It is almost impossible for biologists to get ‘evolution’ right for the simple reason they can’t observe the details of its action in deep time. The ‘macro’ effect of WHEE shows how massive changes can occur in less than three centuries. If we don’t have data, we are not going to get it right…
How this applies to evolution in deep time we don’t know, but the historical analog tells us that we can’t observe evolutionary dynamics in deep time beyond seeing that evolution is somehow there at a higher level of observation.
We get a useful reprieve in the case of history and we can see how ‘evolution’ and ‘history’ relate to each other like a Janus-faced double. The obvious answers emerge in a tantalizing probable analog: ‘evolution’ operates in overlap with ‘history’ and is expressed by a series of transitions applied to periods of initial action followed by a steady state….a strange echo of punctuated equilibrium.
We can’t be sure this applies to deep time, but we can at least foreclose on bankrupt darwinism.
This approach _in principle_ gives us rough model of how non-random evolution might occur. It is also a near cousin of the ‘punctuated equilibrium’ concept.