But admitting that the pot is boiling. From Kevin Laland in Trends in Ecology & Evolution:
November 7–9, 2016 witnessed a joint discussion meeting of the Royal Society and the British Academy (the UK national academies for the sciences and social sciences, respectively) entitled ‘New Trends in Evolutionary Biology: Biological, Philosophical and Social Science Perspectives’. The meeting, anticipated with a mix of feverish enthusiasm and dread, sold out months in advance, the eager audience perhaps expecting radical and traditional evolutionists to go toe to toe, rather than the constructive dialogue among biologists, social scientists, and researchers in the humanities that the academies advertised. One issue under discussion was whether or not the explanatory core of evolutionary biology requires updating in the light on recent advances in evo-devo, epigenetics, ecosystem ecology, and elsewhere.
There you have it, from the world of There Is No Debate, There Never Was a Debate, and Besides, The Debate Is Over and That Noise You Hear Is Just the Blender…
The conference brought home a key point – these debates are not about data but rather about how findings are interpreted and understood.
Yes, but that’s true of almost all debates. There is data but it is differently interpreted and understood. Laland continues,
At the heart of the above differences are hidden disparities in how researchers think about development. Seemingly, traditionalists often view features such as plasticity, extragenetic inheritance, and niche construction as being specified by genetic programs that are finely honed by past selection, whereas radicals are more likely to view features of development as being under-determined by past selection and hence a source of evolutionary novelty. More.
Yes, that’s the debate. What the fossils told us in their own words is not the official history.
With any debate like this, groups face a choice: Adapt to new information or start to decline.
One would expect people who work in evolution to find that easy to understand, but hey…
See also: Darwinism: Replacement or extension?
Why the sea is boiling hot.
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