Up@dawn 2.0

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Darwinian evolution - the other side

Subjects of Darwinian evolution addressed by University of California Berkeley Professor Jonathan Wells
1.     Icons of evolution
2.     The Cambrian explosion
3.     DNA
4.     Mutations
5.     Minor changes within existing species (adaptation)
6.     Common ancestors
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  1. I'd not heard of Professor Wells. According to U of Chicago biologist Jerry Coyne, he's been affiliated with the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon. He quotes Wells:

    “Father’s [Moon’s] words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a PhD program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.”



  2. Our course is concerned with the influence of Darwin and the evolutionary view of life on Anglo-American thought more broadly, not with hashing out the arcane biological details. So let's stay out of those weeds and stick to our original conversation.

    But for the record, if anyone's interested, the National Center for Science Education has issued a strong rebuke to Prof. Wells. http://www.indiana.edu/~ensiweb/icon.ans.pdf

  3. My misunderstanding. I thought since you posted Richard Dawkins promoting the merits of Darwinians in "The Genius of Charles Darwin" that counterpoints were in order. I take it we are not to discuss scientific merit and only discuss influence. Is that correct? 

  4. No, you can discuss anything you like. But I do think the specific discussion you've initiated does threaten to take us (as I say) "into the weeds" and away from the larger issues of cross-cultural connection and influence centering on the impact and implications of the ideas of evolution and natural selection. Nothing in biology makes sense in the absence of those ideas, and the same can nearly be said of American philosophy and of "Anglo-American minds" generally. Like it or not, we are the cultural products of a Darwinian revolution in thought. That book did change America (and Britain).