Dembski: I Want to Write a Paper on Punctuated Equilibrium but Don’t Want to Read Gould

Dembski is writing a paper on punctuated equilibrium but doesn’t want to actually read any of Gould’s work and doesn’t seem to want to track down the quotes on his own, rather he is relying on the kindness of strangers. Says Dembski

Can someone provide me with the exact quote as well as with the exact reference? (The context: I’m writing about punctuated equilibrium being at best a slight variant of Darwinism and that even Gould realized this.)

In other news, Dembski is still puzzled over the fact that people don’t take him seriously.
(Hat tip to Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread)

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11 Responses

  1. Wow. Good thing Bill is around or biologists would never be able to figure these things out for themselves! Dembski can start here.

  2. I think that you are mis-characterizing what Dembski wants. He says that he wants references to places where Gould referred to himself as a Darwinian. The statement that he is going to write about PE is a ploy. He is just trying to be able to justify using that term as opposed to all of the criticism that it is a derogatory or negative or incorrect term for evolutionary biologists.

  3. If he says he is writing about PE I don’t have much of a choice but to accept his word for it. Even if you are correct the larger point remains, the only way to learn what someone thinks on a particular subject is to read it for yourself. It’s not like Gould’s writings are hard to find. My own suspicion is that he will take a couple of quotes and then make a bunch of stuff up (about PE), totally ignoring the bulk of Gould’s work. I guess we will see when the paper comes out… Whether Gould called himself a Darwinist or not is beside the point Dembski is trying to make. Most scientists studying evolution point out that evolutionary theory has come a long way since the days of Darwin and point to PE as one example. Dembski is trying to say the exact opposite – that evolutionary theory is stuck in the days of Darwin. For whatever reason he feels “Darwinism” is an easier target…

  4. I would really appreciate if WD would write something on biology. This will be complete bollocks but much funnier then the current religous statements of e. g. GilDodgen avowing himself a Christian or Deyse O’leary giving us a daily sermon.
    However, WD can not help it: Due to the emptiness of ID it is impossible to fill his blog with substantial material. Thus, DaveScot’s claim (June 25th,2006) did not have a chance of being accomplished:

    I’ve been lax in keeping the topic here on intelligent design and away from everyone’s favorite religion (or lack thereof). I’m as guilty as anyone. To remedy this situation I’m going to be deleting any comments I see with gratuitous references to religion until further notice. I’ll make an exception for any of our authors who’ve PhDs in both theology and mathematics.

    http://www.uncommondescent.com/archives/1260

  5. if he weren’t deleting so much he might have found the reference in his own blog

  6. Doesn’t everyone read Gould as an undergrad?

  7. Sparc – I am hoping he does write something, I need a good laugh…Amusing thing, though, is that last time he discussed Gould he was trying to claim Gould didn’t believe in natural selection or some such…
    Lab Lemming – I read a few of Gould’s papers as assigned reading from various classes. I also read Ontogeny and Phylogeny (found it in a used bookstore). I’ve read a bunch of his stuff since…

  8. I’m not quite sure what to say. At least it’s a change from Creationists claiming PE as evidence that ‘darwinism’ is all wrong and NS isn’t a constructive force (or something, it’s hard work applying creationist logic).
    My own understanding of Gould’s writing was that NS was the main creative force in play during evolution (which is a Darwinian sort of a thing to say) but though Dawkins and other adaptationists went too far is describing every thing in biology as the product of one process (hence the spandrels paper)
    (btw we didn’t have Gould as assigned reading untill our Honours year but I did my undergrad in more molecular-bio papers )

  9. If Demski wants to know about PE, he could always try writing to Niles Eldridge, who is still alive and kicking.

  10. Or Steven Stanley or Ian Tattersall among others…

  11. Isn’t the Great Dembski in possession of two PhDs? Therefore isn’t it a reasonable assumption that at some time in his life he has not only used a library but also browed various research databases?
    Does he realize how incredibly stupid he sounds to be asking somebody to look up a quote for him? But then I’m not surprised — I check UD quiet frequently and it’s been quite apparent that Dembski no longer has anything to say about ID anymore.

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