Saturday, June 19, 2021

Evolution by Jerks, Falsified

During about 1980-2000 the leading science popularizer and intellectual was Harvard evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould. His biggest scientific accomplishment was something his detractors called Evolution by Jerks. He called their theory Evolution by Creeps. Supposedly Gould had replaced Darwinian evolutionary thoery.

Evolution professor Jerry Coyne writes:

Punctuated equilibrium (PE) was first proposed in a paper by Niles Eldredge and Steve Gould (“E&G”; reference below) in 1972, the year before entered graduate school. When I entered Harvard in 1973 it was a huge deal, heavily promoted by Gould, a professor in the Museum of Comparative Zoology as a replacement for the view of evolution most people held (“neo-Darwinism). Not a little of the theory’s popularity came from Gould’s nonstop promotion as well as his extraordinary ability to write popular science. ...

But, over time, PE became more than a hypothesis about the relative rate of evolutionary change in fossil lineages. It morphed into a theory of evolutionary process — a theory that was pretty much “non-neo-Darwinian” and also much more controversial. And while the pattern may be right, the processes proposed by E&G are so wrong that I’d call them “definitively falsified”.

Gould was also an over-opinionated Jewish Marxist.

Among the general public, Gould's most famous work was a book attacking the measurement of intelligence. The book was trashed by experts, and praised by non-experts. As Wikipedia politely explain:

The book received many positive reviews in the literary and popular press, including many written by scientists, but the reviews in scientific journals were, for the most part, highly critical.[4] Literary reviews praised the book for opposing racism, the concept of general intelligence, and biological determinism.[4] Reviews in scientific journals accused Gould of historical inaccuracy, unclear reasoning, and political bias.
Gould is dead. He is still a good example of how a very high status public intellectual can be full of crap.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Phyllis is dead. She's a very good example of how a high-profile public personality can be full of crap... and wrong 100% of the time. Trump is another example.