In a recent blog, I described some introductory words in a paper by Eugenie Scott and Nicholas Matzke as Darwinian spin. They declared evolutionary theory to be "replete with explanations for complex biological structures" and that it "continues to make progress in explaining such fascinating structures". To prove my point, just look at the current issue of Nature, where Wallace Arthur reviews the book: From Embryology to Evo-Devo. He asks: "How do novelties arise? We can't yet agree on a definition for them, let alone answer this fundamental question. But we can see the nature of the challenge ahead." Arthur describes a research agenda in its infancy, at the stage of sorting out research objectives. He is right, and Scott + Matzke are wrong.
This is a serious point to make, because it affects what we teach students about the subject and what message goes out to the general public. Scott + Matzke claim to be acting in the interests of science education; but their message is not an accurate portrayal of what the research community have achieved. The reality is that the community have a prospect ahead of them. "As Wagner [the author of one of the chapters] says: "One of the main sources of intellectual excitement in devo-evo (sic) is the prospect of understanding major evolutionary transformations.""
Implicit in the comments of Arthur and of Wagner is the recognition that Darwinism does not have the answers, and that the ID insistence on addressing the issue of novelty is on target.
The search for novelty
Wallace Arthur reviews From Embryology to Evo-Devo: A History of Developmental Evolution
Nature 447, 261-262 (17 May 2007) | doi:10.1038/447261a
Excerpt: Third, and most important in my view, the origin of novelty is becoming one of the major themes of evo-devo. Attention is shifting from the retention of the old (as in recapitulation) to the creation of the new (be it an eye, a leg, a feather or even a whole body plan). Both the historical and the current importance of novelty emerge repeatedly in the book. How do novelties arise? We can't yet agree on a definition for them, let alone answer this fundamental question. But we can see the nature of the challenge ahead.
|<< <||> >>|
Evolution has become a favorite topic of the news media recently, but for some reason, they never seem to get the story straight. The staff at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture started this Blog to set the record straight and make sure you knew "the rest of the story".
A blogger from New England offers his intelligent reasoning.
We are a group of individuals, coming from diverse backgrounds and not speaking for any organization, who have found common ground around teleological concepts, including intelligent design. We think these concepts have real potential to generate insights about our reality that are being drowned out by political advocacy from both sides. We hope this blog will provide a small voice that helps rectify this situation.
Website dedicated to comparing scenes from the "Inherit the Wind" movie with factual information from actual Scopes Trial. View 37 clips from the movie and decide for yourself if this movie is more fact or fiction.
Don Cicchetti blogs on: Culture, Music, Faith, Intelligent Design, Guitar, Audio
Australian biologist Stephen E. Jones maintains one of the best origins "quote" databases around. He is meticulous about accuracy and working from original sources.
Most guys going through midlife crisis buy a convertible. Austrialian Stephen E. Jones went back to college to get a biology degree and is now a proponent of ID and common ancestry.
Complete zipped downloadable pdf copy of David Stove's devastating, and yet hard-to-find, critique of neo-Darwinism entitled "Darwinian Fairytales"
Intelligent Design The Future is a multiple contributor weblog whose participants include the nation's leading design scientists and theorists: biochemist Michael Behe, mathematician William Dembski, astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez, philosophers of science Stephen Meyer, and Jay Richards, philosopher of biology Paul Nelson, molecular biologist Jonathan Wells, and science writer Jonathan Witt. Posts will focus primarily on the intellectual issues at stake in the debate over intelligent design, rather than its implications for education or public policy.
A Philosopher's Journey: Political and cultural reflections of John Mark N. Reynolds. Dr. Reynolds is Director of the Torrey Honors Institute at