Or do Darwin’s survivors just not know how to cope with his death? Hey, happens.
Last week, I read with considerable interest Vince Torley’s post, “Will the real neutral theory of evolution please stand up,” and commend it to all.
First, we’ve been hearing about the neutral (or mutationist) theory for years, but explanations vary with the explainer.
That’s okay in principle, given how much is up in the air these days. Torley’s account seems to confirm my guess that neutral evolution is more a movement away from Darwinism in search of a new theory than it is a clearly thought-out theory.
It seems to generally be this:
More recently, neutralists PZ Myers and Larry Moran have spoken out even more boldly, arguing that most of the complexity that we see in the biological world could be largely the result of chance, although they do not wish to rule out a role for natural selection.
Okay, but if natural selection is not a mechanism of change (because it simply cannot create the level of new information needed), what is?
If each and every life form has a vast selection of intricately interlocking possibilities available purely by chance, how did it come to be there in the time available since the Big Bang?
People don’t need to answer these questions in order to research life today of course. But they might want to follow available leads in distancing themselves from current Darwinism.
Okay, let’s be frank. The big news on that front today is a New York Times reporter mounting a defense of good old-fashioned Darwinian racism.
What’s not to not like about that?
This just in: The 1990s phoned and they want the selfish gene back; we say send it express post yesterday.
Note: University of Toronto Prof. Larry Moran has not so far got back to Torley responding to his five questions re neutral evolution, intended to verify the limits and ramifications of the theory. Here they are again:
1. Do you agree or disagree with the view expressed by Motoo Kimura that natural selection is necessary to explain evolution occurring at the morphological level?
2. How do you respond to Dr. Gert Kothof’s claim that the neutral theory “is not a theory of evolution,” because it “is not sufficient to explain complex life and adaptations”? If not, why not?
3. Can you point to any complex structures, functions or behaviors which you believe could not have arisen in the absence of natural selection? (You’ve already nominated the change occurring in the human brain over the past few million years as an event in which natural selection played an indispensable role; what else would you put on your list?)
4. In which of the following events do you see natural selection as having played a decisive role: the origin of eukaryotes, the origin of multicellularity, the 20-million-year Cambrian explosion, the origin of land animals, the origin of the amniote egg, the origin of angiosperms, and the radiation of mammals immediately after the extinction of the dinosaurs?
5. Or is it simply your contention that natural selection, while not playing an important role in the origin of complex structures and novel morphological features, exerts a refining and purifying effect subsequent to their appearance, weeding out non-viable life-forms?
Five questions is enough for one day. In the meantime, I’d strongly recommend that readers of this post familiarize themselves with the articles [here], as they raise a number of interesting issues that will be the topic of future posts of mine.
Reader reflections are encouraged, as always.
Follow UD News at Twitter!