Peter Saunders Interview (Part 2): Evolution and GMOs
Peter Saunders in Part 2 of our recent interview comments on why it’s crucial to understand how evolution works in light of the ongoing genetic modification of organisms. He is a long-time critic of neo-Darwinism, particularly of the assumption of “one gene — one character.”
Peter Saunders is emeritus professor of applied mathematics at King’s College London as well as co-director of ISIS, the British organization whose mission is “to reclaim science for the public good.” His PhD is in theoretical astrophysics from the University of London, his BA in applied mathematics from the University of Toronto. He is the author of An Introduction to Catastrophe Theory; co-editor of the books Beyond neo-Darwinism (with Mae-Wan Ho) and of Theoretical Biology (with the late Brian Goodwin).
Suzan Mazur: Would you talk about why an understanding of how evolution works is crucial regarding the ongoing genetic modification of organisms?
Peter Saunders: [I]n neo-Darwinism there is this picture — it wasn’t true in the 1960s, but it wasn’t so obviously false as it is today — it’s what geneticists themselves refer to as “one gene — one character.”
The thing about “one gene — one character” is that if you ask neo-Darwinists, geneticists: Do you really believe this? They will say: Nobody could believe such a thing, it’s stupid, let’s be real. Then if you go and you look at the way they do their models and the papers they write and the theories they come up with — actually they ARE assuming “one gene — one character.” And we know they are because we can see it in the modeling.
Suzan Mazur: That’s remarkable.