Evolutionary Theorizing: Only Atheists Need Apply

first_imgSimon Conway Morris is a thorough-going evolutionist and anticreationist.  You would think that would make the editors of Science happy, but on Dec. 5 they printed a scathing review by Douglas E. Irwin1 of his recent book Life’s Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe.  Though Morris accepts the full story of Darwinian common ancestry, he retains enough of a veiled deistic perspective to propose that humans, instead of being the product of completely blind, directionless, purposeless natural causes, were somehow predetermined from the start.  For this, he gets almost the same boot as the worst idiot enemies of science–the creationists:Many biologists, particularly those who have valiantly fought battles against creationists and other know-nothings, may fling this book across the room, convinced that Conway Morris is providing aid and comfort to the enemy.  The author’s position is, however, considerably more nuanced, as he attempts–though not particularly successfully–to chart a path simultaneously opposing creationism, Stephen Jay Gould, and Richard Dawkins.  Indeed part of the sport of the book lies in watching him attempt such implausible intellectual gymnastics. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Harsh words, indeed.  Irwin ridicules this view as “The Goldilocks Hypothesis.”  Simon Conway Morris leans heavily on the ubiquity of convergence in the natural world to make his point, and also discusses the anthropic principle as evidence for some kind of purpose for our existence.  Irwin is not amused:Evolution will not fall nor creationists triumph because another evolutionary biologist has proclaimed that he finds natural theology personally appealing as a way of understanding the complexity of the world.  The ubiquity of convergence does raise real issues for evolutionary biology, but that is hardly a novel observation.  Life’s Solution remains an artfully constructed retrospective fallacy: that we are here is so improbable that our presence must signify a purposeful universe.  Perhaps, although I doubt it, and with n = 1 the evidence is insufficient to make any judgment.  Life is wonderful, whether we understand it in a metaphysical sense or not.  Ultimately, all our presence may signify is that we are here–for the moment.1Douglas H. Irwin, “The Goldilocks Hypothesis,” Science Volume 302, Number 5651, Issue of 5 Dec 2003, pp. 1682-1683.The Charlie parley is getting snarly.  Join the club, Simon.  Sit here with Henry, the other Dr. Morris, and let him nurse your wounds.  I hope this teaches you a lesson.  The evolutionary science establishment has no tolerance for compromise.  You might as well become a young-earth creationist and you would get more respect.  As it is, you are acting like the proverbial pacifist wearing the Union jacket and the Confederate trousers.  You’re getting blasted from both sides.  At least the creationists try to be civil and fight like gentlemen.    To his credit, Irwin admits to the problems of convergence and complexity.  He can mildly tolerate a position of ignorance, that our lack of understanding of convergence and anthropic parameters might mean we cannot understand the world and have to leave it at this: “We’re here because we’re here.”  (This could also mean, “We’re here because we’re not all there.”)  But even this concession is consistent with pure atheism.  What is not tolerable is any hint of purpose or direction to the evolutionary process.  Utter a peep on that and you are a “know-nothing” at best, and “the enemy” that must be destroyed.    Eugenie Scott, director of the NCSE (the “keep creation out of the schools” lobby group), has stressed in her public debates with Phillip Johnson and other intelligent-design or creationist spokesmen that evolutionists are not at all hostile to religion.  If you want to believe there is meaning and purpose to life, that is fine and wonderful.  Science has no problem with religious faith.  Why, even many evolutionists have their own religious beliefs, which is OK on their own time (just not in the science lab).  She has been so emphatic on this point, she makes it seem like her opposition just doesn’t understand how nice evolutionists really are.  In debate at least, she narrows her point to the “rules of science,” argument, that one must only study natural causes when doing science (methodological naturalism).  Though there may be atheists who are evolutionists, she denies that metaphysical naturalism is a necessary part of Darwinian theory.    If that were true, why is that any time anyone, even a convinced evolutionist like Simon Conway Morris, tries to present even the slightest hint of design or purpose, he gets blasted?  Look what they did to William Dembski (see 07/11/2002 headline), whose book No Free Lunch used only scientific and mathematical arguments to support the validity of design detection.  Phillip Johnson has been one of the key debaters to see through the fraud of Scott’s false dichotomy of methodological vs. metaphysical naturalism.  He shows that there is no difference in practice, because if you exclude intelligent causes from the outset, what is there for a Designer to do?  If a Designer is not allowed to influence natural causes in any real sense, how can he be gainfully employed?  Theistic evolutionists are kidding themselves.  The Darwinists do not want God even to start the big bang, let alone direct anything, at any time, in any way.  Johnson has also exposed the doubletalk of Darwinists who pretend that evolutionism has no impact on religious belief (see commentary from 01/14/2002 headline).    The only way you can satisfy the Darwin Party is to agree 100% with metaphysical naturalism: that nature is all there is, and that humans are the product of blind, purposeless forces that did not have them in mind.  Can you name any book review in a science journal that has an ounce of toleration for anything other than 100% conformity to the reigning philosophy of pure atheism?  Astronomer Owen Gingerich gets to speak his mind on occasion (see Feb. 12 headline), but usually only when talking about history, when people didn’t know better.  Try to find a biologist in a science journal admitting to any kind of purpose or intelligence behind the process of evolution, and it will be a long search.  Eugenie Scott is sending those who believe her disclaimer on a snipe hunt just to get them out of the way.    If nothing else, this kind of article should reveal the real agenda of the Darwin Party.  It’s not about science.  It’s about allegiance.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Don’t sell South Africa short: Tutu

first_img24 November 2004Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has criticised South Africans who sell their country short, saying many seem to be “embarrassed” by the nation’s successes.“The result is that we have tended to be despondent, to seem to say, ‘Behind every ray of sunshine there must be an invisible cloud, just you wait long enough and it will soon appear’”, the Nobel laureate said during the second annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in Johannesburg on Wednesday.At the same time, he warned against “party line-toeing”, calling for open debate on the problems still facing the country.Tutu said that the country – which he termed “Madibaland” – had come a long way and was now reaping a number of socio-economic and political fruits, and producing more heroes and heroines every day. This, he said, called for a celebration – but not for pessimistic South Africans.“I think we should change our perspective”, Tutu said. “If we are forever looking at our shortcomings and our faults, then the mood will be pervasive and pessimistic and in a way we will provide the environment that encourages further failure.”The Archbishop Emeritus was the second person to deliver the Nelson Mandela Lecture, following in the footsteps of former US President Bill Clinton, who presented the inaugural lecture in 2003.Tutu reminded his audience of apartheid’s draconian laws and the “scariest” moment, when the nation was on the brink of what he described as “comprehensive disaster, a bloody conflagration”.“But it didn’t happen … We really have much to celebrate and much for which to be thankful”, he said, marvelling at mixed-race couples who would once have been victimised by the police and the way the new society was reflected in the demographics of the school near his home.The world was still mesmerised by the way in which South Africa had transformed itself from a brute regime to a constitutional democracy, Tutu said, adding that by working together, the country could become a huge success.Call for open debate on problemsAt the same time, Tutu conceded that the country had problems, the most serious of which was HIV/Aids, and called for robust, open debate on such issues, saying: “The truth cannot suffer from being challenged and examined”.“We should debate more openly, not using emotive language, issues such as affirmative action, transformation in sport, racism, xenophobia, security, crime, violence against women and children.“It should be possible to talk as adults about these issues without engaging in slanging matches”, Tutu said. “My father used to say, ‘Don’t raise your voice; improve your argument’.“We want our society to be characterised by vigorous debate and dissent, where to disagree is part and parcel of a vibrant community, that we should play the ball not the person, and not think that those who disagree, who express dissent, are ipso facto disloyal or unpatriotic.“An unthinking, uncritical, party line-toeing is fatal to a vibrant democracy”, he warned.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

AgTube: Fields of the Future

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Live from the WinField™ Crop Adventure at Fair Oaks Farms, view a discussion on farming’s future and the role of agriculture in solving tomorrow’s food security challenges through innovation, sustainability and technology.last_img