The only real motivation for holding to MN is to keep the bad guys at bay, as an all-purpose "Press Button in Case of Emergency" defeater for ideas like intelligent design.
What matters is whether any of these theories can explain what needs to be explained: the origin of novel animal body plans and the biological information necessary to produce them.
If real, design is a datum of nature, like it or not. Bad philosophies of science, like materialism, need to get out of the way.
Marks is an evolutionary biologist/anthropologist at the University of North Carolina, and an uncommonly plain speaker and writer.
Thanks to P.Z. Myers’s annual lampoon of me, I’ve thought more deeply about the relationship between development and evolution than I ever expected to do.
At Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne sputters with indignation that Oxford physiologist Noble had the effrontery to criticize textbook evolutionary theory.
Several years ago, PZ Myers inaugurated what he called “Paul Nelson Day” (April 7), his annual lampooning of me for my failure to articulate the concept of “ontogenetic depth.”
As soon as I read the paper’s abstract, my pulse quickened.
A highly enriched soup of proteins and nucleic acids will never form a functional cell, even if lipid bilayer membranes were provided to help these materials become organized.
Although their offices are located only one block apart on the University of Chicago campus, the biological perspectives of Jerry Coyne and Jim Shapiro might as well be located in different galaxies.