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He said it: Nobel Prize winner Wolfgang Pauli was a staunch critic of neo-Darwinism

Wolfgang Pauli


In discussions with biologists I met large difficulties when they apply the concept of ‘natural selection’ in a rather wide field, without being able to estimate the probability of the occurrence in a empirically given time of just those events, which have been important for the biological evolution. Treating the empirical time scale of the evolution theoretically as infinity they have then an easy game, apparently to avoid the concept of purposesiveness. While they pretend to stay in this way completely ‘scientific’ and ‘rational’, they become actually very irrational, particularly because they use the word ‘chance’, not any longer combined with estimations of a mathematically defined probability, in its application to very rare single events more or less synonymous with the old word ‘miracle’.

He won the Prize in 1945 for the exclusion principle.

The quotation is from a letter from Pauli to Niels Bohr 1955: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=4RStj6dJDSgC&pg=PA565&lpg=PA565&dq=pauli+In+discussions+with+biologists+I+met+large+difficulties+when+they+apply+the+concept+of+‘natural+selection’+in+a+rather+wide+field,&source=bl&ots=HJjOtjGNlY&sig=ctXVspVCkKui1OsdXWVDYzydM84&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihs5aJgevWAhXEvRoKHXdbB2YQ6AEILjAB#v=onepage&q&f=false Andrew Andrew Chapman
And far from being, in his own words to one of his students, 'not even wrong', Pauli was even right, correct, veracious and 'spot on'. Like most people, he recognised dementia straight away. It's not neuro- or rocket-science. Ironically, the empiricism of the scientific method runs on 'railway tracks', including in relation to quantum physics. Talking about tracks, in this regard, our materialist friends remind me of those racehorses - the characters who would figure among 'the usual suspects', in commentators' parlance - which try to dart off back to the stables in the middle of a race, when they spot the exit from the track to the stables. Ah, the comfort of their endemically gratuitous flights of fancys. Axel

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