Responding to animal behaviorist Kevin Laland’s recent piece at Aeon, Evolution unleashed: Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided?
At Oscillations, Mazur writes,
In the unconvincing Aeon article, “Evolution unleashed,” Laland asks the question: “If the extended evolutionary synthesis is not a call for a revolution in evolution, then what is it, and why do we need it?
Good point. To answer Laland’s question—We don’t need it. We don’t need a graft onto Darwinism and neo-Darwinism.
What we do need is a coherent evolutionary theory, untainted by mystical influences and non-transparent funding. An evolutionary theory that reflects the world of microbes and viruses that all animals, plants and fungi live in and that includes pre-biotic evolution as well.More.
Mazur skewers Laland’s associations with Templeton. Ah, that.
One difficulty is that the power layers in evolutionary biology are dominated by pre-retirement Darwinians. If Laland has found himself a port in the storm, he might want to stay there for now. Others haven’t been so lucky. Astronomer Martin Gaskell comes to mind, and his only offense was that some faculty thought he might have doubts…
Well, stay tuned.
Note: Suzan Mazur is the author of The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry (2009), possibly the first book for the lay reader on the growing sense among researchers that Darwinism (the modern synthesis) is in need of an overhaul.
See also: At Aeon: Damage control attempted re the current evolution upheavals
A Unifying Principle for the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis
Also, Wrong Turn.
New call for an Extended Evolutionary Synthesis (2015)