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Monday, October 24, 2005

News Flash!: Stephen Jay Gould would never have signed the Darwin lobby's "Steve" list, close friend says

Last night I spoke with Stuart Pivar, sponsor of the J site, which crusades for a non-Darwinian structuralist theory of evolution, under Gould's name (Gould died in 2002).

[If you were directed to this story, also see the Tuesday story for further developments. See Wednesday's as well. - Denyse]

It turns out that Pivar, a chemical engineer as well as an art collector, was indeed a friend of Gould. He writes,

steve and ronda would spend weekends at my beach house. we were close friends for years. i officiated at his funeral service.

steve lifes work was to understand evolution. His message was that natural selection was merely an eliminative force with no creative role, capable of choosing for survival among preexisting forms which are produced by other natural structural processes.

What's more, he thinks that Darwin lobbyist Eugenie Scott of the National Center for Science Education has hijacked Gould's legacy with its Steve campaign against intelligent design theory. Steve himself would never have signed the statement, he insists, because Gould did not see natural selection as a creative force, as Darwinists do!

Steve Gould (the Ursteve of the famous Steve list of the NCSE) clearly did not believe in natural selection as the primary cause of evolutionary change.

The 600 listed scientists named Steve claim the belief that evolution happened, and that natural selection is the mechanical process which causes it. Stephen Jay Gould would not have signed this list.

(Note: You have to find this key "Steve list" page on the sidebar; I can't link directly to its name. Also, the list says that natural selection is a major mechanical process, not the mechanical process. )

If so, this is a major upset in the current intelligent design wars that will surely damage NCSE's case for teaching Darwinism only in American schools.

I will post excerpts from my conversation with Pivar when I have time to go over my notes.

(Note: My earlier treatment of Pivar was a bit negative because at the time I was not able to confirm that he really did speak for Gould, but now I have at least some evidence that he does. If he does, well then NCSE doesn't. )
If you like this blog, check out my award-winning book on the intelligent design controversy, By Design or by Chance?. You can read excerpts as well.

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