Dan Graur, who is Professor of Biology and Biochemistry at the University of Houston, describes himself on Tw*tter as “A Very Angry Evolutionary Biologist, a Very Angry Liberal, and an Even Angrier Art Lover”. His Tumblr says he ‘has a very low threshold for hooey, hype, hypocrisy, postmodernism, bad statistics, ignorance of population genetics and evolutionary biology masquerading as -omics, and hatred of any kind.’
Anyway, yesterday he tw**eted a link to a document containing what he called ‘All of evolutionary biology in 12 paragraphs, 237 words and 1,318 characters’. Here they are for your delectation. I’ve made some comments at the end – feel free to chip in (you too, Dan!). More.
1.Evolutionary biology is ruled by handful of logical principles, each of which has repeatedly withstood rigorous empirical and observational testing.
2. The rules of evolutionary biology apply to all levels of resolution, be it DNA or morphology.
3. New methods merely allow more rapid collection or better analysis of data; they do not affect the evolutionary principles.
They used to call this kind of thing a decalogue or a catechism.
What follows is Coyne’s version of Genesis, unfortunately not in verses for easy reference.
Indeed, Evolution News & Views notes,
You have to love Graur’s principles, because they capture orthodox neo-Darwinism in its purest form: …
It’s fun to play around with these. Take principle 10 seriously, for instance, and taxonomically restricted genes (so-called “orphans”) represent a significant puzzle to neo-Darwinian evolution. The deepest question, of course, is this: Do these principles — in particular, numbers 4 through 12 — derive from observations, or are they imposed on observations?
And we recall that Galileo never made use of Kepler’s ellipsi, but remained to the end a true follower of Copernicus who had said “the mind shudders” at the supposition of noncircular, nonuniform celestial motion. (Gerald Holton, Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought, Harvard University Press, p. 64)
Indeed, one could take this catechism to London in November, to the Royal Society meeting on alternatives to neo-Darwinism, as a template for where heresy may be expected to arise.
We have to love Graur’s principles anyway because he has a very low threshold for hatred; he said so himself. 😉
When we get around to it we will put out: ‘All of evolutionary biology in 12 paragraphs, 237 words and 1,318 characters’ (but all different ones).
See also: Someone back from ENCODE sends info
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