George Gaylord Simpson on Continental Drift - Evolution News & Views

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George Gaylord Simpson on Continental Drift

Thanks to Casey Luskin for writing on the article from the Smithsonian magazine on Alfred Wegener.

Far be it from me to impute a pro-Darwin bias to the Smithsonian, but the article conveniently neglects to mention that the nastiest attack on Wegener came from one of the chief architects of neo-Darwinism, George Gaylord Simpson.

Simpson wrote in 1943 that the paleontological evidence "definitely opposes" the hypothesis and "favors stable continents." Simpson lamented the "irresponsibility" of much of the literature on the topic, "which consists too largely of statements that are demonstrably untrue or illogical," and he claimed that Wegener's "looseness of thought or method amounts to egregious misrepresentation." Maintaining that "the verdict of paleontologists is practically unanimous" in rejecting Wegener's hypothesis, Simpson was dismissive of its supporters:

It must be almost unique in scientific history for a group of students admittedly without special competence in a given field thus to reject the all but unanimous verdict of those who do have such competence.1
Sound familiar?

Reference:

(1) Simpson, G.G., "Mammals and the Nature of Continents," American Journal of Science 241 (1943): 1-31.


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