The evolution dissent

I blogged a few days ago about Georgia outlawing the use of the world “evolution” in their high-school biology classes. Georgia officials rather shamefacedly backtracked a couple of days later and reinstated the word, which is cool. But over at Culture Raven, my friend Erik points out an interesting nuance that’s often ignored in the polarized evolution/creationism debate: That even amongst the ranks of scientists, there’s still substantial debate about evolution. Steve Fuller argues this in his book Kuhn vs. Popper: The Struggle for the Soul of Science, which Erik parses thusly:

Physicians, entomologists, zoologists, and biologists seem predisposed to rejecting Darwinism. They work with these complicated, juicy, goofy, living entities whose personality, animation and complexity just don’t seem reducible to stochastic processes like mutation and natural selection …

Lots of real smart-type folks have shied away from full-on Darwinism and have tried to prove that complex “organic forms,” be they societies or species, establish their own “pattern of development against external environmental pressures.”

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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