New Zealand journalist Susan Mazur has published a fascinating book about some of the current controversies among evolutionary biologists. The book is a loosley edited collection of interviews with, and comments about, various people, including the Altenberg 16. Her favorites are the “two Stus” — Stuart Newman and Stuart Kauffman.
Despite the fact that Mazur seems unreflectively to share the antipathy toward ID expressed by all her subjects, and despite the fact that her book sometimes reads like a gossip column, I consider it worth reading. Some excerpts:
“Evolutionary science is as much about the posturing, salesmanship, stonewalling and bullying that goes on as it is about actual scientific theory… Perhaps the most egregious display of commercial dishonesty is this year’s celebration of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species-the so-called theory of evolution by natural selection, i.e., survival of the fittest, a brand foisted on us 150 years ago.” (p. v)
“The consensus of the evolution pack still seems to be that if an idea doesn’t fit in with Darwinism and neo-Darwinism-keep it out.” (p. vii)
“[Evolutionary biologist Massimo] Pigliucci often prefers mudslinging to enlightenment.” (p. 12)
“When I called Kevin Padian, president of the NCSE’s board of directors and a witness at the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover trial on intelligent design, to ask him about the evolution debate among scientists-he said, ‘On some things there is no debate.’ Then he hung up.” (p. 29)
“[Quoting Antonio Lima-de-Faria] It is known that the pattern of an embryo is decided by a large collection of small and large RNA’s, i.e., pure atomic processes, which have the ‘road map’ that decides the cellular pathways. [Quoting Stuart Newman] This could not be more wrong.” (p. 59)
Susan Mazur, The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry (Wellington, New Zealand: Scoop Media, 2009).