There’s been so much attention around reviews of Darwin Devolves recently that one wonders if anyone who hasn’t read biochemist Michael
In their review in Science, Swamidass et al. are engaged in a carefully crafted strategy. They are creating a situation where average practitioners in a field will “know” that they do not need to take Behe’s criticism of Darwin seriously. After all, a major science news organ addressed to average practitioners allows their sort of attack to pass for a review.
It doesn’t matter whether Swamidass et al. ‘s criticism
My compatriot Mark Steyn explains here: Noticing and Not Noticing
A population can remain faithful to a system like the Darwinian account of evolution indefinitely, while just “not noticing” the problems. “Noticers” are outliers, after all.
However, such a system is vulnerable to certain types of challenge: For example, if believing and following the system becomes inconsistent with surviving and thriving, the population naturally consider alternatives, despite themselves. At Mind Matters, Bob Marks relates how that happened in Japan after Hiroshima.
One of my uncles was a paratrooper in the Pacific theater. His job was to strap 24 pounds of explosives onto each leg and parachute behind enemy lines when the Allies invaded Japan. Unlike the invasion of Normandy, France, on D-Day, there were no friendly civilians behind enemy lines. Even Japanese women and children were trained to attack the invaders with sticks and pitchforks, and fight to the death. It was a suicide mission. But the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to the unconditional surrender of Japan so an armed invasion never happened. More.
Yes, everybody was supposed to fight honorably to the death when the Americans invaded. But what really happened at Hiroshima was so new, so different, so terrible, that Japanese opinion leaders realized (and were able to convince most followers) that the sacrifice was useless. The traditional culture in which suicide attacks might prove something was no longer viable anyway. Countless lives were saved as a result.
Later, Japan began to see that victory wasn’t impossible; it would just look very different from what they had expected. They had to beat the Americans technologically in order to triumph. Patriotic Americans would buy Toyota, not Ford, and defend their choices to their
Obviously, that’s an extreme example. But it demonstrates that even very traditional people, loyal to an old order to the death, will accept change if the status quo simply isn’t viable any more and change offers a future.
One wonders, do many biologists have independent ideas that Darwinism stifles? If so, they must be frustrated by the need to keep them under wraps or defend them from malign mediocrities for whom mere orthodoxy produces a living.
Nature is so vast and complex, that I believe that if the right people have been attracted to biology, they will indeed have new ideas worth fighting for, even if they are not yet in a position to admit it. Often, the incident that rallies people in such a case is one no one predicted.
I think our people should go on recording and interpreting the evidence from nature according to accepted science-based methods, wherever the evidence leads, irrespective of the fashion.
But never underestimate the power of a malign orthodoxy to prevent truth/facts from getting a fair hearing when their own primacy is at risk. All the more viciously if they begin to suspect they might not have all the answers. – O’Leary for News
I am looking forward to reading Behe’s book and several others soon.
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See also: Science Mag’s hit on Michael Behe’s Darwin Devolves avoids his main point In these times, are you better off knowing the problems or innocently citing approved sources of misinformation as your reason for making decisions? You decide.
All together now, Dissenters: Happy Birthday, Darwin! Folks, it’s Darwin Day, when we are told by Darwinians to celebrate “intellectual bravery.” Very well, here is some: Dissent from Darwinism, the vid.