Discovery Institute: We heart Fodor and Piattelli-Palmerini

As I predicted*, creationists are all over Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmerini’s new book, What Darwin Got Wrong, like a cheap suit.  If you want to see the Discovery Institute’s prize loons—David Berlinski, Jonathan Wells, Stephen Meyers, and Michael Behe—falling over each other to praise F&P-P’s misguided attack on evolution, go here.

Let’s hope that Fodor and Piattelli-Palmerini get spooked at finding themselves in such unsavory company, and rebuff the Discovery Institute’s endorsement. I’m not holding my breath.

*You don’t need many neurons to make this prediction.


  1. Posted February 22, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Berlinski. Shudders.

    I’ll be expecting a neoconservative celebration complete with 3D animal balloons.

  2. Posted February 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    *You don’t need many neurons to make this prediction.

    That shouldn’t stop you from a successful psychic career. Though on the ID movement, having people pronounce that “Darwinism is wrong” is about as logically relevant as pronouncing “Lamarkian inheritance is wrong”. Still doesn’t say that ID is right.

    ID proponents can crow about the weaknesses of Darwinian evolution until the cows come home, doesn’t take them even a single step closer to showing their alternative is true. It’s amazing how much they’ve put into that fallacious position, it’s like they think that if they pointed out the weaknesses of planetary formation theory that suddenly it means that the slartibartfast hypothesis is true. Can’t explain the fjords with plate tectonics? Must mean a designer!

  3. bueller007
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    This is the great thing about being an evolutionary biologist.

    If I’m ever hard-up for cash and lose my scruples then I know what kind of book I can write for instant fame (=infamy) and fortune.

    And since my risk factor for senile dementia is high, it’s not unlikely that I will renounce Darwinism in my old age (kind of like Antony Flew). That means I don’t need to save for my retirement.

    • Posted February 23, 2010 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      That made me laugh. Pretty good idea, by the way.

  4. MadScientist
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I guess Fodor and Piatelli-Palmerini are gunning for the Templeton Prize. With endorsement from the Dogma Institute, how can they miss it?

  5. Gerdien
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

    “We heart”
    from “to hear”?

    • HP
      Posted February 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

      Gerdien: It comes from using a picture of a heart as a substitute for the verb “to love.” E.g., “I♥NY” to mean “I love New York.”

      (No preview, so I hope that code renders correctly. How about “I♥NY”?)

  6. Neil
    Posted February 22, 2010 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Laughable. How can anyone claim natural selection cannot have the “creative power attributed to it” over millions and millions of years while witnessing the incredible creative power that human-caused artificial selection has had over a few thousand years?

    • Posted February 23, 2010 at 12:52 am | Permalink

      I was watching the Westminster dog show last week. All you have to do is look at the variation in just this one species that we have changed over the course of our history to see how powerful this process is.

      • Michael K Gray
        Posted February 23, 2010 at 3:17 am | Permalink

        Un-natural selection in Westminster also gave us the tragically crippled creature called Anthony Blair.
        Now that clearly demon-strates that this ‘power’ of which you speak destroys as well as creates.

  7. Matthew Cobb
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 3:55 am | Permalink

    *You don’t need many neurons to make this prediction.

    Well my maggots couldn’t have predicted it. They probably have around 100,000 neurons in their brain…

    • steve
      Posted February 23, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Well, there are slime mold out there that can be made to build a spanning tree similar to the Tokyo mass transit system.

  8. Michelle B
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Regardless what their motivation was, they are pathetically wrong in their conclusions.

  9. RichardW
    Posted February 23, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    I was under the impression that most creationists have accepted that natural selection can account for microevolution. Now that they’ve accepted Fodor’s debunking of natural selcetion, will they admit they were wrong?

    (Fat chance.)

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