What Has Science Done?

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Back to the Primary Sources

For the sake of my health I really shouldn't read Dembski's website, especially its comment section. Oh well, we all have to have our bad habits. Since I am used to seeing by now the ridiculous tripe the Intelligent Design trots out for everyone to see, comments by Charlie Townes via Dembski are none too exciting, since because the nobelist's comments on science and religion have already been given the once over before.

I couldn't help though but laugh as perennial commenter DaveScot attempted to explain here and here some hitherto unknown aspects of Darwin's work. I had just gone over the development of Darwin's thought in a post just a few days ago. I must recommend On Evolution for anyone wanting to get some good insight into Darwin's writings. Darwin, if you read his notebooks, cannot stand Lamarck's theory and regularly states so. There are Lamarckian characteristics like his discussions of early man and the notion that environmental precedes morphological change. But goodness, Darwin was no Lamarckian, made pains to make that clear, and I sure doubt any of the neo-Lamarckians of the period would take to kindly to adding Darwin to their camp.

Just remember, if your having trouble handling complicated concepts in Ernst Mayr's work, I know I did, I would recommend e-mailing a biology professor from a nearby college or university. Throwing books across the room in frustration is just a childish temper tantrum and we must all remember to treat our books with care and respect.

Oh and as a reminder, in biology they don't argue over Darwin's theory anymore but about the Modern Synthesis of which certain Darwinian mechanisms are integral. For as much as you wish, it ain't going any.