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…
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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