Skip to comments.Alchemy, Marxism, and the future of Darwinism
Posted on 03/02/2007 7:18:55 PM PST by balch3
recently found myself in a conversation with two college undergraduates, both of them seniors in the natural sciences (physics and biochemistry, respectively). At one point we were discussing alchemy, which they knew as a pre-modern attempt to transmute lead into gold. I asked them whether they could name any famous alchemists. They could not, though one of them dimly recalled hearing of someone whose name began with A.
I then predicted that Darwinian evolution would eventually fade into the same obscurity that now shrouds alchemy. Although I knew from previous conversations that my young friends were skeptical of Darwinian theory, they expressed considerable surprise at my prediction, if only because Darwinism is presently held in such high esteem by their professors.
So I proceeded to explain the basis for my prediction.
First, Darwinism is similar to alchemy in purporting to hold the key to transmutation. Alchemists sought the secret of turning lead into gold; Darwinists think they already possess the secret of turning bacteria into baboons.
The alchemists, of course, were looking in the wrong place, expecting to find their secret in physical mixtures or chemical reactions, when transmutation of the elements had to wait for radically new discoveries in nuclear physics. Darwinists are also looking in the wrong place, expecting to explain large-scale evolution by DNA mutations and natural selection, when abundant evidence already indicates that those processes cannot do the job. When biologists eventually unravel the true organizing principles of life, they will quickly put Darwinism behind them.
Of course, there are also significant differences between alchemy and Darwinism. One is that alchemists were self-consciously searching for The Answer; Darwinists think they already have It. Another is that alchemy contributed many insights, materials and tools to the development of modern chemistry; Darwinism has almost nothing to contribute to the development of biology. The insights, materials and tools used by Darwinists have almost all been lifted from animal and plant breeders, classical biology, Mendelian genetics, biochemistry, and molecular biology none of which owe anything to Darwins theory. The only things Darwinism can call its own are speculations about common ancestry and the transmutation of species that look increasingly implausible with each new piece of evidence.
Finally, alchemists knew that philosophy and theology were as integral to their discipline as observation and experimentation; Darwinists think they are above philosophy and theology. Even though Darwins Origin of Species and subsequent defenses of his theory are inextricably tied to arguments about why God supposedly wouldnt have made living things the way they are, Darwinists invariably accuse their critics of being religiously motivated while they think theyre just dealing with the facts.
Which reminds me of another conversation I had fifteen years ago with some communists. I was a graduate student in biology at the time, and we were discussing the nature of science. I stated that no science is entirely objective that is, based only on the facts and free of subjective elements. One of the communists replied that he knew of such a science. I asked him what it was, expecting him to say physics (for which I already had a well thought-out response). But his answer was The Marxist theory of history.
Darwinists, like Marxists, tend to be blind to their own commitment to materialistic philosophy. In this regard, Darwinists are more like Marxists than alchemists. So instead of becoming, like alchemy, just a dim recollection (someone whose name began with D), Darwinism might, like Marxism, persist for a while (after passing into oblivion everywhere else in the world) on American college campuses.
another Home Run from Jonothan Wells.
Home run? He can predict anything he likes, but he's right there reading from the playbook of the inquisition. Galileo was right, the planets did move, and the earth did move.
Darwin's insight into the origin of species isn't going to disappear any more than Galileo's insight into the movement of the planets.
The evidence is simply overwhelming. The fossil record, the DNA record, the blindingly obvious similarity between apes and humans, mammals and other mammals, and even, if you delve deep enough, fish and mammals, is proof of common ancestry.
We see evolution going forward today. Naturally, as our lives are short and evolution takes time, we never get to see the whole story played out from beginning to end. Nobody lives to see the galaxy turn one whole spin, for that matter, but we don't have to have arguments about whether the galaxy does spin. Things that go slowly, go too slowly for us to watch the whole event. But there is evidence aplenty for those with minds that are open to the evidence.
Certainly someone has discovered the secret of turning Democrats into baboons. Or is it the other way around?
Say, which IS the higher life form of the two, anyway?
Agreed. They see themselves as Gods. They assume, blindly, there is nothing else.
There is no link between human and their human like animal samples. There is no human DNA in anything they claim is human. Darwinism is simply another theory that has yet to be proven.
If man evolved via apes, how did their cerebrialspinal system, in one instant quantum leap, go from that of a monkey to that of a bear?
Abundant evidence already indicates that those proceses cannot do the job. RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIght.
Marx held high respect to chemistry because he thought the society had to be studied the way people studied molecular chemistry. His doctoral dissertation was on philosophy of nature, especially atom. He argued that Social Scientists need to learn how the mechanism in the society work, the way Chemists learn how sugar dissolves in water and makes water sweet: by observing how the molecules of water react to the molecules of sugar.
Since Marx believed he already had analyzed the society the way molecular chemist did with sugar and water, he also believed that his Social Science is the objective science (of human).
Like usual, his followers shared his optimism.
Unification Church placemarker
What a buch of rehashed twaddle.
buch = bunch
More twaddle. You just scrunch your eyes closed, put your fingers in your ears, and yell "la la la la" whenever anyone points you towards the evidence. Self imposed ignorance. ..Sad..
A never ending search for exactly the right combination of just the right perjoratives that will turn twaddle into reason.
LOL! The never ending quest.
Where is the barf alert for this bit of IDiocy?
If these folks keep on talking, they'll prove to be just as good as the Global Warming folks at spinning the Big Lie. They hope it will bring them as much money as the environmentalists bring in. Both GreenPeace and the Discovery Institute are non-profit foundations, selling their stories to the faithful. And both claim they're promoting "science".
In my opinion, this is the problem with so-called Darwinists. You say "he also backed up his thinking with careful observation and analysis". That is deductive, whereas the scientific method is inductive. It starts with a question, then observation leading to conclusions. It is not a metter of chasing down data to prove a theory. That risks leaving out conflicting data which would lead to something different.
"Galileo determined through logic, analytical thinking, and experiment that the Earth rotates. Though he was forced to deny these discoveries, they still remained true."
"It is, moreover, undeniable, that the proofs which Galileo adduced in support of the heliocentric system of Copernicus, as against the geocentric of Ptolemy and the ancients, were far from conclusive, and failed to convince such men as Tycho Brahé (who, however, did not live to see the telescope) and Lord Bacon, who to the end remained an unbeliever. Milton also, who visited Galileo in his old age (1638), appears to have suspended his judgment, for there are passages in his great poem which seem to favour both systems. The proof from the phenomenon of the tides, to which Galileo appealed to establish the rotation of the earth on its axis, is now universally recognized as a grave error, and he treated with scorn Kepler's suggestion, foreshadowing Newton's establishment of the true doctrine, that a certain occult influence of the moon was in some way responsible. In regard to comets, again, he maintained no less erroneously that they were atmospheric phenomena, like meteors, though Tycho had demonstrated the falsity of such a view, which was recommended only as the solution of an anti-Copernican difficulty."
Galileo may have been right, but he did not know why he was right and could never prove what he claimed (that was left for Kepler). Moreover, he brought his own troubles down on his head by being so offensive in the way he presented his opinions.
Ah, evolution, the single most unpopular theory of all time, succeeded only because people wanted to believe it.
It didn't. That would be ridiculous.
See the following chart, and note that there are no bears anywhere:
The Scientific Method is based on all forms of logic and deduction. The goal is to prove the contention.
Regardless of the inductive leaps it took to come to the inspiration, only demonstrable analysis based on deductive reasoning can be used to constitute that proof.
The scientific method compares a control group or population with an experimental group as identically situated as possible, so that only the experimental variable can be cited as evidence to support the supposition.
For further proof, the experiment has to be repeatable by other researchers.
though Tycho had demonstrated the falsity of such a view, which was recommended only as the solution of an anti-Copernican difficulty."
"The proof from the phenomenon of the tides, to which Galileo appealed to establish the rotation of the earth on its axis, is now universally recognized as a grave error ..."
Hmm. It is odd that he failed to notice the relationship of tides with the moon. Evidently, he was an early victim of having an inadequate model to explain global events.
Sorry, but you are wrong.
I. The scientific method has four steps:
1. Observation and description of a phenomenon or group of phenomena.
2. Formulation of an hypothesis to explain the phenomena. In physics, the hypothesis often takes the form of a causal mechanism or a mathematical relation.
3. Use of the hypothesis to predict the existence of other phenomena, or to predict quantitatively the results of new observations.
4. Performance of experimental tests of the predictions by several independent experimenters and properly performed experiments.
There are means of verification other than experiment.
Until recently, astronomy was not experimental. In the absence of experimentation, hypotheses can be tested if they predict naturally occurring phenomena, particularly if the results of observations rule out competing hypotheses.
The flawed article with the flawed analysis of a flawed interpretation of Darwin's Book? -- No.
"germs to apes to man."
What about 'em? DNA is a strand. So is life.
I like the solidity of experiments with controls, but okay.
You want controlled laboratory demonstrations of evolution?
"Care to expound upon that FRiend?"
Well, the preliminary statement was "germs to apes to man."
That's like saying Alpha Centauri to Beta Centauri to Pluto.
From a germ's perspective, apes are indistinguishable from man. For many germs, that is literally true.
But evolutionarily, to get from a germ to any higher organism, collosal steps must be taken. First the leap to multicelled organisms, then to skeletal and neural structures, and then the whole development of eyes, ears, feet and so forth. It would take billions of years.
To get from an ape to a man would take only a couple of million years. A caveman could do it.
The fascinating thing is that all three, germ, ape, and man share the same kind of DNA. This indicates they are related. If we stretch out the strand of life, it is considerably longer than you might guess, even for a germ.
So too, the lineage of life that leads to any creature is a long one. According to "Darwinian" theories, each species can be related back to primordial ancestors of greater and greater simplicity, like strands of a completely unraveled rope.