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Post-Modern Evolution

Razor's Edge
From time to time TOF has touched upon the peculiarities of the varioustheories of evolution: Lamarck, Blythe, Darwin/Wallace, Mendel, Kimura, Shapiro, et al.   Prior posts include:
And some of the topics that have bubbled up include
  • the persistence of teleology in evolutionary thought (apparently tworked off Fodor, who dissed natural selection precisely because it was inescapably teleological)
  • the importance of the environment, including the organism's own behavior at shaping evolution
  • that genetics and molecular biology may be more important than natural selection
James Shapiro

Some of these thoughts were initially triggered years ago by an essay for the educated lay public by James Shapiro that deconstructed both Michael Behe (the ID-guy) and Richard Dawkins (the science popularizer).  Both, he said, were dealing with obsolete metaphors of genetics.  This resulted in a correspondent immediately denouncing Shapiro as a shill for the Discovery Institute.  He wasn't and isn't,  but it is interesting to note that the first reaction of the Third Way-denialists was to make up something scurrilous about the guy.  Similar thing happened to Eldrege and Gould when they introduced punctuated equilibrium.  Students of the history of heresies will recognize the behavior instantly. 




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