To avoid controversy.
The Big Questions are these: What exactly is the extended evolutionary synthesis (“ES”) John Templeton Foundation has recently funded with $8M (and $3M more going to ES from institutional contributions)? What good is an extended synthesis without the largest part of the biosphere — viruses — factored in? Why fund now, when ES has been kicking around ever since it was born at “Altenberg!“ eight years ago?
Paul Wason, Science and Religion chief at Templeton simply won’t say, declining my request for an interview and emailing that he “would prefer not to be involved in the debates.”
His foundation is throwing millions at this thing and he doesn’t want to be involved in the debates?
Meanwhile, grant recipient spokesman Kevin Laland has claimed,
“The extended evolutionary synthesis does not replace traditional thinking [neo-Darwinism], but rather can be deployed alongside it to stimulate research”. More.
Top Darwin spear carrier Jerry Coyne doesn’t sound convinced, and you’d think he’d be the one most glad to hear that.
Simple question: If the extended evolutionary synthesis proves better able to account for much of the history of life, how won’t it do for Darwinism what the CD did for the eight-track tape?
What one means by a crisis can be a matter of interpretation. But when sixteen prominent figures find themselves at the same little-publicized watering hole somewhere in Austria and really don’t want anyone to know… well, maybe what people say about the schnitzel is all true.
Like the traffic cop said, “You’re going to have to tell me something more convincing than this.”
Actually, the big mystery is, what are they all so afraid of? Darwin’s Bigs are all retired or retiring.
Sometimes people get so used to thinking and acting defensively that they don’t tend to notice when there really isn’t anything they have to defend anymore.
See also: How will rethinking Darwin affect the ID community?
Forbidden! Darwin debunker must be stopped! Maybe this rethinking evolution thing is going too far if icons are toppling like snow loads falling off the roof… On the other hand, when it happens, just get out the shovel.
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