Recently, one of our star commenters, Sandwalk’s Larry Moran, mooted that the Royal Society meeting on assessing where we are with evolution maybe should be cancelled. Then he said he doesn’t want it to be cancelled but “they may cancel the meeting because the IDiots and the kooks are gloating about destroying evolution.”
We hadn’t heard much from people who are gloating about destroying evolution but we’ve heard plenty from people who can do without the Darwin lobby running the field into the ground.
Some of the episodes we’ve noted are pretty crazy. The University of Kentucky had to settle with astronomer Martin Gaskell for $125,000 because one of his colleagues was obsessing with a Darwin-in-the-schools lobbyist about his possible support for ID, as a result of which he did not get a position for which he was well-qualified.
The Texas Darwin-in-the-schools lobby doesn’t want students to know about self-organization theory as it’s maybe an ID plot (no) and was trashing Texas science standards that the Fordham Institute says are mostly okay.
David Klinghoffer summarizes the current scene at Evolution News and Views:
Writing at the Huffington Post, Suzan Mazur gives the remarkable text of the email she received from an (unnamed) Royal Society meeting organizer, objecting to her candid reporting. It begins:
Could I request that you stop referring to the forthcoming RS-BA meeting (“New Trends in Evolutionary Biology: Biological, Philosphical and Social Science Perspectives”), and to the extended evolutionary synthesis, more generally, as in some way advocating a “paradigm shift”. Such language is both misleading (the vast majority of scientists working towards an extended synthesis do not seek revolutionary change in neo-Darwinism) and counterproductive (such talk undermines calm scientific discussion by creating an unnecessarily emotive and antagonistic atmosphere).
That is some gall. He is trying to direct a journalist in how, or whether, she informs the public that a major revision in evolutionary theory may be in the offing.
Larry Moran isn’t trying to quiet Suzan Mazur, and I don’t read his post at Sandwalk as a call to scuttle or censor the meeting. He is, I think, simply recognizing that a significant body of opinion among his colleagues would breathe a sigh of relief at such a move. They would welcome trying to put the worms back in their can. More.
Hard to put the worms back in their can when they are tunnelling their way through hectares of fields. But no, never a shortage of gall. Did I mention Martin Gaskell?
If the Royal Society had to cancel the meeting for fear of crossing the lobby or their ilk, one wonders what the lobby’s next demands would be.
Funny, two posts that whistled through here at Uncommon Descent this morning illustrate why the meeting could only be of use:
Convergence: Venom in fish evolved 18 times The fact that these “super complicated” systems evolved eighteen different times pretty much rules out a Darwinian origin (natural selection acting on random mutation). So then how did it happen?
Forests challenge ecosystem claims Distinguishing between “high rollers” and “prudent savers” was pop Darwinism at its level best. It was based on pop psychology in humans – but even humans are not that simple.
See also: What the fossils told us in their own words
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