Was there a Darwinian Revolution?


As promised, here [pdf, 7.83M] are the slides from today’s Darwin Day talk for the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix. There were somewhere between 80 and 100 people in attendance, and I think it went quite well.

And for any attendees who stop by here [pdf] are the slides from my September talk on Intelligent Design.


6 thoughts on “Was there a Darwinian Revolution?

  1. Yes and no. No revolution in the Kunhian sense.
    What was unique about Darwin was his synthesis (versus the idea of natural selection which was, after all, discovered by others as well). Selection the mechanism was very slow to be accepted while the fact of transmutation was already in the air. Common descent and a tree-like, contingent, pattern was the big idea. Including humans in this picture was also big (in that sense, Descent may actually be more important to future thought than Origin).
    The true revolution was in areas outside biology – we now have to take Darwin seriously in any area which discusses humans. And *that* was revolutionary.
    Of course, that’s just my view 🙂

  2. The funny thing is that if any change of mind in science comes close to an actual Kuhnian revolution, it is the Darwinian – and even it is nowhere close to a Kuhnian revolution. Paradigms are mythological beasts induced by a Weltanschauung fever.
    One day I’ll work up a talk about Darwinism as the new Epicureanism…

  3. Thanks for sharing these, John. I wish I could have seen the presentation, but looking the images over it seems that I covered a lot of the same topics you did (and even used some of the same images, i.e. Prof. Ichthyosaurus). One of the points you mention above was even a shocker to my “Evolution Sunday” audience yesterday; that natural selection was slow to be accepted and that evolutionary science as it is now is a very new thing.

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