The following was originally posted here.
[ Addendum: in an a further attempt to air-brush-by-moderation, the position-of-the-original-post has been moved here. Which (i) makes things more than a little confusing, and (ii) is further evidence of how dysfunctionally stultifying the moderation of that thread is – I’m glad to be out of there. ]
Welcome Dr Kojonen.
This impression was formed by the combination of an over-familiarity on this forum with Creationist abuse of secondary-sourced quotes and by the fact that you proceeded thereafter to engage with the secondary source rather than Carroll himself. I apologise for the misapprehension.
Here, I cannot agree with you. The tentative wording (a mere “possibility”) of the passage you quote, combined with the immediately-following passage, gives the strong impression that Carroll is merely positing an open question that he intends to address, rather than that he is offering any firm conclusion. It is the conclusion of this article that offers the ‘answer’ to this question. This answer appears to be very modest, talking merely of “passive trends”, “entirely contingent” events and that “there is no basis to assert that bilateral, radial or spiral forms were or would be inevitable.” This does not appear to give any support for a ‘Law of Forms’ of any strength.
However, as neither of us are biologists, I have taken the liberty of creating a side conversation to facilitate the discussion of both your quote and your wider “Laws of Form” claims (so as to avoid disruption of this thread, and to free that discussion from this thread’s somewhat-stultifying level of moderation).
The discussion is ongoing, but initial responses seem to indicate:
A lack of support for the contention that “biologists increasingly talk of ‘laws of form’ underlying evolutionary development”.
The impression that this viewpoint may have greater currency in Intelligent Design circles than in biology.
A lack of support for your contention that Carroll’s article is supportive of this claim.
An impression that what you are referring to as “Laws of Form” may in fact be what is more commonly termed, in biology, as “Structuralism”. (Parenthetically, I would point out that idiosyncratic terminology is often a barrier to communication.)
I am by no means an expert on Structuralism, but my amateur impression is that it is viewed as a fringe viewpoint by the biological community, rather than as a dominant or growing view.
Commentary on it that has been brought to my attention includes this blog post by biochemist Larry Moran: