Pigliucci lança o INDEX PROHIBITORUM em biologia evolucionária: não usem linguagem teleológica

terça-feira, outubro 19, 2010


DOI: 10.1007/s11191-010-9267-6

Why Machine-Information Metaphors are Bad for Science and Science Education

Massimo Pigliucci and Maarten Boudry


Genes are often described by biologists using metaphors derived from computational science: they are thought of as carriers of information, as being the equivalent of “blueprints” for the construction of organisms. Likewise, cells are often characterized as “factories” and organisms themselves become analogous to machines. Accordingly, when the human genome project was initially announced, the promise was that we would soon know how a human being is made, just as we know how to make airplanes and buildings. Importantly, modern proponents of Intelligent Design, the latest version of creationism, have exploited biologists’ use of the language of information and blueprints to make their spurious case, based on pseudoscientific concepts such as “irreducible complexity” and on flawed analogies between living cells and mechanical factories. However, the living organism = machine analogy was criticized already by David Hume in his Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. In line with Hume’s criticism, over the past several years a more nuanced and accurate understanding of what genes are and how they operate has emerged, ironically in part from the work of computational scientists who take biology, and in particular developmental biology, more seriously than some biologists seem to do. In this article we connect Hume’s original criticism of the living organism = machine analogy with the modern ID movement, and illustrate how the use of misleading and outdated metaphors in science can play into the hands of pseudoscientists. Thus, we argue that dropping the blueprint and similar metaphors will improve both the science of biology and its understanding by the general public.




O artigo de Pigliucci e Boudry mostra o grande desespero em que se encontra a Nomenklatura científica quanto ao avanço da teoria do Design Inteligente:

"...if we want to keep Intelligent Design out of the classroom, not only do we have to exclude the ‘theory’ from the biology curriculum, but we also have to be weary [sic] of using scientific metaphors that bolster design-like misconceptions about living systems. We argue that the machine-information metaphor in biology not only misleads students and the public at large, but cannot but direct even the thinking of the scientists involved, and therefore the sort of questions they decide to pursue and how they approach them."

Uau! O nome disso Pigliucci e Boudry é desespero e censura epistêmica, mas muito antes de vocês nós tivemos Crick e Dawkins:

1. "Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved." — Francis Crick, in What Mad Pursuit (1990), 138. 

2. "Biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose." Richard Dawkins, in The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, ), p. 1.

Ora, se nada em biologia faz sentido a não ser à luz da evolução, por que esse desespero e formulação de um INDEX PROHIBITORUM linguístico para descrever cientificamente as coisas vivas???

Os cientistas não devem seguir as evidências aonde elas forem dar? Bacon recomendou ir à natureza e fazer perguntas para ela. São essas as respostas que os cientistas estão obtendo: complexidade irredutível de sistemas biológicos e informação complexa especificada?

Em ciência é proibido proibir...