The library named in honor of the well-known theistic evolutionist and 2010 Templeton winner is to be renamed. From a university media release: IRVINE, Calif., June 28, 2018 – The University of California, Irvine is taking steps to remove the Ayala name from its biology school and central science library after an internal investigation substantiated a number of sexual harassment claims against Francisco J. Ayala, the signature donor of both institutions. The investigation by the university’s Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity (OEOD) began in November 2017 and ended in May 2018. Four women from the School of Biological Sciences, who asked to be identified, filed reports with the OEOD: Kathleen Treseder, professor and chair of ecology and evolutionary biology; Jessica Read More ›
And we can still read him. From Suzan Mazur at HuffPost, including a 2008 interview: We are grateful to Jerry Fodor—perhaps the most substantial philosopher of our time, who has now died—for exposing what he called the “empty” Darwinian theory of natural selection and for his courage as well as his superb humor in the face of unrelenting opposition. “I’m in the Witness Protection Program,” Fodor joked when I called him to request an interview following publication of his provocative article in the London Review of Books (“Why Pigs Don’t Have Wings,” October 2007) about the problems of Darwin’s selectionist theory. Fodor never claimed to be a biologist. “It’s not my field,” he told me. But he was the son Read More ›
An expert in “frog evolution” has demonstrated that frogs in different continents “evolved” the same sorts of characteristics. Now just ask yourself: what are the odds that “evolution,” which works via random processes, would “evolve” the same kinds of characteristics on different continents? Yet, that is what our evolutionary biologist friends would ask us to believe. Do you believe? Do I hear an ‘Amen’? I guess not. Yes, biogeography might explain some of this, but not in the cases our authors looked at. Now, given that DNA is an information resource (prescribed by, and within, the genome), ID would fully expect that the common genome of the frog family would express itself in similar ways–even across continents–given that “new” information Read More ›
Richard Dawkins’ autobiography has been reviewed in the London Spectator: http://www.spectator.co.uk/books/9025021/an-appetite-for-wonder-by-richard-dawkins-review/. The reviewer’s verdict? “He relies just as much on a leap of faith as those religious believers he so keenly affects to despise. His theory also cannot explain how those selfish genes eventually came to evolve the one species on earth which is marked out by a unique capacity for self-obsessed egotism.”
A few months back, we looked at the story of Wallace’s views here and again here. Now, thanks to an online premiere, here’s the movie (HT: ENV): [youtube hxvAVln6HLI] Relax, enjoy, and discuss. END _____________ F/N: to understand Wallace, have a read of his major book published in 1910 ff, The World of Life (cf. here, here, here and here at Amazon — republished, of course, by Forgotten Books).
In my new book, Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life, I take the reader on a journey from 19-century England, to the wilds of the Amazon River Basin, to the Malay Archipelago, and back to the highly charged scientific climate of Victorian London. Wallace’s story is one of discovery, from shocking Charles Darwin with his own theory of natural selection to his realization that the very principle he used to explain the diversity of biological life itself had limits, limits with profound implications about humankind and nature itself. After years of research across the globe, Wallace came to believe that some intelligence was required to explain the natural world. This intelligent evolution would be explained by Wallace as directed, detectably designed, Read More ›
Leigh Van Valen — an evolutionary biologist for whom the word “polymath” is entirely appropriate — died this past weekend, after a long illness. Leigh was a student of both Theodosius Dobzhansky and G.G. Simpson at Columbia University, and spent most of the rest of his career at the University of Chicago, where he served on the faculties of the Department of Ecology and Evolution, and the Committees on Genetics, Evolutionary Biology, and the Conceptual Foundations of Science. Like I said: a true polymath. As any of his students or colleagues will tell you, one’s first meeting with Leigh was unforgettable. Slight of stature and soft-spoken, with a long white beard and hair, Leigh had an incomparable knowledge of the Read More ›
Since writing Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, Gertrude Himmelfarb has moved on to treat a wide range of topics. Nevertheless, her influence as an especially cogent historian of the man and his theory continues. A few have taken notice. Margaret A. Fay, for example, mentions her “insightful and lucid analysis.”1Philosopher/theologian Edward T. Oakes, S.J., PhD, wrote: “I awoke from my own Darwinian dogmatic slumbers only late in life, when I first read Gertrude Himmelfarb’s tour de force of a biography . . . .”2 M. D. Aeschliman’s Angels, apes, and men praised her “devastating” critique for exposing “the internal inconsistencies and willful obfuscations that have characterized Darwinism from the beginning,” yet noted the conspicuous neglect of her work by those suspiciously interested in promoting the Darwin brand.
Neglected perhaps but not without opportunites for exposition. Four years ago the publication of edited compilations of Darwin’s works, E. O. Wilson’s From So Simple a Beginning: The Four Great Books of Charles Darwin and James D. Watson’s The Indelible Stamp: The Evolution of an Idea, offered treatments by two of this “tormented” evolutionist’s most adoring fans and the occasion for a reply by Ms. Himmelfarb.