David's theory: Shapiro's outrage; Hunter's take (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 20:54 (266 days ago) @ David Turell

The Texas board of Education quotes Shapiro and he is outraged:


"Shapiro explains that he was outraged by a “completely false statement” and that he was “the victim of skillful misquoting for an anti-science purpose.”


"Here is the statement that so outraged Shapiro:

THE CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF THE GROWING BODY OF EVIDENCE IS THAT NATURAL SELECTION ONLY PURIFIES BUT SOMETHING ELSE IS REQUIRED TO CREATE SIGNIFICANT VARIANTS TO BE SELECTED. The critical aspect is introduction of novelty. It is gradually being recognized that no mechanism for this has been firmly established. See "Evolution: A view from the 21st century," James A. Shapiro, Prof of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Univ. of Chicago, (2011), page 144, "Selection operates as a selective but not a creative force."

"As you can see, Shapiro is cited to support the claim that natural selection appears to be inadequate to explain the evolution of novelty and that science is beginning to recognize that no mechanism for the introduction of novelty has been firmly established.


"Shapiro’s outrage is rather incredulous given that evolution’s failure to explain the origin of novelty is well known. Stephen J. Gould long ago admitted that macroevolution is an unsolved problem. Since then this sentiment has only increased. As one evolutionist recently agreed, “we know very little about how they [evolutionary innovations] originate.” Or as another paper explained, “Little information exists on the dynamics of processes that lead to functional biological novelties and the intermediate states of evolving forms.” Another evolutionist was a bit more frank: “The problem is that the source of novelty is so dammed elusive.”

"Shapiro’s work further confirms that natural selection is not the powerful creative force it has often been portrayed to be and that “something else” is required. Shapiro may think the answer lies in his natural genetic engineering toolkit, but neither he, nor anyone else, has shown this to be true.

"To make matters worse, the sentence that so outraged Shapiro is decidedly conservative. It states that “It is gradually being recognized that no mechanism for this has been firmly established.” That is absolutely uncontroversial, as there is no question that no mechanism has been “firmly” established.


"Professor Shapiro’s false outrage and hypocrisy are the rule rather than the exception."

Comment: Behe is not afraid to be different. Shapiro has challenged 'junk DNA' and has been castigated about it by Larry Moran. Shapiro is simply protecting his image within the evolutionary science group. He has produced nothing further. I know Shapiro much better than dhw thinks he does.

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