Evolution could be programmed using a hierarchy of hot-spot mutations
When we watch fireworks, we see a small speckle of white light transforming into bright yellow strings, then dissipating, then coming back to life as alternating sparkles, then exploding into a flickering rainbow ball before dying completely out. For a child, it looks like that small speckle was evolving. But, we know that this evolution is an illusion and the sequence of light was programmed by sequentially placed charges.
What about the fireworks of the evolutionary tree?
Just like a firework is programmed with sequential charges, evolution can be programmed with hot-spot mutations.
It is not controversial that genetic changes underlie evolution. These changes must occur in a certain order. Each known hot-spot sequence has a very specific frequency (probability) of taking place. Look at the below table of frequency of hot-spot onco-mutations:
If you have a sufficient number of hot-spot mutations with known frequencies you can insert them into a DNA sequence in such a way that it will evolve into a specific order over time not unlike the firework charge.
In theory, entire evolution can be programmed in this fashion, explaining its increasing complexity and variety of species. In this context, Darwinian evolution takes its appropriate place by being merely responsible for small horizontal changes without changing the complexity – survival of the fittest.
Another important point is that hot-spot mutations we see today are probably just remaining and evolutionary inconsequential mutations because those responsible for evolution have already happened and are all gone: we see the smoldering coals of what once was a raging fire.
Hot-point mutations we see today
Hot-spot mutations billion years ago