Systems Philosophy Strikes Again!
Remember that, as the universal mechanism of evolution, univironmental determinism (UD) assumes that whatever happens to an xyz portion of the universe is determined by the infinite matter in motion within and without. Thus, whenever we analyze anything, we are prone to two types of errors of overemphasis: microcosmic and macrocosmic. As the current scientific world view of the mainstream, systems philosophy consistently errors on the microcosmic side. The motto seems to be: consider the thing you are studying (the microcosm) and ignore or slight everything else (the macrocosm). Readers know that the archetype of systems philosophy is the Big Bang Theory (BBT). But there are many other disciplines in which systems philosophy does its damage.
One popular discussion among evolutionists involves a renewal of the bogus nature-nurture debate. By adding genetics to natural selection, neo-Darwinists rectified Darwin’s macrocosmic error. Evolution in biology is the result of interactions between the organism (with all its genes) and its environment. Now comes two folks (Shapiro and Newman) who think that evolution is driven mostly by genetic variations, with natural selection having little to do with it:
Jerry Coyne has ripped their analysis pretty well, calling Shapiro and Newman out as antiselectionists: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/12/07/another-antiselectionist-stuart-newman-surfaces-at-puffho/
Unfortunately, Coyne has his own problems, which stem from the limitations of neo-Darwinism. For instance, he is a consistent opponent of “group selection”: http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/?s=group+selection&searchsubmit=Find+%C2%BB
The jist of that argument is that, if you don’t physically reproduce yourself, you are nothing in the eyes of evolution. Aunts and uncles have nothing whatsoever to do with the success of the clan. Us aunts and uncles, however, know that to be pure BS. In UD, the microcosm of interest can be whatever we want it to be. The proper analysis is always the univironment: the interaction between the microcosm and the macrocosm.
As I argued in "The Scientific Worldview," neo-Darwinism is too limited for its claim to be the mechanism of evolution. At best, it is only a special case of UD, with its tendency toward myopia quite evident in the “group selection” debate. Then too, mainstream neo-Darwinists invariably are supporters of the BBT. They see creationist attacks on the BBT as being anti-evolution and anti-science, which I suppose they are. They can’t imagine that the BBT could itself be anti-science. To handle the contradiction posed by their brothers in cosmogony, neo-Darwinists continue to pose the debate as one between evolution and creation. It goes much farther than that. It is really between the deterministic assumption of conservation and the indeterministic assumption of creation. As accomodationists, the mainstream defends The Fifth Assumption of Science, conservation (Matter and the motion of matter can be neither created nor destroyed)—whenever it suits them. Neo-Darwinists typically miss the irony in both defending and attacking the assumption of creation at the same time.