Reviewing The Evolution Revolution, the NCSE Offers Uninformed Criticism that Misses the Point
No surprise, the Darwin-in-the-schools lobby (NCSE) did a hit job on physicist Spetner’s book, and did not acknowledge his request for an opportunity to reply in their publication (last we heard).
No matter, here’s his response:
Unfortunately, the points Levin raises are the results of his misunderstandings or distortions of what I wrote, or his failure to read the relevant portion of the text he was commenting on. Indeed, he missed the most important point of the book.
I show that current evolutionary theory, and any derivative of it that relies on random mutations, is invalid. A scientific theory is not established as valid unless the consequences it claims correspond to reality. For example, Newton’s theory of the inverse-square-law of gravitation could not have been established without calculations showing that its predictions correspond to observations. Current evolutionary theory is based on random genetic variation which plays the role of the raw material of natural selection. Its predicted consequences are therefore random events whose occurrence can be described only probabilistically. For the theory to be properly established, it must be shown that the occurrences of its claimed consequences have a reasonably high probability. Evolutionary theory is invalid because the probabilities of the events it predicts have not been shown to be anything but vanishingly small. Although this was alluded to in my previous work (Spetner 1997), it was not brought out explicitly there as it is in the current book. Levin either missed this point (despite its being emphasized multiple times throughout) or he declined to address it.
The nonrandom evolutionary hypothesis (NREH) introduced in The Evolution Revolution is not, as Levin asserts, a “rehash” of my earlier book. It was introduced in this book to show that a lot of new data, much of which postdated the earlier book, provide confirmation of that hypothesis. The mark of a good theory is one for which new evidence appears after the theory has been proposed. Levin applies the Lamarckian label to the NREH, and in doing so he demonstrates that he either does not understand Lamarck’s hypothesis (most people don’t), or he doesn’t understand the NREH, or both. In any case, Lamarck’s theory lacked a mechanism and for that reason was not accepted. The mechanism for the NREH is described in the book and is backed by evidence. More.
The Evolution Revolution: Physicist Lee Spetner Shows Why Convergence Challenges Neo-Darwinian Evolution
First, Barbara McClintock, then exile
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