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http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0805/S00106.htm

But [Jerry] Fodor didn’t care that Darwin’s evolution theory couldn't account for the origin of body plans – what he wanted to argue was that "whatever the story turns out to be, it's not going to be the selectionist story" and joked that he was in the Witness Protection Program because of his views. Fodor’s co-author, Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, the distinguished professor of cognitive science at the University of Arizona --who's handling the biology for the book -- is intrigued by origin of form and recently agreed to pick up where Fodor left off.
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Suzan Mazur: Why has American science been slow to accept a reduced role for natural selection in evolution? Is it the physics that people just can't grasp?

Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini: It’s not just American science, but rather Western science, though indeed France has, in this respect, a different story, not quite a noble one.

Some consider Darwinism to be quintessentially “Britannique” and they had Bergson suggesting a different approach to evolution, then the mathematician Rene’ Thom and his school, stressing the role of topological deep invariants. They may have come to anti-Darwinian conclusions for rather idiosyncratic reasons.

Anyway, even if we take the many, many biologists in many countries who have contributed to the new rich panorama we have today of non-selectionist biological mechanisms (including the masters of the Evo-Devo revolution), they are reluctant, in my opinion, to steer away from natural selection. They declare that the non-selectionist mechanisms they have discovered (and there are many, and very basic) essentially leave the neo-Darwinian paradigm only modified, not subverted.

I think that abandoning Darwinism (or explicitly relegating it where it belongs, in the refinement and tuning of existing forms) sounds anti-scientific. They fear that the tenants of intelligent design and the creationists (people I hate as much as they do) will rejoice and quote them as being on their side. They really fear that, so they are prudent, some in good faith, some for calculated fear of being cast out of the scientific community.


I'm sure I must have misunderstood him. I though he alluded to scientists afraid of what other scientist might think of them, for bucking neo-Darwinian orthodoxy?

I'm sure there is a suitable rationalization from the denialists who insist there is no pressure to conform in evolutionary biology.
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"Non selectionist." "Non-selectionist biological mechanisms."

Wow, you Creationist sure have had to back-pedal a lot. First you abandoned explicitly talking about Creationism in favor of the "intelligent design" smokescreen, and now you're backpedaling from ID to "non-selectionist" now that ID doesn't disguise what you're trying to sell well enough.

As far as what this person actually says about natural selection, it's pure balderdash. He argues briefly about spiral growth patterns in flowers and leaves being "nonrandom," as if that were somehow significant, rather than the direct results of steady growth. And then he has the gall to try and imply god by mentioning spiral galaxies and mineral formations - as if those required exact placement, rather than simple physics.

I though he alluded to scientists afraid of what other scientist might think of them, for bucking neo-Darwinian orthodoxy?

If he started insisting that the Earth wasn't round, but burrito-shaped, he'd be afraid of what scientists thought of him for that as well.

You may note I don't say "other scientists." Neither Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini or Jerry Fodor is a biologist. Piattelli-Palmarini is a psychologist, and Fodor is a "philosopher." Neither does anything remotely resembling science in respect to evolution.

I'm sure there is a suitable rationalization from the denialists who insist there is no pressure to conform in evolutionary biology.

It depends on what you mean by "pressure." There's "pressure" in the sense that if you buck a theory that has been tested an confirmed as often as natural selection, you'd better have a pretty convincing argument and a mountain of evidence. That's how science works.

I think that abandoning Darwinism (or explicitly relegating it where it belongs, in the refinement and tuning of existing forms) sounds anti-scientific.

Probably because it is. No biologist talks about "body forms" as if there's something special about gross changes. It's Creationist-speak.

Why has American science been slow to accept a reduced role for natural selection in evolution?

Talk about begging the question. He might as well ask why American science has been slow to accept that electrons are actually microscopic meatballs. Of course, the irony here is that only in Fundy-riddled America has this nonsense gotten much traction at all. America has been the fastest to accept this guff.

I'm sure there is a suitable rationalization from the denialists who insist there is no pressure to conform in evolutionary biology.

I haven't read your posts in a while - when did you start larding your posts with this sort of well poisoning? From here, the "denial" is all on the part of the Creationists, who desperately deny all available evidence in order to satisfy their religious views.

- Gus
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Bryan,

Hint: any article that uses the term "Darwinists, Darwinianism, etc." is neither a scientific nor an unbiased source. If the identified people were true scientists, then they would not have used these terms.
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You may note I don't say "other scientists." Neither Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini or Jerry Fodor is a biologist. Piattelli-Palmarini is a psychologist, and Fodor is a "philosopher." Neither does anything remotely resembling science in respect to evolution.


o good ..i was about to Wiki Fodor ... he was dept's favorite linguist when i was i Grad.School .. early 'cognitive scientist' when cognitive science was at best toddling.

so it makes a kind of sense --both are starting from the top --the Mind. As mind-boggling as "Evolution produces Malaria" is, "Evolution produces Human mind" even moreso

and ..back then --Fodor (& his followers) were adamant that only humans had minds and any capacity for language. If he/they still holds to that, then it's like the Creationists -- such a huge leap from mindless soulless Ape to H.saps with mind and soul. ...

[ as to the pressure -- Creationists have so thoroughly pissed in the pool, any sort of preliminary "er... maybe something else is going on" will be met with "Neener Neener SEE!!!! god allah god!"
if they're serious, that prospect might be 'chilling' ]


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Hint: any article that uses the term "Darwinists, Darwinianism, etc." is neither a scientific nor an unbiased source. If the identified people were true scientists, then they would not have used these terms.


i wonder .... recently read a book by Mayr

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Walter_Mayr

-think- he counts as .true.Scientist and he uses the term "Darwinism" all the time.


After 1859, that is, during the first Darwinian revolutions, Darwinism for almost everybody meant explaining the living world by natural processes. As well will see [eek! philosopher speak!], during and after the evolutionary synthesis, "Darwinism" unanimously meant adaptive evolutionary change under the influence of natural selection, and variational instead of transformational evolution. .... any other use of the term Darwinism by a modern author is bound to be misleading."
( the former ruled till about 1930, the latter thereafter )


of course he is dead ...so maybe he doesn't count.


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Hint: any article that uses the term "Darwinists, Darwinianism, etc." is neither a scientific nor an unbiased source. If the identified people were true scientists, then they would not have used these terms.

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i wonder .... recently read a book by Mayr


There's no wonder about it, those terms are used by card-carrying atheist evolutionary biologists. Not just creationists. They are descriptive terms used to signify the importance placed on natural selection to explain biodiversity.

Hint to Jim: some of the internet culture warriors haven't gotten the memo to stop using that objection.
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here's no wonder about it, those terms are used by card-carrying atheist evolutionary biologists.

but still a bit of a wonder ... others besides Jim have mentioned this...
( only "card-carrying atheist evolutionary biologist" i know is Dawkins [IF he's a biologist ] ..don't recall him using the term. don't recall him avoiding it --have to go look in one of his indexes )


Hint to Jim: some of the internet culture warriors haven't gotten the memo to stop using that objection.



of course ..not ALL internet culture warriors are .true.Scientists


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Wow, you Creationist sure have had to back-pedal a lot . . . As far as what this person actually says about natural selection, it's pure balderdash. He argues briefly about spiral growth patterns in flowers and leaves being "nonrandom," as if that were somehow significant, rather than the direct results of steady growth. And then he has the gall to try and imply god by mentioning spiral galaxies and mineral formations - as if those required exact placement, rather than simple physics.


Gus,

You need to turn down the sensitivity on your creationist detector. This guy is no creationist, and he's not implying any kind of "god" in the whole article. Did his statement about hating creationists not register?

You may note I don't say "other scientists." Neither Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini or Jerry Fodor is a biologist. Piattelli-Palmarini is a psychologist, and Fodor is a "philosopher." Neither does anything remotely resembling science in respect to evolution.


He's discussing the work of "the many, many biologists in many countries who have contributed to the new rich panorama we have today of non-selectionist biological mechanisms", kind of like what a science reporter would do. Do you gripe about the lack of credentials when some science writer writes soothing tomes about natural selection? I think not.

And what "science" has Richard Dawkins done in the last few decades? He hasn't done anything remotely resembling science in a long time.

No biologist talks about "body forms" as if there's something special about gross changes. It's Creationist-speak.

Baloney. You and Jim need to read up on the "7 Arguments That Evolution Supporters Should Never Use".

From here, the "denial" is all on the part of the Creationists, who desperately deny all available evidence in order to satisfy their religious views.

Strange how none of the people mentioned in the article are creationists.

-Bryan
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You need to turn down the sensitivity on your creationist detector. This guy is no creationist, and he's not implying any kind of "god" in the whole article.

Yeah, right. It's pretty much impossible to interpret the dreck he's peddling any other way. You didn't fool anyone when you renamed Creationism to Intelligent Design. You think you're fooling people now?

Like you would link to it if you didn't think it supported the ID argument.

Did his statement about hating creationists not register?

Actually, I missed that one. But I guess I've been exposed to a particular troll who claims "not to be a Christian" for rhetorical purposes under some IDs, and yet proudly proclaims his Christianity under others. So when someone starts making comparisons between genetic structures and spiral galaxies and claiming this is significant in some way, I'm inclined to think he's pushing god - whatever he may claim.

He's discussing the work of "the many, many biologists in many countries who have contributed to the new rich panorama we have today of non-selectionist biological mechanisms", kind of like what a science reporter would do.

Sort of like the "many, many" scientists the Creationists always claim are behind them, which actually represent less than 1% of the scientific community, and none of the honest, rational ones.

Anyway, I brought up that neither he nor Fodor are biologists because you're pointing to him as some sort of authority.

Baloney. You and Jim need to read up on the "7 Arguments That Evolution Supporters Should Never Use".

Wow, what a convincing counter-argument. "Is not!" totally blows me away. Now I believe that research biologists regularly talk about evolution not originating "body plans" all the time.

Not.

Strange how none of the people mentioned in the article are creationists.

They just talk exactly like Creationists. Just like ID proponents do.

- Gus
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Fodor (& his followers) were adamant that only humans had minds and any capacity for language. If he/they still holds to that, then it's like the Creationists -- such a huge leap from mindless soulless Ape to H.saps with mind and soul. ...

I did some searching, and it does appear that way. It requires some serious mental hangups and reality denial to pretend that cats don't apply reasoning to their environment, let alone chimps.

- Gus
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Fodor (& his followers) were adamant that only humans had minds and any capacity for language. If he/they still holds to that, then it's like the Creationists -- such a huge leap from mindless soulless Ape to H.saps with mind and soul. ...

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I did some searching, and it does appear that way. It requires some serious mental hangups and reality denial to pretend that cats don't apply reasoning to their environment, let alone chimps.



yup.

i recall the class where we read [one of ] Fodor's books .. the Prof was a big fan. Someone asked what he thought of the famous Gorilla (Chimp?) who was learning sign language, "It's just parroting" .. ironic(?) with we now know about Alex .. the Gorilla may have been Parroting.

reading a book about Alex and at one point the author says something like < some scientists will always define language as something people can do and non-humans can't > ...even scientists have trouble with that prejudice (philosophers and plain-folks more so)


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