Normally I try to write something substantial for this blog every day, even if it can’t be a thoroughly-researched mega post like some of my more notorious writings. Yesterday was no exception, especially in light of the fact that a Rutgers philosophy professor, Jerry Fodor, has recently published a rather incoherent piece that’s critical of the role of natural selection in evolution (you can read “Why Pigs Don’t Have Wings” at the LRB website, although it may induce migraines). In fact, I actually wrote up a lengthy response to Fodor’s piece, but when I was finished I didn’t feel quite right about it and I’m going to go back and shorten it a bit. Fellow SciBling Jason Rosenhouse has already done an admirable job in critiquing Fodor’s article if you can’t wait for my own take on the subject, however, although my response is more likely to focus on why Fodor is conceptually wrong rather than trying to correct everything he gets wrong about natural selection (a subject which he does not seem to be especially familiar to begin with). Those interested in a brief history of Fodor’s arguments against the importance of natural selection (and Daniel Dennett’s response to Fodor) should also check out this post at another great Sb blog, Omni Brain.
I also have some memes to continue (I’ve been hit with PZ’s rapidly evolving genre meme twice) and awards to dole out, and hopefully I’ll be able to get all this done after my Topics and African Prehistory class this afternoon. I’ve also got some posts cooking about the reciprocality and the concept of “fairness” among primates, the new patagonian dinosaur Futalognkosaurus dukei, a discussion of the new species of hadrosaur Gryposaurus monumentensis, as well as my long-promised work on sauropod juveniles and the history of thought about Tyrannosaurus. So much to write, so little time, but I will get something substantial up this afternoon.