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At Oscillations: Michael Ruse’s attempted takedown of evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin (but read the story!)

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The recent death of Richard Lewontin, an intellectual giant in evolution theory, has prompted a number of reflections.

Science journalist Suzan Mazur talks about an e-mail she received from Darwinian philosopher Michael Ruse, a figure of whom many readers will be aware, commenting on her own thoughts on Lewontin at her blog, Oscillations:

Michael Ruse sees Richard Lewontin as a “brilliant scientist,” albeit “tragic figure.” Tragic because Lewontin pulled the plug on natural selection after, as Ruse tells it, “he did more to establish the plausibility of evolution through natural selection than anyone.” Ruse’s July 8, 2021 email to me about Lewontin follows …

Suzan Mazur, “Michael Ruse — Lewontin “Tragic Figure” AND “Greatest [Scientist] of the Twentieth Century”” at Oscillations (July 13, 2021)

Read the story. Ruse appears to have been a relentless enforcer of Darwinian orthodoxy behind the scenes, including a blistering attack on philosopher Jerry Fodor, who questioned it.

Note: Mazur is the author of The Altenberg 16: An exposé of the evolution industry (2010), about a significant revolt against orthodox Darwinism by a number of evolutionary theorists.

See also: Science journalist Suzan Mazur remembers Richard Lewontin. She remembers him as “opposing the establishment of Darwinian dogma.”

Other remembrances of Lewontin:

Richard Lewontin (1929 – 2021) has died

The Scientist’s obit on Harvard evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin (1929–2021) notes his takedown of the notion of “race” At The Scientist: “He also wrote a seminal 1972 paper in which he argued there is more genetic variation within members of a population of humans than there is between members of different groups, undermining the idea that there is a genetic basis for the idea of race. “


Tributes to Richard Lewontin (1919 – 2021) Paul Nelson: Lewontin opposed the facile storytelling of much of sociobiology, with its invocation of hypothetical genes for equally hypothetical behavioral traits. The fact that his opposition stemmed in part from his politics is no indictment; his evidential critique holds its value, or stands on its own two legs, independently of the Marxism. Show me the actual data, he would say, or stop the storytelling.


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