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February 23, 2010

Why What Darwin Got Wrong is wrong

Filed under: creationism,Jerry Fodor — Razib @ 1:01 pm

Misunderstanding Darwin: Natural selection’s secular critics get it wrong:

Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini take the role of philosophy to consist in part in minding other people’s business. We agree with the spirit behind this self-conception. Philosophy can sometimes help other areas of inquiry. Yet those who wish to help their neighbors are well advised to spend a little time discovering just what it is that those neighbors do, and those who wish to illuminate should be sensitive to charges that they are kicking up dust and spreading confusion.What Darwin Got Wrong shows no detailed engagement with the practice of evolutionary biology, nor does it respond to the many criticisms that have been leveled against earlier versions of its central ideas. In this latter respect, the authors resemble the creationist debaters who assert that evolution is incompatible with the second law of thermodynamics, hear detailed refutations of their charge, and repeat their patter in the next forum.

The essay is enjoyable, but as I was reading it I did start to think that one of the resemblances between What Darwin Got Wrong and standard Intelligent Design works is that they serve to tie up scholars in refuting their arguments.

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