Laughlin on Evolution by Natural Selection
|April 16, 2005||Posted by William Dembski under Evolution|
I made three posts at IDthefuture concerning Robert Laughlin, the Nobel laureate physicists who in his most recent book had some unkind words about evolution by natural selection:
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Much of present-day biological knowledge is ideological. A key symptom of ideological thinking is the explanation that has no implications and cannot be tested. I call such logical dead ends antitheories because they have exactly the opposite effect of real theories: they stop thinking rather than stimulate it. Evolution by natural selection, for instance, which Charles Darwin originally conceived as a great theory, has lately come to function more as an antitheory, called upon to cover up embarrassing experimental shortcomings and legitimize findings that are at best questionable and at worst not even wrong. Your protein defies the laws of mass action? Evolution did it! Your complicated mess of chemical reactions turns into a chicken? Evolution! The human brain works on logical principles no computer can emulate? Evolution is the cause!Ã¢â‚¬Â
–Robert B. Laughlin, A Different Universe (New York: Basic Books, 2005), pp. 168-169.
ID critics quickly contacted Laughlin to get him to distance himself from ID proponents like me who might be misappropriating this quote. For my initial posting of this quote with commentary and for Laughlin’s official reply to me, go here and here respectively. For subsequent reaction, go here.