Joined: Aug. 2006
|<snip>Now, I’m not sure exactly how Mr. MacNeill will respond, but I suspect he’ll side with the very humble opinion(!) of Mr. Nakashima.|
Besides, I miss Allen.<snip>
Careful what you wish for, DATCG, as you might just get it, and it might include something like this:
<snip nice guy opening bit>
One of the truly fascinating aspects of following most of the discussions on this website is the general lack of understanding of even the most basic concepts of modern evolutionary theory and its history, much less a nuanced understanding of its fine points. For example, I find it quite telling that virtually none of the discussions I have read here have mentioned (much less discussed) Sergei Chetverikov, Ivan Pavlov, R. A. Fisher, J. B. S. Haldane, Sewall Wright, E. B. Ford, Theodosious Dobzhansky, G. Evelyn Hutchinson, George Gaylord Simpson, G. Ledyard Stebbins, Ernst Mayr, William D. Hamilton, Robert L. Trivers, George R. Price, Robert MacArthur, Edward O. Wilson, Lynn Margulis, Robert H. Whitaker, Carl Woese, Konrad Lorenz, Niko Tinbergen, Karl von Frisch, Erenhaus Eibl-Eibesfeld, or the Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium Law, much less Otto Schindewolf, Richard Goldschmidt, or C. H. Waddington. Anyone familiar with the general outlines of evolutionary biology would instantly recognize most or all of these names, and would associate them with various important aspects of evolutionary biology as it has evolved over the past century. Not recognizing them or discussing their contributions to modern evolutionary biology is equivalent to not recognizing or discussing the contributions of Rutherford, Bohr, Schroedinger, Heisenberg, Michaelson & Morley, Einstein, Feinman, Gell-Mann, Weinberg, or Guth to modern physics.
In other words, with the very rare exception of discussion threads like this one, most of what passes for “discussion” of evolutionary biology on this website is the pummeling of pitiful and ridiculous straw dogs and disputations over the fine points of Christian fundamentalist dogma, sometimes disguised (badly) as “science”.
But such an assessment on my part might be somewhat uncharitable. Go ahead, prove me wrong: start a rational and nuanced discussion of the relevance of Fisher’s Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection to current ideas of microevolution, or the relevance of Goldschmidt’s “hopeful monster” hypothesis to modern theories of evo-devo. This website might actually become interesting for a change, not as the intellectual equivalent of rubbernecking at a motor vehicle accident, but as a forum for intelligent discussion.
“To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.” - Isaac Asimov