I picked up a used copy of Greg Bear's book Darwin's Children recently and read it without initially realizing that it was a sequel. I didn't find it particularly involving, so I skimmed most of the second half of the book. The book has all the trappings of hard SF, including lots of characters who are scientists, lots of exposition of science, and a lot of plot that revolves around solving scientific puzzles. For this reason, I kept expecting some kind of sensible explanation to be offered by the end of the book of what was going on. As I was skimming toward the end of the book, I was thinking, "I'll just blow through all this so I can find out the explanation at the end." There never seemed to be such an explanation, although maybe I'm not getting the idea because I didn't read the first book and skimmed the one I did read. I also read the WP articles on the books afterward, but they didn't seem to address this.
Is there actually some plausible explanation of the science, which I'm just missing? It seems that we're supposed to believe in this whole complicated suite of sudden evolutionary changes that come busting out of old junk DNA to manifest themselves suddenly in the human phenotype. These occur without any evolutionary pressure, over a single generation, and they produce cool and apparently beneficial effects, such as emission of mind-control pheromones and the ability to use the tongue to somehow speak two sentences simultaneously.
This isn't how evolution works -- at all -- so I'd been assuming all through the book that there was some big revelation coming at the end. I thought maybe aliens had implanted the DNA bomb and then set it off suddenly in 2000 AD, for purposes that were to be revealed at the end. Then I get to the end, and it's basically...nothing. No attempt seems to be made to make any sense whatsoever out of any of this. Am I completely misunderstanding this book? From all the sciencey-sounding material, I was expecting some real science, but is it more like the science is just fake science like in the Marvel X-Men or Attack of the 50-Foot Woman?