A paper came out just in the last month defending The Modern Synthesis (aka Darwinism) from attacks by biologists such as Jablonka, Lamb, Wright, Shapiro, and others who opt for including a neo-Lamarckianism into biology. This paper, “Evolutionary Chance Mutation: A Defense of the Modern Synthesis’ Consensus View” (go here if the previous link is down) was published in the journal Philosophy and Theory in Biology. It is very interesting, not only for what it says about Darwinism and its challenges, but also, indirectly, the Intelligent Design movement (ID is never mentioned but directed mutation is a topic close to home for many ID’ers).
I’m breaking this response into 4 parts:
- Part I – How Merlin’s Paper Validates Several Claims of the ID Movement
- Part II – What Makes an Evolutionary Process Darwinian or Not?
- Part III – Merlin’s Delineation Between Darwinian and non-Darwinian Mutations and How It Falls Short
- Part IV – A Clear Picture of a Directed Mutation
I haven’t finished writing parts II, III, or IV yet, so I can’t promise that I won’t combine some them or make more. I will also update this post/table of contents as I get the other posts written, so I have a document which links to everything.
Overall, I found it was a very good paper, spending time considering a lot of issues that need working through. I disagree with the author at many major points (hence the response), but nonetheless it was indeed a thoughtful and well-researched analysis.
UPDATE – the series has now been completed