Francix X. Clines, an excellent writer for The City Life and Editorial Observer sections of The New York Times, today (April 23, 2007) repeats what may be the most common mistake in trying to sell Darwinism to the public. In “Evolution, on Broadway and Off,” Clines writes of the American Museum of Natural History’s exhibition on evolution: The DNA exhibit shows how the chimpanzee’s DNA has been conclusively shown to be 98.8 percent the same as the visitor’s DNA. Hey, that’s no show stopper for the monkey-song chorus — it still allows a one in 100 chance they’re right. In other words, you are silly for not believing in Darwinism because you have very similar genes which make the proteins Read More ›
The May-June 2007 issue of American Scientist contains John Dupré‘s review of Darwinian Reductionism: Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Molecular Biology by Alex Rosenberg. Dupré fears that Rosenberg’s adherence to strict physicalist reductionism (“Darwinian Reductionism”), where “everything is ultimately determined by what happens at the physical level–and that this entails that the mind is ‘nothing but’ the brain,” is based upon a failure to understand why most philosophers of biology have abandoned such reductionism rather than a new revelation. As Dupré points out, most philosophers have abandoned this view because, among other reasons, genes have a “many/many” relationship with phenotype. More specifically, his [Rosenberg’s] portrayal of the genome as a program directing development, which is the centerpiece of Read More ›
This last weekend, I attended Timberlake Wertenbaker’s play “After Darwin” at D.C.’s Church Street Theater.
National Geographic recently posted “Francis Collins: The Scientist as Believer,” an interview by John Horgan. The interview is nearly all about religion, but I have two comments touching on evolution.
The New Yorker recently published a story by Jonathan Rosen: “Missing Link: Alfred Russel Wallace, Charles Darwin’s neglected double.” Picking up on a thought of G.K. Chesterton, Rosen notes that while he did “as much as anyone to overturn traditional religious assumptions, Wallace proceeded to horrify his fellow-evolutionists by concluding that natural selection could not in itself explain the uniqueness of man.” There must be intelligent guidance, claimed Wallace.And this raises an interesting question: Would Judge Jones’ Kitzmiller v. Dover ruling have banned the views of the co-founder of evolution from Pennsylvania classrooms? A question already addressed in Traipsing Into Evolution: