In case you all have been having too much fun at UncommonDescent, don’t forget www.idthefuture.com. It has been having some stellar contributions of late.
Davidson smiled, somewhat ruefully, and said, “Well, I’m not sure, but I know that standard single-base-pair mutations won’t do it” — meaning, as he later explained to me, the textbook neo-Darwinism every college biology student learns. He was more blunt with the science writer Fred Heeren, who was covering the now-notorious conference we were attending. “Neo-Darwinism is dead,” he said in an interview.
An account of that notorious conference can be found at
Challenging Fossil of a Little Fish
The debate over Haikouella casts Western scientists in the unlikely role of defending themselves against charges of ideological blindness from scientists in communist China.
Rather than Charles DarwinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s familiar notion of Ã¢â‚¬Å“survival of the fittest,Ã¢â‚¬Â Chen believes scientists should focus on something that better explains why life evolved beyond bacteria. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Bacteria are very successful,Ã¢â‚¬Â Chen notes. In fact, complex life is less capable of making adaptations.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Evolution is facing an extremely harsh challenge,Ã¢â‚¬Â declared the Communist PartyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Guang Ming Daily last December in describing the fossils in southern China. Ã¢â‚¬Å“In the beginning, Darwinian evolution was a scientific theory Ã¢â‚¬Â¦. In fact, evolution eventually changed into a religion.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Neo-Darwinism is dead,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Eric Davidson, a geneticist and textbook writer at the California Institute of Technology.
But most Westerners at ChenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s conference came to praise Darwin, not to bury him. The idea that neo-Darwinism is missing something fundamental about evolution is as scandalous to Americans as it is basic to the Chinese.
This is too funny: “The debate over Haikouella casts Western scientists in the unlikely role of defending themselves against charges of ideological blindness from scientists in communist China.” 🙂