Intelligent Design

Nautilus changes article to credit Suzan Mazur for interview re neo-Darwinism challenges

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The interview is with Denis Noble. Recently, we passed along some info about an item, It’s the End of the Gene As We Know It” at Nautilus. Readers here might recall Is the age of the gene finally over? Someone has drawn to our attention that the author, Ken Richardson, had quoted rather generously from Suzan Mazur’s interview with Denis Noble but the version we referred readers to did not reflect that.

For example,
Origin of Life Circus

“It is such discoveries that are turning our ideas of genetic causation inside out. We have traditionally thought of cell contents as servants to the DNA instructions. But, as the British biologist Denis Noble insists, “The modern synthesis has got causality in biology wrong … DNA on its own does absolutely nothing until activated by the rest of the system … DNA is not a cause in an active sense. I think it is better described as a passive data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires.” KEN RICHARDSON, “It’s the End of the Gene As We Know It” at Nautilus

Compare with

MAZUR INTERVIEW WITH DENIS NOBLE. (1st in HuffPost, then in The Origins of Life Circus, and again in The Paradigm Shifters):

“The second reason is a much more conceptual issue. I think that as a gene-centric view of evolution, the modern synthesis has got causality in biology wrong. Genes, after all, if they’re defined as DNA sequences, are purely passive. DNA on its own does absolutely nothing until activated by the rest of the system through transcription factors, markers of one kind or another, interactions with the proteins. So on its own, DNA is not a cause in an active sense. I think it is better described as a passive data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires.”

Funny sort of accident, don’t you think? Well, it turns out it wasn’t an accident and Nautilus has updated the page to say this:

It is such discoveries that are turning our ideas of genetic causation inside out. We have traditionally thought of cell contents as servants to the DNA instructions. But, as the British biologist Denis Noble insists in an interview with the writer Suzan Mazur, Note 1:As originally published, the attribution for this quotation was absent.

Well, good! We can’t have people like Mazur “disappearing.” If she hadn’t got the story about how basic concepts in evolution are slowly moving away from Darwin 101 as we learn it in school, who would have?

Her books of interviews, The Origin of Life Circus and The Paradigm Shifters: Overthrowing ‘the Hegemony of the Culture of Darwin’ are an excellent introduction to the new thinkers and new concepts.

But what all this mainly shows is that a non-Darwinian approach to evolution is a going concern now. People want to own assets, not liabilities..

Ahem.

Note: Dr. Richardson “was formerly Senior Lecturer in Human Development at the Open University (U.K.). He is the author of Genes, Brains and Human Potential: The Science and Ideology of Intelligence.” (bio at Nautilus)

See also: Is the age of the gene finally over? (Grab autographs, mementoes!) Does anybody here remember the 99% chimpanzee? So what? Maybe even HE isn’t 99% chimpanzee… not the way they thought, anyhow…  Oh, and anyone recall the gene for how you vote? Stay tuned.

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