HT to Larry Moran’s Sandwalk for the link to this fascinating long piece by journalist Suzan Mazur about an upcoming (July 2008) evolution meeting at the Konrad Lorenz Institute in Altenberg, Austria.
“The Altenberg 16” is Mazur’s playful term for the sixteeen biologists and theoreticians invited by organizer Massimo Pigliucci. Most are on record as being, to greater and lesser degrees, dissatisfied with the current textbook theory of evolution. Surveying the group, I note that I’ve interacted with several of the people over the years, as have other ID theorists and assorted Bad Guys. This should be an exciting meeting, with the papers to be published in 2009 by MIT Press.
Mazur’s article is worth your attention. Evolutionary theory is in — and has been, for a long time — a period of great upheaval. Much of this upheaval is masked by the noise and smoke of the ID debate, and by the steady public rhetoric of major science organizations, concerned to tamp down ID-connected dissent. You know the lines: “Darwinian evolutionary theory is the foundation of biology,” et cetera.
But the upheaval is there, and increasing in amplitude and frequency.
[Note to Kevin Padian: journalists don’t like it when you do this to them. Mazur writes:
Curiously, when I called Kevin Padian, president of NCSE’s board of directors and a witness at the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover trial on Intelligent Design, to ask him about the evolution debate among scientists –- he said, “On some things there is not a debate.” He then hung up.
That hanging-up part…not so wise. If you’re going to say there’s no debate, explain why.]