Daily Dispatches
Charles Darwin in 1881.
Wikimedia/Photo by Herbert Rose Barraud
Charles Darwin in 1881.

Scientists challenge neo-Darwinism

Science

Creationists and intelligent design proponents no longer cast the only skeptical eye at neo-Darwinism. A group of prominent scientists has launched a website forum that opens another way to discuss evolutionary change based on empirical observations.

The Third Way, Evolution in the Era of Genomics and Epigenomics, will make available to the public and to scientists the results of decades of research in evolutionary science, molecular biology, and genome sequencing that offer alternative answers to how novel organisms have originated in the long history of life on earth. Until now, most people recognize only two alternative explanations for the origins of biological diversity: Creator-dependent intelligent design or creationism, and neo-Darwinism, which looks to natural selection for solutions to troublesome evolutionary problems.

“Both views are inconsistent with significant bodies of empirical evidence and have evolved into hard-line ideologies,” say The Third Way scientists, who include in their numbers researchers from Oxford, MIT, Princeton, UCLA, the University of Chicago, and other prestigious institutions. While some may take exception to the website’s depiction of those who insist on a Creator, the intelligent design website Evolution News and Views cheered The Third Way’s intent to present research at odds with neo-Darwinism.

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“The DNA record does not support the assertion that small random mutations are the main source of new and useful variations,” Third Way scientists say. Many scientists on the site assign a wide range of explanations for different aspects of change. They discuss how genomes merge, shrink, and grow, modifying their structures by well-documented cellular and biochemical processes.

Dick Peterson
Dick Peterson

Dick lives in Summerville, S.C., is a former newspaper reporter and editor, and is now a freelance writer and caregiver for his wife with multiple sclerosis.

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