It’s official: http://cosmicfingerprints.com/royal-society-evolution/
If one struggles with the whole piece about that “interesting” Roy Soc meeting back in November, the stuff about me is:
“University of St. Andrews scientist David Shuker challenged Denis Noble, who had described an experiment where scientists deleted flagella genes from bacteria.
These cells had re-generated their flagella genes in just four days and grown new tails. A mind-bending example of real-time, high-speed evolution.
“Clearly natural selection can rapidly steer regulatory networks. This is a beautiful example of high speed Neo-Darwinian evolution,” Shuker argued.
Shuker, like Jerry Coyne, was towing the standard Neo-Darwinian line, which insists that in the end, all comes down to “selection, selection, selection.”
Shuker somehow imagined that “selection” is re-wiring those genes. I don’t know how selection re-wires genes in four days. Selection after all is just survival of the fittest; “selection” doesn’t provide us a single detail about how those genes got rewired.
But in the Neo-Darwinian view, for any cell to evolve purposefully is unthinkable. So of course “natural selection” always ends up being the answer.”
Yeah, how on earth did I imagine that?