Logic and evolution: natural selection doesn't exist (Introduction)

by David Turell @, Wednesday, January 31, 2018, 00:55 (236 days ago) @ David Turell

It is a metaphor for artificial selection by breeders:

https://oscillations.net/2018/01/30/saga-of-the-extended-evolutionary-synthesis/

"Laland says further in his recent piece that he knows of no biologist who wants to “throw out natural selection.” But Laland was a presenter at the Royal Society evolution conference where Pat Bateson said onstage that natural selection was merely a metaphor, cautioning about its use. And is it really possible that Laland never heard of Eugene Koonin and Richard Lewontin, who had this to say about natural selection?:

“'Perhaps making all these parallels between natural selection and artificial selection, the way Darwin does in his book, could be somewhat dangerous because in artificial selection there is someone who is selecting, even if unconsciously. In that respect, the evolutionary process is very different in nature where nothing is there to actually select. . . . No one in the mainstream scientific community now takes selection literally.”—Eugene Koonin in conversation with me in 2017

“'The circulation of the proof copy of What Darwin Got Wrong, the product of a noted philosopher and a prominent student of linguistics and cognitive science, has resulted in a volume of critical comment from biologists and philosophers that has not been seen since 1859. . . . Not to be misunderstood, perhaps biologists should stop referring to “natural selection,” and instead talk about differential rates of survival and reproduction.”—Richard Lewontin, New York Review of Books, 2010

"Lewontin was, of course, referring to Jerry Fodor’s compelling philosophical argument:
“Sometimes when I’m in a mildly bitter mood I think, look the trouble with Darwin is he believes in Intelligent Design. He never really got it clear to himself that there really isn’t a designer. So it’s questionable whether you can take artificial selection as a model for natural selection the way he did. When you try to do that you can’t work it out.”—Jerry Fodor talking to me in 2008

"Finally, Laland makes the point that “the vast majority of researchers working towards an extended evolutionary synthesis are simply ordinary, hardworking evolutionary biologists.”

“'Simply ordinary”? Science is all about bold discovery and hopefully evolutionary biologists are in it for that reason. If not, science is not being served, neither is the public that funds science."

Comment: Natural selection is a tautology. Laland is the author of my previous entry from Aeon:

https://aeon.co/essays/science-in-flux-is-a-revolution-brewing-in-evolutionary-theory?u...


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