Re: [asa] Endosymbiosis

From: Schwarzwald <>
Date: Sun Nov 01 2009 - 18:42:27 EST

There's something I'd like to draw attention to here: The fact that Margulis
(and seemingly neo-darwinists) place quite a lot of emphasis on and stock in
something that seems very "extra-scientific". Namely, narratives. Nature as
being competition-centric, "red in tooth and claw" versus nature as
cooperative, achieving symbiotic relationships, etc. I suppose we could add
in other views, like Michael Denton's perspective on nature as arranged such
that the introduction and development of life (and eventually, intelligent
life) as being inevitable. Or Simon Conway Morris' views that nature is
rather tightly constrained, inevitably leading to certain forms (and again,
inevitably, intelligent life). I'm sure there are others.

Now, I'd argue that all of these views - from Margulis' and the
Neo-Darwinists' to Conway Morris' and Denton's - are ultimately not pure
science. And I also recognize that TEs don't have a unified view on such
things. However, I do think this sort of thing is incredibly important for
TEs (and ID proponents) to not only think about, but to write about, even
cooperate on. And I also think that the reaction to Margulis and Lovelock
should be taken note of. If I'm right that these "narratives" are ultimately
extra-scientific, yet still treated as topics of professional interest by
scientists, then I think this illustrates a problem that TEs are going to
eventually have to face (and are being faced now by men like Conway Morris,
etc.) Namely, the bulk of the controversy with religion and evolution does
not have to do with the science itself, and that accepting the science yet
rejecting the narrative (or worse, proposing an alternative narrative - say,
one that emphasizes teleology and otherwise) is inevitably going to lead to
a conflict that will at once be both inside and outside "science".

Or, put another way: For TEs, just as with ID proponents, it's not going to
be enough to accept the science and the data. Rejecting that
extra-scientific narrative means that the spot that (rightly or wrongly)
Behe and Dembski occupy today, will be occupied tomorrow by Ken Miller,
Conway Morris, and others (and, at least with the more rabid wing - whose
influence even I think is on the wane - 'tomorrow' is 'today'.)

On Sat, Oct 31, 2009 at 8:53 PM, Randy Isaac <> wrote:

> Dave,
> Lynn Margulis has done a lot of railing against neo-Darwinism over the
> years. She really is a maverick--and a rather refreshing one, in a way. (She
> was the first wife of Carl Sagan) She came up with the endosymbiotic theory
> which emphasized the cooperative element in prokaryotic evolution. That is,
> different prokaryotic strains merged. Strongly rejected at first, it's
> become more accepted now, I think. In a broader sense, she emphasizes
> cooperation among various species, and consequent gene sharing, instead of
> competition. She loves to tweak neo-darwinists for their emphasis on
> competition.
> She's pretty feisty in her manner. I think she was somehow involved with
> Lovelock in developing the Gaia hypothesis.
> When she calls a "mechanism" of evolution as being bogus, it's pretty
> clear she's trying to get more acceptance of her own ideas of the importance
> of cooperation relative to competition. As usual, both sides have probably
> exaggerated the relative importance of their own ideas and there's an
> element of truth on both sides.
> Randy
> ----- Original Message -----
> *From:* David Clounch <>
> *To:* Gregory Arago <>
> *Cc:* George Murphy <> ; Ted Davis<>;
> asa <>
> *Sent:* Saturday, October 31, 2009 7:02 PM
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] ID question? - TE does or doesn't 'limit evolution'?
> I just witnessed Lynn Margulis rail against 'neo-Darwinism' *and* 'western'
> biologists wrt their supposed 'mechanisms' of 'evolution,' which she thinks
> are bogus)
> Can you point to this? Thanks.

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Received on Sun Nov 1 18:43:02 2009

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