Berezow: Until it received a public backlash, the Smithsonian published a web page claiming that an “emphasis on the scientific method” and a focus on “objective, rational linear thinking” are examples of “white culture.”
Does anyone remember Darwin’s claim: “It may be said that natural selection is daily and hourly scrutinizing, throughout the world, every variation, even the slightest; rejecting that which is bad, preserving and adding up all that is good; silently and insensibly working, wherever and whenever opportunity offers, at the improvement of each organic being in relation to its organic and inorganic conditions of life.” Yes, that “daily, hourly” thing seems quaint to us too. It probably even seems quaint over at New Scientist, given the stuff they’re saying now.
Note: Berezow seems to think that Scientific American is losing readers. A very recent attempted rah rah at Poynter is ambiguously worded.
To say that “Traditionally, biologists thought of niche construction purely as a consequence of natural selection. However, that argument doesnʼt always work” is to say that neoDarwinism is not THE theory of evolution. Just in: Richard Dawkins has left the building. And New Scientist has become a more interesting publication.
At ENST: “Sure enough, after Darwinists discovered the article, they succeeded in obtaining a “disclaimer” from the journal’s editors, who proclaimed their bias against ID. But the disclaimer actually made publication of the article all the more significant.”
Sheldon: If you politicize science, people stop trusting you. It has nothing to do with “science” and everything to do with “scientists.” And the fact that the media spin this as a distrust of “Science” tells you that the distrust is well-placed. Why is this so hard to explain?
So. In a science world where Scientific American broke with a 175-year tradition to endorse a candidate for U.S. President, we are still supposed to believe in some objective gold standard of science? Precisely what those people GAVE UP is any claim to be considered objective. Sorry. Scientists can’t just deke in and out of objectivity whenever it suits them. And they’ll sure miss it when it’s gone.
It will be meaningless to harp on the claim that the public doesn’t “trust science” when “science” is a set of political positions.
At New Scientist: “‘Maybe, evolution is less about out competing others and more to do with co-creating knowledge,’ says Watson.” That really is a radical idea. Radical yes, but it really is a good idea. We find it hard to improve on. The only thing we can think of is, keep the “intelligent” part in your description of nature and add “design.”
Carlo Rovelli stops short of saying that 2+2=5 but the article gives every sense that many would love to go there if only they could get some kind of a nudge. It is far to say that the war on Platonism is just the war on math, PhD version.
If by “our greatest theory of nature,” the writers mean textbook Darwinism, well the new concepts they list are destroying it. What becomes of “natural selection acting on random mutation” if a variety of means of evolution are “natural,” mutations are not necessarily random, genes aren’t selfish and don’t come only from parents, and the fittest don’t necessarily survive? Just for a start…
He sees that as a framework for much of the change around us: Nineteenth-century Darwinism was much more than a revolutionary scientific theory. It was hardly a scientific theory in any meaningful sense. Natural selection, as atheist philosopher Jerry Fodor has pointed out, isn’t a meaningful level of scientific explanation. It’s barely more than a Read More…
Mme Justice Ginsberg was eighty-seven years of age and suffered with pancreatic cancer. It is remarkable and commendable that she lived as long as she did; not at all a surprise that she died. Why is her death a “terrible blow” as opposed to a foreseen near-term event?
But here’s the really interesting part: Coyne points to a medallion struck by Darwin’s wife’s family, the Wedgwood (who were abolitionists). But the medallion fits creationism far better than Darwinism.
The main reason there isn’t a consensus is surely that anything like a consensus would create the risk of falsification. The vaguer a theory is, the less falsifiable it is.A theory like Darwinism is grand and leads to all kinds of dramatic arts and culture stuff but remains too vague to be proven wrong or proven much of anything.