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Talk about a perfect storm! Social science needs evolutionary theory?

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Anyone who has read Colin Wright’s “The New Evolution Deniers” at Quillette knows that social science no longer accepts fundamental ideas in Darwinian evolution, like the sexes. And Wright, fellow evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, and others are expected to just cringe and get re-educated or else.

That was the point of a question we asked earlier, Which side will atheists choose in the war on science? So far, they seem to want to avoid the obvious conclusion that increasingly they must choose progressivism over whatever they think their science has taught them—or else fight.

In the middle of all this a well-meaning person tries to explain how evolutionary theory can help social science:

My high school biology teacher, Mr. Whittington, put a framed picture of a primate ancestor in the front of his classroom—a place of reverence. In a deeply religious and conservative community in rural America, this was a radical act. Evolution, among the most well-supported scientific theories in human history, was then, and still is, deliberately censored from biological science education. But Whittington taught evolution unapologetically, as “the single best idea anybody ever had,” as the philosopher Dan Dennett described it. Whittington saw me looking at the primate in wonder one day and said, “Cristine, look at its hands. Now look at your hands. This is what common descent looks like.” …

Applying evolutionary theory to social science has the potential to transform education and, through it, society. For example, evolutionary perspectives can help social scientists understand, and eventually address, common social problems. Schoolyard bullying provides one example. Without an evolutionary understanding of the phenomenon, interventions are likely to be ineffective, since they misdiagnose the causes of bullying. Bullying is not merely negative interpersonal behavior; it’s goal-oriented and serves the social function of gaining status and prestige for the bully, which must be understood to combat it. For example, bullying often occurs in front of an audience, suggesting that social attention drives, and may reinforce, the behavior. A 2015 paper suggests most interventions don’t work because they remove the rewards of bullying—increased social status—without offering any alternatives. The researchers recommend that the esteem bullies seek “should be borne in mind when engineering interventions” designed to either decrease a bully’s social status or channel the bully’s social motivations to better ends. A deep understanding of the evolved functions of bullying, in short, provides a fulcrum for potential remedies.Cristine H. Legare, “Why Social Science Needs Evolutionary Theory” at Nautilus

One doesn’t mean to be unkind. But we hardly need “evolution” to know that giving a bully a task that builds self-esteem will distract him from bullying. Legare must surely have heard a kid shout, “Yeah, well, if you’re so great, prove it. Hit a home run tonight!” A teacher can surely find a discreet way of saying the same thing.

If the lame, wordy stuff Legare offers is an example of the outworkings of the “single best idea anybody ever had,” things are as we thought: The Darwinians are unprepared for the woke warriors of social science. One has to feel some pity for these generally sheltered people, knowing what’s coming.

Hey, it could get worse. Increasing numbers of people believe in astrology and witchcraft and, according to inclusivity principles, their point of view is just as worthy of respect as anyone else’s. Wait till that one swings round the bend…

See also: About the facts of life, Darwinian Jerry Coyne is still being stubborn … Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry “Why Evolution Is True” Coyne continues to refuse to follow Nature down the primrose path of political correctness and is doubling down on what people used to be allowed to accept as biological fact (Coyne was president of an evolution society which has started to wobble on whether sexes are real divisions.)

Is Darwinist Jerry Coyne starting to get it about SJW “science”? Ah, not a moment too soon.; Here is a perfect specimen of sp. SJW, Trollus inyerfaceus. We have certainly dealt with them. Coyne may find some in his own back yard.

The perfect storm: Darwinists meet the progressive “evolution deniers” — and cringe… Double down cringe…

The Darwinians’ cowardice before SJW mobs explained in detail: They thought the mob was coming for someone else.

Rob Sheldon: Have a little pity for scientists scared of SJWs I thought the Areo article was the most honest I have met in a long while. It is one thing to boast about courage in the faculty lounge, it is quite another in the provost’s office. I have been cursed with both experiences.

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3 Replies to “Talk about a perfect storm! Social science needs evolutionary theory?

  1. 1
    EDTA says:

    If bullying were an evolutionarily-inbred behavior, what makes her think that there is _any_ way (like in the next millennium) to get rid of it?

  2. 2
    News says:

    You raise a good point, EDTA. However, it’s unclear that our author is able or willing to think that deeply. If one sees no serious conflict between eliminative materialism (Dan Dennett’s approach), the Darwinian selfish gene, and vague notions around being a good and caring person., it is best not to think too hard.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this claim in the quote in the OP:

    Evolution, among the most well-supported scientific theories in human history, was then, and still is, deliberately censored from biological science education.

    First, the only thing that is “deliberately censored from biological science education” is not Darwinian evolution but is any critique of Darwinian evolution:

    On Evolution “Myth” and ID, Tom Wolfe Boldly Told the Truth – December 24, 2018
    Excerpt: Wolfe “invokes the Spanish Inquisition when discussing how academics have cast out proponents of intelligent design for ‘not believing in evolution the right way.’”
    The comparison was no idle exaggeration, as you’ll see from a glance at the website Free Science. Not “believing in evolution the right way” is a career killer. I could give plenty of illustrations — scientists threatened or falsely besmirched as “creationists” for giving the offense of expressing preferences for a more adequate theory than Darwinian evolution. This is one very effective way the scientific “consensus” on Darwinism is maintained.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2018/12/9-of-our-top-stories-of-2018-on-evolution-myth-and-id-tom-wolfe-boldly-told-the-truth/

    Second, the claim that “Evolution (is) among the most well-supported scientific theories in human history” is a preposterous claim. As David Berlinski put it:

    “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

    The primary reason why Darwinian evolution lacks any of the rigor that is usually associated with the hard sciences is because Darwinian evolution has no mathematical model to test against. As Dr. Robert Marks states “Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. ,,, there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”

    “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    – Robert J. Marks II – Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – June 12, 2017

    And the primary reason why nobody has ever been able to build a realistic mathematical model for Darwinian evolution to test against is simply because there is no ‘law of evolution’ within the known physical universe for mathematicians and physicists to ever build a realistic mathematical model upon:

    Laws of science
    1 Conservation laws
    1.1 Conservation and symmetry
    1.2 Continuity and transfer
    2 Laws of classical mechanics
    2.1 Principle of least action
    3 Laws of gravitation and relativity
    3.1 Modern laws
    3.2 Classical laws
    4 Thermodynamics
    5 Electromagnetism
    6 Photonics
    7 Laws of quantum mechanics
    8 Radiation laws
    9 Laws of chemistry
    10 Geophysical laws
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_science

    As Ernst Mayr himself conceded, “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.”

    The Evolution of Ernst: Interview with Ernst Mayr – 2004 (page 2 of 14)
    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.
    ,,, And so that’s what I do in this book. I show that the theoretical basis, you might call it, or I prefer to call it the philosophy of biology, has a totally different basis than the theories of physics.
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/media/pdf/0004D8E1-178C-10EB-978C83414B7F012C.pdf

    In the following article, Roger Highfield makes much the same observation as Ernst Mayr and states, ,,, Whatever the case, those universal truths—’laws’—that physicists and chemists all rely upon appear relatively absent from biology.

    WHAT SCIENTIFIC IDEA IS READY FOR RETIREMENT? Evolution is True – Roger Highfield – January 2014
    Excerpt: If evolutionary biologists are really Seekers of the Truth, they need to focus more on finding the mathematical regularities of biology, following in the giant footsteps of Sewall Wright, JBS Haldane, Ronald Fisher and so on.
    ,,, 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

    Professor Murray Eden of MIT, in a paper entitled “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory” stated that “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.”

    “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.
    https://people.eecs.berkeley.edu/~christos/evol/compevol_files/Wistar-Eden-1.pdf

    And although Darwinian evolution does not have any physical ‘law of evolution’ within the universe to appeal to so as to build a realistic mathematical theory upon, and thus does not have a rigid falsification criteria as other true scientific theories do, none-the-less, Darwinian evolution has still been falsified:

    Charles Darwin himself listed (at least) four lines of empirical evidence that could potentially falsify his theory.

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
    –Charles Darwin, Origin of Species – 1860 – pg 189

    “to the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.” So “the case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.”
    – Charles Darwin – Origin of Species – 1860 – pg 308

    “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.”
    – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species – 1866 – pg. 241

    “The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists, against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor. They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”
    – Charles Darwin Origin of Species – 1859 – pg. 199

    And all four of those falsification criteria, laid out by Charles Darwin himself, have now been met (although Darwinists still refuse to accept empirical falsification of their theory):
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/from-barren-planet-to-civilization-in-four-easy-steps/#comment-666034

    The plain fact of the matter is Darwinism is certainly not “among the most well-supported scientific theories in human history”. Shoot, as far as having a rigid falsification criteria based on a known physical law, Darwinism does not even qualify as a rigorous science.

    Moreover, the refusal of Darwinists to ever accept empirical falsification of their Theory, from what Darwin himself laid out as falsification criteria, is proof that Darwinism is best categorized as a unfalsifiable pseudoscience, even a unfalsifiable religion, rather than as “among the most well-supported scientific theories in human history”.

    The comparison of Darwinian evolution to ‘real science’ is laughably absurd:

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    “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

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