Prime movers of the event are: Oxford physiologist and Royal Society Fellow, Denis Noble — who has already made his case on this page for replacing the modern synthesis; Sir Patrick Bateson, FRS, who was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2003 for his service to biology and currently serves as president of the Zoological Society of London; Nancy Cartwright, Lady Hampshire, a University of Durham/University of California-San Diego philosopher of science and Fellow of the British Academy; John Dupré, a philosopher of biology at the University of Exeter whose interest is in the “processes of life” and their relevance to society; and Kevin Laland, whose research focus at the University of St. Andrews is animal behavior (humans included) and evolution.
She offers a projected lineup, and we’ll follow with interest.
But a source familiar with the proposal submitted to the British Academy regarding the Royal Society event was measured in their assessment of the upcoming meeting, characterizing it as “conservative,” one that will largely address “process,” i.e., developmental biology.
So will the November gathering actually go all the way in recommending neo-Darwinism be replaced? Clearly, the answer depends on the list of invited speakers. Names of the 20 or so presenters will be officially announced by the Royal Society shortly. Hopefully, the outcome of the meeting will also be influenced by audience participation.More.
Prediction: It’ll be much more conservative than most would like, and that may be tactically wise for now. No sense scaring the horses.
The main thing right some of us would like to see right now is a general acknowledgement that an account of an event does not gain credibility simply because it conforms to Darwinian thinking.
A key problem all along is that Darwinism has functioned midway between a law and a history. A Darwinian account was accepted as if it were an account that conforms to gravity, vs. one that doesn’t.
Yet the facts of evolution may be far different. See What the fossils told us in their own words
Readers? Your thoughts? Who would you like to see there and why?
See also: Royal Society meet on paradigm shift in evolution
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