Richard Sternberg Evolutionary Biologist


I am an evolutionary biologist with interests in the relation between genes and morphological homologies, and the nature of genomic “information.” I hold a Ph.D. in Biology (Molecular Evolution) from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in Systems Science (Theoretical Biology) from Binghamton University. From 2001-2007, I served as a staff scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information, and from 2001-2007 I was a Research Associate at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. I am presently a research scientist at the Biologic Institute, supported by a research fellowship from the Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute. I am also a Research Collaborator at the National Museum of Natural History.

From 2001-2004, I served as Managing Editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, and I have served on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of General Systems. In 1999, I was a Visiting Associate Professor of Biology at Northern Michigan University, and from 1999-2001 I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Invertebrate Zoology, National Museum of Natural History. I have received postdoctoral fellowships from both the NIH and the National Museum of Natural History, and I have published refereed articles in such journals as Genetica, Evolutionary Theory, Journal of Comparative Biology, Crustacean Research, Journal of Natural History, Journal of Morphology, Journal of Biological Systems, and the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.

My approach to the study of biology.

I think that neo-Darwinian theory is at best a very limited framework for understanding the development, organization, and disparity of fossil and recent taxa, as it formally pertains to the fixation and loss of gene variants in populations. Evolutionary genetics leaves open the central issue of how the one dimensional genotype can specify the four dimensional phenotype. The approach I am taking to this problem is a variant of structural realism, by which I mean that biological phenomena are manifestations of logico-mathematical structures. This perspective is orthogonal to the origins debate, if you will, because all historical actualities are understood to be space-time instances of pre-existing non-temporal possibilities. Within this context one can accept all that is empirically valid in evolutionary biology, while not axiomatically dismissing the position that structures as well as their “real” instantiations have an intelligent cause. My position asserts that the cosmos is fundamentally intelligible in such a way that it can be logically, mathematically, and scientifically recognized to be such; and moreover–following Proclus–that the universe emanates from Nous (mind). In this sense my thinking is compatible with intelligent design broadly defined.

For a more detailed discussion of my approach to biology, you can read my essay, “How My Views on Evolution Evolved,” downloadable here as a pdf document.