The evolution of life they say is ruled by chaos and contingency… And yet I still think a predictive theory of evolution might be possible. And the reason I do is the fish in lake Malawi. Two million years of evolution have produce 600 species of cichlid and an astonishing diversity of form, but whats even more remarkable is that this great evolutionary experiment is not unique. Follow the african rift northwest for just a few hundred miles and you come come to lake Tanganyika. There too a cichlid arrive a few million years ago and there too it multiplied and evolved into hundreds of different species. The fish in both lakes are only remotely related but they have very similar colors, fins, teeth, eyes, habits and habitats. You can hardly tell some of them apart without dna. In other words the tape of cichlid evolution has been run twice and both times the outcome has been much the same. Its this repeatability that makes me think that much of evolution is indeed predictable. — Armand Marie Leroi
The above was at the end of a BBC Production titled “What Darwin Didn’t Know” which examined the evolution of the theory of evolution. I find the shift from pure randomness to predictive, which to me presupposes causes, an interesting development in thinking.