An Excellent Quote

The cover of Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini's book

Not long ago, Dr. Jerry Alan Fodor (a professor of Philosophy) and Dr. Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini (a professor of cognitive science) wrote a book entitled What Darwin Got Wrong. I haven’t read the book, but what I have read about it indicates that the authors strongly believe Darwin was right when it comes to the idea that all species descended from a common ancestor. However, they strongly disagree with the mechanism that Darwin proposed (and most Neo-Darwinists accept) for the process by which that happened. While most modern evolutionists contend that mutation acted on by natural selection is the main process by which species adapt and change, the authors argue that it is only one of many considerations. In fact, they go a step further and claim that there is no scientific reason to elevate natural selection above these other processes which it comes to their relative importance.

Since I have not read the book, I cannot comment on the validity of their arguments. However, I ran across a quote from the introduction that makes me want to read the entire book. They call their introduction “Terms of Engagement.” After laying out the terms and outlining the contents of the book, the authors write:

So much for a prospectus. We close these prefatory comments with a brief homily: we’ve been told by more than one of our colleagues that, even if Darwin was substantially wrong to claim that natural selection is the mechanism of evolution, nonetheless we shouldn’t say so. Not, anyhow, in public. To do that is, however inadvertently, to align oneself with the Forces of Darkness, whose goal it is to bring Science into disrepute. Well, we don’t agree. We think the way to discomfort the Forces of Darkness is to follow the arguments wherever they may lead, spreading such light as one can in the course of doing so. What makes the Forces of Darkness dark is that they aren’t willing to do that. What makes science scientific is that it is.

[Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, First American Edition 2010, p. xx]

I couldn’t agree more. When those who call themselves scientists want to shut off debate on an issue, they are exposing themselves for what they are: rabidly anti-science. Science is all about following the evidence, regardless of where that evidence might lead. It is unfortunate that some (if not many) in the scientific community attempt to silence those who are simply trying to follow the evidence.


  1. Paul Goodfellow says:

    Great quote! Thanks for sharing it.

    I find it ever so strange that those that follow the darwinist line want to silence any critical discussion of the theory. It seems rather an anti-scientific stance.

    1. jlwile says:

      It is, Paul. However, that’s typically how people who are clinging to a failing paradigm behave.

  2. Jacob says:

    It is amazing how often I am thought of as being close-minded, which I might very well be, and how others believe I am not educated on how evolution works. However, growing up in a secular society and the fact that I own a debate blog shows the facts are quite the opposite. Now I may not know everything there is to learn regarding the hypothesis of evolution, but I can safely assume that there are many atheists/agnostics/theistic evolutionists who do not know everything about evolution either.

    Now more than ever am I seeing a push to privatize creationism like Christianity while extending the science of evolution. I ask, who is truly close-minded?

    1. jlwile says:

      Jacob, I think it is often easier for evolutionists to falsely claim that creationists don’t understand evolution than to actually engage us in a discussion of the data.