A Third Way by Shapiro
An online article by James A. Shapiro
The recent reviews in your columns of books by Dennett, Dawkins, and Behe are testimony to the unflagging interest in controversies about evolution. Although such purists as Dennett and Dawkins repeatedly assert that the scientific issues surrounding evolution are basically solved by conventional neo-Darwinism, the ongoing public fascination reveals a deeper wisdom. There are far more unresolved questions than answers about evolutionary processes, and contemporary science continues to provide us with new conceptual possibilities.
Unfortunately, readers of Boston Review may remain unaware of this intellectual ferment because the debate about evolution continues to assume the quality of an abstract and philosophical “dialogue of the deaf” between Creationists and Darwinists. Although our knowledge of the molecular details of biological organization is undergoing a revolutionary expansion, open-minded discussions of the impact of these discoveries are all too rare. The possibility of a non-Darwinian, scientific theory of evolution is virtually never considered. In my comments, then, I propose to sketch some developments in contemporary life science that suggest shortcomings in orthodox evolutionary theory and open the door to very different ways of formulating questions about the evolutionary process. After a discussion of technical advances in our views about genome organization and the mechanisms of genetic change, I will focus on a growing convergence between biology and information science which offers the potential for scientific investigation of possible intelligent cellular action in evolution.
Full text @ Boston Review
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