Condescension, Sneers, and Outright Misrepresentations of Intelligent Design Pass For Scholarship in Synthese

As I wrote about recently, in mid-2010 the philosophy journal Synthese published an excellent critique of neo-Darwinian evolution and self-organization by Richard Johns. Johns’ article did not argue for intelligent design (ID), but it was critical of the sacred cow of biology. It seems that somebody may have asked the Synthese to offer penance that sin: The latest issue of Synthese is devoted to covering intelligent design, but they strangely they published not a single article by a proponent of intelligent design. Instead they published an issue where many (though not all) of the articles are full of demeaning and condescending sneers against ID, as well as many outright misrepresentations of ID. It feels like it was scripted by the Read More ›

Does Nothing In Biology Make Sense Except in the Light of Evolution?

A recent article in The Scientist titled “The Devolution of Evolution” states: Nearly 40 years ago Theodosius Dobzhansky wrote: “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” How is it, then, that so few newly minted PhDs in the biological sciences have taken any formal graduate school courses in evolution or biodiversity? This fosters a knowledge gap that can become difficult to fill by “osmosis” later in a scientific career. Consider the two to five years of intense postdoctoral work, followed by the even more challenging process of earning tenure. Success requires complete dedication to a specialized field of knowledge for professors who then act as advisors for the next generation of scientists, judge hundreds of submitted Read More ›

Marsupials Embryos Develop Differently From “Virtually Every Other Vertebrate”

The 2011 edition of Ken Miller textbook Biology states, “Similar patterns of embryological development provide further evidence that organisms have descended from a common ancestor.” (p. 469) But what happens when supposedly similar types of organisms have very different patterns of embryological development? Would that count as evidence against common ancestry? In fact, researchers are finding striking differences in the development of vertebrates. A recent ScienceDaily release from November 30, 2010, “Marsupial Embryo Jumps Ahead in Development,” states: Duke University researchers have found that the developmental program executed by the marsupial embryo runs in a different order than the program executed by virtually every other vertebrate animal. “The limbs are at a different place in the entire timeline,” said Anna Read More ›