Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg challenges what he calls the “National Geographic” or “textbook” view of the fossil record as a support for modern Darwinian theory. In this bonus interview released as part of the Science Uprising series, Sternberg unpacks what the fossil record really shows, what we learn from population genetics about Darwinian theory, and how the Darwinian mechanism can’t account for the evolution of whales. He also examines competing scientific explanations for the abrupt appearance of new body plans in the history of life.
Richard Sternberg is an evolutionary biologist with interests in the relation between genes and morphological homologies, and the nature of genomic “information.” He holds two Ph.D.’s: one in Biology (Molecular Evolution) from Florida International University and another in Systems Science (Theoretical Biology) from Binghamton University. From 2001-2007, he served as a staff scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and from 2001-2007 was a Research Associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Sternberg is presently a research scientist at Discovery Institute.