Jonathan Losos, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University, approaches this through the contrasting views of the late Stephen Jay Gould and University of Cambridge palaeontologist Simon Conway Morris.
Alongside the widespread phenomenon of convergent evolution, life produces many unique forms. The human lineage is one such.
But before the reader can conclude that our uniqueness suggests we are the whole point of evolution, Losos plays his trump card: the duck-billed platypus. More.
Wow, that’s deep. And it’s also timely, now that a platypus has just been elected Prime Minister of Australia. 😉
Does Cobb’s publishability depend on missing the obvious to this extent?
Hey, the book itself might be good. But is that type of book really right for today? Gould vs. Morris was a faculty room jaw back when. But now?:
But now we are now learning that Earth’s first trees were also “most complex,” and that the big Lenski Darwinism experiment is producing nothing like the expected results. We are urged in Biology Direct to just abandon Darwinism.
Yes, Gould vs. Dawkins (Morris was starting to catch on) trendiness sold upscale books in airport kiosks the Nineties. Books the well-dressed people wanted to be seen reading.
But the internet was only beginning to catch on back then. Now anyone can find out what is really happening for free.
And if conventional science journalists are not catching on quicker, that’s probably because the media they represent are obsolescent and, predictably, always begging for cash.
See also: Long term evolution experiments (LTEE) reveal too much complexity to be “disentangled. Ecology and evolution cannot be disentangled? Ramming textbook Darwinism down everyone’s throat just got a little harder.
Researchers: Earth’s first trees were also “most complex” How did we know Darwinism was true? Because the first plants were simplest, right? So would a Darwinian account of life have predicted this? Does it predict anything? Is there anything about it that is actually true in a science-based way?
From Biology Direct: Darwinism, now thoroughly detached from its historical roots as a falsifiable theory, “must be abandoned”
Convergence or parallelism?: Kevin Padian at Nature on Jonathan Losos’ Improbable Destinies
Evolution predictable or haphazard? Or is the discussion a waste of time?
Evolution happens more quickly than we think
Evolution: The fossils speak, but hardly with one voice