16 August, 2010


Today we post our first review on the Shape Blog. I have been feverishly and regularly writing such responses to published materials for some time (mostly of articles in New Scientist Magazine), but what with the short time between consecutive issues of that publication (it's a weekly) and my own experience in writing to such tight schedules that have been the unavoidable case, that in spite of the quality being finally acceptable for publication, the "currency" has slipped much too much. By the time they were finished they were invariably too late to inform possible readers of the original stimuli for these responses.

But clearly until I can produce these reviews in good time and while the source is still "fresh", the increasing pile of offerings has remained in my out tray (but never left it).

It is clear that this apparent waste cannot be allowed to continue, so we are now going to publish most of our reviews even if they are a bit late to be current with the latest issue of New Scientist. And, on thinking about it, they will still be relevant to the issues which have dominated Science News and Comment for very extended periods. In fact some crucial arguments have been going on for many years.

Certainly, this first review will not be rendered passe by unavoidable delays. Pagel's contribution (revealed in yet another New Scientist article and addressed in our first review) has turned out to be an extremely significant contribution to criticising many of our basic assumptions with regards to Evolution. In fact at least four successive papers have already been produced by this author and Pagel's work is definitely undermining many sacred cows in this important area of study.

The paper I have decided to publish here as Review No. 1 is entitled The End of Incrementalist Evolution and it hopefully will get our readers thinking and perhaps get the relevant materials for themselves.

NB: The Special Issue of the Shape Journal on Emergences in Evolution is now at an advanced stage of preparation, and is likely to be the next one published. And in this proposed publication the relevance of Pagel's important contribution will be revealed in full along with a whole series of other related contributions from current publications.

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