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They said it: Why did two materialist atheists write a book against Darwinism?

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“A view that looks to contradict it, either directly or by implication, is ipso facto rejected, however plausible it may otherwise seem.”

You might reasonably wonder whether writing a critique of the classical Darwinist programme is worth the effort at this late date. Good friends in ‘wet’ biology tell us that none of them is ‘that kind” of Darwinist any more; no one in structural biology is a bona fide adaptationist. …

We are pleased to hear of these realignments, but we doubt that they are typical of biology at large (consider, for example, ongoing research on mathematical models of optimal natural selection). They are certainly not typical of informed opinion in fields that either of us has worked in including the philosophy of mind, natural language semantics, the theory of syntax, judgement and decision-making, pragmatics and psycholinguistics. In all of these, neo-Darwinism is taken as axiomatic; it goes literally unquestioned …

A view that looks to contradict it, either directly or by implication, is ipso facto rejected, however plausible it may otherwise seem. Entire departments, journals and research centres now work on this principle. In consequence, social Darwinism thrives, as do epistemological Darwinism, psychological Darwinism, evolutionary ethics – and even, heaven help us, evolutionary aesthetics. If you seek their monuments, look in the science section of your daily paper. We have both spent effort and ink rebutting some of the most egregious of these neo-Darwinist spin-offs, but we think that what is needed is to cut the tree at its roots: To show that Darwin’s theory of natural selection is fatally flawed. That’s what this book is about.

– Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. xvi.

From Booklist Remaining staunchly atheist all the while, philosopher Fodor and cognitive scientist Piattelli-Palmarini challenge Darwinism more effectively than the entire creationist/intelligent-design movement has. Their short, deliberate, and—for readers consulting (and reconsulting) their dictionaries about the philosophical and scientific vocabulary the authors decline to dumb down—slow-reading tract lays out biological and conceptual arguments against natural selection. Natural selection as the driver of speciation has become decreasingly explanatory as research continues to appreciate the complexity of internal and external processes impinging on development. For one thing, inherent physical limitations of developing organisms nullify blind selection; adapt as they may, pigs will never grow wings. Conceptually, natural selection is faulty because it necessarily implies intentionality (selection is made by something), never mind that how something with adaptive effect is chosen is utterly elusive logically. There is a great deal more to Fodor and Piattelli-Palmarini’s arguments, which ordinary general readers won’t be able to articulate afterward but will gratefully refer others—and themselves—to again and again. Many may find this the hardest, absolutely essential reading they’ve ever done. --Ray Olson NZer
From Publishers Weekly The authors of this scattershot treatise believe in evolution, but think that the Darwinian model of adaptationism—that random genetic mutations, filtered by natural selection, produce traits that enhance fitness for a particular biological niche—is fatally flawed. Philosopher Fodor and molecular-biologist-turned-cognitive-scientist Piattelli-Palmarini, at the University of Arizona, launch a three-pronged attack (which drew fire when Fodor presented their ideas in the London Review of Books in 2007). For one thing, according to the authors, natural selection contains a logical fallacy by linking two irreconcilable claims: first, that creatures with adaptive traits are selected, and second, that creatures are selected for their adaptive traits. The authors present an ill-digested assortment of scientific studies suggesting there are forces other than adaptation (some even Lamarckian) that drive changes in genes and organisms . Then they advance a densely technical argument that natural selection can't coherently distinguish between adaptive traits and irrelevant ones. Their most persuasive, and engaging, criticism is that evolutionary theory is just tautological truisms and historical narratives of how creatures came to be. Overall, the scientific evidence and philosophical analyses the authors proffer are murky and underwhelming. Worse, their highly technical treatment renders their argument virtually incomprehensible to lay readers. (Feb.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. NZer
We have both spent effort and ink rebutting some of the most egregious of these neo-Darwinist spin-offs, but we think that what is needed is to cut the tree at its roots: To show that Darwin’s theory of natural selection is fatally flawed. This should be transparently obvious to anyone who can think logically. Natural selection produces nothing new; it only preserves some things and eliminates others. Natural selection is not a creative process. How can this not be obvious? I continue to be mystified by the fact that supposedly intelligent and well-educated people cannot grasp this Logic 101 concept. The only conclusion I can reach is that such people have parked their brains at the doors of the Church of Darwin. GilDodgen
Here is a recent post that shows that reality itself conforms to this '4-D soul postulation' https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/philosophy/does-good-come-from-god-ii-harris-vs-lane/#comment-376449 bornagain77
I believe that Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, however strong their doubts about neo-Darwinism are, still harbor a great deal of animosity towards the notion of Design, which, if so, is quite a shame, since it is from them that this precious little piece of information came to me via Ms. O'Leary; “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection." Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79 https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/evolution/16037/#comment-369806 ,,, I dug a little deeper into this 'mystery' and found this,,, The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale with body size as power laws of the form: Y = Yo M^b, where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent. A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling. http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~drewa/pubs/savage_v_2004_f18_257.pdf ,,, and 4-D power scaling is indeed pervasive throughout life; 4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/ ,,, Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for 'random' Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the paradigm shifting implications this 'four dimensional scaling' of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional 'expectation' for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an 'emergent' property of the 3-D material realm. Earth’s crammed with heaven, And every common bush afire with God; But only he who sees, takes off his shoes, The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries. - Elizabeth Barrett Browning Perhaps we would all do well to 'pull off our shoes' every once in a while to appreciate just how absurdly miraculous is the fact that we even exist in the first place. further notes; The ‘Fourth Dimension’ Of Living Systems https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1Gs_qvlM8-7bFwl9rZUB9vS6SZgLH17eOZdT4UbPoy0Y Information and entropy – top-down or bottom-up development in living systems? A.C. McINTOSH Excerpt: It is proposed in conclusion that it is the non-material information (transcendent to the matter and energy) that is actually itself constraining the local thermodynamics to be in ordered disequilibrium and with specified raised free energy levels necessary for the molecular and cellular machinery to operate. http://journals.witpress.com/journals.asp?iid=47 Quantum entanglement holds together life’s blueprint - 2010 Excerpt: “If you didn’t have entanglement, then DNA would have a simple flat structure, and you would never get the twist that seems to be important to the functioning of DNA,” says team member Vlatko Vedral of the University of Oxford. http://neshealthblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/quantum-entanglement-holds-together-lifes-blueprint/ Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding - short video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/ It is very interesting to note that quantum entanglement, which conclusively demonstrates that ‘information’ in its pure 'quantum form' is completely transcendent of any time and space constraints, should be found in molecular biology, for how can the quantum entanglement effect in biology possibly be explained by a material (matter/energy) cause when the quantum entanglement effect falsified material particles as its own causation in the first place? (A. Aspect) Appealing to the probability of various configurations of material particles, as Darwinism does, simply will not help since a timeless/spaceless cause must be supplied which is beyond the capacity of the material particles themselves to supply! To give a coherent explanation for an effect that is shown to be completely independent of any time and space constraints one is forced to appeal to a cause that is itself not limited to time and space! i.e. Put more simply, you cannot explain a effect by a cause that has been falsified by the very same effect you are seeking to explain! Improbability arguments of various 'special' configurations of material particles, which have been a staple of the arguments against neo-Darwinism, simply do not apply since the cause is not within the material particles in the first place! Yet it is also very interesting to note, in Darwinism's inability to explain this 'transcendent quantum effect' adequately, that Theism has always postulated a transcendent component to man that is not constrained by time and space. i.e. Theism has always postulated a 'eternal soul' for man that lives past the death of the body. Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time - March 2011 Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-quantum-no-hiding-theorem-experimentally.html -------------- Big Daddy Weave - Every Time I Breathe (Music Video) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w70xy8sPEE4 bornagain77

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