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Meet the Rolly Pollies of the Evolution Debate


Meet the unassuming armadillidiidae, more commonly known as the rolly pollie.  When it is not feeling threatened, a rolly pollie looks like this:

But if it senses a threat, its defense mechanism is to roll up in a tight hard-shelled ball like this:

Yesterday Larry Moran reminded me of the rolly pollie.  “Why is that Barry?” you might ask.  Good question.  You see, over at his blog Sandwalk, Moran often plays a version of smash mouth debate not just with us ID types (whom, like a second grader on the playground, he calls “IDiots”), but also with evolutionists with whom he disagrees.  Moran advocates neutral theory, and he will have no truck with inveterate adaptationists.  Richard Dawkins is an adaptationist, and he often draws Moran’s ire as a representative of that school.

In my post yesterday I pointed out that modern evolutionary theory, far from being as solid as any theory in science, is far down on the scientific pecking order.  As Dr. Berlinski has pointed out, evolutionary theory is not even in the same league as quantum electrodynamics or general relatively.  One reason for this is that, strictly speaking there is NO SINGLE THEORY OF EVOLUTION in the same sense that there is a theory of general relativity.  To be sure, there are various theories of evolution, but unlike general relativity, there is no single theory of evolution about which there is near-universal agreement among scientists.

Nowhere is this more obvious than Moran’s Sandwalk, where he bashes adaptationists regularly and with abandon for being stuck in the ’60s.  Yet, when I point this out here at UD — and here is the point of my post — Moran drops comments into the comment thread that imply all is well in the evolutionary community.  His comments imply that the adaptationist and neutral theory schools disagree not about fundamentals but only about nuance.  In other words, he goes all rolly pollie on us.

Of course this is not a new phenomenon and Moran is not alone.  In Darwin’s Doubt Steve Meyers commented on how evolutionists often talk out of both sides of their mouth depending on whom they think is listening — i.e., when it comes to the evolution debate, Moran is just one rolly pollie among many.

What OxyMoran says and writes 'doesn't have legs' : vapid ephemera, while The rolly pollie has many. But the RP is a pretty good analogy, nonetheless, isn't it ? Axel

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