Neo-Darwinism is Dead – The Altenberg 16

Desperate attempts to discover ‘the elusive process of evolution’

The Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, where ‘The Altenberg 16’ evolution summit took place.

Attempting to discover “the elusive process of evolution” 16 evolutionary scientists get together behind closed doors at the by-invitation-only symposium held at Altenberg, Austria, in July 2008. While the evolutionary process remains “elusive”, what is quite clear is the failure of the neo-Darwinian formula of “random mutations plus natural selection.” These scientists know well that “neo-Darwinism’s now dead” but won’t admit that evolution itself is also.

Below are excerpts from Walter Remine’s excellent review of Susan Mazur’s book “The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry.” These statements from Mazur’s book are made by evolution scientists and make it very clear that despite what the public is told, they know Darwinism is dead.

“[W]hile the Altenberg 16 have roots in neo-Darwinian theory, they recognize the need to challenge the prevailing Modern Synthesis, because there’s too much it doesn’t explain [emphasis added]” (p. vii).

“The Altenberg 16 … recognize that the theory of evolution which most practicing biologists accept and which is taught in classrooms today, is inadequate in explaining our existence [emphasis added]” (p. 19).

“A wave of scientists now questions natural selection’s role, though fewer will publicly admit it” (p. 20).

“Evolutionary science is as much about the posturing, salesmanship, stonewalling and bullying that goes on as it is about actual scientific theory. It is a social discourse involving hypotheses of staggering complexity with scientists, recipients of the biggest grants of any intellectuals, assuming the power of politicians while engaged in Animal House pie-throwing and name-calling: ‘ham-fisted’, ‘looney Marxist hangover’, ‘secular creationist’, ‘philosopher’ (a scientist who can’t get grants anymore), ‘quack’, ‘crackpot’ …

“In short, it’s a modern day quest for the holy grail, but with few knights. At a time that calls for scientific vision, scientific inquiry’s been hijacked by an industry of greed, with evolution books hyped like snake oil at a carnival.

“Perhaps the most egregious display of commercial dishonesty is this year’s celebration of Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species—the so-called theory of evolution by natural selection, i.e., survival of the fittest, a brand foisted on us 150 years ago.

“Scientists agree that natural selection can occur. But the scientific community also knows that natural selection has little to do with long-term changes in populations [emphasis added, ellipsis in original]” (p. v).

“There are people spouting off as if we know the answer. We don’t know the answer” (Stuart Kauffman, p. 54).

“Darwinism and the neo-Darwinian synthesis, last dusted off 70 years ago, actually hinder discovery of the mechanism of evolution” (Antonio Lima-de-Faria, p. 83).

“Do I think natural selection should be relegated to a less import role in the discussion of evolution? Yes I do” (Scott Gilbert, p. 221).

“She [Lynn Margulis] sees natural selection as ‘neither the source of heritable novelty nor the entire evolutionary process’ and has pronounced neo-Darwinism ‘dead’, since there’s no adequate evidence in the literature that random mutations result in new species” (Mazur, p. 257).

“At that meeting [Francisco] Ayala agreed with me when I stated that this doctrinaire neo-Darwinism is dead. He was a practitioner of neo-Darwinism but advances in molecular genetics, evolution, ecology, biochemistry, and other news had led him to agree that neo-Darwinism’s now dead” (Lynn Margulis, p. 278).

“The point is, however, that an organism can be modified and refined by natural selection, but that is not the way new species and new classes and new phyla originated” (Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, p. 314).

 

Now if only this information were presented to the students and the public. Don’t hold your breath waiting for Neal smoking-deGrasse Tyson to present this on Cosmos!

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