Really interesting take on evolutionary theories….
Several readers called my attention to a new paper by J. William Schopf and colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (reference below; free download at link), a paper that has also gotten a great deal of attention in the press. Last week a journalist asked me to comment on it, but I was too busy then to read it. Now that I have, I’m not all that impressed. It’s a decent paper, and doesn’t fail the first test of a science paper—does it tell us something new?—but I don’t think it makes the case that’s gotten the press all excited.
What is that case? The authors claim that their finding—an example of extremely slow evolution (in fact, no perceptible evolution) in a sulfur-producing bacterium—constitutes a test of Darwin’s “null hypothesis of evolution.” That hypothesis, as stated by the authors, is this:
. . . if there is no change in the…
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