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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Aussie prof on Darwin's fibs

Regular readers will recall that agnostic retired Australian political science prof Hiram Caton has been tackling the huge industry of pious legends and ridiculous reverence around Charles Darwin single-handed - but having a fair bit of fun, I gather. Anyway, he writes to alert me to a fresh batch, "About Darwin's fibs":
There's a website that discusses the issue in detail.

Darwin did indeed come up with some whoppers, the most startling being his claim, on two occasions, that none of the many naturalists of his acquaintance doubted the permanence of species. Does he think we've forgotten a chap named Wallace? Or the Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation? It's so far off the screen that it looks a bit pathological, like his comment to Asa Gray in 1858 that he feared being "cruxified" for publishing his theory.

My guess is that Darwin suffered from a combination of Avoidant Personality Disorder and Narcissism. But that's only an approximation because it doesn't clarify his moments of amazing candor about himself and his condition.
Of course, psychodrama around Darwin won't save his theory.
Anyway, the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis is past its shelf life. I've given a precis of the new position on my other website , should you wish to have a look. One of the contributors to the new position, Wolf-Ekkehard Loennig, a botanist at a Max-Planck Institute, also states an ID position. Some years ago atheist evolutionists launched a massive attack on him that carried on for some time. The documentation is on his website, should you wish to look.
Loennig, you have lots of friends in North America.

Here are some key areas that Caton thinks have changed so much that the Darwinoids huff in vain for their old tyme Judge Jones-style "evolution":

Bacteria are social creatures, not "survival of the fittest" ones

Genes can hop from one species to another (lateral gene transfer) and life forms can merge (endosymbiosis)

Archaea (or archaebacteria), a new domain of life, challenge Darwin's notion of common descent
Oh well, tThe Darwin fans can, of course, comfort themselves with reruns of TV science specials. Or new ones, for that matter. No doubt several such films are being made as I write this, assuring the public that Darwin Spake the Truth.
Pass the popcorn.

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