Evolution for Everyone

Archives for September, 2010

Rest In Peace, George C. Williams

George Williams, the man whose name will forever be associated with the rejection of group selection in the 1960’s, passed away on September 8. He previously suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, so his voice has not been heard for a number of years. He was my intellectual opponent but also a good friend.

Obsessing about different accounting methods runs the risk of turning evolutionary theory into a kind of postmodernism in which there are no facts, only different ways of viewing. In his book Fear of Knowledge: Against Relativism and Constructivism, philosopher Paul Boghossian shows, for anyone who needs reminding, that nothing has happened in philosophy to prevent…

The evolutionary community is as active as an alarmed beehive over the critique of inclusive fitness theory recently published in the journal Nature by Martin Nowak, Corina E. Tarnita, and E.O. Wilson. I do not agree with them in every respect but I’m glad that they have aroused the evolutionary community from its stupor. The…

Dear Richard, I do not agree with the cynical adage “science progresses–funeral by funeral”, but I fear that it might be true in your case for the subject of group selection. In your response to the recent article in Nature by Martin Nowak, Corina Tarnita, and E.O. Wilson, which critiques inclusive fitness theory, you say…

Evolutionary science won’t fully prove itself until it makes the world a better place. That simple statement has changed the way that I do science, including a “Design Your Own Park (DYOP)” project that I have organized with the help of my city of Binghamton and the United Way of Broome County. DYOP is a…