Models in biology vs pathetic thinking
June 4, 2014 | James Kohl
Article excerpt: “…laying the foundations for rescuing Darwin’s theory from oblivion , a task later accomplished, in the hands of J. B. S. Haldane, R. A. Fisher and Sewall Wright, largely by mathematics.”
My comment: It is becoming clearer that: “[W]hat Haldane, Fisher, Sewell Wright, Hardy, Weinberg et al. did was invent…. The anglophone tradition was taught. I was taught, and so were my contemporaries, and so were the younger scientists. Evolution was defined as “changes in gene frequencies in natural populations.” The accumulation of genetic mutations was touted to be enough to change one species to another…. No, it wasn’t dishonesty. I think it was wish fulfillment and social momentum. Assumptions, made but not verified, were taught as fact.”
The idea that others needed to mathematically invent neo-Darwinism to rescue Darwin’s theory was accompanied by a requirement for the rescuers to ignore Darwin’s ‘conditions of life.’ That ignorance is now being considered in the light of molecular biology. What’s known about conserved molecular mechanisms and the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes attests to this fact: No one can invent a theory that will be accepted indefinitely. Sooner or later, the theory must be supported with experimental evidence that fits a model of cause and effect. It is the lack of experimental evidence that represents the ‘pathetic thinking’ of those who should provide examples of critical thinking skills.
The tragedy of all this is exemplified in statements (below) made by Jay R. Feierman, the retired M.D. who is moderator of the ISHE’s human ethology group.
Feierman: “I am absolutely certain that if you showed this statement to any professor of biology or genetics in any accredited university anywhere in the world that 100% of them would say that “Random mutations are the substrate upon which directional natural selection acts” is a correct and true statement. ” What Feierman is saying is that many others, perhaps even 100% of biology or genetics professors, also lack critical thinking skills.
For contrast: The evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously noted that “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,” but perhaps, too, “nothing in evolution makes sense except in the light of biology.” Although the latter might be an exaggeration, an important gap is being filled by molecular understanding of the genesis of variation that confers the ability to evolve.