Saturday, February 18, 2006

No Room for Alternative Thinking

Here is an article about a professor at the University of Pittsburg who questions aspects of evolutionary theory:
A Pitt professor challenged a part of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in an article published in the scientific magazine The New Anatomist last week.

Jeffrey Schwartz — a Pitt professor in the department of anthropology and the department of history and philosophy of science — collaborated with Bruno Maresca, a professor of biochemistry at Italy’s University of Salerno, for the article, which refutes Darwin’s Theory of Evolution using modern knowledge about cell biology.

. . .

Schwartz refuted Darwin’s theory of gradual evolution in organisms with one that states that evolution occurs quickly and suddenly as the result of cell mutations.

“Darwinism’s presence in science is so overwhelming,” Schwartz said. “For the longest time, there was no room for alternative thinking among the scientific community.”

This has led Schwartz — who believes that this indoctrination has resulted in scientists who don’t know enough about the history of the theories they learned — to teach all different aspects of evolution to his students.

It was through exposure to influential scientists and their questioning views of Darwinism as a Columbia grad student that Schwartz became interested in exploring the issue.

. . .

“If you look at the fossil record, organisms didn’t gain new items like teeth and jaws gradually,” Schwartz said. “It’s not like fish developed bony teeth one piece at a time. It happened suddenly.”

I am not sure how his theory differs from punctuated equilibrium, but I thought his comments on the scientific culture were worth noting. What he says about the restrictions on alternative thinking meshes well with my last post.


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