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Darwin’s vigilantes: Fred Reed on why Darwinism persists

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Richard Sternberg

He had promised, he says, not to touch the subject again but… Looking back on what’s happened (and hasn’t happened) in the last fifteen years:

A prime example is Richard Sternberg, a Ph.D. in biology (Molecular Evolution) from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in Systems Science (Theoretical Biology) from Binghamton University. He is not a lightweight. From 2001-2007 he was staff scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information; 2001-2007 a Research Associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History.

Hell broke loose when he authorized in 2004 the publication, in the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, an organ of the Smithsonian Institution, of a peer-reviewed article, The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher taxonomic Categories by Stephen Meyer. It dealt with the possibility of intelligent design as an explanation of aspects of Darwinism not explainable by the conventional theory. This is a serious no-no among the guardians of conventional Darwinism, the political correctness of science.

At the Smithsonian, he was demoted, denied access to specimens he needed in his work, transferred to work under a hostile supervisor, and lost his office space. In the ensuring storm of hatred, two separate federal investigations concluded that he had been made the target of malicious treatment.

Darwinism was a clever metaphysical idea formed when almost nothing was known about the matter, and imposed by impassioned supporters on a near-total lack of evidence. Should not intensely believing in something that you cannot support by observation or experiment be called pseudoscience? Fred Reed, “Darwin’s Vigilantes, Reichard Sternberg, and Conventional Pseudoscience” at The UNZ Review

Sternberg’s article should never have been the big deal it was at the time. Maybe a flurry of impassioned letters or something. But the controversy and the ejection of Richard Sternberg was certainly a gift to people who wanted to demonstrate that Darwinism is now driven mainly by fanatics defending a sacred space, not scholars defending a thesis.

In the decade and a half following, Darwinism has come under ever more fire. As Reed says, “Year by year, the fossil record becomes less incomplete, and still the intermediates are not found. ” Many very interesting things are indeed found, like the animal fats in 558 million-year-old Dickinsonia. But those fats don’t “fill in a gap”; they raise a question: How did animals come to exist in such a short period of time? Firing people is not a form of information.

Hat tip: Ken Francis

See also: Fred Reed on Wade’s Troublesome (Darwinian racism) Inheritance

and

Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg on “junk DNA,” Part 5

One Reply to “Darwin’s vigilantes: Fred Reed on why Darwinism persists

  1. 1
    Bob O'H says:

    Sternberg’s article should never have been the big deal it was at the time.

    Sternberg’s article? Don’t you mean Meyer’s article?

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