Thursday, May 14, 2009

Some Darwinists do admit that the theory of natural selection is poorly supported

I have written a review ( of Jerry Coyne’s book ‘Why evolution is true’ and criticized the author for not distinguishing between the facts of evolution and the Darwinian theory of natural selection.  The facts are true but the theory is far from true as it has countless contradictions, which means that it is actually false, at least in its major claims on macroevolution.  This is such an obvious point that any competent intellectuals should be able to see.  Indeed, in a recent book review article (, the leading Darwinist Richard Lewontin of Harvard made a similar point.  Below is the relevant section from his review.

Where he (Coyne) is less successful, as all other commentators have been, is in his insistence that the evidence for natural selection as the driving force of evolution is of the same inferential strength as the evidence that evolution has occurred. So, for example, he gives the game away by writing that when we examine a sequence of changes in the fossil record, we can

“determine whether the sequences of changes at least conform to a step-by-step adaptive process. And in every case, we can find at least a feasible Darwinian explanation.”

But to say that some example is not falsification of a theory because we can always "find" (invent) a feasible explanation says more about the flexibility of the theory and the ingenuity of its supporters than it says about physical nature. Indeed in his later discussion of theories of behavioral evolution he becomes appropriately skeptical when he writes that

“imaginative reconstructions of how things might have evolved are not science; they are stories.”

While this is a perfectly good argument against those who claim that there are things that are so complex that evolutionary biology cannot explain them, it allows evolutionary "theory" to fall back into the category of being reasonable but not an incontrovertible material fact.

There is, of course, nothing that Coyne can do about the situation. There are different modes of "knowing," and we "know" that evolution has, in fact, occurred in a stronger sense than we "know" that some sequence of evolutionary change has been the result of natural selection. Despite these misgivings, it is the case that Coyne's book is the best general explication of evolution that I know of and deserves its success as a best seller

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