By the way, about those problems with Darwinism…

Darwinists have been known to say that adaptationism is the best idea anybody has ever had. It would be a good joke if the best idea that anybody has ever had turned out not to be true.

From Jerry Fodor’s article in the London Review of Books, Why Pigs Don’t Have Wings.

And yes, he doesn’t believe in God, either. That’s precisely my point. I won’t comment any further, just suggest you go read the article yourself. But, one final teaser quote:

Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon. In science, as elsewhere, ‘hedge your bets’ is generally good advice.

3 thoughts on “By the way, about those problems with Darwinism…”

  1. I think the lines were pretty wide, and I don’t think that anyone has ever said that there is no skepticism about darwinism. It’s what drives research.

    Paleyism is what Dembksi wants, if you don’t. I have possibly gotten too active in looking at your writing this way.

  2. Nineteenth century Paleyism? Nobody’s arguing that (at least I’m not). And, we’re not discussing ID at the moment, either.

    Again, you seem to be trying to read in between the lines to find hidden points that I’m trying to make. Believe me, I’m not that clever. I’m still not trying to prove God through science, or trying to prove anything at all. I’m just making the point that IDists aren’t the only skeptics.

  3. I hardly see any reason to crow; having read the article Fodor is arguiing against something that biologists have been fighting over for deecades; and he seems to be more concerned with adaptation begin applied to evolutionary psychology than opening the door to a return to 19th century paleyism.

    Or did you see something I didn’t? His main fault here is claiming that natural selection is the only game in town, but it hasn’t been for a long time.

    It seems by your reading, and your emphasis on the fact that he is an atheist, that any attack on the idea of adaptationism would come from intelligent design; and that Larry Moran or PZ Myers would fit in the same big tent as Bill Dembski or Jonathan Wells.

    Might as well argue that the search for a Grand Unifying Theory of physics leaves open the door for a return to astrology; or that the large hadron collider may demonstrate transmutation of the elements a la alchemy.

    Remember the “300 Scientists who dispute Darwinism?” Many of those who dispute darwinism signed on precisely because of the arguments that Fodor returns to in this essay; but they were referring to the concept of Darwinism as meant by randmom mutation plus natural selection and sexual selection as being the primary games in town for evolution. I myself have written essays about this. I hope that by next week I will be able to get back to the controversies in evolution as they are and not as Intelligent Design wishes them to be.

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