As I predicted earlier today, various journalists are taking up the theme that “Darwin was wrong” because he did not predict that niches into which organisms evolved would be a major controlling feature in the overall pattern of evolution.

But of course, he did, and the new research being referred to does not “disprove darwin.”

At least the piece I’m referring to here takes a somewhat tongue in cheek attitude towards the story.

“Survival of the fittest,” the Darwinian theory that has been absorbed as scientific fact for the last 150 years, has finally been disproven. A new study published in the highly respected journal “Biology Letters” has proved that creationism and immaculate conception as not only scientifically valid, but true beyond any reasonable doubt.

Just kidding…

Yes, it seems to be a joke, but this particular writeup by Carmel Lobello still mindlessly reports that the new research “contradicts Darwin’s most important work.”

No it doesn’t.

I think the root of this problem may be in the press office linked to the paper itself, or may be the authors. Nimrods.

Comments

  1. #1 Russell
    August 25, 2010

    The sad thing is that the more accurate and relevant summary goes unsaid: environment shown more important to evolution.

  2. #2 itzac
    August 26, 2010

    Headline: New findings have subtle implications for evolution.

    Just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    August 26, 2010

    Headline: Long held evolutionary concept put to the test!

    Subhead: Every time we put the data on the stand, it testifies to Darwin’s genius!

  4. #4 Raka
    August 26, 2010

    Not to mention Darwin != evolution. Creationists, who rely on authority rather than evidence for their arguments, never seem to understand that even if we did refine our understanding of evolution to the point where Darwin was “refuted”… this makes the evolutionary (ie, anti-creationist) argument STRONGER. And being among the first to codify a correct general process (but the wrong specific mechanism) is still a very impressive and respectable contribution to science.

    All of which presumes that Darwin would be refuted in some significant aspect. Which hasn’t happened yet, but I’m open to the possibility. Cheerful about it, even. Because that’s what science is.

  5. #5 Nandy
    August 26, 2010

    I think you’re right about the confusion coming from the study authors themselves. Pharyngula linked to the blog of one of the authors, Sarda Sahney. Although her language was more vague, she did seem to set up the same dichotomy: “Darwin cited competition… as a driver of evolution” versus “our new research.” And she linked to Falcon-Lang’s BBC article.