Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Dawkins is destroying his reputation?

arroba Email

File:A small cup of coffee.JPG His repu—WHAAAA???

He is now generally accepted as a figure of fun, when not just bloody offensive. A threat only to his allies.

Wee hours coffee: From The Guardian:

Is Richard Dawkins destroying his reputation?

These days, Dawkins describes himself as “a communicator”. But depending on your point of view, he is also a hero, a heathen, or a liability. Many of his recent statements – on subjects ranging from the lack of Nobel prize-winning Muslim scientists to the “immorality” of failing to abort a foetus with Down’s syndrome – have sparked outraged responses (some of which Dawkins read aloud on a recent YouTube video, which perhaps won him back a few friends). For some, his controversial positions have started to undermine both his reputation as a scientist and his own anti-religious crusade. Friends who vigorously defend both his cause and his character worry that Dawkins might be at risk of self-sabotage. “He could be seriously damaging his long-term legacy,” the philosopher Daniel Dennett said of Dawkins’s public skirmishes. It is a legacy, Dennett believes, that should reflect the “masterpiece” that was The Selfish Gene and Dawkins’s major contribution to our understanding of life. As for Twitter: “I wish he wouldn’t do it,” Krauss said. “I told him that.”

Look, we drink altogether too much coffee around here. And too late in the evening. We should be paying attention to the upcoming ENCODE conference, not to pensioned-off Darwin profs.

Follow UD News at Twitter!

EugeneS Yet his position is consistent with a PRO-CHOICE position. How not? Humankind has not gone morally astray on this but intellectually. Yes a child is here at conception with its soul. Yet for those who say no then it follows they have no moral problem with abortion especially for fetus with serious problems. I am pro lofe and opposed to a;; abortions, save to save the mothers lofe which never happens, but IF i was pro choice it would agree down fetus should be aborted as a morally good position. A act of love. The abortion debate is a intellectual one and not a moral one as far as mankind can tell. Robert Byers
'Dawkins is destroying his reputation?' What? You mean people are beginning to admire him? That they think there is more to him than the dope who fantasizes about a blind watchmaker; and thinks the endlessly complex and sophisticated designs in nature are merely highly-deceptive mirages, produced by a Berlioz symphony of random chances? Axel
Robert, "His position is consistent with all pro-choicers." I am afraid not. For me as an Orthodox Christian priest, the whole debate is a sign of how far humankind has gone astray. Life is sacred. The life of a human being starts as soon as it is conceived. EugeneS
as to: "It is a legacy, Dennett believes, that should reflect the “masterpiece” that was The Selfish Gene and Dawkins’s major contribution to our understanding of life." His 'masterpiece' is nothing of the sort. Dr. Trifonov , who has done far more as to elucidating the complexity inherent within DNA than Dawkins ever will, had this to say about Dawkin's 'masterpiece': At the 10:30 minute mark of the following video, Dr. Trifonov states that the concept of the selfish gene 'inflicted an immense damage to biological sciences', for over 30 years:
Second, third, fourth… genetic codes - One spectacular case of code crowding - Edward N. Trifonov - video https://vimeo.com/81930637
also of interest to Dawkin's 'masterpiece' of the selfish gene are these following articles:
Die, selfish gene, die - The selfish gene is one of the most successful science metaphors ever invented. Unfortunately, it’s wrong - Dec. 2013 Excerpt: But 15 years after Hamilton and Williams kited [introduced] this idea, it was embraced and polished into gleaming form by one of the best communicators science has ever produced: the biologist Richard Dawkins. In his magnificent book The Selfish Gene (1976), Dawkins gathered all the threads of the modern synthesis — Mendel, Fisher, Haldane, Wright, Watson, Crick, Hamilton, and Williams — into a single shimmering magic carpet (called the selfish gene). Unfortunately, say Wray, West-Eberhard and others, it’s wrong. https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/darwinism/epigenetics-dawkins-selfish-gene-discredited-by-still-more-scientists-you-should-have-heard-of/ Modern Synthesis Of Neo-Darwinism Is False – Denis Noble – video https://vimeo.com/115822429
,, In the preceding video, Dr Nobel states that around 1900 there was the integration of Mendelian (discrete) inheritance with evolutionary theory, and about the same time Weismann established what was called the Weismann barrier, which is the idea that germ cells and their genetic materials are not in anyway influenced by the organism itself or by the environment. And then about 40 years later, circa 1940, a variety of people, Julian Huxley, R.A. Fisher, J.B.S. Haldane, and Sewell Wright, put things together to call it ‘The Modern Synthesis’. So what exactly is the ‘The Modern Synthesis’? It is sometimes called neo-Darwinism, and it was popularized in the book by Richard Dawkins, ‘The Selfish Gene’ in 1976. It’s main assumptions are, first of all, is that it is a gene centered view of natural selection. The process of evolution can therefore be characterized entirely by what is happening to the genome. It would be a process in which there would be accumulation of random mutations, followed by selection. (Now an important point to make here is that if that process is genuinely random, then there is nothing that physiology, or physiologists, can say about that process. That is a very important point.) The second aspect of neo-Darwinism was the impossibility of acquired characteristics (mis-called “Larmarckism”). And there is a very important distinction in Dawkins’ book ‘The Selfish Gene’ between the replicator, that is the genes, and the vehicle that carries the replicator, that is the organism or phenotype. And of course that idea was not only buttressed and supported by the Weissman barrier idea, but later on by the ‘Central Dogma’ of molecular biology. Then Dr. Nobel pauses to emphasize his point and states “All these rules have been broken!”. Professor Denis Noble is President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences.
"Physiology Is Rocking the Foundations of Evolutionary Biology": Another Peer-Reviewed Paper Takes Aim at Neo-Darwinism - Casey Luskin March 31, 2015 Excerpt: Noble doesn't mince words: "It is not only the standard 20th century views of molecular genetics that are in question. Evolutionary theory itself is already in a state of flux (Jablonka & Lamb, 2005; Noble, 2006, 2011; Beurton et al. 2008; Pigliucci & Muller, 2010; Gissis & Jablonka, 2011; Shapiro, 2011). In this article, I will show that all the central assumptions of the Modern Synthesis (often also called Neo-Darwinism) have been disproved." Noble then recounts those assumptions: (1) that "genetic change is random," (2) that "genetic change is gradual," (3) that "following genetic change, natural selection leads to particular gene variants (alleles) increasing in frequency within the population," and (4) that "inheritance of acquired characteristics is impossible." He then cites examples that refute each of those assumptions,,, He then proposes a new and radical model of biology called the "Integrative Synthesis," where genes don't run the show and all parts of an organism -- the genome, the cell, the body plan, everything -- is integrated. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/03/physiology_is_r094821.html Why the 'Gene' Concept Holds Back Evolutionary Thinking - James Shapiro - 11/30/2012 Excerpt: The Century of the Gene. In a 1948 Scientific American article, soon-to-be Nobel Laureate George Beadle wrote: "genes are the basic units of all living things.",,, This notion of the genome as a collection of discrete gene units prevailed when the neo-Darwinian "Modern Synthesis" emerged in the pre-DNA 1940s. Some prominent theorists even proposed that evolution could be defined simply as a change over time in the frequencies of different gene forms in a population.,,, The basic issue is that molecular genetics has made it impossible to provide a consistent, or even useful, definition of the term "gene." In March 2009, I attended a workshop at the Santa Fe Institute entitled "Complexity of the Gene Concept." Although we had a lot of smart people around the table, we failed as a group to agree on a clear meaning for the term. The modern concept of the genome has no basic units. It has literally become "systems all the way down." There are piecemeal coding sequences, expression signals, splicing signals, regulatory signals, epigenetic formatting signals, and many other "DNA elements" (to use the neutral ENCODE terminology) that participate in the multiple functions involved in genome expression, replication, transmission, repair and evolution.,,, Conventional thinkers may claim that molecular data only add details to a well-established evolutionary paradigm. But the diehard defenders of orthodoxy in evolutionary biology are grievously mistaken in their stubbornness. DNA and molecular genetics have brought us to a fundamentally new conceptual understanding of genomes, how they are organized and how they function. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/james-a-shapiro/why-the-gene-concept-hold_b_2207245.html
In the following podcast, Dr. Sternberg’s emphasis is on ENCODE research, and how that research overturned the ‘central’ importance of the gene as a unit of inheritance. As well he reflects on how that loss of the term ‘gene’ as an accurate description in biology completely undermines the modern synthesis, (i.e. central dogma), of neo-Darwinism as a rational explanation for biology.
Podcast - Richard Sternberg PhD - On Human Origins: Is Our Genome Full of Junk DNA? Part 5 http://www.discovery.org/multimedia/audio/2014/11/on-human-origins-is-our-genome-full-of-junk-dna-pt-5/
Here are a few more references on the loss of the term gene as a ‘central’ concept in the dogma of Darwinism: https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/about-that-central-dogma/#comment-567076 bornagain77
I am pro-life but I suspect Dawkins meant it was immoral not to kill a NON HUMAN fetus with down. In a pro choice stance this is true. if the fetus is not a human being and one knows its a down then it would be moral to abort and immoral not. Dawkins , I think, did not mean abort a Down baby human. He means the fetus has not yet become a human. His position is consistent with all pro-choicers. Ots not wrong from his position. I don't know what was said about Muslim scientists but he probably means Islam stops those peoples from making more scientists. its not islam but simply less advanced peoples and nations. Its a fair comment too. I say any criticism of Dawkins is coming from the left wing goof balls. They are eating their own. Robert Byers
How ironic that the man who encouraged others to mock Christians, is now himself the target of mockery. You reap what you sow Mr Dawkins. Blue_Savannah
I've tried to like the man. But he's ridiculous. mike1962
"Let the wicked fall into their own nets, while I pass by safely." - Psalm 141:10 (ESV) bb

Leave a Reply