Sunday, April 09, 2006

Blogging by a jerk

When the Intelligent Design (ID) creationism proponents advocate "teaching the controversy", they're referring to a fake controversy, the one which they've attempted to manufacture through press releases and other PR, rather than through actual research.

But interesting controversies in evolution really do exist, which makes me wonder why the IDers settle for such an unsatisfying phony substitute controversy.

One past controversial proposal regarding evolution, which has since become much more established, is "punctuated equilibrium", or "punk-eek". In 1972, Niles Eldridge and Stephen Jay Gould published a seminal paper on the concept, which proposes that evolutionary change occurs anisotropically (is unevenly distributed) over time--in "fits and starts" over relatively short times, as opposed to gradually and evenly over the entire time the population existed, as the then-prevailing view of "phyletic gradualism" held.

One thing I always found funny--childish, but funny--was the terms some members of each opposing camp used against each other. Certain opponents of punctuated equilibrium referred to it as "evolution by jerks", while some proponents of punk-eek have deployed the term "evolution by creeps" to describe phyletic gradualism.

While there's clearly a lot more to say on the topic, and by people who know a lot more about it than I do, I'll just observe here that--given the written record--punctuated equilibrium is clearly a much better model to explain my blogging style than is gradualism. Rather than reproach myself for not being better at blogging everyday (like some bloggers I admire very much do), I'll just embrace my punk-eek blogging style. I'll blog as much and when I can, and there will probably be more times when I go underground and concentrate on projects, only to re-emerge and blog about them later.


Post a Comment

<< Home