Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Scientific Discussion - Darwinism

Scientific Discussion

So I just read this article from the New York Times called "Darwinism must die so that evolution may live" And it is an interesting article about how Darwin's theories of evolution are basically what the majority of people today believe what evolution is. Now I have read The Origin of Species about a year and a half ago and since it is on my 100 Greatest Books list I wrote a little blurb about it.

I should preface this review with the fact that I am a paleontologist and I have been studying geology and paleontology for over 20 years. I came into reading The Origin of Species knowing full well that the text was written over 150 years ago and the science of paleontology and evolution has progressed at a lightening pace since then. That being said, I still was not sure what I was getting into when I read it. To quote my former evolutionary biology teacher "Don't read The Origin of Species unless you have to." This is a science textbook and that is how it reads. The science itself is severely out of date and the text is rather dull to boot. Since the science is not current, I recommend that someone reading this should have a basic scientific background so that they can understand where the science is questionable or not. The main problem I have with The Origin of Species is that instead of doing science experiments, Darwin typically takes observations and makes large leaps of logic to explain why his observations are the way they are. Granted this is a seminal and often interesting work of scientific history, but it is too much of a difficult read for me to recommend it.

Pretty much this is what the article states. The science is severely out of date. To the point where it is just wrong in many cases. Darwin's way of solving problems is also in question (by me). He looks at things (like giraffe neck lengths) and just assumes they evolved into longer necks. He does no science experiments or presents no theories, he just assumes. It is basically a religious view of science (again as I see it).

The main problem I have with Darwin is not his theories, it is how he is presented. I have seen countless scientists flaunting over him as if he created the world while he was just another step in the ladder of science. Great, he brought evolution to the forefront of society, but many others before and since have done a lot more work and should deserve the same amount, if not more, credit.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Due to the large number of spam comment (i.e. pretty much all of them). I have turned off commenting. If you have any constructive comments you would like to make please direct them at my Twitter handle @Jazinator. I apologize for the inconvenience.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.