Further to “Epigenetics: Dawkins’ ‘selfish gene’ discredited by still more scientists you should have heard of” and Jerry “Why Evolution Is True” Coyne’s insistence that opposition to Darwinism arises merely from ambition or boredom:
We now get the word from Ron Unz at UNZ: An alternative media selection: Evolutionary orthodoxy (neo-Darwinism) is boring but probably true:
Every decade there’s always a new trend which is gaining traction and pushing the edge in terms of what we know about evolutionary biology. In the 1970s there was molecular neutralism, which superseded tired arguments between Fisherian selectionists and Wrightian balancing serlectionists. In the 2000s you had evo-devo. Today it is epigenetics, and what that means for the “Central Dogma.” These are not crankish fads, but, the media often exaggerate the impact they’re having on a given field because that’s news. And at that point the general public gets confused as to the nature of the consensus within a field, because their perception is often filtered through the media (when it comes to cosmology, I’m the general public, so I know whereof I speak). This explains why I regularly get irritated emails and Facebook messages to the effect that my focus on population genetics is totally doing a disservice to my readership, which won’t understand that developmental biology and/or epigenetics has totally changed the game and our understanding of evolutionary genetic process.
Ho hum, in other words.
Finally, PZ Myers seems to have sarcastically tweeted at me that we should vote on David’s piece after I wondered if any others have supported its thesis (David tells me some others have privately, and also in places like Jerry Coyne’s comment board), alluding to the reality that science isn’t a democracy, but proceeds via a method. Well, that’s the ideal. But as it is practiced science is basically the consensus of specialists. …
Science, we see, not only isn’t a democracy, in practice it is an oligarchy secure enough to remain oblivious of the growing dissent from knowledgeable quarters. Secure enough to dismiss contrary evidence.
And rewrite fact. Yes, Darwin’s oligarchy is even allowed, with no social censure, to dramatically rewrite history, as a note Barry Arrington received shows. Its author, Roy, claims that Darwin did not think that the fossil record would ever support him.
That obviously is false, but where did the author get the obviously false information? From the Darwin industry, of course.
The Cambrian explosion demonstrates that the fossil record does not support Darwin’s key claim of gradual evolution. So it is now necessary to spin that he never said that. Persons like Roy are either misled or obediently dispatched to make the false claim. They count on the average reader to think, oh, this is too complicated. I am going to side with the establishment!
Average reader (like us, in most fields): The current establishment is not there to help you. You will get nothing for siding with them but … further misled. If there is any harm from that, you will bear it. They won’t.