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Will “disappeared” document slamming Darwin’s saints be restored at American Scientific Affiliation’s Web site?

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“The success of Darwinism was accompanied by a decline in scientific integrity. This is already evident in the reckless statements of Haeckel and in the shifting, devious, and histrionic argumentation of T. H. Huxley”

From: W. R. Thompson, “Critique of Evolution”, in his Introduction to On the Origin of Species, JASA 12 (March 1960): 2-9.

(More below.)

Rumour has it that the whole of the Introduction, strangely missing from the American Scientific Affiliation Web site, will now be put back after going “missing,” like a purged Kommisar in official Communist photos.

Thompson found Darwinism unconvincing back in 1960 for science-based reasons which he sets out. But the subsequent fifty years clearly show how little that matters when Darwinism fulfills a religious need, as it does with the American Scientific Affiliation. (See, for example, “Has the American Scientific AffiliationForgotten Their Stated Identity?”
and “Why Caroline Crocker observed that ID was treated with disdain at the ASA conference”

Or a confirmation of bias need, as it does in popular culture (See, for example, “How boobies help us understand child abuse ” and “Prescient mares abort their offspring to spare them pain ”) Has anyone taken note of the fact that we seldom if ever hear ASA types – who are so “pro-science,” in their own view – blast pop science culture for this stupidity? Can someone cite a genuine instance?

Including this:

Since he had at the time the Origin was published no body of experimental evidence to sup, port his theory, he fell back on speculative arguments The argumentation used by evolutionists, said de Quarefages, makes the discussion of their ideas extremely difficult. Personal convictions, simple possibilities, are presented as if they were proofs, or at least valid arguments in favor of the theory. As an example de Quatrefages cited Darwin’s explanation of the manner in which the titmouse might become transformed into the nutcracker, by the accumulation of small changes in structure and instinct owing to the effect of natural selection; and then proceeded to show that it is just as easy to transform the nutcracker into the titmouse. The demonstration can be modified without difficulty to fit any conceivable case. It is without scientific value, since it cannot be verified; but since the imagination has free rein, it is easy to convey the impression that a concrete example of real transmutation has been given. This is the more appealing because of the extreme fundamental simplicity of the the Darwinian explanation. The reader may be completely ignorant of biological processes yet he feels that he really understands and in a sense dominates the machinery by which the marvelous variety of living forms has been produced.

This was certainly a major reason for the success of the Origin. Another is the elusive character of the Darwinian argument. Every characteristic of organisms is maintained in existence because it has survival value. But this value relates to the struggle for existence. Therefore we are not obliged to commit ourselves in regard to the meaning of difference between individuals or species since the possessor of a particular modification may be, in the race for life, moving up or falling behind. On the other hand, we can commit ourselves if we like, since it is impossible to disprove our statement. The plausibility of the argument eliminates the need for proof and its very nature gives.it a kind of immunity to disproof. Darwin did not show in the Origin that species had originated by natural selection, he merely showed, on the basis of certain facts and assumptions, how this might have happened, and as he had convinced himself he was able to convince others.

But the facts and interpretations on which Darwin relied have now ceased to convince. The long-continued investigations on heredity and variation have undermined the Darwinian position. …

Whether it ever is put back or not (our usually reliable informant will keep checking), here’s as much of it as we can find online.

8 Replies to “Will “disappeared” document slamming Darwin’s saints be restored at American Scientific Affiliation’s Web site?

  1. 1
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    It looks like ALL the articles are missing for that issue.

    http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/1960/PSCF3-60dyn.html

    But, why go with boring old database error, when you could go with evil Darwinist conspiracy instead?

  2. 2
    Ted Davis says:

    Where do you get this material, Denyse? This is pretty good stuff. Let us know, please, if you find any more “gaps” in our fossil record–it might be evidence for a type of intelligent design. (It’s OK to laugh, Denyse. That’s a joke.)

  3. 3
    News says:

    Ted Davis, you must know that all media have sources. We can’t know whether the gap is intentional, any more than we can know whether the money missing from a politician’s low income housing budget is the reason his cottage has a Wow! new deck. We just listen to our sources and ask for stuff that is reasonable to do or information that is reasonable to provide – and watch what happens.

    You are worthy a better cause than Darwin and we are sorry for you.

  4. 4
    Ted Davis says:

    Thank you for the sympathy, Denyse. I’m sorry that I have been such a disappointment to you.

    I was really interested in the possibilities presented by this statement: “Rumour has it that the whole of the Introduction, strangely missing from the American Scientific Affiliation Web site, will now be put back after going “missing,” like a purged Kommisar in official Communist photos.” I can’t tell you how much it would help my career, if the restored (and skilfully, quietly altered) Introduction included a reference to my earliest work. Although I was only 7 years of age at the time, I had already published two articles in refereed journals and some book reviews, outlining in some detail the deleterious effects of Darwinism on major league baseball–anticipating some of the things that Steven Jay Gould would later say about the extinction of the .400 hitter. Citing any of those pieces would be a great boost to my image; I was *such* a precocious boy!

    On the other hand, it might only increase the magnitude of your disappointment. I’ll just have to take that risk. Please let us know what your sources tell you, at the appropriate time. I’m hopeful that the changed Introduction will do this, but so far I haven’t been able to persuade my fellow conspirators to go along. I’m no longer the head honcho, you see. I can’t just tell them what to do. Life is tough sometimes.

  5. 5
    PaV says:

    Nick:

    Were all the articles critical of Darwinism? It would be important to know.

    If you go the National Archives, you can find the log-book used by the nighttime guard when the Watergate break-in occurred. Out of this months long journal, only one page is missing: the one for the night of the burglary.

    Accident? Sheer chance?

  6. 6
    PNG says:

    This article reveals the same animus to the ASA as everything that Denise writes on it. Its seems that what she really hates about the ASA is that it is not an advocacy organization. Her life is so consumed by culture war that she cannot imagine any other reason for an organization to exist. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has more respect for the NCSE than the ASA, because is at least exists to do battle. The idea that a Christian organization might exist for fellowship and exchange of various opinions seem to be a matter of disgust for her. That was my impression when she ventured onto the old ASA e-mail list to harangue the scientists for failing to “think critically,” which apparently had no other meaning than “agreeing with her.” Well, I have to concede that she is consistent. The haranges, the sarcasm, the insults just go on in the same mode. It does just seem like preaching to the same old choir, but carry on if that what floats you boat.

  7. 7
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Dude, if you are suspicious, just click the link I gave you! Furthermore, you can see all the other issues of the journal from just a click or two — within a year or two of this issue are e.g. articles by Lammerts and other young-earth creationists which are online. Furthermore, why would they even list this issue of the journal, with a broken link, if the purpose was some conspiracy?

  8. 8
    Ted Davis says:

    PNG–you are dead on target. Thank you for saying this here. It has a lot more credibility coming from you, than from me (a former president of the ASA).

    If I’ve explained this to Denyse once (that the ASA is not an advocacy organization, but an academic society for Christians), I’ve explained it many times. Our biggest sin in her eyes is that we are not The Discovery Institute. This is no dig at TDI; they have every right to define who they are, and some of their staff and fellows are ASA members. I would say the same thing about BioLogos: the ASA is not BioLogos, although some of their staff are ASA members.

    When the topic is the ASA–and it rarely is, unless Denyse choose to make it the topic–she seems to have a reservoir of vitriol. We are of course hardly outliers in that regard, when it comes to topics discussed here, and that does give one pause. There is IMO a certain resemblance to the rhetorical style of Maureen Dowd. I don’t actually know what Denyse thinks of Ms Dowd, who is not in my book of favorite columnists, but I am serious about drawing the stylistic comparison. If the shoe fits, perhaps it should be worn.

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