Usually I use this space to address reviews of The Edge of Evolution that have appeared in print in journals, newspapers, or magazines. The reason is that usually print media recruit leading figures in evolutionary biology to write a review, and so those reviews represent the thoughts of some of the best minds in the field. Examining their thoughts, then, can quickly give us a good understanding of whether there are ready answers to the challenges and arguments posed by The Edge. After all, if reviews by the likes of Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne fail to engage the arguments of the book, and instead rely mainly on bluster and non sequiturs, then that’s solid evidence that no good replies exist.
This series of posts (besides this intro, there will be five posts over the next week) will be different. Here I will address a post on the blog The Panda’s Thumb by a man named Ian Musgrave. Musgrave, a professor at the University of Adelaide, wrote “An Open Letter to Dr. Michael Behe”, in which he questioned my earlier reply to a woman named Abbie Smith, who is a graduate student working on HIV. Musgrave asserts that my response to her was scientifically inadequate and uncivil. I disagree strongly on both counts. Next week I explain why. (I will quote portions of Musgrave and Smith’s posts. The posts can be read in their entirety onThe Panda’s Thumbblog. All references will appear with the final post.)