The theory of punctuated equilibrium — often abbreviated a bit too cutely as “punk eek” — was formulated by paleontologists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge to shore up traditional Darwinism with its glaring difficulty of the missing fossil transitions. The personable new ID explainer Lukas Ruegger has considered that difficulty and some proposed paleontological solutions to it in his excellent Khan Academy-like series Basics of Intelligent Design Biology.
In the third episode, “Evolution by Jerks,” out now from Discovery Institute, Ruegger turns to the three problems with punctuated equilibrium, problems so serious that they resulted in Gould’s backing away from his own theory. By the time of his death, he had come full circle, in effect, returning to traditional Darwinism. The situation left evolution back where it started, seeking new patches that Ruegger will take up in future episodes. Find the full series so far here. Enjoy: