He was named one of 50 best brains in science by Discover Magazine in 2008, despite the torrent of bigotry over his non-Darwinian approach to nature.
Well, that’s revealing, isn’t it? The evolutionary biologist admits that epigenetics is controversial, not because it can’t be demonstrated (it can) but because it provides competition for “traditional Darwinian inheritance.”
Many issues are worth raising, including whether “species” is a clear enough concept to warrant being a measure, as opposed to, say, role in an ecology. When is it wise to intervene to preserve something? Goals driven by passions are often misguided and wasteful.
Science writer Hank Campbell vs. the apocalypse industry: Instead of dying out, there are now 10 honeybees for every human on the planet – more than 25 years ago. And that is just in one species. There are over 25,000 species of bees, we just don’t try to count them all because the others are not part of a billion dollar industry, like sending honeybees around in trucks to pollinate almond farms.
Iterating the materialist approach to nature, DeFries seems to assume that order can just happen for free: “Homeostasis to stay within safe bounds is fundamental for an unpredictable, complex system to persist.” Sure it is. But it doesn’t happen without underlying design, beginning with the mathematics of our universe.
That seems to depend on who you read: Last year in the journal Science, a research review concluded that the chytrid fungus caused the decline of at least 501 amphibian species, of which 90 have gone extinct. That paper suggested that species losses due to the chytrid fungus are “orders of magnitude greater than for Read More…
Recent evolution? Maybe. Doesn’t sound as though much evolution is needed, actually. Later in the article, it is suggested that the required enzymes may have existed for some time (that is, the plastic is what’s new).
But still we hear, “There seems to be no more design in the variability of organic beings, and in the action of natural selection, than in the course which the wind blows.” Darwin, “Life and Letters,” i, p. 278 ? Hadn’t the Darwinists better change their story a bit?
Sounds promising. If physics depends on mathematics and chemistry depends on physics and biology depends on chemistry, why could not be laws be derived that help us understand ecology? But then Malthus betrays the authors, as he misled Darwin.
Sure, though it does feel odd to see the words “feathered” + “polar” + “dinosaur” in the same sentence. 😉
Most interesting. If that’s true, claims that our behavior stems from challenges faced by our ancestors may need to be scrutinized. Our ancestors may not have faced the same challenges.
Mainly fun. But seriously, the main question is, when the weather calms down, won’t the spiders tend to just stop being so aggressive? It’s interesting if this is what is meant by “robust evolutionary responses.”
We are “trained,” if you like, to expect certain discoveries (dark matter, for example). Then we learn something significant that really surprises us and allows for new thinking about, for example, ecology.
The Gaia hypothesis started out as science, then discovered weed. But a digital Gaia movement for the 21st century will not, one suspects, be hippies. Maybe not as nice.
Krauze: the organisms we have chosen to represent invertebrates, like C. elegans and D. melanogaster, are simpler than the average invertebrate. And this means that we’re likely underestimating the complexity of the last common ancestor of animals (Metazoa). … Attempts to correct for this bias has found that the last common Metazoan ancestor was surprisingly complex, seemingly ‘overdesigned’ for its simple morphology.