e. Days and Nights of Brahma. New life forms appear on the surface of the earth at the beginning of each Day of Brahma, guided by the Supreme Spirit. This exactly what we find reflected in the fossil records.

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