Re: The evolution of "evolution"

From: John Wilkins (
Date: Wed 26 Oct 2005 - 08:31:41 GMT

  • Next message: Derek Gatherer: "Re: The evolution of "evolution""

    On 26/10/2005, at 6:18 PM, Derek Gatherer wrote:

    > At 22:04 25/10/2005, Dace wrote:
    > [Snip Ted's intentional fallacy]

    >> Instead of God
    >> creating species, a combination of mutation and selection
    >> determines it.
    > Excellent. Hoyle's fallacy finally gone. Yes, that is how species
    > originate, you might say it is a single sentence precis of the
    > "Origin of Species" (perhaps a pedant might demand "variation"
    > replaces "mutation" in order not to force a Fisherian anachronism
    > on Darwin)

    But of course most speciation now is in fact thought to occur through random variation and random fixation rather than by selection as Darwin thought. There's good reason to think that some speciation is due to selection, but not much. I worry that we think only that Darwinian evolution is about selection (natural or sexual), when in fact another really deep aspect of his view is common descent, and this is not tied now to selection.


    John S. Wilkins, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Biohumanities Project
    University of Queensland - Blog:
    "Darwin's theory has no more to do with philosophy than any other
    hypothesis in natural science." Tractatus 4.1122
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