Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Depew paper tries to soften the blow: “We would be the last to suggest that Darwinism can’t reform and reframe itself yet again.”


Remember “New mainstream paper: Darwinism can no longer be “a general framework for evolutionary theory”?” which featured critiques of Dawkins’s selfish gene thesis, the bedrock of evolutionary psychology? Here’s a bit more flavour (it’s definitely worth the price if you can’t get it free):

Darwinism in its current scientific incarnation has pretty much reached the end of its rope. By ‘‘current incarnation’’ we are referring specifically to the Modern Evolutionary Synthesis, whose formative period stretched from about 1940 to 1970.

[ … ]

We are not saying that the population-genetical theory of natural selection will not remain adequate for a range of problems,much in the same way that Newtonian physics, suitably re-described and limited in its scope, works well enough for middle-sized objects exchanging middle-range energies in middle-sized time frames. The issue is whether the Darwinism of the Modern Synthesis and its successor programs, notably Selfish Gene Theory and its rival, the Hierarchically Expanded Modern Synthesis, can continue to present itself as a general theory of biological evolution. We are claiming that it cannot.

[ … ]

Let us be clear, too, that in saying this we are not saying that Darwinism as such is on its deathbed. Here, we reach a fourth point. The impending demise of various articulations of the genetical theory of natural selection does not in the least imply that the entire Darwinian research tradition is on the verge of failure. The Darwinian research tradition, as we have argued extensively elsewhere, has in the past shown an uncanny ability to remake itself in the face of factual discoveries that undermined earlier versions of the theory of natural selection but did not prevent new versions from emerging that proved to be more mathematically powerful even as they showed themselves to be more factually adequate (Depew and Weber 1995; Weber 2007).

We would be the last to suggest that Darwinism can’t reform and reframe itself yet again.

The “last to suggest”? Oh come on!

Darwinism was not designed to solve today’s problems, and all the wrong people are in charge of it now anyway. And the US Darwin lobby is boarding the climate change bandwagon.


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