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Darwin Versus His Colleagues
Discovery Institute ^ | June 12, 2009 | Sonja West

Posted on 06/12/2009 8:49:22 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts

Darwin Versus His Colleagues

This is the second part of a review of The Darwin Myth by Benjamin Wiker. Part one is available here.

An element of the Darwin story that may surprise many readers of Benjamin Wiker’s fine new biography The Darwin Myth is the ultimate disconnect between Darwin and many of his colleagues.

Wiker points out that many of Darwin’s avid supporters, who accepted and helped popularize his theory, rejected Darwin’s materialistic reductionism. They argued, indeed, that the evidence did not support Darwin’s materialistic understanding of evolution.

Biologist Asa Gray at Harvard was Darwin’s strongest champion in America. However, as Wiker tells us, “Gray believed that the human mind could not be explained as the material result of natural selection.” He did not see how mind could arise from instinct. Charles Lyell, Darwin’s friend and an eminent scientist in his own right, and Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer with Darwin of the theory of evolution through natural selection, both believed that the evidence did not show an evolutionary continuum between the mental faculties of apes and man. So-called “savages” (members of tribal and other non-European races) have intellectual capacities that far exceed their survival needs; there is no Darwinian way to account for this.

Darwin would have none of it. Privately, he let these friends and fellow-scientists know his displeasure. In the case of Asa Gray, Wiker writes:

The problem was, of course, that Darwin himself had designed the theory to eliminate any connection to God whatsoever. He disagreed with Gray’s theological spin entirely, and was perhaps peeved by some of Gray’s implicit criticisms of his atheism, and the materialistic foundation of his argument. That is not what he meant the theory to do, and in private letters he politely made his objections known to Gray. Yet—and this was typical of Darwin—he had no qualms about using Gray’s argument if it would smooth the way for acceptance of his theory. Once the theory was accepted, the theistic patina would be ground away by the hard, anti-theistic core of the argument.

According to Wiker, the motive behind Darwin’s endeavors was not to follow the evidence wherever it led. His real motive was to insist that science must embrace only unintelligent material causes. It was not enough that his mechanism explain a great deal. The mechanism must explain everything, so that all intelligent causes could be ruled out.

The repercussions of Darwin’s materialistic understanding of evolution can be seen in his later writings. Wiker’s biography of Darwin is notable in that it examines the ideas of not only The Origin of Species but the companion book The Descent of Man, or, as Wiker describes it, “One Long Argument, Two Long Books.”

Many writers on Darwin pay scant attention to The Descent of Man. Yet it is there where Darwin demonstrates the sweeping way that he applied his theory to human beings and human morality. Darwin makes clear in the book that the noble qualities of his own character, his devotion in marriage, his love for his children, even the compassion that fueled his opposition to slavery have no inherent value in his evolutionary system. If adultery or infanticide or even slavery of the weak by the strong (as practiced by red ants enslaving black ants) promoted the survival of a species, including the human species, then those things would be equally “good” according to the logic of Darwin’s argument, Darwin’s personal misgivings notwithstanding.

Anyone wishing to probe the broader implications of Darwin’s theory, as well as the contradictions of Darwin’s character, will want to read Wiker’s book.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: catholic; christian; creation; cretinism; cult; darwincult; evolution; goodgodimnutz; intelligentdesign; moralabsolutes; pseudoscience; science; socialdarwinism

1 posted on 06/12/2009 8:49:22 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: metmom; DaveLoneRanger; editor-surveyor; betty boop; Alamo-Girl; MrB; GourmetDan; Fichori; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 06/12/2009 8:51:24 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Another comedy book!

Where do you find this stuff? Between the issues of “Cracked” and “Tales from the Crypt?”


3 posted on 06/12/2009 9:09:19 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: GodGunsGuts
This is how Wikipedia describes Discovery Institute:

The Discovery Institute is a conservative non-profit public policy U.S. think tank based in Seattle, Washington, best known for its advocacy of intelligent design and its Teach the Controversy campaign to teach creationist anti-evolution beliefs in United States public high school science courses.[2][3][4][5][6] A federal court, along with the majority of scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, say the Institute has manufactured the controversy they want to teach by promoting a false perception that evolution is "a theory in crisis", through incorrectly claiming that it is the subject of wide controversy and debate within the scientific community.[7][8][9] In 2005, a federal court ruled that the Discovery Institute pursues "demonstrably religious, cultural, and legal missions",[10] and the institute's manifesto, the Wedge strategy, describes a religious goal: to "reverse the stifling dominance of the materialist worldview, and to replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions".[11][12]

No fair and balanced reporting here.

4 posted on 06/12/2009 9:11:22 AM PDT by stanz (Those who don't believe in evolution should go jump off the flat edge of the Earth.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Copernicus was at odds with his contemporaries, as well. Should we dump the heliocentric model of the solar system?


5 posted on 06/12/2009 9:11:24 AM PDT by gundog
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To: freedumb2003

That means alot coming from someone who has embraced Darwood’s mindless creation myth...LOL!


6 posted on 06/12/2009 9:11:27 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts
Many writers on Darwin pay scant attention to The Descent of Man. Yet it is there where Darwin demonstrates the sweeping way that he applied his theory to human beings and human morality. Darwin makes clear in the book that the noble qualities of his own character, his devotion in marriage, his love for his children, even the compassion that fueled his opposition to slavery...

So why does GGG hate Darwin so much?

If adultery or infanticide or even slavery of the weak by the strong (as practiced by red ants enslaving black ants) promoted the survival of a species, including the human species

But those things don't benefit the human species. What's the problem?

7 posted on 06/12/2009 9:18:53 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
Biologist Asa Gray at Harvard was Darwin’s strongest champion in America. However, as Wiker tells us, “Gray believed that the human mind could not be explained as the material result of natural selection.” He did not see how mind could arise from instinct. Charles Lyell, Darwin’s friend and an eminent scientist in his own right, and Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-discoverer with Darwin of the theory of evolution through natural selection, both believed that the evidence did not show an evolutionary continuum between the mental faculties of apes and man. So-called “savages” (members of tribal and other non-European races) have intellectual capacities that far exceed their survival needs; there is no Darwinian way to account for this.

This was relevant news 150 years ago. Not today.

8 posted on 06/12/2009 9:22:44 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: gundog

Copernicus was a creationist—and modern creationists are in full agreement with his notion that we live in a galactocentric Universe.


9 posted on 06/12/2009 9:33:21 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

Thanks for the ping!


10 posted on 06/12/2009 9:33:29 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: GodGunsGuts
You are cleaver enough to understand that paradigm shifts are ofter reluctantly embraced? As someone up-thread pointed out, Copernicus wasn't immediately embraced. What IS important, is that virtually every working biologist understands and embraces evolutionary theory.
11 posted on 06/12/2009 9:34:48 AM PDT by stormer
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To: GodGunsGuts
Galactocentric? WTF? Talk about moving the goal posts! LMFAO! Copenicus had NO IDEA there was any galaxy other than the one he lived in.

Take a look at this picture - how many galaxies do you see? How many billions of stars does this represent? In what twisted universe can you possible imagine your "galactocentric" view.


12 posted on 06/12/2009 9:45:24 AM PDT by stormer
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To: stanz

Looks like they’ve got their number.


13 posted on 06/12/2009 9:46:24 AM PDT by steve-b (Intelligent design is to evolutionary biology what socialism is to free-market economics.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

14 posted on 06/12/2009 9:46:24 AM PDT by steve-b (Intelligent design is to evolutionary biology what socialism is to free-market economics.)
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To: stormer

that’s “Copernicus” and “possibly”


15 posted on 06/12/2009 9:46:58 AM PDT by stormer
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To: GodGunsGuts

“That means alot coming from someone who understands science.”

There — fixed.


16 posted on 06/12/2009 9:48:34 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: GodGunsGuts
...and modern creationists are in full agreement with his notion that we live in a galactocentric Universe.

So, you're open to post-modern Creationists debunking it?

17 posted on 06/12/2009 9:56:52 AM PDT by gundog
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To: Moonman62

>>So why does GGG hate Darwin so much? <<

There is a personality type that needs to be “special” (usually a as result of being ignored or abused as a child). These people look for niche opportunities to make themselves “special” to make up for the attention they didn’t get as children.

Finding a niche spot of small-minded people who espouse a perspective that can only be understood and reinforced by others with the same need to be “special” is how they survive.

Some of these people become complete conspiracy nuts and trvthers, others Scientologists and the like, and others creationists (note these are not mutually exclusive groups). To be fair, I need to note that people who have not been exposed to science and are only taught creation are a special case. But they don’t understand science out of ignorance. The special crowd aggressively decry and refuse science even though it is clear as a bell.

You notice that anything that is said, like noting the billions of solid scientific facts and millions of practitioners across hundreds of years is dismissed with “you are just part of the Grand Conspiracy” (paraphrasing).

ggg is Exhibit 1. He posts these articles to prove he is “one of the Chosen” and thus convince himself, once again, he is “special.” Then, the echo chamber shows up and they ricochet across the thread “yes, you are special” “you are special too” “you too” “we are all special.”

On a good day, he gets me to show up so they can all say “a Heretic! He isn’t special like us! Attack! use ‘darwinism’ derisively! Say science is a religion! We need PROOF we are special!” Internally, they are saying “THANK YOU THANK YOU FD2003 for helping us prove we ARE special!”

Pretty easy analysis if you follow more than one of these threads.


18 posted on 06/12/2009 10:01:08 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: steve-b

That is SO hilarious -- and stolen!

19 posted on 06/12/2009 10:02:19 AM PDT by freedumb2003 (Communism comes to America: 1/20/2009. Keep your powder dry, folks. Sic semper tyrannis)
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To: gundog

Debunking what?


20 posted on 06/12/2009 10:03:01 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: steve-b

Thanks for the graphic showing the old Greek/Pagan understanding of the earth’s place in the Universe. Thanks to the creation Astronomer Copernicus, we now know our solar system is heliocentric.


21 posted on 06/12/2009 10:07:23 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: GodGunsGuts

I see the usual Darwin-apologists peanut gallery gang is here, making snide and insulting remarks about anyone who doesn’t wholeheartedly embrace their views and materialistic philosophy. I’m telling you, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON than their obnoxious behavior, I would never support their agenda.

Thanks for the posting the article, GGG, I thought it was great. And please know that not everyone buys into the materialist dogma. Please ignore the insults and keep standing up for the truth.

wgb


22 posted on 06/12/2009 10:14:12 AM PDT by wgb
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To: wgb

Amen, brother! Thanks for the encouragement :o)

All the best—GGG


23 posted on 06/12/2009 10:15:23 AM PDT by GodGunsGuts
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To: steve-b

Great tagline!


24 posted on 06/12/2009 10:32:39 AM PDT by stanz (Those who don't believe in evolution should go jump off the flat edge of the Earth.)
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To: GodGunsGuts
Very interesting.

Thanks.

25 posted on 06/12/2009 11:56:27 AM PDT by what's up
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To: freedumb2003
There's a bunch of variations on the concept at the main site.
26 posted on 06/12/2009 12:09:53 PM PDT by steve-b (Intelligent design is to evolutionary biology what socialism is to free-market economics.)
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To: stormer
Copenicus had NO IDEA there was any galaxy other than the one he lived in.

He has no idea of a "galazy" at all -- at best, he has the notion that stars were like the sun, only a lot further away (which couldn't be confirmed until telescopes got good enough to measure stellar parallax). If so, stars were presumably scattered randomly across space, continuing out to infinity in more or less the same pattern (which gave rise to the problem of "Olbers' Paradox" -- but I digress).

27 posted on 06/12/2009 12:09:54 PM PDT by steve-b (Intelligent design is to evolutionary biology what socialism is to free-market economics.)
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To: stanz
Wikipedia is like canned pork and beans, lots of gassy stuff but you really gotta hunt to find the meat.
28 posted on 06/12/2009 2:09:37 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

“Thanks for the graphic showing the old Greek/Pagan understanding of the earth’s place in the Universe. Thanks to the creation Astronomer Copernicus, we now know our solar system is heliocentric.”

—It’s kinda odd to call geocentricity the old Greek understanding of the Universe, when it was there that the idea of heliocentricism was famously being argued about. Many ancient Greeks, such as Pythagoras, Aristarchus, and Heraclides were arguing for Heliocentricity while others (such as Aristotle) argued for geocentricism, so it was a contentious issue. But heliocentricity was taken quite seriously there, even by its challengers.

This is of course why Copernicus was not known as the inventor or creator of the heliocentric model, but rather the “restorer”, since he was saying what many of those old Greeks had already argued.


29 posted on 06/12/2009 2:27:53 PM PDT by goodusername
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To: count-your-change

It was only one paragraph...not a large hunt.


30 posted on 06/12/2009 2:35:48 PM PDT by stanz (Those who don't believe in evolution should go jump off the flat edge of the Earth.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

The Darwinists are now trying to redefine “special”.

“Analyzing the politics of climate change
Friday, June 12, 2009 11:56:27 AM · 21 of 22
freedumb2003 to count-your-change
If anyone can’t imply you are using it as a strawman, then they are as ill-informed as you. I was trying to make it clear that YOU are saying people who know science use that argument — which was your point (unless I am mistaken).

Trust me, quote-mining is what creationists do.

As I said, your strawman won’t hunt. You can play it over and over and it never changes. AGW and TToE are completely different in terms of science and all your misunderstanding, misinformation and conspiracy-nut creationist sites won’t change that.

And you certainly are not worth my time, but other people read these threads and I want them to know that most Conservatives understand science, know the difference between real science, such as TToE, and fad science, like AGW, and no science at all, like creationism.

This is for them, not you.”

What!??!

You and your ilk need to be “special,” so you invest heavily in this “I am closer to God because I reject science” nonsense.

Well, you are special all right.


31 posted on 06/12/2009 3:21:41 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change
More nonsensical attempts to play Freud:

“There is a personality type that needs to be “special” (usually a as result of being ignored or abused as a child). These people look for niche opportunities to make themselves “special” to make up for the attention they didn’t get as children.”

32 posted on 06/12/2009 3:35:33 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: GodGunsGuts

Breaking New Flash: Scientists argue about details: Zoetrope at 11!


33 posted on 06/12/2009 8:14:12 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (a competent small government conservative is good enough for government work)
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To: stormer; GodGunsGuts; metmom

“What IS important, is that virtually every working biologist understands and embraces evolutionary theory.”

And right now virtually every working journalist embraces the zerrhoid.

This reminds me of the idiot from Salon that kept saying to BOR that what Tiller did (late term partial birth abortions)was “legal”.

If BOR was quick on his feet, he’d have replied that much of the holocaust was carried out under German law and was also legal.

No, what’s TRULY important is there are those that are capable of working against rotten, cultish conventions.


34 posted on 06/12/2009 10:15:16 PM PDT by tpanther (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for g!ood men to do nothing---Edmund Burke)
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To: count-your-change
Wikipedia is like canned pork and beans, lots of gassy stuff but you really gotta hunt to find the meat.

It's fun to watch liberals post liberal sources and babble about objectivity on FR isn't it?

35 posted on 06/12/2009 10:19:09 PM PDT by tpanther (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for g!ood men to do nothing---Edmund Burke)
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To: tpanther
Yeah, yeah, up to a point. It would be fine if they came to argue a view but there's a few that's been showing up to mock and bray. They're kind of like watching a garbage truck disgorge it's contents, if one has never seen it there's a reason to watch at least once, but after that it loses even the uniqueness of the new.

Objectivity? Uhh...not a chance.

Cheers!

36 posted on 06/12/2009 11:51:29 PM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: tpanther; count-your-change
Wikipedia is like canned pork and beans, lots of gassy stuff but you really gotta hunt to find the meat.

It's fun to watch liberals post liberal sources and babble about objectivity on FR isn't it?

Especially considering that about anybody can edit it when they want.

Pretty convenient, wouldn't you say? Edit it (or have someone else do it for you) and then use it to back yourself up.

What a racket.

37 posted on 06/13/2009 5:12:35 AM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom
Yeah, it is. It reminds me of the t.v. news people when they ask each other for information and if other news talking heads don't know, they conclude none exists.

Indeed, there is much foolishness afoot and it's a time for a person to be cautious as serpents and innocent as doves.

38 posted on 06/13/2009 7:45:56 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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