Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?

From: Robert Schneider <>
Date: Wed Sep 14 2005 - 20:19:58 EDT

For some reason, the note I sent out earlier did not get posted, but Don Nield's note quoted some of the same passages and even more than I did from Dobzhansky's paper. I think that Dobzhansky's statement used as the title of the article does belong within a definition of science without quotation marks around it. I think it is demeaning to refer to it as a "sound bite." It is a generalization about the science of biology. Sound bite is the kind of tactic used in our present political and other cultural wars, and I don't think Dobzhansky was up to that. I question whether the statement in itself "entails theological claims." There are theological assertions made in the paper, but they are not, as I have read it, dependent upon the statement about biology and evolution. They reflect Dobzhansky's own Christian theology of creation, shared by many, that a belief in creation is not contrary to an acceptance of evolution. Dobzhansky's statement about biology and evolution would stand if he had been an atheist, which as a practicing Russian Orthodox Christian he most certainly was not.

Bob Schneider
  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Cornelius Hunter
  To: Terry M. Gray ;
  Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 7:47 PM
  Subject: Re: Is evolution really the central theory for all of biology?


  My main point is not a demarcationist one. If one wants to view Dobzhansky's title, which has become probably the most popular soundbite in evolution-dom, as within science then I would leave it at that. I think it probably boils down to one's definition of science. It doesn't qualify as what I think of as science. But more importantly, my main point is that Dobzhansky's sound bite, whether it is "science" or not, entails theological claims (which are abundant in the paper bearing that title).

  Thanks for reading Darwin's God. I look forward to your feedback and interaction.

Received on Wed Sep 14 20:18:53 2005

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