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New book: Darwin, unlike some of his followers, was an “evolutionary pluralist”

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Revisiting the Origin of Species The Other Darwins book cover Now they tell us. But how did his followers get it so wrong? Or were they just funning us all these years?

Re Revisiting the Origin of Species: The Other Darwins (Thierry Hoquet, CRC Press, August 13, 2018):

Contemporary interest in Darwin rises from a general ideal of what Darwin’s books ought to contain: a theory of transformation of species by natural selection. However, a reader opening Darwin’s masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, today may be struck by the fact that this “selectionist” view does not deliver the key to many aspects of the book. Without contesting the importance of natural selection to Darwinism, much less supposing that a fully-formed “Darwinism” stepped out of Darwin’s head in 1859, this innovative volume aims to return to the text of the Origin itself.

Revisiting the ‘Origin of Species’ focuses on Darwin as theorising on the origin of variations; showing that Darwin himself was never a pan-selectionist (in contrast to some of his followers) but was concerned with “other means of modification” (which makes him an evolutionary pluralist). Furthermore, in contrast to common textbook presentations of “Darwinism”, Hoquet stresses the fact that On the Origin of Species can lend itself to several contradictory interpretations. Thus, this volume identifies where rival interpretations have taken root; to unearth the ambiguities readers of Darwin have latched onto as they have produced a myriad of Darwinian legacies, each more or less faithful enough to the originator’s thought. More.

Thierry Hoquet is a philosopher and historian of science. One wonders, is the new pluralist Darwin a result of the current problems with where “some of his followers” have landed his theory?

See also: New biography of the original ID guy, Alfred Russel Wallace

6 Replies to “New book: Darwin, unlike some of his followers, was an “evolutionary pluralist”

  1. 1
    R J Sawyer says:

    Darwin never knew the source of variation, or how it was inherited. Students have been taught this for a century or more. I certainly know that I was taught this in the 70s. I really don’t understand where this OP is heading.

  2. 2
    goodusername says:

    Now they tell us.

    As as countless people have tried explaining countless times on this site for over a decade.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    Not bad for an “old Brit toff”.

  4. 4
    News says:

    One wonders who Houquet thinks ” “some of his followers” are then.

  5. 5
    R J Sawyer says:

    Darwin never ruled out inheritance of acquired characteristics. All his theory needed was a source of variation that could be inherited. Again, all biology students are taught this.

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    RJS states,

    “All his theory needed was a source of variation that could be inherited.”

    On the contrary, first and foremost Darwin’s theory absolutely needed, and still absolutely needs, the unrestrained imagination of Darwinian ‘just so’ story tellers. Unrestrained imagination that is, hopefully for Darwinists, completely divorced from any pesky empirical evidence to the contrary. ,,,

    As Gould himself admitted: “Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.”

    Sociobiology: The Art of Story Telling – Stephen Jay Gould – 1978 – New Scientist
    Excerpt: Rudyard Kipling asked how the leopard got its spots, the rhino its wrinkled skin. He called his answers “Just So stories”. When evolutionists study individual adaptations, when they try to explain form and behaviour by reconstructing history and assessing current utility, they also tell just so stories – and the agent is natural selection.
    Virtuosity in invention replaces testability as the criterion for acceptance.
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tRj7EyRFVqYC&pg=PA530

    If Darwinists really cared about science, instead of just defending their atheism no matter what lie they have to believe, then their supposedly ‘scientific’ theory would have been discarded long ago.

    As to actual empirical evidence, both natural selection and random mutations are falsified

    Natural Selection and Randomness vs. Intelligent Design;
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/what-is-randomness-part-2-directionality/#comment-660828

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