Monday, November 10, 2014
A current debate on evolution
In october Nature ran a debate between two very distinguished groups of evolutionary theorists arguing about the right way to understand current theoretical "ferment" in the filed. One group thought that this was truly revolutionary. The other that it was largely business as usual, with the new stuff making additions to the standard, rather than redirecting thinking in a new direction. I recently ran over this post by Massimo Pigliucci who discusses this in what seemed to me to be a useful way, useful for those like me who like to keep up with this stuff but lack expertise to judge the debate. Pigliucci is a biologist turned philosopher at CUNY who writes on these matters. Not surprisingly, his very balanced view is that both wides are right and both sides are wrong. The post explains how and why, and does so by providing some nice whig history of the evolution of the ideas.