Darwin’s Theory and Cancer

Darwinist blogger Orac recently took issue with my observation that Darwin’s theory plays no important role in medicine. Orac, a surgical oncologist, insisted that Darwin’s theory is very helpful in modern cancer research. He wrote:

Alex Rosenberg’s “Darwinian Reductionism” Under Fire

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 ›

Gerhart and Kirschner’s Speculations on The Plausibility of Life

The September/October issue of Books & Culture has a review by CSC senior fellow Jonathan Wells of The Plausibility of Life by Marc W. Kirschner and John C. Gerhart, two eminent biologists. The book has been acclaimed since its arrival earlier this year for providing answers for the last remaining “gap” in Darwin’s theory of evolution. Wells –an eminent biologist himself– is, not surprsingly, skeptical of the claim. (He knows a thing or two about the gaps in Darwin’s theory.)

Derbyshire: Science Is Not Metaphysically Neutral

I find myself in yet another odd alliance. I guess NRO‘s John Derbyshire would side with me over Leon Kass (whom, once again, I greatly respect for the solid anti-reductionist arguments he has made). Scientific observation can and should affect one’s view of what it is to be human. (Derbyshire and I simply disagree about the strength of Darwinian claims.) He lists “Biology” as one of the major things shaping his view of “the human condition.” He writes: