Christopher X J. Jensen
Associate Professor, Pratt Institute

David Sloan Wilson takes Jerry Coyne to task for his ignorance and pessimism

Posted 20 Sep 2011 / Comments Off on David Sloan Wilson takes Jerry Coyne to task for his ignorance and pessimism

Science Blogs (Evolution for Everyone)Jerry Coyne on Group Selection: What Does He Know?

To be honest, DSW does not stick the knife in as deep as he could here. The article he references in Evolution (“Eight Criticisms Not to Make About Group Selection“) is published by the Society for the Study of Evolution, of which Jerry Coyne is now President. It is remarkable how closed-minded large swaths of evolutionary biologists have become, almost to the point of rendering the subject irrelevant to the concerns of most people. And then these same folks freak out and cannot figure out why so many people reject evolutionary biology.

Science Blogs (Evolution for Everyone)Jerry Coyne on Cultural Evolution: What Does He Know?

There are some great thoughts in this piece about the nature of evolution and how evolvability  does not require genetics. DSW really gets to the heart of the issue, which is that one of the more brilliant features of genetically evolved systems is to produce non-genetic means of evolution (for example culture).

Science Blogs (Evolution for Everyone) Reviewing the Expert Reviews of The Neighborhood Project

Check out what DSW has to say about Coyne’s pessimism here. It is amazing how much Coyne undersells the value of Darwin’s theories beyond narrow biological problems (even medicine apparently can benefit little from evolutionary theory — did Coyne fail to read Nesse and Williams 1994?).

Also check out this letter from a resident of Binghampton. Makes you wonder where Coyne gets his data from!


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