February 21, 2008


Another ex-dhimmi for Darwin ... (Denyse O'Leary, 2/21/08, Post-Darwinist)

I just received this message from Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design:

There was a time when I would half-heartedly join in the chorus that praises Darwin as a great scientist, even though some of his ideas were mistaken. Now, when I look for Darwin's positive contributions to biology, I see only that he made a persuasive case that something analogous to artificial selection operates in natural populations (a case also made by others, including A.R. Wallace). That and a few minor studies on barnacles, orchids, and such. But natural selection has never been shown to accomplish anything more than its artificial counterpart -- which is to say minor changes within existing species.

All of Darwin's Big Ideas -- universal common ancestry, the origin of species by natural selection, inheritance by pangenesis -- are dead or dying. The last (pangenesis) has been disproved as decisively as any scientific hypothesis can be disproved; the second (speciation by natural selection) has never been observed, and all attempts to demonstrate it have failed; and the first (universal common ancestry, or UCA) has serious and growing problems with the evidence.

Having failed utterly as science,. Darwinism is moving to the ground where it always belonged, philosophy, Moral thinking: Biology invades a field philosophers thought was safely theirs (The Economist, 2/21/08)
WHENCE morality? That is a question which has troubled philosophers since their subject was invented. Two and a half millennia of debate have, however, failed to produce a satisfactory answer. So now it is time for someone else to have a go. And at a panel discussion at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, a group of biologists did just that.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 21, 2008 4:24 PM

Perhaps they were considering the Golgi apparatus as the ground of all goodness. Or the morality of the mitochondria. The mighty mitochondria. Or perhaps they discussed the nefarious nucleus.

I would note that the debate goes back much further than 500 BC. The Economist needs some new editors.

Posted by: ratbert at February 22, 2008 7:45 AM