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Pigliucci: nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution — NOT!

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Esteemed biologist Massimo Pigliucci offers a goldmine of quotable morsels:

I simply don’t buy Dan Dennett’s idea that “Darwinism” (which of course is not a scientific theory, but an ideological-philosophical position) is a “universal acid,”
Theodozius Dobzhansky, one of the fathers of modern evolutionary theory, who famously said that nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution (the phrase is, in fact, approvingly quoted by Pross). Problem is, Dobzhansky was writing for an audience of science high school teachers, and his statement is patently wrong, as an even cursory examination of the history of biology makes clear. For instance, developmental biologists had done a lot of highly fruitful research throughout the 19th and 20th centuries even as they ignored Darwin. And molecular biologists made spectacular progress from the 1950’s though the onset of the 21st century, again pretty much completing ignoring evolution.

the culprit is Richard Dawkins, who famously proposed the idea of memes in his 1976 popular work, The Selfish Gene. … As it turns out, memetics (warmly endorsed as a general theory of cultural evolution by Dennett) failed abysmally,

Pigliucci argues: Dennett is wrong, Dobzhansky is wrong, Dawkins is wrong, and Pross (the author Pigliucci critiques) is wrong. Grand slam!

Duane Gish said it better: “Nothing in evolution makes sense in light of biology”

HT: Enezio
[Thank you, Enezio, for finding this Pigliucci gold mine and letting me know about it]

Thanks, Neil I believe that's referred to as a "distinction without a difference." allanius
Allanius AMEN. medicine in all its glory has has nothing to do with evolution. They try to push this bacteria wars as evolution but thats a very special case. All achievement in medicine has been done without any nod to evolutionary biology ideas. Evolutionism wrongly presents to the public that medicine is part of their gang. Evolution is not true in its conclusions and so its impossible it contributed to things that are true like medical progress. Unless some strange cause and effect thing. Robert Byers
Neil, It's been a while since I've partiicpated at UD. It is nice to meet you and thank you for your comment. I clicked on your name in the comment and it linked me to your website. I looked around it, and I look forward to hearing from you in the future. And if I've not said so before, welcome! Sal scordova
I'm not sure why Pigliucci wrote that. Perhaps it is because English is not his native language. I am specifically referring to his reaction to Dobzhansky: "nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution." It ought to have been clear that Dobzhansky's statement should be taken as a kind of slogan, rather than as a precise statement of fact. Pigliucci seems to have applied an inappropriate literalism. For myself, I agree with Dobzhansky, but I somewhat disagree with Dennett and Dawkins. I won't use "true" or "false", because they are painting broad pictures rather than giving specific details. All broad pictures have faults if examined sufficiently closely. However, we might find some to be illuminating. Neil Rickert
This totalitarianism on the part of Darwinists "Nothing makes sense...") is really rather silly. Pick up any good medical journal. I'm pretty sure that what's going on there falls under the rubric of "biology," but you won't find anything about Darwin. And for good reason! Think of the various biological "cascades" that have been described in recent decades, beginning with Vane's Nobel-winning model. Dawrwinism cannot even begin to account for them, with their redunduncieas and their layered fail-safes. They are in place to preserve life, the very thing Darwinism seeks to devalue. They indicate the death of materialism. allanius
If this russian thinks nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution then lets get down to details. Name your top three points of biological relationships and processes that only make sense in the light of evolution. Lets put the light on this. Also lets keep it about biology and not geology as a crutch. Just the biology folks. Robert Byers

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