50 years ago, evolution was in big trouble. Mathematically, it just didn’t add up. A group of prominent scientists met at Wistar Institute for a conference entitled Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, to try to solve the problems.
They couldn’t. The problems are still there. To address them, the Royal Society is holding a meeting in November. A notice posted on the Society’s website explains why the conference is necessary:
“Scientific discussion meeting organised in partnership with the British Academy by Professor Denis Noble CBE FMedSci FRS, Professor Nancy Cartwright, Sir Patrick Bateson FRS, Professor John Dupré and Professor Kevin Laland.
Developments in evolutionary biology and adjacent fields have produced calls for revision of the standard theory of evolution, although the issues involved remain hotly contested. This meeting will present these developments and arguments in a form that will encourage cross-disciplinary discussion and, in particular, involve the humanities and social sciences in order to provide further analytical perspectives and explore the social and philosophical implications.”