Dawkins’s Vulgarization of Darwinism and Lewontin’s non-answers
|April 14, 2014||Posted by scordova under News|
“Dawkins’s vulgarizations of Darwinism speak of nothing in evolution but an inexorable ascendancy of genes that are selectively superior, while the entire body of technical advance in experimental and theoretical evolutionary genetics of the last fifty years has moved in the direction of emphasizing non-selective forces in evolution… What worries me is that they [non-biologists] may believe what Dawkins and Wilson tell them about evolution.”
Review of Demon Haunted World
But Lewontin is in a bit of a bind. He knows selection cannot be at work in evolution to the extent Dawkins claims, but on the other hand, Lewontin really has never said what those other non-Darwinian mechanisms are except to insist intelligence can’t be one of those mechanisms.
We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.
The reason he and most population geneticists know evolution cannot be Darwinian as a matter of principle has been laid out in Neutral theory and non-Darwinian evolution for newbies, Part 2. It shows in small populations, random chance rather than selection is responsible for what lives and dies. It is a totally different line of criticism of Darwinism than IC and CSI, but one thing it has going for it, it has closet mainstream support!
Dawkins on the other hand clearly recognizes if random chance is the primary mechanism for deciding what lives and dies, and if mutation is random, then we should not be the product of mindless evolution, but rather Intelligent Design.