The reach of Darwin’s theory


Article reads: Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975), leading contributor to the evolutionary “New Synthesis” during the 1930s, once declared, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of [neo-Darwinian] evolution.” Richard Dawkins has called Darwin’s theory of evolution “the most powerful idea ever.” Indeed, for Dawkins, On the Origin of Species “gave biology its guiding principle, a governing law that helps the rest make sense.” Of Darwin himself David Quammen has said, “Work was his opiate, and science was his religion.” But how accurate are these claims? Is Darwinian evolution the epitome of science itself? Does Darwinian evolution and/or its modern synthesis explain the whole of biology? A careful examination suggests it may indeed be more accurate to characterize it as a scientific pip-squeak in a suit of cultural armor.

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