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neutral theory

New Video Presentation on YouTube: Intelligent Design & Scientific Conservatism

I have recently posted a new video on my Intelligent Design YouTube channel. In this video I discuss several areas in the philosophy of science and modern evolutionary biology, and their relationship to ID. These thoughts were prompted initially by an interesting paper by philosopher of science Jeffrey Koperski ‘Two Bad Ways to Attack Intelligent Design, and Two Good Ones’. Koperski thinks that one good way to critique ID is to point out that it violates principles like ‘scientific conservatism’. Because there are several potential naturalistic mechanisms on the table, even if orthodox neo-Darwinism fails, ID is an unnecessary proposal. To turn to design explanations would be to adjust our theories too drastically. I argue against this claim, concluding that Read More ›

Theorists debate: How “neutral” is evolution, really?

Neutral evolution, intended to cover for the failures of Darwinian evolution (natural selection), is now being challenged by selectionists: Selection isn’t in doubt, but many scientists have argued that most evolutionary changes appear at the level of the genome and are essentially random and neutral. Adaptive changes groomed by natural selection might indeed sculpt a fin into a primitive foot, they said, but those changes make only a small contribution to the evolutionary process, in which the composition of DNA varies most often without any real consequences. But now some scientists are pushing back against this idea, known as neutral theory, saying that genomes show much more evidence of evolved adaptation than the theory would dictate. This debate is important because Read More ›

New findings challenge the “neutral” theory of evolution for 95% of human genome

The neutral theory of evolution holds that “most variation at the molecular level does not affect fitness and, therefore, the evolutionary fate of genetic variation is best explained by stochastic [random] processes.” From ScienceDaily: However, what scientist Fanny Pouyet and colleagues from the Group of Laurent Excoffier at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and University of Bern recently discovered, is that 95% of our genome actually seems to be affected by selection and other genetic biases and that markers previously thought to be neutral appear to provide skewed estimates. Their study, published in eLife, calls for the re-examination of a plethora of results and provides the tools and recommendations to correct such issues in the future. Models used to Read More ›