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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Thinkquotes of the day: Non-Darwinian evolutionary biologists

There have certainly been non-Darwinian evolutionary biologists.

Professor Pierre Grasse (who, for thirty years, held the chair for evolution at the Sorbonne without losing his Gallic wit) commented: 'Where is the gambler, however obsessed with his passion, who would be crazy enough to bet on the roulette of random evolution? The creation, by grains of dust carried by the wind, of Durer's Melancholia has a probability less infinitesimal than the construction of an eye through the mishaps which might befall the DNA molecule - mishaps which have no connection whatsoever with the future functions of the eye. Daydreaming is permissible, but science should not succumb to it.'
(Grasse P.-P., Evolution of Living Organism , Academic Press: New York NY, 1977, p.104 Emphasis in original] quoted in Arthur Koestler, Janus: A Summing Up , Picador: London, 1983, p.177)

In fact, there is a long, largely hidden history of scientific dissent from Darwinism, of which the current 600 signatories over at the Discovery Institute are only the latest examples.

(Note if you are new to the controversy: When arguing their case, Darwinists use the term "evolution" to mean "Darwin's theory of evolution." This can make reporting and discussion of the issues in the popular media confusing. To the extent that most Darwinists are materialists or churchgoing fellow travellers, they actually don't think it possible that Darwinism - the creation story of materialism - could be an incorrect understanding of the history of life. In my experience, they are less likely to actually doubt Darwinism than Christians are to doubt the resurrection of Jesus. Don't be alarmed if Darwinian evolutionists assume that you are mad, bad or stunned if you question their beliefs. Personally, I would urge a social scientist to get a grant and study Darwinism as a fascinating social phenomenon.)
If you like this blog, check out my book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

Are you looking for one of the following stories?

A summary of tech guru George Gilder's arguments for ID and against Darwinism

A critical look at why March of the Penguins was thought to be an ID film.

A summary of recent opinion columns on the ID controversy

A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

A summary of the Catholic Church's entry into the controversy, essentially on the side of ID.

O'Leary's intro to non-Darwinian agnostic philosopher David Stove ?

An ID Timeline: The ID folk seem always to win when they lose.

O’Leary’s comments on Francis Beckwith, a Dembski associate, being denied tenure at Baylor.

Why origin of life is such a difficult problem.
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