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But Darwin’s fall WON’T help creationists! – reader

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In response to a commenter on the post “Suzan Mazur’s new book: The Paradigm Shifters” (When you see who is listed on the cover, you will definitely want this book), a reader writes,

Science, like living things, changes over time. Who’da thunk it? The “paradigm” is still not shifting towards Christian or any other kind of creationism, though.

Well, first, the changes anticipated were toward ever more Darwinism, Darwinizing everything. See evolutionary psychology and cosmic Darwinism. Darwinism was the single greatest idea anyone ever had, remember?

And so now …

I have no idea what will happen, only that a long-awaited change is underway. Nature permitted a dismissive review of Dawkins’ second instalment on himself, when they might have permitted him an honourable retirement. That alone suggests something is up.

How will it affect creationism? I don’t know. For one thing, the term no longer seems to mean anything in particular:

Then atheist mathematician Peter Woit got called a creationist because he thinks multiverse nonsense is, well, nonsense. As we said at the show trial, “creationist” is the new skeptic.

But now, even Gould is a “creationist” because he doubted crackpot Darwin theories of race. So are all the progressives who have persecuted creationists.

I would just keep up with the news, and wait and see.

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16 Replies to “But Darwin’s fall WON’T help creationists! – reader

  1. 1
    daveS says:

    How will it affect creationism? I don’t know. For one thing, the term no longer seems to mean anything in particular:

    It is often used as a generic insult, much as the terms “Darwinist” and “materialist” are (although that’s clearly not how Seversky used it)

    Would you not agree, however, that anyone worthy of the label “creationist” must believe that all humans are descended from Adam and Eve, who were created ex nihilo?

    I predict that those who hold this view will never be able to come to agreement on when Adam and Eve were created, nor on which fossils represent humans and which represent nonhuman primates, Darwin’s “fall” notwithstanding.

  2. 2
    Mung says:

    daveS:

    Would you not agree, however, that anyone worthy of the label “creationist” must believe that all humans are descended from Adam and Eve, who were created ex nihilo?

    Clearly not.

    Creationism and Its Critics in Antiquity

  3. 3
    daveS says:

    Mung,

    Fair enough. On the other hand, virtually all of those on the pro-ID side at this site would be creationists according to the author of that book. Yet many IDers deny being creationists, although some do embrace it.

    Should we just stop using the word? I’m happy to do so. I will stand by my prediction in #1.

  4. 4
    Seversky says:

    “Creationism” refers, in the context of these discussions, to the belief that that God of Christianity created the Universe and all life therein. The Founding fathers of Intelligent Design shared that belief and made no bones about it. I don’t know about you but that seems to me to be uncontroversial.

    “Darwinism” appears to be used as a pejorative epithet, certainly by creationist critics of evolutionary biology, for everything about it that they don’t like because it is perceived as a threat to their beliefs.

    The theory of evolution has been changing ever since Darwin first published it. Its initial influenced wained because there was no adequate mechanism of inheritance available until Mendel’s work was discovered. The discovery of DNA opened up the field of genetics and enabled the so-called neo-Darwinian Synthesis. Then we had Gould’s Punctuated Equilibria and Kimura’s neutral theory of molecular evolution.

    The implication that evolution is Darwin’s theory of natural selection set in stone since 1859 that is only now being challenged by some free-spirited band of rebels is nonsense. The theory has been changing – and will continue to change – as all good theories should, in order to accommodate new data.

    But I challenge News or Mazur or anyone else to provide evidence that this alleged new paradigm emerging amongst this group of scientists involves moving towards Christian creationism as an explanation for the origins of life and the Universe.

  5. 5
    johnnyb says:

    As Denyse has pointed out, the term “creationist” gets thrown around a lot these days, so the question depends on your meaning. Behe believes in a materialist evolution from molecules to man, but is regularly considered a “creationist” by the mainstream because he views this as having been planned and organized in the makeup of the Big Bang.

    The reason that non-Darwin brings us closer to Creationism (in one form or another) is simply because the design in the world is *overwhelmingly obvious*. Darwinism was brought in, not as a neutral description of the world, but as a defeater for the overwhelming evidence of design in everything. For warranted belief, a defeater is something that prevents you from believing a proposition that you otherwise had warrant to believe.

    Without Darwinism as a defeater, then our noetic position reverts to the previous – warranted belief based on massive evidence of design. In order for other theories to be defeaters, they would have to show that (a) they work in absence of design (i.e., they don’t require a prior design to work – evo-devo, for instance, presumes massive, existing design in nature for it to function), and (b) that it is more warranted to believe than design.

    Now, interestingly, Darwin never succeeded at (a) or (b) either, but it was at least argued for. Most Darwin-replacements, rather than arguing to be a design-replacer, simply, like evo-devo, argue for enough pre-existing design in nature for them to work. Thus, they fail even to contend as a defeater for the concept that design is ever-present in nature.

  6. 6
    Mapou says:

    I love the label ‘creationist’ because I am proud to be one and I believe the entire universe was designed and created ex nihilo. The idea that the demise of Darwinism would not help creationism is ridiculous. This is precisely why Darwinism is still alive: the fear of traditional religions.

    No, I don’t believe that the universe was created a few thousand years ago and I don’t believe it was created in 6 24-hour days. I believe creation took aeons. And I don’t believe the creators are omnipotent and omniscient either. I am just as much incensed against young earth creationists as I am against Darwinists, materialists and atheists. They all make a mockery of Yahweh.

  7. 7
    Virgil Cain says:

    I challenge Seversky to link to this alleged “theory pf evolution”. Darwin had some ideas but they never amounted to a scientific theory.

  8. 8
    RexTugwell says:

    Let’s not forget that Ken Miller, the darling of Kitzmiller and staunch anti-IDer, admitted during cross examination that according to his own Catholic faith, he too is a creationist by definition. He believes in God as creator of all things seen and unseen. That goes for matter as well and the laws of physics and chemistry.

    So clearly “creationist” does not necessarily mean ID proponent. daveS is right though; it’s used more commonly as an insult; so it doesn’t matter if the object of the label really qualifies as one or not.

    Oh yeah. It’s also worth remembering that the late Will Provine believed that evolution (Darwinian) was the “greatest engine of atheism ever invented”. I believe that most Darwinists agree with Provine’s position and this explains their zero-concession policy. No Darwinian evolution? What would take its place? The alternative is unthinkable.

  9. 9
    Mapou says:

    There is a war of ideas taking place between atheists and creationists. The atheists (mostly Darwinists and materialists) are about to lose the war. Many if not most creationists will also fall by the wayside. I predict it will be a spectacular defeat. I’ve said it many times. I’ll be watching the whole thing unfold with a bag of Cheetos in one hand, a beer in the other and a smirk on my face. 😀

  10. 10
    Axel says:

    “The paradigm is still not shifting towards Christian or any other kind of creationism, though.”

    The Big Bang did that at the macro level, and quantum physics at the micro. It’s all over bar the shouting. They are the true ‘flat-earthers’, metaphorically – since they didn’t actually exist in the past, literally or metaphorically.

    And didn’t BA say that it had been mathematically proven that QM was unimprovable, the final, definitive paradigm. I’ve even read that it does hold good at the macro level – I think it was said, save for the scale making its study impracticable.

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    the late Will Provine believed that evolution (Darwinian) was the “greatest engine of atheism ever invented”.

    Provine also said that his belief in evolution was based on faith that it all happened naturally. He had no proof but had faith instead.

  12. 12
    Axel says:

    jerry, that is literally, a ‘clueless faith’: the very accusation risibly levelled at the Christian faith.

  13. 13
    johnnyb says:

    Seversky –

    Darwinism has a definition in the technical literature, and it is precisely the one ID uses for it. It is the union of the following ideas:

    * all organisms share a Universal Common Ancestor
    * the primary mechanism of change is haphazard heritable changes filtered by natural selection
    * causation in this paradigm is entirely material, with no non-material causative patterns allowed

    It’s not a pejorative. it *is* what we disagree with, but we are just being specific, which I don’t see what is wrong with being specific.

    The problem with this theory is that it asserts, against the evidence, that all design in organisms is only apparent. There are other theories of evolution which are more consistent with the evidence, but they all come at the cost of being inconsistent with the Darwinian picture.

    Darwinism was explicitly modeled to be a designer-substitute. It’s failure doesn’t necessitate on its own that design is true, but the strength of design has always been obvious. What Darwinism did was to undercut the natural understanding of humans about their environment. Without the undercutting of that warrant, then the natural understanding of humans is actually a properly basic belief, similar to the belief in the existence of other minds.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    As to this claim:

    “The “paradigm” is still not shifting towards Christian or any other kind of creationism, though.”

    Actually, contrary to what our atheistic friend wants to believe, and despite the semi-desperation that is self-evident in that quote against God having anything to do with life, (especially, apparently, his personal life in particular), the fact of the matter is that the fundamental defect that leads to the undermining of the neo-Darwinian paradigm, as well as, ultimately, the undermining of all the ‘Third Way’ alternatives to neo-Darwinism, is the complete inability of unguided material processes, (i.e. chance and necessity), to explain the origin of ANY non-trivial levels of functional information.
    Here is the ‘Third Way’ site, as well as an article and video explaining why all the proposed materialistic/naturalistic alternatives to neo-Darwinism also fail to account for the functional information that is found to permeate life:

    The Third Way – list of leading researchers seeking an alternative to neo-Darwinism
    http://www.thethirdwayofevolution.com/people

    Lynn Margulis: Evolutionist and Critic of Neo-Darwinism – Stephen C. Meyer – April 25, 2014
    Excerpt: in Chapters 15 and 16 of Darwin’s Doubt, I addressed six new (that is, post neo-Darwinian) theories of evolution — theories that proposed new mechanisms to either supplement or replace the reliance upon mutation and natural selection in neo-Darwinian theory.,,
    I show that, although several of these new evolutionary theories offer some intriguing advantages over the orthodox neo-Darwinian model, they too fail to offer adequate explanations for the origin of the genetic and epigenetic information necessary to account for new forms of animal life — such as those that arise in the Cambrian period.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....84871.html

    Darwin’s Doubt (Part 9) by Paul Giem – video – The Post Darwinian World and Self Organization
    Chapter 15 and 16 of Darwin’s Doubt in which 6 alternative models to neo-Darwinism, that have been proposed by evolutionists (such as those of the Altenberg 16) to ‘make up’ for the inadequacy in neo-Darwinism, are discussed and the failings of each model is exposed.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....Ow3u0_mK8t

    In fact, ‘Where did the information come from?’ is the ‘simple’ central question that is at the heart of the Intelligent Design movement that drastically separates it from all the proposed alternative materialistic models.

    Information Enigma – 21 minute video – (October 2015)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-FcnLsF1g
    Information drives the development of life. But what is the source of that information? Could it have been produced by an unguided Darwinian process? Or did it require intelligent design? The Information Enigma is a fascinating 21-minute documentary that probes the mystery of biological information, the challenge it poses to orthodox Darwinian theory, and the reason it points to intelligent design. The video features molecular biologist Douglas Axe and Stephen Meyer, author of the books Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt.

    Thus, unless a proposed materialistic alternative to neo-Darwinism successfully answers the enigma of ‘where did the information come from?’, (which none of the proposed materialistic alternatives have thus far), then, as far as empirical science is concerned, we must conclude that the best explanation for the information found permeating life is Intelligence since only Intelligence has ever shown the capacity to generate large amounts of non-trivial functional information.

    Moreover, (regardless of how disconcerting this may be for people who don’t want God to have any part of their lives), finding information to be ‘running the show’ in life is, in fact, a very strong shift of the entire ‘paradigm’ towards Christianity instead of towards some generic form of ‘Creationism’.
    You see, it was Christianity alone that predicted the universe, and life itself, would be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis centuries before we even became aware of just how problematic the generation of functional information in life is for any proposed materialistic explanations. As well as centuries before we found out, via quantum mechanics, that information is the most foundational ‘stuff’ of the universe.

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

    And just as is ‘predicted’ in Christianity, both the universe and life itself are both found to be ‘information theoretic’ in their foundational basis :

    John Lennox at Rice University: Christianity Gave Us Science – video – Sept. 28, 2015
    53:00 minute mark – mass-energy is derivative from information (i.e. It from bit).
    https://youtu.be/PSq4KLjMSlI?t=3182

    “it from bit” Every “it”— every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. “It from bit” symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has a bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances, an immaterial source and explanation, that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment—evoked responses, in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.”
    – Princeton University physicist John Wheeler (1911–2008) (Wheeler, John A. (1990), “Information, physics, quantum: The search for links”, in W. Zurek, Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information (Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley))

    “In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.””
    Anton Zeilinger – Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?

    Quantum physics just got less complicated – Dec. 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner,,, found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one.,,,
    “The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,”,,,
    http://phys.org/news/2014-12-q.....cated.html

    Signature in the Cell by Stephen Meyer – video clip
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVkdQhNdzHU

    John Lennox – Semiotic Information – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6rd4HEdffw

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, to add even further weight to the contention that the entire paradigm is shirting towards Christianity, it is found that the one thing that most drastically separates us from the other creatures of this planet is that we can readily understand and create functional information, whereas other creates can’t (in fact birds and dogs understand more information than monkeys do):

    Darwin’s mistake: explaining the discontinuity between human and nonhuman minds. – 2008
    Excerpt: Over the last quarter century, the dominant tendency in comparative cognitive psychology has been to emphasize the similarities between human and nonhuman minds and to downplay the differences as “one of degree and not of kind” (Darwin 1871).,,, To wit, there is a significant discontinuity in the degree to which human and nonhuman animals are able to approximate the higher-order, systematic, relational capabilities of a physical symbol system (PSS) (Newell 1980). We show that this symbolic-relational discontinuity pervades nearly every domain of cognition and runs much deeper than even the spectacular scaffolding provided by language or culture alone can explain,,,
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18479531

    Evolution of the Genus Homo – Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Ian Tattersall, Jeffrey H. Schwartz, May 2009
    Excerpt: “Unusual though Homo sapiens may be morphologically, it is undoubtedly our remarkable cognitive qualities that most strikingly demarcate us from all other extant species. They are certainly what give us our strong subjective sense of being qualitatively different. And they are all ultimately traceable to our symbolic capacity. Human beings alone, it seems, mentally dissect the world into a multitude of discrete symbols, and combine and recombine those symbols in their minds to produce hypotheses of alternative possibilities. When exactly Homo sapiens acquired this unusual ability is the subject of debate.”
    http://www.annualreviews.org/d.....208.100202

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    It is hard to imagine a more convincing proof that we are made ‘in the image of God’ than finding that both the universe and life itself are ‘information theoretic’ in their basis, and that we, of all the creatures on earth, uniquely, and distinctly, possess an ability to understand and create information.

    I guess a more convincing evidence could be if God Himself became a man, defeated death on a cross, and then rose from the dead to prove that He was God.
    But who has ever heard of such overwhelming evidence as that?

    Turin Shroud Quantum Hologram Reveals The Words ‘The Lamb’ on a Solid Oval Object Under The Beard – video
    http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=J21MECNU

    Solid Oval Object Under The Beard
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/s.....-the-beard

    Verse and Music:

    John 1:14
    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

    Casting Crowns – The Word Is Alive
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9itgOBAxSc

  16. 16
    bpragmatic says:

    Seversky says:

    “Darwinism” appears to be used as a pejorative epithet, certainly by creationist critics of evolutionary biology, for everything about it that they don’t like because it is perceived as a threat to their beliefs.”

    So what about all of those who are not creationists. That, based on the scientific data, doubt the conclusions derived from the data.

    Why harp on the “creationists” perspective when you should offer significant empirical support that, so far, is missing, for an “non-creationist” empirically derived body of evidence supporting your conjecture?

    You and your ilk continue to, by design, in my opinion, continue to derail the conversation towards “science vs religion”.

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