Culture Naturalism

Why people still don’t believe evolutionary theory?

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Because there is something fundamentally wrong with its typical view of life. Life forms are not merely matter in motion.

Jonathan Wells From Jonathan Wells at Evolution News & Views on Third Way (for evolution) thinker Stephen L. Talbott:

According to his profile at The Third Way of Evolution, Talbott spent many years working in the engineering organizations of computer manufacturers before he joined the Nature Institute in 1998 (the same year I joined Discovery Institute). He “attempts to show how our understanding of the organism and its evolution is transformed once we recognize and take seriously the organism as an intelligent agent meaningfully (though not necessarily consciously) pursuing its own way of life.”

In his most recent article (the first in a projected trilogy), Talbott asks why the public is still so skeptical of evolution. He answers that the public refuses to believe that their most basic perception of living things is an illusion. “Ever since humans began to think in a scientific or philosophical way about their fellow creatures,” he writes, they have observed that living things “possess a kind of active agency whereby they pursue their own ends. But now we hear that this age-old and self-evident understanding was a mistake.” Instead, agency has been transferred to natural selection, which “becomes rather like an occult Power of the pre-scientific age — all in order to render ‘illusory,’ and indeed to usurp, the visible agency of the organism.” More.

Yes, exactly. Life forms seek to stay alive whether they are conscious or not.. Evolutonary theory today means propounding mehacnistic explanations for a situation thatcannot be explained by mechanistic explanations.

Talbott’s article is here.

Also: What DO organisms mean? Tom Bethell looks at Stephen Talbott’s work

and

It’s all about information, Professor Feser

See also: How will rethinking Darwin affect the ID community?

and

What can we hope to learn about animal minds?

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10 Replies to “Why people still don’t believe evolutionary theory?

  1. 1
    mw says:

    ————
    “Why people still don’t believe evolutionary theory?”
    ————

    A thesis from a Catholic:

    . . .based on the conviction that “Theistic Evolution” is heresy, debilitating the Church today and causing more harm ultimately than atheistic evolution because of its reduction of God to a mechanism for the supposed natural processes of evolution, its lack of reverence for Holy Scripture as the revealing Word of God, and its insidious attack upon Catholic doctrine and tradition. – December 1976
    http://www.catholicapologetics.....eistic.htm

  2. 2
    Origenes says:

    The “blind designer” is a cheat. Natural selection is based on circular reasoning — it assumes what it claims to explain:

    The shortest route to error is circular.

    We are now ready to look more closely at the picture we’re being offered when we are told that natural selection explains the “illusion” of purposive biological activity. The picture begins and ends with organisms who are capable of

    • living (surviving),
    • generating heritable variation,
    • mating or otherwise producing offspring, and
    • assembling and passing along a distinctive inheritance for those offspring.

    These activities, taken together, constitute the “recipe”, as it is sometimes called, for natural selection. They require all the capacities living creatures possess. Every organism must develop and maintain its own form; sense and respond properly to its environment; obtain food for energy and for synthesis of bodily structures; transform that food metabolically; heal injuries; gather and organize all the materials required as an inheritance for the next generation; direct and coordinate thousands of distinct but intimately interwoven molecular processes; and so on. The story of natural selection is a story about all this and more.
    It is easy to forget that the development, for example, of mammalian zygotes into mature mice, otters, and zebras — the concerted narratives of growth and differentiation of tissues, the subtle shaping and integration of parts into the form of the whole, the continuous and flexible adaptation of molecular-level processes to environmental conditions — all display the most impressive “force” of intention known to humankind. No organism, whatever its nature and circumstances, ever loses its grip and falls “out of character”. We witness in it an insistent power of competent coordination far outstripping, in wisdom and intensity, and in the effective penetration of material reality, any conscious intentional efforts we ourselves can summon.
    In other words, all these living activities are precisely what posed the problem of teleology in the first place. To speak about organisms striving to live, to reproduce, and to contrive an inheritance for their offspring is to invoke the very performances that most powerfully illustrate how living agents direct their own activity — how they expertly adapt available means to their natural or chosen ends in a way that rocks and clouds do not.
    So natural selection, being simply another name for the outcome of all the purposeful activities of organisms, is not an explanation for them. It assumes what it is supposed to explain. It turns out that the “blind designer” is a cheat; it relies upon the not-so-blind teleological services of the very organisms it is said to be designing.
    All this is a very big deal. The lapses of thought in the supposed explanation of biological purpose testify to a radical misjudgment of the explanatory power of evolutionary theory. If natural selection is defined in terms of the activities that originally suggested a wise agency on the organism’s part, then it tells us nothing about how those activities gained their teleological character.
    If the inescapable assumption of teleology subverts the claim that natural selection explains teleological behavior, it also has overwhelming implications for our thinking about natural selection more generally. A central aim of the theory, after all, has been to explain evolution by invoking random variation and “mindless” mechanistic interactions without any reference to the intelligent agency of organisms.

    [Talbott]

  3. 3

    People don’t believe in evolution because the know, at least intuitively, that one cannot build Sagrada Família by haphazardly collecting nearby materials and combining them together via a series of engineering and construction accidents.

  4. 4
    Lee Spetner says:

    People don’t believe evolutionary theory because their gut feeling is that it doesn’t explain what is claimed – namely, common descent. That feeling is correct, as I have shown that the “theory” is not a valid theory. When one asks, How could it work? Evolutionists shout one down by yelling NATURAL SELECTION! But they have not addressed the crucial issue of the probabilities of getting the right mutations for natural selection to work on. It turns out that they are incapable of showing that the probability is anything but vanishingly small. The probability issue is crucial because the “theory” is based on random mutations. It turns out that these gut feelings happen to be correct.

  5. 5
    Robert Byers says:

    People don’t believe in it because it doesn’t make a good case to defeat other cases or no case.
    its not persuasive like so many other things are.
    Listen to any defender of evolution and they try to say its proved by evidence unrelated to visual observation. their evidence is about invisible things.
    Science is about the visible or showing the invisible by visible. like gravity pr germs etc
    People understand this. Instinctively.
    If evolution is to be believed then show biological scientific evidence for this evolutionary process.
    How hard can it be?
    Please no fossils. Actual process and not results from it as alleged. Thats not bio sci evidence.

  6. 6
    Origenes says:

    Lee Spetner: But they have not addressed the crucial issue of the probabilities of getting the right mutations for natural selection to work on. It turns out that they are incapable of showing that the probability is anything but vanishingly small.

    Information in software code pales in comparison to the infinitely complex, layered, intricately interwoven, information in a living, ever changing, dynamic organism, which compels us to hold that software code must be easier to “evolve” by random copy-errors, than DNA-code.

    Suppose a DVD copy machine which produces a few random copy-errors every time it makes a copy. Further suppose that this machine is used to make 10 copies of a newly purchased DVD containing Windows 7. Now remove the original DVD and repeat the imperfect copy process (10 copies) starting with functional second generation “mutated” copies (dysfunctional copies are removed from the process). Next remove all second generation copies and repeat the copy process starting with functional third generation mutated copies. And so forth.

    Two questions: who would expect that this imperfect copy process is anything other than the degeneration of Windows 7 eventually leading to mutated copies which are, without exception, dysfunctional? Who of us expects versions of Windows 7 with improved functionality?

    // Notice that adding a layer of extra hurdles, a la natural selection, would only accelerate the process towards total dysfunctionality.

  7. 7
    mahuna says:

    I just wanted to remind you that “Why people still don’t believe evolutionary theory” is NOT a question and shouldn’t end with a question mark. An inability to compose simple English sentences hurts any other argument you might make. But then the group of words used as the title is also NOT a sentence, so it shouldn’t end with ANY punctuation.

    I’m guessing what you intended to say is something like:
    Why DO people still disbelieve in the Theory of Evolution?

    Hint: When you write a “sentence”, you want it to have both a Subject and a Verb.

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    The main reason why people don’t believe evolutionary theory is basically, as Talbott stated, people refuse to believe the design they see in life is ‘illusory’ or only an ‘appearance of design’ as Dawkins puts it. I think this following quote sums up the ‘gut reaction’ most people have against Darwinism best:

    It’s Really Not Rocket Science – Granville Sewell – November 16, 2015
    Excerpt: In a 2005 American Spectator article, Jay Homnick wrote:
    “It is not enough to say that design is a more likely scenario to explain a world full of well-designed things. It strikes me as urgent to insist that you not allow your mind to surrender the absolute clarity that all complex and magnificent things were made that way. Once you allow the intellect to consider that an elaborate organism with trillions of microscopic interactive components can be an accident… you have essentially “lost your mind.””
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....00911.html

    And although most people are too busy with raising their families and such as that to look into the details of evolutionary theory, it turns out that that ‘gut reaction’ most people have against Darwinism is spot on. After perhaps a decade or more of looking evolutionary theory over, I find Darwinian evolution to be a pseudo-science that is on par with tea-leaf reading.

    What the vast majority of Darwinists fail to realize (or to ever honestly admit to) is that Darwinian evolution is not even a ‘real’ physical science in any proper sense that can be tested but that Darwinian evolution is more realistically thought of as a pseudo-science. Even Jerry Coyne himself, the self-appointed Grand Inquisitor of Darwinian evolution, who won the ‘censor of the year award’ in 2014 from ENV, admits that Darwinian evolution lacks the rigor of a proper physical science:

    “In science’s pecking order, evolutionary biology lurks somewhere near the bottom, far closer to phrenology than to physics. For evolutionary biology is a historical science, laden with history’s inevitable imponderables. We evolutionary biologists cannot generate a Cretaceous Park to observe exactly what killed the dinosaurs; and, unlike “harder” scientists, we usually cannot resolve issues with a simple experiment, such as adding tube A to tube B and noting the color of the mixture.”
    – Jerry A. Coyne – Of Vice and Men, The New Republic April 3, 2000 p.27 – professor of Darwinian evolution at the University of Chicago

    And without any way to test, and potentially falsify, Darwinian evolution in the real world, it simply fails to qualify as a rigorous science.

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program.”
    Karl Popper – Unended Quest: An Intellectual Autobiography (1976)

    Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution By John Horgan on July 6, 2010
    Excerpt: Early in his career, the philosopher Karl Popper ,, called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” Attacked for these criticisms, Popper took them back (in approx 1978). But when I interviewed him in 1992, he blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying. “One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....evolution/

    The primary reason why Darwinian evolution cannot be tested in the real world like other overarching theories of science can be tested is because Darwinian evolution does not have a rigid mathematical basis to test against as other overarching theories have. (in fact, in so far as math can be applied to Darwinian claims, mathematics constantly shows us that Darwinian evolution is astronomically unlikely),,

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    Darwinian Evolution is a Unfalsifiable Pseudo-Science – Mathematics – video
    https://www.facebook.com/philip.cunningham.73/videos/vb.100000088262100/1132659110080354/?type=2&theater

    Evolution is Missing a Mathematical Formula
    Excerpt: Virtually all scientists acknowledge that mathematics is the real language of science. Every theory uses words to describe and postulate the theory, but the true test of a theory is numbers and mathematics. It is numbers and mathematical formulae that distinguish true science from hocus-pocus.,,,
    Every scientific theory that has been promoted to the status of being a scientific law has been quantified and/or embodied into one or more mathematical formulae that make accurate predictions.
    But no scientist has been able to derive any working formula from the Theory of Evolution and no one has been able to quantify its dictums. Millions of scientists have tried to quantify the Theory of Evolution and they have all failed to do so.
    http://darwinconspiracy.com/article_1_rev2.php

    The reason why no scientist has been able ‘quantify its dictums’ is because there are no known laws of nature for Darwinists to appeal to to base their math on. In other words, there is no known ‘law of evolution’ in the physical universe:

    The Evolution of Ernst: Interview with Ernst Mayr – 2004
    Excerpt: biology (Darwinian Evolution) differs from the physical sciences in that in the physical sciences, all theories, I don’t know exceptions so I think it’s probably a safe statement, all theories are based somehow or other on natural laws. In biology, as several other people have shown, and I totally agree with them, there are no natural laws in biology corresponding to the natural laws of the physical sciences.
    http://www.scientificamerican......-ernst-in/

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt:,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.
    Little seems to have changed from a decade ago when the late and great John Maynard Smith wrote a chapter on evolutionary game theory for a book on the most powerful equations of science: his contribution did not include a single equation.
    http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25468

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    And whereas Darwinian evolution has no law of nature to appeal to so as to establish itself as a proper science, Intelligent Design does not suffer from such a disconnect from physical reality. In other words, Intelligent Design can appeal directly to ‘the laws of conservation of information’ in order to establish itself as a proper and rigorous science.

    Conservation of information, evolution, etc – Sept. 30, 2014
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel’s logical objection to Darwinian evolution:
    “The formation in geological time of the human body by the laws of physics (or any other laws of similar nature), starting from a random distribution of elementary particles and the field is as unlikely as the separation of the atmosphere into its components. The complexity of the living things has to be present within the material [from which they are derived] or in the laws [governing their formation].”
    Gödel – As quoted in H. Wang. “On `computabilism’ and physicalism: Some Problems.” in Nature’s Imagination, J. Cornwall, Ed, pp.161-189, Oxford University Press (1995).
    Gödel’s argument is that if evolution is unfolding from an initial state by mathematical laws of physics, it cannot generate any information not inherent from the start – and in his view, neither the primaeval environment nor the laws are information-rich enough.,,,
    More recently this led him (Dembski) to postulate a Law of Conservation of Information, or actually to consolidate the idea, first put forward by Nobel-prizewinner Peter Medawar in the 1980s. Medawar had shown, as others before him, that in mathematical and computational operations, no new information can be created, but new findings are always implicit in the original starting points – laws and axioms.,,,
    http://potiphar.jongarvey.co.u.....ution-etc/

    Evolutionary Computing: The Invisible Hand of Intelligence – June 17, 2015
    Excerpt: William Dembski and Robert Marks have shown that no evolutionary algorithm is superior to blind search — unless information is added from an intelligent cause, which means it is not, in the Darwinian sense, an evolutionary algorithm after all. This mathematically proven law, based on the accepted No Free Lunch Theorems, seems to be lost on the champions of evolutionary computing. Researchers keep confusing an evolutionary algorithm (a form of artificial selection) with “natural evolution.” ,,,
    Marks and Dembski account for the invisible hand required in evolutionary computing. The Lab’s website states, “The principal theme of the lab’s research is teasing apart the respective roles of internally generated and externally applied information in the performance of evolutionary systems.” So yes, systems can evolve, but when they appear to solve a problem (such as generating complex specified information or reaching a sufficiently narrow predefined target), intelligence can be shown to be active. Any internally generated information is conserved or degraded by the law of Conservation of Information.,,,
    What Marks and Dembski (mathematically) prove is as scientifically valid and relevant as Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem in mathematics. You can’t prove a system of mathematics from within the system, and you can’t derive an information-rich pattern from within the pattern.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....96931.html

    Active Information in Metabiology – Winston Ewert, William A. Dembski, Robert J. Marks II – 2013
    Except page 9: Chaitin states [3], “For many years I have thought that it is a mathematical scandal that we do not have proof that Darwinian evolution works.” In fact, mathematics has consistently demonstrated that undirected Darwinian evolution does not work.,,
    Consistent with the laws of conservation of information, natural selection can only work using the guidance of active information, which can be provided only by a designer.
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2013.4

    And since Intelligent Design is mathematically based on the ‘law of conservation of information’, that makes Intelligent Design testable and potentially falsifiable, and thus makes, unlike Darwinism, Intelligent Design a rigorous science.

    The Law of Physicodynamic Incompleteness – David L. Abel
    Excerpt: “If decision-node programming selections are made randomly or by law rather than with purposeful intent, no non-trivial (sophisticated) function will spontaneously arise.”
    If only one exception to this null hypothesis were published, the hypothesis would be falsified. Falsification would require an experiment devoid of behind-the-scenes steering. Any artificial selection hidden in the experimental design would disqualify the experimental falsification. After ten years of continual republication of the null hypothesis with appeals for falsification, no falsification has been provided.
    The time has come to extend this null hypothesis into a formal scientific prediction:
    “No non trivial algorithmic/computational utility will ever arise from chance and/or necessity alone.”
    https://www.academia.edu/Documents/in/The_Law_of_Physicodynamic_Incompleteness

    It’s (Much) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_T1v_VLueGk

    “The National Academy of Sciences has objected that intelligent design is not falsifiable, and I think that’s just the opposite of the truth. Intelligent design is very open to falsification. I claim, for example, that the bacterial flagellum could not be produced by natural selection; it needed to be deliberately intelligently designed. Well, all a scientist has to do to prove me wrong is to take a bacterium without a flagellum, or knock out the genes for the flagellum in a bacterium, go into his lab and grow that bug for a long time and see if it produces anything resembling a flagellum. If that happened, intelligent design, as I understand it, would be knocked out of the water. I certainly don’t expect it to happen, but it’s easily falsified by a series of such experiments.
    Now let’s turn that around and ask, How do we falsify the contention that natural selection produced the bacterial flagellum? If that same scientist went into the lab and knocked out the bacterial flagellum genes, grew the bacterium for a long time, and nothing much happened, well, he’d say maybe we didn’t start with the right bacterium, maybe we didn’t wait long enough, maybe we need a bigger population, and it would be very much more difficult to falsify the Darwinian hypothesis.
    I think the very opposite is true. I think intelligent design is easily testable, easily falsifiable, although it has not been falsified, and Darwinism is very resistant to being falsified. They can always claim something was not right.”
    – Dr Michael Behe

    The Origin of Information: How to Solve It – Perry Marshall
    Where did the information in DNA come from? This is one of the most important and valuable questions in the history of science. Cosmic Fingerprints has issued a challenge to the scientific community:
    “Show an example of Information that doesn’t come from a mind. All you need is one.”
    “Information” is defined as digital communication between an encoder and a decoder, using agreed upon symbols. To date, no one has shown an example of a naturally occurring encoding / decoding system, i.e. one that has demonstrably come into existence without a designer.
    A private equity investment group is offering a technology prize for this discovery (up to 3 million dollars). We will financially reward and publicize the first person who can solve this;,,, To solve this problem is far more than an object of abstract religious or philosophical discussion. It would demonstrate a mechanism for producing coding systems, thus opening up new channels of scientific discovery. Such a find would have sweeping implications for Artificial Intelligence research.
    http://cosmicfingerprints.com/solve/

  10. 10

    Because modern science is exposing the fatal flaws in Darwinian theory, and Darwinists have not effectively addressed those fatal flaws.

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