Evolution: What's the Problem? What Can We Do About It?
Notes for a discussion in the Cafe Scientifique at Bryn Mawr College on 23 February 2009
moderated by Paul Grobstein and Anne Dalke
- Dayton, Ohio, 1925 (Inherit the Wind, 1955, 1960)
- Dover, Pennsylvania, 2004
- Kansas, 2005
- Texas, -2009
- What is/are the important disagreement(s)?
- Is there a way to get out of them?
- common ancestry (dethroning human specialness?)
- non essence-ism (dethroning traditional thinking?)
- non-foundationalism (dethroning fixed meaning?)
"Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense -- an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection -- is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science" ... Christopher Schönborn, New York Times, 2005
- randomness - fundamental uncertainty/anxiety
- lack of firm foundation for morality
- problem of human responsibility
- conflict about Truth?
Towards a way out?:
- stop arguing about Truth
- accept useful existence of multiple stories, even incommensurable ones
- develop new stories about the origins of morality, the benefits of responsibility, the value of randomness