The geneticist James Crow wrote that successful scientific theories have the following characteristics: (1) They explain otherwise puzzling observations; (2) they provide connections between otherwise disparate observations; (3) they make predictions that can be tested; and (4) they are heuristic, meaning that they open up new avenues of theory and experimentation. Crow added two other elements of scientific theories that he considered important on a personal, emotional level: (5) They should be elegant, in the sense of being simple and powerful; and (6) they should have an element of surprise. How well does the theory of evolution by natural selection fulfill these six criteria?
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