From John Hands at Science Focus:
At a landmark international conference recently [7-9 November] organised by the Royal Society and the British Academy, several speakers called for a revision of the theory of biological evolution that has been largely unquestioned in the UK and the USA for around 70 years.
This paradigm – a combination of Darwinism, population genetics, and what Francis Crick called the central dogma of evolutionary biology – is known as NeoDarwinism, or the Modern Synthesis. Popularised by Richard Dawkins in his bestselling 1976 book The Selfish Gene, it is a statistical model validated not by observation or experiment, but by simplistic games models borrowed from 1940s economics.
Those speakers drew attention to several empirically supported mechanisms, discussed along with others in COSMOSAPIENS Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe. Some of these were only identified recently, but others have been known for many years and were ignored, dismissed and even suppressed by the Anglo-American biology establishment who had come to treat NeoDarwinism as an article of faith. More.
Hands is promoting his new book, Cosmosapiens: Human Evolution from the Origin of the Universe. We’ll see how that cooks.
But so now, what about the Royal Society trying to act as innocuously as possible at the recent evolution meet?
They boast that Isaac Newton one of their first published authors and all that? But who are they kidding? Their misplaced prestige today is a recipe for mediocrity.
If the RS cannot sponsor an honest and open meeting on what’s changed in our understanding of evolution since Dawkins and Gould were duking it out in the early ‘90s, they are not really in charge. Then who is? Darwin’s tax burdens?
And what about the Templeton funding for further meetings? Templeton’s involvement creates the distinct impression that the objections of the newer evolutionary theorists are principally religious in some sense. That’s clearly incorrect but it provides a way of nullifying the objections and the objectors together.
Of course, the problem is still here and will grow, along with the numbers of Darwin profs and dull science teachers.
Researchers must decide if they want progress or just harmony with colleagues.
See also: Royal Society Meet: No “fisticuffs”; serious questions smothered instead Darwinism is now somewhat like multi-party political scandals: The failures are well-documented but the creed is beyond evaluation by evidence-based reasoning or remedy via reform. Eventually, something happens.
Suzan Mazur: Amazing that the Royal Society meeting happened at all The main goal of Darwin’s cronies will be to see that nothing like it ever happens again.
Here, alas, is a throng of women in science who will NOT be the next Lynn Margulis
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