The disappearance of Yale computer scientist David Gelernter for doubting Darwin seems to have been delayed. Readers may be aware that Gelernter left the Darwin religion a few months back. And for some reason, the Beard has not yet struck him dead, though many of the Beard’s followers are restless…
At Quillette, Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne waded in, harrumphing a proper Darwinian response. That should have been the end of Gelernter’s credibility.
But now, disappeared paleontologist Gunter Bechly, Brian Miller, and philosophical enfant terrible David Berlinski, have claimed a right of reply, almost unheard of in these times.
Their response is fairly specific and technical. But remember, people like Coyne are used to having their sweeping assertions accepted, not dissected:
David Gelernter accepted the conclusion that there were no putative ancestors of the Cambrian phyla in the preceding Ediacaran strata. He is in good company. So do most paleontologists who specialize in this field. This conclusion is not controversial, and it is obviously at odds with Darwin’s theory. Coyne is unpersuaded, maintaining that, yes, we have found Ediacaran “animals that appear to be arthropods, muscle-clad cnidarians (the group that includes modern jellyfish and anemones), echinoderms, mollusks, and probable sponges.”
This is pure fantasy. Coyne is unacquainted with the facts. There are no Ediacaran arthropods. There are no Ediacaran echinoderms either. Akarua adami, it is true, was initially attributed to the echinoderms. But apart from pentaradial symmetry, Akarua adami lack all of the synapomorphic characteristics of the echinoderms. The Cambrian fossil record contains stem echinoderms in helicoplacoids and homalozoans (carpoids) after all; and we know from reconstructed phylogenetic trees that pentaradial symmetry does not belong to their ground plan. The mollusks to which Coyne confidently appeals as friends of the family? They belong to the Ediacaran fossil genus Kimberella. First described as a jellyfish, Kimberella was later indeed sometimes associated with early mollusks. This attribution remained controversial: several characteristics contradicted it. A comprehensive paper recently reviewed the “problem of Kimberella” and concluded that “the possibility that Kimberella is coelenterate grade should therefore not be excluded.” Although likely a metazoan, they went on to write, “its placement remains problematic; it may be on the bilaterian stem group rather than within the stem group of any particular phylum.”Günter Bechly, Brian Miller and David Berlinski, “Right of Reply: Our Response to Jerry Coyne” at Quillette
Once we get down to actual evidence rather than assertions of the need for conformity to dogma, Darwinism is dead, except for the taxpayer-funded institutions feeding off it and the legislation protecting it.
It would be fun to discuss the history of life for once without the dead hand of Darwin overruling all. From the looks of things, it may also be possible now.
Hat tip: Philip Cunningham
See also: See also: Brit Commentator Melanie Phillips Weighs In On David Gelernter Dumping Darwin
Lay Catholics questioning Darwinism? It was interesting to see that, just recently, a California Catholic paper has started to smell the coffee at last and picked up on George Weigel’s article from First Things
At First Things, They Are Also Getting Over Darwinism
Another Think Tank Now Openly Questions Darwinism So Power Line is interviewing J. Scott Turner, author of Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something “Alive” and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It. He’s not an “ID guy” but that doesn’t matter. His book’s title tells you what you need to know. He understands that something is wrong. And his insights into insects’ hive mind are a piece in the puzzle.
Hoover Institution interview with David Berlinski
Mathematicians challenge Darwinian Evolution
The College Fix LISTENS TO David Gelernter on Darwin! It’s almost as though people are “getting it” that Darwinism now functions as an intolerant secular religion. Evolution rolls on oblivious but here and there heads are getting cracked, so to speak, over the differences between what really happens and what Darwinians insist must happen.
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15 Replies to “What? David Berlinski and Gunter Bechly reply to Jerry Coyne … at Quillette?”
What?? Quillette allowed ID advocates a fair chance to reply to their Darwinian critics??? The editors at Quillette must have missed the Darwinian memo that dictates that ID advocates are never, ever, to be given a fair chance to reply to their Darwinian critics. They are only to be mocked, ridiculed and/or expelled.
Jerry doesn’t seem to realize that his doesn’t have a mechanism for producing eukaryotes GIVEN starting populations of bacteria. Then there are all the developmental genes required for developmental biology- all requiring many specific mutations. All well out of the reach of Jerry’s evolution by means of blind, mindless and purposeless processes.
But Jerry, being a true company boy, just says that developmental biology and metazoans exists therefore evolutionism. Pathetic, really
They have the powerful biology field of evo-DEVO to figure out how water got into the coconut. The problem is that macro-evo is conspicuously absent from the evo-DEVO literature.
Bornagain77 @ 3
Evidently Quillette is a new enough institution (its first issue was published in 2015) that it still takes its founding principles about free speech seriously.
This commitment, notwithstanding the fact that any close reading of the publication’s articles shows that its editors and writers take Darwinian orthodoxy as a scientific and cultural given.
Perceiving the danger that this kind of principled free-speech nonsense could produce in people who encounter a dissent from Darwin such as Gerlernter’s, obviously, Coyne was attempting to preempt a threat. To me, it’s the heighth of high hilarity to witness the man being sliced and diced limb-from-limb by Berlinsky et. al. — replete with citations from Meyer and Axe no less! — in front of God, the Intellectual Dark Web, the “meaning crisis Millennials,” and everybody else.
Quillette was founded, as a 2018 interview by Jordan Peterson with its publisher, Claire Lehmann, shows, as a reaction to the deplatforming by the newly-ascendant social justice warriors of scientists and intellectuals for political reasons. Neither Lehmann in her publication nor Peterson in his work have ever evinced the slightest hint that they think there might be any problems whatsoever with orthodox neo-Darwinism. To the contrary, in both their cases, they see it as fundamental.
Indeed, Peterson has made his nut among the younger crowd by his laudible attempts to reconcile Darwinian orthodoxy with a Jungian-derived respect for orthodox Christianity. Laudible in that, as a long-time clinical psychologist, Peterson is concerned that all this “intellectual fulfillment” provided by Darwin’s “universal acid” is driving everyone insane.
Lord forgive me, but I do so love watching Berlinsky wield his rhetorical rapier. “More popcorn, Ethyl!”
Maybe we should be a little easier on Coyne. He’s carrying the ball for real science on the gender question, which takes considerable courage. Nobody else in a position of CURRENT academic power has the guts to declare firmly and loudly that human gender is in fact binary. Give him a little more room on other dissenting views.
“What?? Quillette allowed ID advocates a fair chance to reply to their Darwinian critics??? “
Quillette IMO is a very good website. Yes they lean left and yes they favor Darwin but they also allow dissenting point of views. I recognize that I have “confirmation bias” so I want to be honestly challenged and see what the counter arguments are to my position. Quillette allows other viewpoints to be presented that they do not agree with and have been accused of being right wing just because they believe in free speech and allow dissenting viewpoints to mainstream orthodoxy.
Vividbleau, why did you say that you have “confirmation bias” ?
What does that mean? Just curious. Thanks.
I tend to only want to be exposed to ideas that confirm what I already think. Honestly I think it is a universal human trait.
I’m still not clear about whether calling “Darwinism” a religion is meant as a compliment or an insult.
I was also wondering how one comments on the articles at ENV
Well, it’s supposed to be science. But it is a religion because it is based on faith. However, it is a false religion because it is also relies on ignorance.
You could start by having something to say. 😛
ENV gave up on open comments because of the severe lack of quality and substance they were besieged with when comments were allowed.
@Seversky “I’m still not clear about whether calling “Darwinism” a religion is meant as a compliment or an insult.”
What? That’s all you have to say about the OP? Interesting.
Maybe you should write a letter of protest to these different groups demanding that they censor ID and only publish Darwinian friendly articles. Better head off this disturbing trend before it catches on all around and Darwinians actually have to answer their critics.
This feels big. Always, the Darwinians have schemed to try to prevent the situation from being “normal” in the sense that the accused has the right of reply. And they have reason. Any informed, scholarly reply to their nonsense would be devastating – partly because the corruption has gone on for so long. They have not upped their game, nor needed to. Reckonings loom.