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Unread October 18th, 2006, 09:44 AM
Fred H. Fred H. is offline
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 483
Default Re: Ann Coulter & Wm. Provine: Evolution's Odd Couple

Just to finalize this thread, and perhaps rub it in a bit, let me summarize things by saying that William Provine, the distinguished evolutionary scholar who sits in an endowed Chair in biological sciences at Cornell, is one of the few Darwinians out there that has enough intellectual honesty/rigor/balls to acknowledge the obvious, that natural selection is not a mechanism or an active cause of evolution.

Here again is what Provine said/wrote last year regarding a debate that he apparently had with some ID guy (Stephen C. Meyer, apparently at the National Press Club), from :
Steve Meyer’s criticism of neo-Darwinism was surprisingly narrow, emphasizing natural selection acting upon mutations. I have a far deeper quarrel with the evolutionary biology of the 1960s. I no longer see natural selection as a mechanism, or an active cause of evolution. Natural selection (or adaptation) is a result of many interacting ecological and genetic causes and does not “work upon” individual genes. I reject random genetic drift and see the movement of neutral DNA by hitchhiking with pieces of chromosome with high or low survival rates. I reject gene pools, genetic homeostasis, am critical of the biological species concept and all hopes of generating robust phylogenetic trees older than 700 million years ago because of the wide exchange of DNA and RNA between one-celled organisms. Thus I turn out much more critical of neo-Darwinism than does Steve Meyer. None of my criticisms, however, suggest a ID creator, but a more lively and realistic view of evolution than I learned in graduate school.
So there you have it my atheistic Darwinian friends—a highly credentialed Darwinian acknowledging that he no longer sees natural selection as a mechanism. Now if Provine (and the other atheistic Darwinians) would just gain a bit of appreciation for the absurdly low entropy at the beginning of our universe, 14 billion years ago, then maybe he (and the others), in addition to having a “more lively and realistic view of evolution than [they] learned in graduate school,” would also see how current physics/cosmology does "suggest" a "Creator.” Oh happy day.
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