8 Replies to “John Davison, a peppery non-Darwinist biologist, has died.

  1. 1
    zephyr says:

    Glad to see it mentioned on UD, charitable considering there were differences of opinion (ahem) over the years.

    Davison was one of a kind and he pulled no punches with friend or foe alike. He will be missed.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Nil nisi bonum.

  3. 3
    Joe says:

    RIP Dr Davison. I wish I knew you better…

  4. 4
    News says:

    We’d all say that.

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  6. 6
    johnnyb says:

    I very much enjoyed his prescribed evolutionary hypothesis, and it gave me much to think about. If I remember correctly, the highlighting points were:

    1) Evolution has all but stopped recently – if you compare the rate of evolution in the Paleozoic vs Mesozoic vs Cenozoic, you can see it slowing down to basically a stop in modern times (Davison asked, if I recall, if there has even been a new genus arise within the last 10 million years)
    2) Sexual propagation limits evolvability
    3) Sexuality, despite being very common, is very different both in genomics and physical interaction
    4) Therefore, sexuality can be viewed as an evolutionary terminator – that is, when life is fully developed, it then terminates its evolution with sexual reproduction.

    In other words, phylogeny is like an ontogeny for an ecosystem, and at its maturation it becomes sexual so as to terminate its evolution.

  7. 7
    jstnbrg says:

    From Davison’s Evolutionary Manifesto, linked to by @zephyr:
    “Finally, the most controversial question of all: Has evolution been guided? With the exception of the last question, to which no certain answer will probably ever be given, I will answer yes to each of these questions.”

    “I told the students that I did not “believe” in evolution; I knew that it had occurred.”

    Davison (my father’s office mate in graduate school) was not embracing Intelligent Design.

  8. 8
    David Springer says:

    I knew Davison as well as anyone here. He didn’t embrace Intelligent Design. He thought ID was so trivially true there was no sensible person would bother to argue about it. Like debating the sum of 2+2.

    I mean c’mon. Read his papers. Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis. A prescription is a design by definition.

    It’s hard to believe you’re gone, JAD. We love you so.

    You will be missed.

    Via con Dios, John A. Davison. See you on the other side!

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