Modern evolutionary synthesis
|“|| In the middle of the 20th century, leading evolutionists proposed the “modern synthesis.” Hailed as the final evolutionary model, it incorporated Darwin’s natural selection, de Vries’ mutations and studies in population genetics. At the same time, other evolutionists were calling for much larger sudden changes than those noted for mutations.
These larger changes were needed because of major gaps between groups of organisms in assumed evolutionary lineages, as seen in the fossil record, and also because of the inadequacy of the survival value of small evolutionary changes while developing complex systems with interdependent parts.5 The term “hopeful monster” was suggested for these proposed suddenly appearing new forms. But they would need matching mates to be able to breed with, and as one critic commented, “Who will breed with a monster, hopeful or otherwise?”
The modern synthesis did not remain as the dominant evolutionary mechanism for very long, although a number of leading evolutionists still defend the model. One evolutionist comments, “And today the modern synthesis—neo-Darwinism—is not a theory, but a range of opinions which, each in its own way, tries to overcome the difficulties presented by the world of facts.”
Theory of evolution and little scientific consensus
There is little scientific consensus on how macroevolution is said to have happened and the claimed mechanisms of evolutionary change, as can be seen in the following quotes:
|“||When discussing organic evolution the only point of agreement seems to be: "It happened." Thereafter, there is little consensus, which at first sight must seem rather odd. -(Simon Conway Morris, [palaeontologist, Department of Earth Sciences, Cambridge University, UK], "Evolution: Bringing Molecules into the Fold," Cell, Vol. 100, pp.1-11, January 7, 2000, p.11)||”|
|“||"“The history of organic life is indemonstrable; we cannot prove a whole lot in evolutionary biology, and our findings will always be hypothesis. There is one true evolutionary history of life, and whether we will actually ever know it is not likely. Most importantly, we have to think about questioning underlying assumptions, whether we are dealing with molecules or anything else.” - Jeffrey H. Schwartz, Professor of Biological Anthropology, University of Pittsburgh, February 9, 2007||”|
|“||"If it is true that an influx of doubt and uncertainty actually marks periods of healthy growth in a science, then evolutionary biology is flourishing today as it seldom has flourished in the past. For biologists collectively are less agreed upon the details of evolutionary mechanics than they were a scant decade ago. Superficially, it seems as if we know less about evolution than we did in 1959, the centennial year of Darwin's on the Origin of Species." - Niles Eldredge, "Time Frames: The Rethinking of Darwinian Evolution and the Theory of Punctuated Equilibria," Simon & Schuster: New York NY, 1985, p.14||”|
Recent clamour to revise the modern evolutionary synthesis
In 2005, Massimo Pigliucci, in a book review for the prestigious science journal Nature, wrote: "The clamour to revise neo-darwinism is becoming so loud that hopefully most practising evolutionary biologists will begin to pay attention. It has been said that science often makes progress not because people change their minds, but because the old ones die off and the new generation is more open to novel ideas." In July of 2008, Elizabeth Pennisi wrote in the prestigous science journal Science: "Seventy years ago, evolutionary biologists hammered out the modern synthesis to bring Darwin's ideas in line with current insights into how organisms change through time. Some say it's time for Modern Synthesis 2.0."
Jerry Coyne is an evolutionary biology professor and atheist who runs a leading pro-evolution blog.
In terms of its ideology the Templeton Foundation is non-profit foundation which espouses both conservative and liberal positions.
In terms of liberal ideology The Templeton Foundation helps fund the Biologos Foundation which promotes theistic evolution. Dr. Francis Collins, an ex-atheist who became a Roman Catholic heads the Biologos Foundation. Pope Benedict XVI has also appointed Collins to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Collins has been criticized by pro-life advocates for some for his views on aborting babies with learning disabilities.
CNS News reported:
|“|| Don't let anyone tell you the evolutionary paradigm isn't in serious turmoil. Just in time for DNA Day today, Science Magazine announced on Friday an $8.7 million project by the Templeton Foundation seeking an “evolution rethink." I'm trying to think of the last time I heard Science reporting on support for a "gravity rethink," or a "heliocentrism rethink." The gist of it:
Oh, those dreaded "creationists" and evolution deniers.
Whatever the outcome, the news has yanked Jerry Coyne's chain. He complains in the article:
The scope is impressive – "49 researchers from different fields and ... 22 interconnected projects across eight institutions." Coyne's dyspeptic reaction gives you an idea of what a huge deal this is.
Oh, so you want to dismiss Templeton because its perspective isn't rigidly materialist enough? They aren’t the only ones “rethinking” Neo-Darwinism. This coming November, the Royal Society plans a conference on "New trends in evolutionary biology: biological, philosophical and social science perspectives." Despite the subdued title – reflecting British understatement, perhaps – this is more big news, a gathering of major mainstream voices from the world of biology and other fields to hash out the merits of the call for a Third Way for evolution – not classic Darwinism, not intelligent design, but something ... else:
When it comes to "hotly contesting" the "standard theory of evolution," the timing couldn't be better. Today we are celebrating two significant anniversaries – that of the description of the structure of the DNA molecule by Watson and Crick (DNA Day 2016) (they published on April 25, 1953), and the fiftieth anniversary of the Wistar Institute conference on "Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution."...
If you'll forgive a morbid metaphor, Wistar was like the ominous spot first seen on the X-ray of a vital organ – the beginning of the end for unguided Darwinian processes as the sole, satisfactory explanation of how complex biological features evolve.
Intelligent design, obviously, is one source of the current challenge to Darwinism, but it's only one source. You could erase ID advocates entirely from the battle map, and Darwinian theory would still be under siege. Evolution's smug cultists are in denial about that, but it's true.
Most of the Templeton Foundation funds for the evolutionary rethink appears to be going to the University of St. Francis which is a Roman Catholic University.
- Theories of evolution
- Theory of Evolution and Cases of Fraud, Hoaxes and Speculation
- Theory of Evolution, Liberalism, Atheism, and Irrationality
- Atheism and deception
- Stephen E. Jones, Creation/Evolution Quotes: Mechanisms #1
- Francis Collins’s “Devout” Views on Abortion
- Darwinian Evolutionary Theory Is Under Siege, Intelligent Design Notwithstanding
- Templeton funds evolution rethink
- Punctuated equilibrium: come of age? by Dr Don Batten