" We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged." - Dissent from Darwin

Natural selection [is used] carelessly as a mantra, as in the evidence-free “just-so stories” concocted out of thin air by mentally lazy adaptationists. (Stephen Jay Gould)

In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God's existence. (Isaac newton)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

How PANDA got his thumb

Stephen Jay Gould was amazed by the Panda's dexterity. "They held the stalks of bamboo in their paws and stripped off the leaves by passing the stalks between an apparently flexible thumb and the remaining fingers. But the thumb is not a finger at all. It is made from a wrist bone and equipped with muscles to sustain its agility.

If a man were to make a machine for some special purpose, but were to use old wheels. springs, and pulleys, only slightly altered, the whole machine, with all its parts, might be said to be specially contrived for that purpose.

We may not be flattered by the metaphor of refurbished wheels and pulleys, but consider how well we work. Nature is, in biologist Francois Jacob's words, an excellent tinkerer, not a divine artificer. And who shall sit in judgment between these exemplary skills?"

Storyteller: Stephen Jay Gould, Harvard University.
The Panda's Thumb by Stephen Jay Gould

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow. Nature IS god. God IS nature. It's all so clear. What a fool I've been.

Who shall sit in judgement? Who indeed.