Home » Culture, Darwinism, News » Darwinists on Margulis: Speak nothing but ill of the newly dead

Darwinists on Margulis: Speak nothing but ill of the newly dead

File:Lynn Margulis.jpg

2005/jpadreira

Recently, we remembered the passing and life of Lynn Margulis, an essentially non-Darwinian biologist. Now that she is safely laid to earth, certain Darwinists can hardly wait to dump on her.

At Jerry Coyne’s blog, one Greg Mayer writes, regarding the New York Times obit:

It’s dreadful. Here’s the worst part:

The hypothesis was a direct challenge to the prevailing neo-Darwinist belief that the primary evolutionary mechanism was random mutation.

Rather, Dr. Margulis argued that a more important mechanism was symbiosis; that is, evolution is a function of organisms that are mutually beneficial growing together to become one and reproducing. The theory undermined significant precepts of the study of evolution, underscoring the idea that evolution began at the level of micro-organisms long before it would be visible at the level of species.

I’ll leave the dissection of this nonsense as an exercise.

Jerry Coyne agrees that it’s dreadful because Margulis thought that doctrinaire Darwinists were 3 billion years out of date.

(Here, we think they are 13.4 billion years out of date. They ended up in the wrong universe and just kept going, we think … )

Richard Dawkins weighed in to agree that Margulis was a one-hit wonder:

Yes, that is exactly what she was. She was right about one big thing – and not many people can say that, so she deserves credit for it. But she more than used that credit up being wrong, in a big way, about almost everything else. She bizarrely saw herself as anti-Darwinian, and bad-mouthed the entire neo-Darwinian synthesis and just about everybody associated with it. She once said, in my presence, “John Maynard Smith doesn’t understand evolution”. Fortunately she was not taken seriously enough for her net influence to be negative, but it’s a close-run thing. Sorry to sound grumpy about the dead, but this foolish obituary is enough to drive anyone to it.

Folks, it’s not a favourable obit that  causes key Darwinists  to “sound grumpy” about a dead colleague so soon after  death. It is a lack of courtesy and self-discipline.

It will be interesting to see a hundred years hence whether Dawkins is as well remembered for science as she is. When did he last do any?

Follow UD News at Twitter!

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

One Response to Darwinists on Margulis: Speak nothing but ill of the newly dead

  1. Poor Richard, still an 0-for, not right about any “big” thing.

    What do you deserve credit for? Oh yeah the non-darwinian “cumulative selection”. Go figure…

Leave a Reply