To hear lobbyists and pop science mags tell it.
Except, that is, for a lot of insiders over the years. A friend started making a list of books that doubt all or most of modern Darwinism, neo-Darwinism, the slightly elastic Extended Synthesis, and came up with a three-tiered, hardly exhaustive, shelf:
St. George Mivart, On the Genesis of Species (1871)
Charles Hodge, What Is Darwinism (1874)
Samuel Butler, Evolution, Old and New (1879)
Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution (1907/tr. 1911)
Svante Arrhenius Worlds in the Making (1908)
Richard Goldschmidt, The Material Basis of Evolution (1940)
Jacques Barzun, Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage (1941)
Lecomte du Nouy, Human Destiny (1947)
Gertrude Himmelfarb, Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (1959)
Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (Delta, 1971)
Pierre Paul Grassé: “L´evolution du vivant” (1973)
Gordon Rattray Taylor, The Great Evolution Mystery (Harper, 1983)
L. Cohen, Darwin Was Wrong: A Study in Probabilities (1984)
Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985)
Soren Lovtrup Darwinism: The Refutation of a Myth (1987)
Rupert Sheldrake, The Presence of the Past: The Memory of Nature (1988)
R. F. Baum, Doctors of Modernity: Darwin, Marx & Freud (1988)
Robert Wesson, Beyond Natural Selection, MIT (1991)
Dorothy Kurth Boberg, Evolution and Reason – Beyond Darwin (1993)
Remy Chauvin: “Le darwinism où le fin d´un mythe” (1997)
Lynn Margulis, Symbiotic Life: A New Look at Evolution (1998)
Stuart Newman and Gerd Muller (eds.), Origination of Organismal Form” (2002)
David Stove, Darwinian Fairytales (2006)
Etienne Gilson, From Aristotle to Darwin & Back Again : A Journey in Final Causality, Species and Evolution (2009)
Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, What Darwin God Wrong (2010)
Gerd Muller and Massimo Pigliucci, Evolution: the Extended Synthesis” (2010)
George McGhee, Convergent Evolution: Limited Forms Most Beautiful, MIT (2011)
Thomas Nagel, Mind & Cosmos (2012)
A Lima-de-Faria, Evolution without Selection: Form and Function by Autoevolution (2013)
Michael Denton, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (2015 [updated from 1985])
The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry (2009)
Paradigm Shifters (2015) and
Public Evolution Summit (2016).
These collections of Mazur’s interviews with current non-Darwinian evolutionists are a good place to either begin or catch up.
Lobbyists and pop science mags are easy to account for as a roadblock to change in this area. They market virtue signals. You know: The time for debate is over, anyway there is no debate, only the forces of evil doubt… They appeal to people who just need to stay on the PC side. After a mass of ignored, dismissed data builds up (see above), a discreditable system of knowledge must either crumble or reform.
But a question nags: Why is Checkpoint Charlie is still so overstaffed with dogmatists in the field? They have to know something is wrong. Physicist Rob Sheldon kindly writes to say,
Because somebody with resources thinks it is important.
Note that it doesn’t have to be a majority. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t even mean that there’s a threat. Just that somebody finds it important enough to devote resources to it.
My best guess is that there are several completely distinct groups that find it mutually helpful to man the booth:
a) the nouveau athée who still have a bothersome conscience trying to sneak back in
b) the elitist who wants a subservient underclass to unquestionably obey social engineering projects
c) the intelligentsia who want science (and himself) to acquire more power and prestige
d) the communist who hates the church and its diminishing power
e) the youth who covets the privileged life of all the above
f) the jaded, faded, past-middle-age bureaucrat who has trouble sleeping at night
g) the one or two NCSE educrats who find it a very remunerative position for a set of useless skills
Well, in the New Year, let’s resolve to keep reading, learning, and thinking. Eventually, a better informed public starts to matter.
See also: “Fast evolution” affects everyone everywhere—provided we are not too particular about what we consider evolution
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