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Royal Society evolution meeting cautioned against cheers and boos


From David Klinghoffer, Britside, at Evolution News & Views:

Our biologist friend writes of yesterday’s session:

Some opposing views were aired in the morning sessions, with polite but pointed disagreement between Drs. Sonia Sultan and Russell Lande on the subject of phenotypic plasticity. It is clear that opinion is divided in the room. Some applause for bolder statements was quickly quashed, the audience having been warned at the beginning that boos and cheers were not acceptable. More.

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We all know that science is best represented by unquestioning deference to dogma, even in the face of growing contradictions with reality.


He describes the meeting as tense. How about “tense but timid”? We’ve all been through that at some time in our lives.

No one wants to be the one to say: Yes, but it doesn’t make any sense to do things the way we are doing them any more. Our ship’s foundering.

We all hope someone else will speak up so we can just stare at the bug crawling across the floor tile.

Still, some things are not better left unsaid.

See also: Trying to rescue social Darwinism from Darwin’s sinking ship? What do Wilson’s comments mean? Either Darwinian theory is any use in science or else it isn’t.

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