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What Natural Selection Doesn't Answer

Alexander Rosenberg, in reviewing Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker (The Scientist, January 12, 1987, pp. 23-24), says that "natural selection… and it alone, can explain the most puzzling facts … that the organization of living things reveals." I beg to disagree. First, no scientist should ever claim that any one theory must be right. But more important, if one looks closely into the idea behind natural selection, it is difficult to see what it does explain. It does not account f

Lipson
Alexander Rosenberg, in reviewing Richard Dawkins' The Blind Watchmaker (The Scientist, January 12, 1987, pp. 23-24), says that "natural selection… and it alone, can explain the most puzzling facts … that the organization of living things reveals." I beg to disagree.

First, no scientist should ever claim that any one theory must be right. But more important, if one looks closely into the idea behind natural selection, it is difficult to see what it does explain. It does not account for the origin of life and the development of species. In particular, it does not explain the development of the human brain with its capacity for thought and consciousness (And Rosenberg is a philosopher!).

I am an ordinary physicist. I am wary of using the deus ex machina to explain phenomena that we have difficulty in understanding. But whenever I see a flower unfolding, a bird...

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