Shapiro’s piece then rapidly goes downhill as he starts repeating creationist arguments. Here’s one:
The first problem with selection as the source of diversity is that selection by humans, the subject of Darwin’s opening chapter, modifies existing traits but does not produce new traits or new species. Dogs may vary widely as a result of selective breeding, but they always remain dogs.
You’ll recognize this as the old creationist canard. Yes, of course we can’t turn a dog into a cat by artificial selection, because that would take millions of years, and we’ve only been selecting on dogs for a couple of thousand years. But the true refutation of this idea is in the fossil record: we can see land-living artiodactyls (resembling small deer) turning into whales, we can see fish turning into amphibians, we can see early reptiles turning into mammals, we can see theropod dinosaurs turning into birds, and we can see our apelike ancestors turning into more modern humans. In other words, we find in fossils precisely those transformations that Shapiro says are impossible. I deplore that a colleague of mine makes this misguided argument, and in the Science section of HuffPo, which I’m increasingly beginning to deplore as well.
Hmmm. Shapiro would never describe himself as a proponent of design theory, let alone a “creationist.”
Here’s Shapiro’s recent Huffpopost (2 16 2012) But Shapiro has recently been dialoguing with design theorists, so we naturally wonder if this attack is also payback for that. See, for example,
James Shapiro: Bill Dembski asks the question we’ve all been dreading …
“Is James Shapiro a Design Theorist?”: James Shapiro Replies to Bill Dembski
Dembski replies to Shapiro: “Natural genetic engineering” is just magic, by another name. Can you make it science?
See also: Reviewing James Shapiro’s book, Darwinist admits: Growing number of gene scientists unconvinced by Darwinism
Is it payback? Thoughts?
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