En Arche Foundation
invites to scientific debate
A Theory in Crisis?
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Watch the interview with Michael Denton
Evolution: A Theory in Crisis?
People have always wondered about the origins of the diversity of life. It is generally believed that the first scientific explanation of this question was offered by Charles Darwin in the pages of the book On the Origin of SpeciesIn his opinion, living organisms are the result of a purely naturalistic process of evolution by means of natural selection acting on random variation. This theory fell on fertile ground, as seen in the words of Thomas H. Huxley, who, after hearing Darwin's idea, exclaimed: "how extremely stupid not to have thought of that.".
Since publication of On the Origin of Species the theory of evolution has undergone significant changes, so much so that today we no longer speak of Darwinism but of Neo-Darwinism. However its core thesis remains unchanged, and many biologists would agreewith the words of Isaac Asimov, who wrote that "no theory is better founded, more closely examined, more critically argued and more thoroughly accepted, than the theory of evolution". Asimov's opinion is not isolated. Richard Dawkins, a prominent proponent of Darwinian evolutionism today, echoed this sentiment when he declared that “Darwin's theory is now supported by all the available relevant evidence, and its truth is not doubted by any serious modern biologist.".
Does the modern theory of evolution really have such unshakable scientific foundations as claimed by Asimov and Dawkins, or is it quite the opposite and it is in crisis? Should the scientific community be open to new solutions and hypotheses? We will try to answer these questions during the debate.
dr Michael Denton,
biochemist, Discovery Institute
He is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture.
His research topic as a PhD student and post doctoral fellow at Kings College in the 1970s was the differentiation of the red blood cell, and his main research focus since the early 1980s has been on identifying genes responsible for inherited retinal disease in humans His retinal research led to the identification of several new retinal disease genes.
Denton’s most prominent book, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, coined the phrase that evolution is a “theory in crisis,” and is credited with having inspired both Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe to investigate scientific problems with Darwinian evolution. The core argument of the book is that much of the complexity of the biological world cannot be accounted for in terms of cumulative selection. According to Denton, Darwinism has reached that final stage.
His 1998 sequel, Nature’s Destiny: How the Laws of Biology Reveal Purpose in the Universe, elaborates on the evidence for design in nature, arguing that the laws of the universe are finely-tuned not only for the existence of carbon-based life, but even for complex beings of biology close to modern humans.
Dr Denton has published his work in journals such as “Nature, Biochemical Journal”, “Nature Genetics”, “BioSystems”, “Human Genetics”, “Clinical Genetics”, “The Journal of Theoretical Biology”, and” Biology and Philosophy”. He has presented his work at major universities throughout the world.
His current research focuses on exploring the role and limitation of genes in the generation of cell form, particularly retinal cells and red blood cells, and examining the challenge posed to Darwinian functionalism by the apparently non-adaptive ground plans or types which underlie much of the adaptive complexity of life.
Dr. Mariusz Kasprzak, prof. UZ,
biologist, University of Zielona Gora
dr hab. Mariusz Kasprzak, prof. UZ is the Head of the Department of Human Nutrition and Dietotherapy.
He was born on September 3, 1959. In 1984, he graduated from biology at the Pedagogical University in Słupsk, where he also began scientific work devoted mainly to the ecophysiology of animal blood in their natural environment.
In 1995, he received his Ph.D. from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. He wrote his dissertation on developmental changes in the blood of the collared pheasant Phasianus colchicus torquatus.
Since 2008, he has been working at the University of Zielona Góra at the Faculty of Biological Sciences. His area of study and teaching is, among others, animal physiology and human nutrition.
In 2012, at the Pedagogical University of Krakow, he defended his dissertation for habilitation on ecophysiological changes in the blood of birds.
He is the author and co-author of over 70 scientific papers published in renowned journals. He published, among others, in Science of the Total Environment", "Environmental Microbiology", "Foodborne Pathogens and Disease", "Environmental Science and Pollution Research", "Journal of Ornithology", "Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology", "Environmental Research" , “Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology”, and “Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology”.
His research interests concern ecophysiology of animals, pro- and antioxidant processes in animals living in environments with different intensity of anthropopressure, hematology of vertebrates, biochemical indicators of condition in the serum of birds and fish, condition of the white stork Ciconia ciconia and the city pigeon Columba livia f. urbana in ontogeny, the impact of ulcerative skin necrosis (UDN) on the condition of the natural population of sea trout Salmo trutta m. trutta during the spawning period.
Particularly noteworthy is the almost 20 years of research on the physiological condition of the white stork in south-western Poland.
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