Against the Ropes with Darwin: The Imminent End of Evolution Theory


#1

See the article linked below. Do you agree or disagree? Is this debate really about atheists (or materialists) overstepping the proper bounds of science?

**Against the Ropes with Darwin
The Imminent End of the Evolution Theory
**
By Regis Nicoll
Breakpoint, August 18, 2005

pfm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=BreakPoint1&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=16608

“[T]he Darwinian brand of evolution is becoming increasingly vulnerable as the progress of science reveals its weaknesses.”—Historian Paul Johnson in Forbes

**. . . **

For example, a November 2004 Gallup poll reported that 83 percent of Americans believe that God was involved in human origin and development. Only 13 percent believed that God had no part in the process. Remarkable, considering that Darwinian evolution has been a theory without rival in public education ever since the Scopes Trial.

These numbers made academians wonder how the public could fail to “get it.” Surely Christian fundamentalists are to blame. Those religious zealots who believe in biblical truth are trying to re-infect society with myth and superstition—evils from which science rescued us long ago.

But here’s the rub. That same Gallup poll reported that only 34 percent of Americans believe in the literal truth of the Bible. In other words, fundamentalist teaching can’t account for the lack of public acceptance for Darwin’s theory. And, if eighty years of education have been insufficient to convince the public otherwise, something else must be wrong.

What’s wrong is that Darwinism lacks the creative power to explain the full complexity and diversity of life. And a growing number of scientists agree

**. . . **

Since more than 70 percent of the populace favor “teaching the controversy,” it was only a matter of time before states began amending science curricula

**. . . **

The Giant Staggers

I have been asked more than once why many people hold tenaciously to a theory riddled with so many problems. I think the best answer comes from NYU Law professor Thomas Nagel, a self-professed atheist:

It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God . . . I hope there is no God! . . . I don’t want the universe to be like that. My guess is that this cosmic authority problem is not a rare condition and is responsible for . . . the overuse of evolutionary biology to explain everything about life, including everything about the human mind.

When neo-Darwinists begin hammering us with their best shots—dogmatic claims based on philosophy, speculation, flawed studies, and fraudulent evidence—you know it won’t be long before the lumbering giant staggers, stumbles, and collapses to the canvas.


#2

[quote=dts]See the article linked below. Do you agree or disagree? Is this debate really about atheists (or materialists) overstepping the proper bounds of science?

[/quote]

I think that is very much what drives the debate. The debate is not about the science or there would be no debate.

Peace

Tim


#3

[quote=Orogeny]I think that is very much what drives the debate. The debate is not about the science or there would be no debate.

Peace

Tim
[/quote]

As we have locked horns over this in the past - science is not god, God is God.

Scientific truth will always be in harnony with God, not God fitting to what scientists think they see.


#4

[quote=buffalo]As we have locked horns over this in the past - science is not god, God is God.

Scientific truth will always be in harnony with God, not God fitting to what scientists think they see.
[/quote]

We have not locked horns about that. I agree with that.

Peace

Tim


#5

[quote=dts]See the article linked below. Do you agree or disagree? Is this debate really about atheists (or materialists) overstepping the proper bounds of science?

**Against the Ropes with Darwin
The Imminent End of the Evolution Theory
**
By Regis Nicoll
Breakpoint, August 18, 2005

pfm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=BreakPoint1&Template=/CM/ContentDisplay.cfm&ContentID=16608

[/quote]

This is a pretty low rent article isn’t it? It is packed solid with debunked objections to evolution. Almost every red-neck creationist dumb objection to the biological theory of evolution makes an appearance. The imminent demise of neo-Darwinism has been predicted for 50 years. It is stronger than ever because it meets every criterion for a good scientific theory supported by evidence and strong explanatory power.

Nicoll is, quite plainly, another scientific illiterate mking a fool of himself by opposing a scientific theory on religioso-philosophical grounds.

Nicoll,as well as using boring creationist canards, makes a couple of pretty big errors. He makes the mistake of thinking that scientific ideas are accepted or rejected by the reactions of the chattering classes to articles in populist magazines like Forbes. Historians can write dumbed down nonsense in Forbes and Cosmopolitan till they are green in the face, but they have zero influence on whether or not scientific hypotheses are accepted or not. These matters are not determined by a poll of those who can’t tell the difference between an allele and a polymorphism, or by the views of those whose judgement is unencumbered by any actual knowledge of the science.

Second, if he thinks that the Theory of Evolution as an explanation for the origin of species, and the concept of common descent, and the idea that variation from generation to generation along with natural and sexual selection drives the process of species diversity, if he thinks these ideas are ‘on the ropes’ then he clearly gets his ideas from comic books like Forbes magazine and he doesn’t read the primary literature. Because if did read the primary scientific literature (or even a decent undergraduate textbook on evolutionary theory) he’d know that this ‘on the ropes’ idea is pure fantasy. Ultimately the views of journalists like Nicoll are mere candyfloss.

Alec
evolutionpages.com


#6

[quote=hecd2]This is a pretty low rent article isn’t it? It is packed solid with debunked objections to evolution. Almost every red-neck creationist dumb objection to the biological theory of evolution makes an appearance. The imminent demise of neo-Darwinism has been predicted for 50 years. It is stronger than ever because it meets every criterion for a good scientific theory supported by evidence and strong explanatory power.

Nicoll is, quite plainly, another scientific illiterate mking a fool of himself by opposing a scientific theory on religioso-philosophical grounds.

Nicoll,as well as using boring creationist canards, makes a couple of pretty big errors. He makes the mistake of thinking that scientific ideas are accepted or rejected by the reactions of the chattering classes to articles in populist magazines like Forbes. Historians can write dumbed down nonsense in Forbes and Cosmopolitan till they are green in the face, but they have zero influence on whether or not scientific hypotheses are accepted or not. These matters are not determined by a poll of those who can’t tell the difference between an allele and a polymorphism, or by the views of those whose judgement is unencumbered by any actual knowledge of the science.

Second, if he thinks that the Theory of Evolution as an explanation for the origin of species, and the concept of common descent, and the idea that variation from generation to generation along with natural and sexual selection drives the process of species diversity, if he thinks these ideas are ‘on the ropes’ then he clearly gets his ideas from comic books like Forbes magazine and he doesn’t read the primary literature. Because if did read the primary scientific literature (or even a decent undergraduate textbook on evolutionary theory) he’d know that this ‘on the ropes’ idea is pure fantasy. Ultimately the views of journalists like Nicoll are mere candyfloss.

Alec
evolutionpages.com
[/quote]

The article disclaims literal creationist grounds as being the reason evolution is in trouble. It argues that gaps in evolution and its inability to convince the public is why it is in trouble.

But, most importantly, it concludes that the ultimate reason evolution is in trouble is because it has been used to attempt to answer questions outside the proper realm of science.
I think this is the real question/problem (ie. use of evolutionary theory against religion and in other fields such as philosophy etc. . . ).

What are the proper boundaries between physics and metaphysics? This is the troublesome issue.


#7

Thanks for having the courage to report the truth, dts, knowing that there will always be one or two in that thirteen percent who will feel the need to resort to railing on the publisher of such data.

However, I am amused as I watch the futile attempts of evolutionists trying to assasinate the character and knowledgeability of the authors who have revealed the multipicity of reports which show how a majority of Americans have rejected atheistic evolutionary theory.

Rather than trying to find out why the public rejects the foundations of evolution theory, the ususal response by evolutionists is to denegrate both the publishers of the data and the public themselves as illiterate fools. How dare them oppose our scientific data! …he,he;) ).

To me this type of foolish railing by die-hard adherents goes a long way in revealing the true inept condition of evolution theory, void of any ability to present logical & consistent facts necessary to sway public opinion, and is itself valid evidence that evolution theory is entering the trash heap of humanity. The violent atheistic promotion of evolution as fact, force feeding it down the throats of the public, is actually accelerating its ultimate fate of being vomited out of rational public acceptance…

Thanks again for the excellent report;
Faithful One:D :thumbsup:


#8

[quote=dts]The article disclaims literal creationist grounds as being the reason evolution is in trouble. It argues that gaps in evolution and its inability to convince the public is why it is in trouble.
[/quote]

But the argumnts that gaps in evolutionary theory endanger it are impotent because the gaps it claims are ancient things that have been resolved decades ago. As for convincing the public, that is not a valid criterion for judging the validity of a scientific hypothesis

But, most importantly, it concludes that the ultimate reason evolution is in trouble is because it has been used to attempt to answer questions outside the proper realm of science.
I think this is the real question/problem (ie. use of evolutionary theory against religion and in other fields such as philosophy etc. . . ).

Well maybe that’s true - I think the theory has been misused. However, from a scientific perspective that doesn’t matter a jot - science only cares about whether the theory is a good description of the way the biological world works. It being misused politically has zero influence on its scientific valiity.

What are the proper boundaries between physics and metaphysics? This is the troublesome issue.

It’s not all troublesome. The Theory of Evolution, more or less universally acknowledged by scientists as being a good explanation for the diversity of species, is a very well accepted scientific theory. It’s only those who have a philosophical/religious agenda who want to turn it into a metaphysical issue. Evolution is Natural Science through and through.

Alec
evolutionpages.com


#9

Who cares what the majority of Americans think about this? This is not a popularity contest. Have ever actually ever read a primary scientific journal? Do you actually know anything at all about this theory that you are impotently attempting to ridicule? Do you? Really? Could you state the basic scientific claim of neo-Darwinism in a form that a scientist would recognise.

Go on. Prove me wrong!

Why do people insist on pontificating about subjects about which they have not the vaguest idea?

Alec
evolutionpages.com


#10

But the argumnts that gaps in evolutionary theory endanger it are impotent because the gaps it claims are ancient things that have been resolved decades ago. As for convincing the public, that is not a valid criterion for judging the validity of a scientific hypothesis

I am a layman and don’t purport to know all the science. Nevertheless, I have never seen anything that establishes that man evolved from a monkey. Somehow, if it existed there is little doubt that it would be highly touted and widely accepted by the general public.

Much of what passes for science is really inference that is dependent on religious/philosophical worldview presuppositions. The facts of this or that can be observed, but to then say what it means raises a whole new set of complications.

I don’t have any problem with micro evolution, but macro evolution is another matter. It just defies reason and common sense. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that. But all of this is beside the point. I don’t really want to debate evolution’s validity or lack thereof.

The point of the article is that evolution is in trouble in part due to public opinion. That is fairly undeniable.

HECD2 — if you respond again in this thread, please provide us with a definition of science. Also, how do we identify the dividing line between physics and metaphysics?


#11

[quote=hecd2]Who cares what the majority of Americans think about this? This is not a popularity contest . . .

Why do people insist on pontificating about subjects about which they have not the vaguest idea?
[/quote]

Americans pay for the public schools and universities in this country. It is their children who are being indoctrinated by so-called scientific “facts” which deny the the existence of God and/or say God is irrelevant.

Supposedly, the American people also decide policy through their elected officials. They also happen to pay for a lot of the so-called scientific research that occurs in this country. Therefore, what they think is rather important.

Why do scientists pontificate about fields outside their subject areas and then claim that it is science? That is the troubling question.


#12

[quote=dts]I am a layman and don’t purport to know all the science. Nevertheless, I have never seen anything that establishes that man evolved from a monkey. Somehow, if it existed there is little doubt that it would be highly touted and widely accepted by the general public.
[/quote]

Really? So, Einstein’s General theory of relativity, Faraday’s and Maxwell’s 19th century theory of the unification of electricity and magnetism, the modern synthesis of Dobzhansky, Haldane, Mayr, Simpson and Wright, the discoveries of Crick, Watson and Franklin, the Copenhagenn interpretation, the understanding of the deep meaning of Bell’s inequality, should all be rejected because the general public hasn’t got the slightest notion about what any of these fundamentally important theories say. Bah!

Much of what passes for science is really inference that is dependent on religious/philosophical worldview presuppositions. The facts of this or that can be observed, but to then say what it means raises a whole new set of complications.

That’s your considered opinion is it? Much of what passes for science is dependent on a religious/philosophical worldview inyour opinion. It’s funny how, then, that real science as reported in the actual scientific journals crosses every religious, cultural and national boundary on earth.

I don’t have any problem with micro evolution, but macro evolution is another matter. It just defies reason and common sense. You don’t have to be a scientist to see that.

I see - so your poistion is now clear. Although you are a scientific ignoramus you have a ‘problem’ with macro-evolution on the grounds of ‘reason and common sense’ which are clearly lacking in professional scientists. You wouldn’t care to elaborate would you? No. of course not, Silly me.

But all of this is beside the point. I don’t really want to debate evolution’s validity or lack thereof.{/QUOTE] ‘Can’t’ I think is the appropriate word here.

[quote]The point of the article is that evolution is in trouble in part due to public opinion. That is fairly undeniable.

It’s not fairly undeniable. It’s not undeniable at all. It’s eminently deniable. Evolution is, in fact, not in trouble at all, as you would know if you read any primary scientific journal.

I’m sorry that for some Americans it seems galling, but it’s a fact: the opinions of the American public matter not the slightest in determining what is and what is not good science. That is determined by scientific considerations amongst the world scientific community. Sorry to disappoint, but popular polls are irrelevant.

Alec
evolutionpages.com
[/quote]


#13

I’ll remember how unimportant public opinion is the next time I hear all the whining and screaming about public funding being cut for this or that scientific research project. Of course, I don’t even need to mention public school curricula.

I am a “scientific ignoramus.” It’s not my field and I conceded that early on. But, that doesn’t mean I am a total ignoramus. It also doesn’t mean that I am going to believe something just, because it is called science. So, please let’s dispense with the ad hominen rhetoric.

Impress me with some very basic science.

  1. Provide us with a basic working definition of science. What are it’s basic parameters?

  2. How should we identify the dividing line between physics and metaphysics?

  3. How do we know when an inference has crossed the proper boundaries of true science?


#14

[quote=dts]See the article linked below. Do you agree or disagree? Is this debate really about atheists (or materialists) overstepping the proper bounds of science?

[/quote]

what a silly article

why would you quote the opinion of a historian on a biology theory?

and what do opinion polls have to do with the viability of a scientific theory?

the same old hackneyed “fossle gaps & fakery” lines plus appeals to incredulity. yawn

these (ahem) arguements have countered over and over and over and over…again. nothign new here at all.

The author shows a considerable misunderstanding of just what evolution is.

The debate is not about athiest doing anything. Evolution has nothing to do with atheism.
there is no debate at all in the scientific community

the debate is that certain small but unfortunately vocal groups are pushing their agenda and overstepping the propper bounds of philosophy and theology


#15

[quote=dts]…Supposedly, the American people also decide policy through their elected officials. They also happen to pay for a lot of the so-called scientific research that occurs in this country. Therefore, what they think is rather important…
[/quote]

neither act of Congress nor countless billions of dollars could change the boiling point of water

facts are not democratic


#16

In response to dts’ original post, I would argue that the debate over evolution is driven very much by the claim by some scientists that evolution proves there is no God or that religion is nothing but superstition. The science of evolution is not threatened by creationists, IDers or any other group of “non-darwinian” advocates. In fact, I think that without some irresponsible claims by some scientists, evolution-vs-creation debates would be rare.

Kenneth Miller makes a strong argument for this in his book “Finding Darwin’s God”.

Peace

Tim


#17

Before you read this article, review the Catholic Church’s distinction bwteen Darwinism and** Evolution**. They are by no means the same thing.


#18

[quote=hecd2]Really? So, Einstein’s General theory of relativity, Faraday’s and Maxwell’s 19th century theory of the unification of electricity and magnetism, the modern synthesis of Dobzhansky, Haldane, Mayr, Simpson and Wright, the discoveries of Crick, Watson and Franklin, the Copenhagenn interpretation, the understanding of the deep meaning of Bell’s inequality, should all be rejected because the general public hasn’t got the slightest notion about what any of these fundamentally important theories say. Bah!
[/quote]

well, none of them should be rejected just because the public doesn’t know what those theories say. but it certainly doesn’t follow that none of those theories should be rejected…

incidentally, what do you take to be the deep meaning of Bell’s inequality?


#19

[quote=Steve Andersen]neither act of Congress nor countless billions of dollars could change the boiling point of water

facts are not democratic
[/quote]

perhaps not, but interpretations of facts sometimes are, as well as the conviction people invest in them.


#20

[quote=Steve Andersen]The debate is not about athiest doing anything. Evolution has nothing to do with atheism.
there is no debate at all in the scientific community

the debate is that certain small but unfortunately vocal groups are pushing their agenda and overstepping the propper bounds of philosophy and theology
[/quote]

Or, is the debate about scientists overstepping the proper bounds of science?

See my questions above.


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