In relation to claims about Darwinian natural selection just happening to find that solution
But why on earth did she think that such a strategy would ever be an aid to effective communication? Wasn’t she, at bottom, just trying to put the supposedly stupid mid-Western rubes on display for the supposedly sophisticated Brits? That stuff is wearing thinner all the time though the targeted Brit demographic might be the last to know.
Coyne has been a frequent topic on our page in recent months and a reader dug this out from 2013 and sent it in. Michael Egnor imagines an interview with Jerry Coyne on deplatforming opponents: They’re still talking about it. After I told them not to.
For a person who believes so strongly in the power of natural selection, yes, how the genes get together would be a good thing to know. Myers recently asserted that when he meets people, he infers nothing about their sexual identity. Egnor responds to the general question and the particular one in two parts.
Glad we are talking about this… No need to believe us (though we did warn you). What’s this about “rampant” order in the genome? “Rampant” is a word we associate with disease; it’s not a word we commonly associate with “order.” On the other hand, an order that frustrates the outworkings of Darwinian evolution in favor of an orderly system that produces needed innovations must seem a lot like a disease to some. 😉
David Curtis: We can now measure genetic potential directly from genetic markers and what we know from this is that these genetic predictors perform extremely badly. We can also tell that there are many important, very rare genetic variants which we will never be able to identify.
At one fell swoop, Dawkins exposes another frequent weakness of naturalist atheism: direct conflict with facts. Eugenics does not work for humans. Unlike animals, we make personal choices, which could be based on reason and free will or on the apparent lack thereof. And those choices confound the ambitions of others.
Remember, anyone can be a racist if all he must say is: My ancestors were gods, yours were gobs of clay. Absent evidence, he might prevail by force of arms and entrench his view. Darwinism led to racial theories with the trappings of science. That matters and it has never been dealt with honestly because dealing with it honestly endangers the basic ideas of Darwinism.
It’s encouraging that the reformers are allowed to disagree on some matters. That makes biology seem more like a discipline and less like a fanatical religion. Which brings us to the “more traditionalist camp in evolutionary biology” (the heirs of Darwin). It would be remarkable indeed if, as reviewer Svensson hopes, they could acknowledge disagreements candidly. Wouldn’t they end up having to try to get each others’ publishers to reject journal articles and cancel book contracts?
“Not a random boo-boo on evolution’s part”? If the field of biology had not organized itself around Darwinian evolution (insert preferred terminology for the same sort of thing here) in the mid-twentieth century, would anyone think that up just now to account for all this?
What Michael Behe is doing for Darwin Day
Wells: A biologist wrote years ago that we should celebrate Darwin’s birthday instead, because Lincoln only freed some slaves while Darwin freed our minds. [eek!]
Darwin is the village atheist’s answer to serious thinking about origins.
Egnor: The assertion that consciousness “evolved” is either empty (it doesn’t explain the arrival of consciousness, only its survival) or it presupposes panpsychism—the presence of consciousness in inanimate matter. Panpsychism is anathema to materialists like Coyne, who desperately try to eliminate Mind from nature.
From what they’re saying, viruses don’t necessarily share any characteristics of common descent. Let alone universal common descent. Jury’s still out but this is big.