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Reply #41: Yeah, I was cranky too. Just got done mixing and pouring a ton of concrete, tired... [View All]

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arendt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-14-08 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. Yeah, I was cranky too. Just got done mixing and pouring a ton of concrete, tired...
Edited on Mon Jul-14-08 07:59 AM by arendt
I was reading your post as defending the 1920s version of Darwinism as complete. I felt trapped between two extreme stances. Your current post gives me a clearer idea of where you are at. I'm writing this between breakfast and leaving for work; so I must be brief.

Yes, I agree that you can talk about the mechanism of evolution by selection without invoking QM. I'm glad you appreciate that new discoveries (HGT, RNAi, histone code, etc.) disclose mechanisms far beyond what the 1920s folks had to work with.

The heart of the discussion here is the sensationalism with which this A16 conference has been presented. Science has always been full of prima donnas; and the press has always gone for personality over substance when trying to convey the complexities of science to a less educated public. That said, I do not expect to find this kind of sensationalism in Science Magazine, the lead publication of the AAAS. It is irresponsible to put such a burden on this tiny conference. It could sink a nascent new synthesis, the same way that the Rolling Stone reporter who said "I have seen the future of rock and roll, and his name is Bruce Springsteen" almost sank "the Boss's" career.

Yes, I am sick of New Age shlock pretending to be science. Its like UFOlogy - pointing to the unexplained stuff at the edge and saying that therefore the whole corpus is bunk. Bottom line, the Modern Synthesis has been useful; and it is long overdue for an upgrade. This can and will happen. When it does, it will be a paradigm shift. Meanwhile, we need both sides of this debate. Let me quote from Richard Dawkins' response to Susan Mazur on A16, posted on The Scoop website:

Richard Dawkins:I gather that it's an attack on the gene-centered view of evolution and a substitution of the theory of form.

The theory of form I presume dates back to D'Arcy Thompson , who was a distinguished Scottish zoologist who wrote a book called On Growth and Form and who purported to be anti-Darwinian. In fact, he never really talked about the real problems that Darwinism solves, which is the problem of adaptation.

Now D'Arcy Thompson and other people who stress the word form emphasize the laws of physics. Physical principles alone as on their own adequate to explain the form of organisms. So for example, D'Arcy Thompson would look at the way a rubber tube would get reshaped when crushed and he would find analogies to that in living organisms.

I see a lot of value in that kind of approach. It is something we can't as biologists afford to neglect. However, it absolutely neglects the question where does the illusion of design come from? Where do animals and plants get this powerful impression that they have been brilliantly designed for a purpose? Where does that come from?

That does not come from the laws of physics on their own. That cannot come from anything that has so far been suggested by anybody other than natural selection. So I don't see any conflict at all between the theory of natural selection -- the gene-centered theory of natural selection, I should say -- and the theory of form. We need both. We need both. And it is disingenuous to present the one as antagonistic to the other.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0803/S00270.htm

----

Got to run. Maybe more later.

arendt
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  -Altenberg 16: An Expos Of The Evolution Industry - Investigative Science Report By Suzan Mazur althecat  Jul-12-08 04:30 PM   #0 
  - Shhh...don't tell people how easy it is to get rich  wtmusic   Jul-12-08 04:38 PM   #1 
  - I do hope the rest of this e-tome has more substance than the  Sinistrous   Jul-12-08 04:44 PM   #2 
  - That's the hook... it is redolent in substantive content.... a veritable treasure chest  althecat   Jul-12-08 04:52 PM   #4 
     - Your hook is "ad-hominems, half-truths, and misstatements"? Wow  muriel_volestrangler   Jul-12-08 05:06 PM   #9 
        - Not my hook and not my representation of it.....  althecat   Jul-12-08 05:13 PM   #11 
           - Ah, I thought you were claiming the rest of the e-book was what was substantial  muriel_volestrangler   Jul-12-08 05:17 PM   #14 
              - .... snap...  althecat   Jul-12-08 05:20 PM   #16 
  - I still don't see where it matters that much  angrycarpenter   Jul-12-08 04:51 PM   #3 
  - The sharp point of this argument is survival of the fittest...  althecat   Jul-12-08 04:55 PM   #5 
  - My thoughts on th esubject would be that  truedelphi   Jul-13-08 12:21 AM   #24 
  - For scientists, the origin of life is indeed important  Alcibiades   Jul-12-08 09:55 PM   #23 
  - Well the introduction is clearly a load of  FarrenH   Jul-12-08 05:02 PM   #6 
  - The rest of the article consists mainly of conversations with eminent scientists  althecat   Jul-12-08 05:03 PM   #7 
  - From one of the web's most prominent biology bloggers:  FarrenH   Jul-12-08 05:08 PM   #10 
     - Thanks - I knew I'd seen something about Mazur a few months ago  muriel_volestrangler   Jul-12-08 05:13 PM   #12 
        - I do not know what PZ Meyers beef is - probably professional jealousy  althecat   Jul-12-08 05:18 PM   #15 
           - PZ Myers beef is the way very powerful and useful theory  FarrenH   Jul-12-08 05:44 PM   #18 
           - There are lots of strong viewpoints juxtaposed in this article  althecat   Jul-12-08 06:03 PM   #19 
              - You're correct in saying that a simple "selfish gene" principle  FarrenH   Jul-13-08 01:59 PM   #31 
           - I saw the article in Science yesterday...  arendt   Jul-12-08 06:44 PM   #21 
              - Thanks for a thoughtful response...  althecat   Jul-13-08 12:38 AM   #25 
                 - Thanks for an interesting topic.  arendt   Jul-13-08 10:13 AM   #27 
                    - My pleasure.... n/t  althecat   Jul-13-08 04:03 PM   #33 
  - exactly. the same person was trying to peddle this b.s. in another forum  RainDog   Jul-13-08 05:24 PM   #35 
  - If you want to live in the Stone Age, unplug your computer and go live in a cave. n/t  IanDB1   Jul-12-08 05:03 PM   #8 
  - This is not a about creationism. It is about cutting edge physics mathematics and biologgy.  althecat   Jul-12-08 05:13 PM   #13 
  - Will the REAL Christianity please stand up?  IanDB1   Jul-12-08 05:35 PM   #17 
  - The sole interest in Truth of the Selection-by-Nature, scientismificist hirelings  KCabotDullesMarxIII   Jul-12-08 06:14 PM   #20 
  - Well , I got it directly from a REAL expert about the Universe  dixiegrrrrl   Jul-12-08 07:58 PM   #22 
  - Evolution definitely needs to get out of a couple of jam-ups  starroute   Jul-13-08 01:53 AM   #26 
  - Yes. This "long view" fills in around the "short view" I gave in #21  arendt   Jul-13-08 10:24 AM   #28 
  - "But that just means science still has a lot to learn -- it doesn't mean  KCabotDullesMarxIII   Jul-13-08 11:22 AM   #29 
  - I'm sorry, I really don't want to come across as insulting  FarrenH   Jul-13-08 01:37 PM   #30 
     - Then explain the title of Jacques Monod's "Chance and Necessity"  starroute   Jul-13-08 02:18 PM   #32 
     - The modern synthesis is exceptionally good at  FarrenH   Jul-13-08 04:50 PM   #34 
     - I don't really want to come across as insulting, but...  arendt   Jul-13-08 10:11 PM   #36 
        - Biology is not reducible to chemistry, but it is constrained by chemistry  eridani   Jul-14-08 03:02 AM   #38 
        - Arendt,  FarrenH   Jul-14-08 03:12 AM   #39 
        - Yeah, I was cranky too. Just got done mixing and pouring a ton of concrete, tired...  arendt   Jul-14-08 07:58 AM   #41 
        - Here's some more from Myers,  FarrenH   Jul-14-08 05:26 AM   #40 
  - Science, properly practiced, is not concerned with philosophical/ideological  struggle4progress   Jul-14-08 12:15 AM   #37 
 

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