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Tom Bethell: Darwinism is mirror image of creationism


Evolution News and Views

Tom Bethell in Evolution News & Views on the uproars around Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt:

The explicit materialism of the Darwinians is the mirror image of creationism. Creationists are easy for scientific materialists to rebut, because the materialists can say, “That is just your belief. We don’t have to accept that.” In a parallel way, we can say to the materialists: “That is just your belief. We don’t have to accept that. And it is the real basis of your evolutionism.”

In between the Creationists and the Materialists we encounter the scientific evidence that makes the materialist position increasingly improbable — the evidence that Stephen Meyer recently presented in Darwin’s Doubt: information theory, insufficiency of the fossil record, epigenetics, complexity of life at the molecular level, and so on.

Increasingly, it seems to me, the Darwinians are responding to this science by saying (in effect): “Bah! We won’t read that! It’s creationism in disguise.” They get graduate students like Nick Matzke, or incompetents like John Farrell (in National Review of all places), to do the work for them. All along the Darwinists have found that their materialism has allowed them to lie back and relax without really bothering to study the evidence.

And Darwin’s followers will go on doing that as long as they can. These days, there is no shortage of people who just want to know what  they have to shout in order to have a job with benefits, in academe. That could prove the biggest obstacle to a no-nonsense evaluation in the long run.

Tom Bethell has a new article out on Darwin's Doubt: Darwinism and Materialism: They Sink or Swim Together By Tom Bethell on 9.18.13 Excerpt: Meyer also reviews the “Rules of Science” decreeing what is permitted if an investigation is to be called scientific. “Methodological naturalism” is the main one today: Only material causes are permitted. That rule is the basis for Darwinian accusations that ID is creationism. ID does admit non-material causes, thereby flouting the (recently imposed) rule obliging scientists to adhere to naturalism all the way. Yet science itself abounds with non-material entities. Information is non-material and if it is essential for building organisms, how is it transmitted to the three-dimensional world of matter? There’s an obvious parallel, Meyer points out. How are the decisions we make in our own conscious minds transmitted to the world of physical matter? We know every day that we can transform our mental decisions into physical acts. We choose to lift our arm, and it lifts. Neuroscience hopes to explain this materially — to show how the brain’s nerve endings translate into consciousness, thence into acts. But one may predict that they will keep looking for a long time, because the gulf separating matter and consciousness is greater than that separating us from the remotest galaxy. That doesn’t mean that mind is too remote, unreal, or can be excluded from science. Mind is within us and nothing can be closer. Without it, the very ideas, theories, and arguments of science wouldn’t exist. If our own minds can disturb matter in ways that cannot be explained by materialists, is it not possible that some larger or more encompassing Mind can impact the world of nature? No, say the materialists. Why not? Because, in their philosophy, matter is all that exists. That’s why they call themselves materialists. And that is why Thomas Nagel’s book is so significant. His book is subtitled “Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False.” Incidentally, Nagel has also gone out of his way to praise Stephen Meyer. http://spectator.org/archives/2013/09/18/darwinism-and-materialism-they/2 bornagain77
I was first introduced to ID through the book "Doubts about Darwin" by Thomas Woodward. I thought, gee - these are impressive sounding arguments, but I've been burned before by arguments that sounds impressive. Let's hear what the critics say. I've come to the conclusion of this post the moment I read a NCSE response to intelligent design. hannodb
" Insufficiency of the fossil record...". The fossils are just dead on stone impressions. Connecting them in sequences is NOT biological science. Why do folks think it is?? Robert Byers
Note that WJM and Mung are very charitable towards Darwinism , since life is immeasurably more complex than any Boeing or tractor. Why the charitability William? Box
LarTanner @ 3
Thanks for removing all possible doubt left about your grasp of the theory of evolution.
Surely you are not so literal-minded as to begrudge a little hyperbole and rhetoric. I think it does quite nicely in highlighting the patent absurdity of Neo-Darwinian rubbish. Optimus
Here is the link to Tom Bethel's column. The link above is to his American Spectator page. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/09/what_is_the_wor076621.html jerry
That's right William, you left out the filtering aspect. The tornado must deposit the junk into a cornfield, and it requires repeated tornadoes, and repeated deposits of junk, and the cornfield filters out the non-useful bits, and eventually you get a tractor! Mung
That's a keeper, William! Axel
Darwinism is the belief that a tornado can go trough a junkyard and build a 747 jet airplane
Thanks for removing all possible doubt left about your grasp of the theory of evolution. LarTanner
Darwinism is the belief that a tornado can go trough a junkyard and build a 747 jet airplane; ID is the belief that only a deliberate, intelligent mind can design and build 747 jet planes. William J Murray
We don’t have to accept that. And it is the real basis of your evolutionism.
Will evolutionism now be the new term for UD to refer to the evolution part of materialism. jerry

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