Monday, 9 May 2011

Darwinism and Dawkins versus Mathematics

Here is a very interesting job advert. Two professors at St. John's College, University of Oxford, are looking for two assistants to help them do research into the mathematics of population genetics and Darwinism:

Three things are particularly noticeable in the description of the job:
  • The two professors are doing research that they hope will lead to mathematical support of Darwinism - i.e. they are friends of Darwinian theory.
  • They frankly admit that mathematical geneticists "mainly deny that natural selection leads to optimization of any useful kind", and then go on to explain, equally frankly, that Richard Dawkins' arguments in his seminal work, "The Selfish Gene", are not supported by known mathematics.
  • The description proceeds to explain that they are looking for mathematics that will provide a basis for many of the concepts that are the Darwinian philosophers' stock-in-trade. Or in other words, stating the implication of that, they admit that as yet, the stock-in-trade conversations of Darwinian philosophers are not grounded in any known mathematical reality.
Note again the first point: these aren't enemies of Darwinism looking to do research to tear it down. They are its friends, looking for the research to establish it, and along the way candidly admitting that the mathematics to do so does not exist and the idea is generally contradicted. And remember, these aren't clowns; these are mathematics professors at the wealthiest college in the UK's top university...

I've just hopped over to RichardDawkins.Net to see if the great non-existent misotheist has republished the job announcement yet. Seems he hasn't got round to it....

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