Darwinism Education News

A friend writes to ask why he can’t have an event on a local campus because …

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… “religious issues will arise” if negative evaluations of Darwin’s theory of evolution are presented.

If so, that would make clear that the theory itself is a religious one. A fact that has never been seriously doubted by its more knowledgeable proponents, whatever its flacks and shills may say.

For example, as the friend reminds me,

In May 2000, Michael Ruse (philosopher of science, and atheist) wrote:

“Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion–a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint–and Mr. Gish is but one of many to make it–the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today.”– Ruse, M., “How evolution became a religion: creationists correct? Darwinians wrongly mix science with morality, politics”, National Post,pp. B1, B3, B7 (May 13, 2000)

Ruse is actually the best known Darwinian philosopher, and much appreciated for his honest and cynical admission of the facts in these matters.

Also, from Ruse’s The Evolution Wars:

Evolution after Darwin had set itself up to be something more than science. It was a popular science, the science of the marketplace and the museum, and it was a religion—whether this be purely secular or blended in with a form of liberal Christianity . . . When believers in other religions turned around and scratched, you may regret the action but you can understand it—and your sympathy for the victim is attenuated. —Michael Ruse, The Evolution Wars: A Guide to the Debates (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2000), p. 114.

So, in response to my friend’s question why a pro-Darwinism group can hold an event at a publicly funded institution but his group can’t, the answer is:

Because Darwin is the college Jesus and to worship skeptically is not to worship at all.

It is hard to imagine an administrator at a publicly funded institution today even doubting that it is her duty to suppress insults to her institution’s Jesus.

She may, of course, holler for some other Jesus at a tabernacle somewhere on weekends, but that has zero to do with her job, one minor function of which is to suppress questions about the One Who Really Matters, for whom taxes are paid. About that, there is no reason whatever for the system to be fair or reasonable, or entertain any doubts.

Darwin isn’t even a fair or reasonable or particularly moral Jesus, as recent events abundantly demonstrate. 😉

29 Replies to “A friend writes to ask why he can’t have an event on a local campus because …

  1. 1

    Darwin isn’t even a fair or reasonable or particularly moral Jesus, as recent events abundantly demonstrate.

    I guess we can conclude that Jesus isn’t a particularly moral Jesus either, as recent events abundantly demonstrate.

    Or perhaps just stop throwing stones in glass houses.

  2. 2
    Joe says:

    Jesus was NOT a catholic, Lizzie. Your stone went right through your glass wall.

    Nice job

  3. 3

    Catholics don’t follow Jesus?

  4. 4
    Joe says:

    Some do, some obvioulsy do not. But Jesus was NOT a catholic

  5. 5

    It’s certainly true that “religious issues will arise” if ID arguments are presented. As Dembski says:

    But if, life itself, or the universe itself gives …evidence of intelligence, then who or what could that intelligence be? And very quickly, we are pushed to the realm of theology…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z7d6svGz_4

    That doesn’t mean that “Darwinism” is religion. It means that certain arguments against Darwinism are.

  6. 6
    Joe says:

    Darwinism is a religion because it is based on faith. Not only that it has its own trinity- father time, mother nature and some unknown process

  7. 7

    I’d say that “Darwinism” doesn’t even exist, any more than Newtonism or quantumism, does.

    Darwin proposed a theory. It has a great deal of evidential support. It is not a religion, nor a belief system. Atheism, as in “lack of belief in god or gods” is not a belief system either. Atheism, as in “the belief that there is no god” is.

    ID is not a religion, but unless it posits a designer with some kind of constraints on his/her/its creative ability, it is not science either. And if it posits a designer with unconstrained creative abilities it is positing an omnipotent creator God, and is thus a religious proposition.

  8. 8
    Joe says:

    Darwin had some ideas that have not borne any fruit. Darwin didn’t have any evidentiary support then and he still doesn’t. Heck you can’t even produce a testable hypothesis wrt unguided evolution.

    BTW Lizzie, science just cares about REALITY. And if the reality behind our existence is that God did it, then THAT is science.

  9. 9
    Joe says:

    Darwin sed that natural selection is a designer mimic. There isn’t any evidence to support that claim. And seeing that was his big idea it is clear that he failed.

  10. 10
    groovamos says:

    ” I guess we can conclude that Jesus isn’t a particularly moral Jesus either, as recent events abundantly demonstrate.”

    Well Elizabeth certainly hit the nail on the head here, probably more squarely than she wanted to with the “recent events” part. Yes go back to the ’60’s and see if there was a sex abuse scandal with the Church and guess what — the problem was on a much smaller scale. What was the difference? Huge pressure on the Church (by liberal adherents, well documented) starting in the early ’70’s to begin admitting into the priesthood ‘out’ homosexuals. I mean, these guys had no aspirations for married life in those days anyway. And I’m sure someone will come at me with the “bigot” card, but unfortunately I have a first cousin in a South Carolina prison. He wanted into the ministry as a young man and as youth ministry is usually a stepping stone in the field, he was counseled in no uncertain fashion that he should find another career, as he is gay. He told me this in 1978 in very matter-of-fact manner, and personally accepted the risk factor argument. So what did he do? He went into elementary education. The rest is history, as is his life, for the most part. My deepest sympathies go to his young victims.

    Look at it this way: we can propose that leftist thinking probably was responsible for roughly half of the priesthood being homosexual in modern times if not more. If homosexuality is not a factor in the modern crisis, why are many fewer young girls victims in the abuse scandal than young boys?

    So maybe the not “particularly moral Jesus” was the one that liberal Roman Catholics preferred.

  11. 11
    lpadron says:

    EL,

    What of Ruse’s observation that evolution is also a religious proposition?

    You wrote:

    “ID is not a religion, but unless it posits a designer with some kind of constraints on his/her/its creative ability, it is not science either.”

    What are the constraints on the creative ability of evolution? Or naturalism?

    “And if it posits a designer with unconstrained creative abilities it is positing an omnipotent creator God, and is thus a religious proposition.”

    But a naturalistic process with unconstrained creative abilities is also an omnipotent creator, no?

  12. 12

    lpadron

    But a naturalistic process with unconstrained creative abilities is also an omnipotent creator, no?

    Yes, it would be. Do you know anyone who has suggested such a process? It would seem rather pointless. Something that can do anything has no predictive power, so cannot be falsfied.

  13. 13

    oops, missed a bit

    What are the constraints on the creative ability of evolution? Or naturalism?</blockquote

    Well, on evolutionary processes as posited there are very tight constraints. For example if evolution as posited is true we wouldn't expect to see solutions from one lineages suddenly appear in the same form in another, with the same genetic "recipe", even when there is a perfectly good solution in another lineage. If we did see such a thing – and future biologists will, now that we have GM crops and stock – we might want to infer a designer with planning powers.

    Also, the more unselected steps there are on the pathway to a function, the less likely it is to evolve. It's not surprising, for example that even though wheels are awesome, they have only evolved on a molecular level. It's not easy to see how a macroscopic wheel could possibly evolve. On the other hand that's easy for a human designer.

    As for "naturalism" – well it depends on what you mean, but we talk about the "laws of nature" which are, very precisely, the constraints that we observe, and they appear to be very tight – if they weren't, we wouldn't call them "laws". More importantly it's because of the constraints we observe on natural processes – the regularities – that we can do science at all. Without constraints there can be no prediction, and science essentially consists of making predictive models.

  14. 14

    groovamos

    Look at it this way: we can propose that leftist thinking probably was responsible for roughly half of the priesthood being homosexual in modern times if not more. If homosexuality is not a factor in the modern crisis, why are many fewer young girls victims in the abuse scandal than young boys?

    How about looking at it this way:

    We can propose that insisting on celibacy and condemning homosexuality led to a high proportion of those entering the priesthood being being homosexuals facing no church-approved option to a healthy sexual relationship, as well as a great deal of sexual frustration for both heterosexual and homosexual priests. For those who taught in institutions their charges were more often boys, and therefore boys were very often to be the victims, both of heterosexual and homosexual priests. Parish priests however abused children of both sexes, as well as exploiting their position of power to abuse adult women. Young female victims of abuse tended to be “hidden” in a different way to boys, and have sometimes been ignored. Because they often became pregnant, they would be moved to places for unmarried mothers and stigmatized.

    Yes, your post is highly offensive to gays, but also to the female victims of clerical abuse. The scandal of abuse in the church cannot be blamed on homosexuals per se, but on a system that promotes a pathological approach to sexuality that results in secrecy, abuse, and denial, and on men (and some women) of both heterosexual and homosexual orientation who abuse their power for the sake of their own gratification.

    You might also like to consider the fact that estimates suggest that Child Sexual Abuse in the US is about twice as likely to happen to a girl as to a boy. Pedophilia and homosexuality are not the same thing, and there is no evidence that homosexual men are any more likely to abuse boys than heterosexual men. Paedophiles appear not to be very picky about the gender of the child they abuse.

  15. 15
    Barb says:

    Dr. Liddle:

    Darwin proposed a theory. It has a great deal of evidential support. It is not a religion, nor a belief system.

    What about social Darwinism? That certainly exists.

    Atheism, as in “lack of belief in god or gods” is not a belief system either. Atheism, as in “the belief that there is no god” is.

    Atheism is a philosophical worldview and, as such, can also be called a belief system. After all, it describes what atheists believe (namely, that there is no god or gods).

  16. 16

    Social Darwinism may exist. It’s not a scientific theory and it wasn’t AFAIK proposed by Darwin. It’s a political philosophy.

    I don’t know any mainstream scientist, in other words someone who accepts the principle of Darwinian evolution who is a “social Darwinist”. In fact I don’t know a single “social darwinist”.

    And if a social Darwinist was invited to speak at a university there would almost certainly be vigorous objections.

    Atheism is a philosophical worldview and, as such, can also be called a belief system. After all, it describes what atheists believe (namely, that there is no god or gods).

    Note the distinction in my post. Some atheists believe that there is no god or gods (sometimes called “strong atheism”) That is a belief. Most simply do not believe in god or gods (“weak atheism”). That is not a belief system any more than not believing in fairies is a belief system. It’s simply lack of belief.

    The vast majority of atheists I know are “weak atheists” meaning that they simply do not believe in god or gods, just as you probably do not believe in fairies. It’s not a world view, it’s just something you see no reason to believe.

  17. 17
    Robert Byers says:

    If there is opposition then its time to use the weapons of a free people in their nation.
    Strike at them with quick jabs of moral and intellectual rights to pursue and win the truth!
    North americans are reasonable and not reflected in the modern evil establishment. Watch the demographics.

    If they say no to truth then demand yes to truth.
    if they say no because of religion then demand the truth despite its reflection on religion.
    If they still say no then accuse them of attacking a religion . That is of them officially dictating religion is false in its conclusions and so any hint otherwise , by way of origin issues, is illegal as they see it.
    They are imposing that religion is untrue and not avoiding the subject.
    Its impossible to censor without forsaking the search for truth as a priority.

  18. 18
    Barb says:

    Dr. Liddle @ 16:

    Social Darwinism may exist. It’s not a scientific theory and it wasn’t AFAIK proposed by Darwin. It’s a political philosophy.

    Which is based on a scientific theory proposed by Darwin, for which there is “overwhelming” evidence according to scientists. It may not have been proposed by Darwin himself, but those who believe in survival of the fittest (which was proposed by Darwin) certainly have appropriated his theory for political gain.

    Note the distinction in my post. Some atheists believe that there is no god or gods (sometimes called “strong atheism”) That is a belief. Most simply do not believe in god or gods (“weak atheism”). That is not a belief system any more than not believing in fairies is a belief system. It’s simply lack of belief.

    It is a belief system because it describes what a person believes. Period. I’ve never bought into the strong/weak atheism distinction myself. Either you believe in God or you don’t.

    The vast majority of atheists I know are “weak atheists” meaning that they simply do not believe in god or gods, just as you probably do not believe in fairies. It’s not a world view, it’s just something you see no reason to believe.

    If it affects how you view reality, then it’s a worldview.

    I don’t know any mainstream scientist, in other words someone who accepts the principle of Darwinian evolution who is a “social Darwinist”. In fact I don’t know a single “social darwinist”.

    How can you believe one but not the other, when one is clearly based off the other? If evolution is true, then social Darwinism is a natural extension of that principal, is it not? If not, why not?

    And if a social Darwinist was invited to speak at a university there would almost certainly be vigorous objections.

    People who believe in “survival of the fittest” in political or economic terms speak at universities all the time without objection. Who could object to a speech being given by a politician when he backs it up with the scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution?

  19. 19
    Gregory says:

    “survival of the fittest (which was proposed by Darwin)”

    The phrase ‘survival of the fittest’ was proposed by Herbert Spencer. Darwin first used ‘struggle for life’ (see Origin of Species full title), which he got from Rev. Thomas Malthus, but later accepted Spencer’s phrase with some trepidation. Malthus is really the one to revaluate in this discourse, which the book “Darwin Without Malthus” (1989) aptly displays.

    Of course, IDists, too, promote their ‘theory’ (which they take as a ‘fact’) for political gain. Have you never heard of Rick Santorum? Gov’t people like John G. West, Bruce Chapman and G. Gilder and a bunch more activists in the DI?

    “If evolution is true, then social Darwinism is a natural extension of that principal, is it not? If not, why not?”

    No. Because there are many varieties of ‘evolutionary theory’.

    Robert Young argues “Darwinism is Social” available here

    Work done in the past 40 or so years, since W.D. Hamilton, thinking more recently of Marvin Harris, Stephen Sanderson, Richerson and Boyd, Cosmides and Tooby, Carneiro, Runciman, Collins, G. Lenski, but also in economics Nelson and Winter, Hodgson, Loasby, Boulding, Knudson, Hannapi, and many others (going quickly here not to waste time) show an alternative way to view socio-cultural evolution than ‘social Darwinism’. Here’s a reference.

    Why not try inverting your thought, Barb? Why not start by thinking, o.k. scientists and scholars are not all idiots and not all deranged and not all just out to get American evangelical Christians for the sick fun of it. Why not start thinking: o.k. evolution is true. Now, what are the limits of evolutionary explanations?

    Doing that might help. At least, that’s the approach the Pontifical Academy of Sciences takes, at least in noting that ‘evolution’ is “more than a hypothesis.” It sure beats being angry with Darwin and ‘Darwinists’ or with ‘social Darwinists’ all the time – and I agree with Elisabeth here; you’d have a heck of a time finding a scholar who calls themselves a ‘social Darwinist’ nowadays.

  20. 20
    goodusername says:

    Barb,

    How can you believe one but not the other, when one is clearly based off the other? If evolution is true, then social Darwinism is a natural extension of that principal, is it not? If not, why not?

    “Social Darwinism” was a term popularized (or, as many argue, invented) by Hoftstadter, a Communist, in 1944 as an epithet for capitalism, particularly laissez-faire capitalism. But most of the people he claimed to be social Darwinists probably weren’t even Darwinists, and certainly didn’t invoke Darwinism to support their economic or social beliefs. And the ideas Hofstadter attack predate Darwinism.

    Here’s a pretty good description of social Darwinism:
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....is-spring/

  21. 21
    Joe says:

    Elizabeth:

    Something that can do anything has no predictive power, so cannot be falsfied.

    Unguided evolution doesn’t have any predictive power…

  22. 22
    RodW says:

    Lizzy,

    I think there are many people who are effectively social darwinists. In the US conservatives wish to minimize spending on social programs for the poor. They resent having their tax money spent on people they consider stupid and lazy. Its ironic that the people who most embody a ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality are the same people who most often reject evolution on religious grounds.

    I think Barb is correct re Worldview. Lack of belief in fairies is a worldview. It doesnt matter if a lack of belief is expressed passively or actively.

  23. 23
    groovamos says:

    ” Yes, your post is highly offensive to gays, but also to the female victims of clerical abuse.”
    The above posted with quite the pronounced air of authority I must say.

    ” Paedophiles appear not to be very picky about the gender of the child they abuse.”

    But homosexual men are, as long as we are talking appearances. Please provide a link indicating that the number of girl victims of abuse by the Catholic priesthood was comparable to that of young boys. And speaking of appearances, it appeared to my gay cousin to be a reasonable assumption that he and his prrr group liked young boys.

  24. 24
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Elizebth Liddle:It’s certainly true that “religious issues will arise” if ID arguments are presented. As Dembski says: But if, life itself, or the universe itself gives …evidence of intelligence, then who or what could that intelligence be? And very quickly, we are pushed to the realm of theology…

    I think Dembski is wrong, and therefore, so are you. What if extra-terrestrial aliens are responsible for life on earth? Would that fact necessarily lead to theology?

    I guess it all depends on how loosely one defines “god” and therefore “theology” (and therefore “religion”) If acknowledgement of putative ETs as our creators is “religious”, then so is the veneration of Darwin. Try Googling “darwin day cakes” sometime and see the nut jobs that have parties in his holy name.

  25. 25
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Elizebeth Liddle:Note the distinction in my post. Some atheists believe that there is no god or gods (sometimes called “strong atheism”) That is a belief. Most simply do not believe in god or gods (“weak atheism”). That is not a belief system any more than not believing in fairies is a belief system. It’s simply lack of belief.

    Two questions for you (assuming you are a weak atheist):

    1. Do you believe this proposition? : A god exists

    2. Do you believe this proposition? : No god exists

  26. 26
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    EL: That is not a belief system any more than not believing in fairies is a belief system. It’s simply lack of belief.

    To continue my previous…

    Consider the two questions:

    1. Do you believe this proposition? : Fairies exists

    2. Do you believe this proposition? : No fairies exist

    Since I would answer no to the first, and yes to the second, that would make me, to borrow from your terms, a “strong non-fairy-ist” and not a “weak non-fairy-ist.”

    Now, what answer would I have to give to question 2 to make me a “weak non-fairy-ist”?

  27. 27
    sixthbook says:

    Interesting article by WND on homosexuality and pedophilia link. Also how gay-advocates misrepresent data to help their cause. http://www.wnd.com/2002/04/13722/
    Assuredly biased, but probably no more than the UC Davis article thats the first result in google.

    Also this abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1556756/

    Ratio of heterosexuals to homosexuals in general pop is 20:1 but among pedophiles its 11:1. They end by saying “[t]his, of course, would not indicate that androphilic males have a greater propensity to offend against children.”
    I’m not exactly sure how they get that conclusion because their data suggests the opposite. Perhaps they know its easier to keep your job by being “politically correct”?

  28. 28
    Gregory says:

    Barb, You are one of the reasons IDism is dying.

    IDists 1) don’t like to publically admit they are wrong; they just grow silent and expect people to forget what was said.

    An easy example: IDism is properly understood as a topic for collaborative science, philosophy and theology/worldview conversation. It is *not* and cannot possibly be ‘strictly [natural] scientific,’ as the DI claims (those are Luskin’s regurgitated party-line words). Don’t anyone at UD expect Behe, Dembski, Meyer or Axe to admit this anytime soon; it would kill the IDM, end the movement rather quickly. The media would pounce on it and IDism would fade away, though of course, ‘[the] design argument[s]’ would nevertheless remain credible as natural-theological apologetics.

    And 2) They don’t often thank others for learning something that they didn’t know.

    An appropriate example here in this thread. Barb wrongly claimed that ‘survival of the fittest’ was ‘proposed’ by Darwin. Now Barb knows that it was Herbert Spencer that proposed it. Likewise, goodusername tried to help Barb understand ‘social Darwinism.’ No thanks was given, no acknowledgement whatsoever. End of ‘conversation.’ Silence.

    One word for this: ungrateful. It is an increasingly obvious symptom of Expelled Syndrome disease that is eating up the hearts and minds of IDists in America and the few who are IDist ideologues abroad.

    In any case, you’re welcome, Barb.

    As it is, this proposition is still open:
    Why not try inverting your thought, Barb? Why not start by thinking, o.k. scientists and scholars are not all idiots and not all deranged and not all just out to get American evangelical Christians for the sick fun of it. Why not start thinking: o.k. evolution is true. Now, what are the limits of evolutionary explanations?

  29. 29
    TSErik says:

    Gregory #28

    Barb, You are one of the reasons IDism is dying.

    Just because one states it, doesn’t make it so.

    don’t like to publically admit they are wrong; they just grow silent and expect people to forget what was said.

    This sounds like a projection of the NDE crowd, if I am honest.

    And 2) They don’t often thank others for learning something that they didn’t know.

    Again, sounds an awful lot like projection, as there are examples to the contrary throughout the UD threads.

    I agree with you. There needs to be an open discussion where all sides can acknowledge their own shortcomings, hopefully leading to greater understanding of the universe. However, alluding to the idea that those traits you listed, Gregory, are solely symptomatic in ID is disingenuous.

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