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An Inconvenient Truth

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Jeff Gluck, Jun 10, 2006.

  1. HeadFirst

    HeadFirst Member

    Presumably, you mean this Stephen Jay Gould:

    "Charles Darwin often remarked that his revolutionary work had two distinct aims: first, to demonstrate the fact of evolution (the genealogical connection of all organisms and a history of life regulated by "descent with modification"); second, to advance the theory of natural selection as the most important mechanism of evolution. Darwin triumphed in his first aim (American creationism of the Christian far right notwithstanding). Virtually all thinking people accept the factuality of evolution, and no conclusion in science enjoys better documentation. Darwin also succeeded substantially in his second aim. Natural selection, an immensely powerful idea with radical philosophical implications, is surely a major cause of evolution, as validated in theory and demonstrated by countless experiments. But is natural selection as ubiquitous and effectively exclusive as the ultras propose?"

  2. Actually, Stephen Jay Gould is not a professor at Harvard... he's been dead for the last four years.
  3. Natural selection?
  4. Headfirst - you emphasized the wrong line. You should have emphasized the question, "But is natural selection as ubiquitous and effectively exclusive as the ultras propose?" That question is the heart of Gould's whole argument.

    And if you read the review you linked to you would have read that nothing made Charles Darwin madder than "people who would simplify and caricature his theory as claiming that natural selection, and only natural selection, caused all evolutionary changes."

    So too in "global warming" - there seem to be a lot of people who are convinced that only man-made so-called greenhouse gasses at to blame for any rise in temperature (which is a simplification and caricature at best and a pernicius use of science for fear-mongering at worst).
  5. HeadFirst

    HeadFirst Member

    You responded to a post involving evolution as a theory and used Gould to imply that it may be as yet unproven and untrue. Gould doesnt argue with the idea of evolution -- he proposes another way in which it may have manifested itself, which may take another 130 years to prove or disprove. It is not nearly the anvil to reshape Darwin you want to pretend it is.
  6. JackS

    JackS Guest

    And in that case, it will take the right Democrat (such as Gore).  Bill Clinton was pretty apathetic toward the environment, and I think Hillary would be too.

    I think you're wrong on this.  Like Democrats, most Republicans have now also been brainwashed in favor of so far fruitless ESC research.  GWB is one of the last holdouts.  I think you'll see us throwing good tax money after bad at this issue no matter who gets elected next.
  7. If I was unclear - I apologize.

    Gould is a great fan of Darwin but like many early scientists - Darwin had the big pictue correct but some of the details were wrong. Gould argues that the devil is in the details and that Darwin is in many ways very misunderstood today. My point to Junior was that his ideas of evolution according to Darwin are probably incomplete at best or incorrect at worst - so to question them is not as beyond the pale as he would make it sound.
  8. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Without Darwin there is no Gould. The basis premise of evolution is correct. All science is built on a foundation of that which went before.

    I was talking facetiously about the creationists who believe that their 'theories' of evolution have equal validity when most of them don't know what a scientific theory is.

    Oh, and Lou, you sound like you just discovered Gould. I read his stuff 15 years a go.
  9. Well - you are (of course) much older than I (and you know how those old folks get set in their ways)
  10. Dragooning Stephen Jay Gould into the anti-Darwin camp is as silly as dragooning him somehow into the globa;-warming-skeptic camp.
    And he did believe that evolution was "effectively exclusive" as regards creationism and it's new cousin, Intelligent Design.
  11. What part of "Gould was a great fan of Darwin" don't you understand?

    Sober up jackass
  12. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    You and FB need to get together and have a beer.
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