Obviously we cannot deny that gradual evolution occurs. This is obvious, and readily demonstrable. However, there are some apparent "gaps" in the fossil record (which creationists are quick to jump on as evidence of God's having created the different "kinds" individually) that lead one to think that there may be something other than the gradualist approach. Greg Bear wrote the books, Darwin's Radio and Darwin's Children (a science fiction novel and it's sequel respectively), and in them he proposes that ERV, or endogenous retroviruses, may be the "messengers" of evolution. A retrovirus (as I'm sure most of us know) is a virus that is encoded into a host's DNA. An endogenous retrovirus would be a retrovirus that is not infection laterally but only passed on through the generations, in the genes. Now, if these ERV are encoded in the genes that we pass on to our children, it is reasonable to assume (as Greg Bear did in his books) that the virus may contain information - gathered from previous mutations of species - on what is a "beneficial" mutation, and could express itself, if put under enough stress. This approach would explain, not only fossil record "gaps", but also the fact that experiments (such as the introduction of a toxin into a colony of fruit-flies) have shown drastic evolutions, in response to stresses, that express themselves in just one or two generations. Any/all comments are appreciated.