Understanding evolution problems

John Grehan jgrehan at TPBMAIL.NET
Thu Mar 4 23:50:19 CST 2004

At 12:42 PM 3/4/04 -0700, Michael Ivie wrote:
>  In the end all these r eactionary "controversies" were solved the
>same way this one will -- eventually all the fuddy duddies living
>in past will die off, and everyone will laugh that they ever existed.

Although in some cases the 'fuddy duddies' turned out to be right after
all. For example, I understand that Barbara McClintock was ridiculed for
her jumping genes that behaved in oh so un-medelian ways, and later she
gets a Nobel prize.

>Whenever a group of young turks (in this case, phylogenetisists) overturn
>an established apple cart (the Mayrian "evolutionary" taxonomists and
>Pheneticists), there is a predictable objection from the old guard, and
>always a few of the next generation who hang on to the old ideas for some
>reason or other (invested, slow, lack of imagination, viserally
>conservative, intellectually infelxible, or whatever).

'old ideas' of themselves, are not necessarily inferior, and nor are 'new
ideas' necessarily any better no matter that they became the new fad.
Dispersalism was dominant in evolutionary biology before Croizat, and
remains so to this day, regardless that it is one of the oldest, of 'old'

>This is how science has and always will progress.

Science does not always progress.

>However, when someone finds themselves in this situation, they should
>really reexamine their stance.
>We can use the examples of our greatest scientists to find our way.  Look
>at Charles Michener, who moved beyond the point where he was invested,
>into the new and superior paradigm that replaced the old one, and is
>universally revered.

what one is that? (please excuse my ignorance)

>I do teach that there are other views, and that they are wrong.

Yes its 'good' to make sure that students believe the right thing. That's
what religion is all about.

>And Dr. Greham, If all the really smart people reviewing your proposal
>think it is bunk, perhaps it is not they that are wrong?

They are 'really smart'?

>So says Occam's razor.

Occam's razor never says anything more than what one believes in the first

>Parsimony may not always be right, but it is worth thinking about.

Parsimony is always relative, and its usually used as a propaganda tool.

>Remember, evolutionary studies show that pathways that only take root and
>diversify in isolation on small isolated islands are not usually very well
>adapted when placed into global competition.

What's that supposed to mean?

>They should be maintained as examples of a different path, and valued as
>examples of evolutionary
>diversity, but never confused with something really useful.

Should they indeed?

>Our system of reviews by NSF and other granting agencies have proven very
>good at rewarding successful paradigm challenges, and also very good at
>recognizing bunk.

Please back this up scientifically.

John Grehan

>There are rare exceptions, but the exceptions prove the
>OK, let the attacks begin.

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