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Darwiniana slams “virulent and prejudiced regime” of Dawkins cult in biology

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Royal Society In Public Evolution Summit, Suzan Mazur quotes John Landon at Darwinana.com on the decades-long Darwin debate, now erupting at the Royal Society. One might have expected, given the name of the site, that Landon felt himself in somewhat the same position as the turkey who discovers the true meaning of Thanksgiving…

But it is encouraging to hear him say,

Watching the Darwin debate go on and on unreasonably with no resolution from scientific or academic bodies allowing the religious right to dominate critique is a strange experience. I am impressed by the inability of most of the public to think clearly on the subject, the failure of the biological community to handle even the most elementary discussion of the problems, the rote repetition of darwinian cliches, the virulent and prejudiced regime of domination by such as the Dawkins cult, etc…

He believes that “science culture as a whole has failed disastrously on a key issue.” (pp. 12–13)

<em>Coffee</em> Tins Crikey! Someone bugged our lunchroom!

No but seriously, when even the people who tend Darwin’s legacy are saying these things, evolutionary biology cannot just maintain the status quo with some slight modifications. That amounts to quiet decline in any field and science is not immune.

As for the Dawkins cult, it’s been a source of fun and not much else for a long time. It’s hard to see how that helps any field.

See also: Denis Noble: Why talk about replacement of Darwinian evolution theory, not extension? View from here: The new approach is not exclusive or totalistic. It does not behave, as Darwinism does, as a metaphysic. Among many assemblies of evidence, some will naturally prevail, as more persuasive than others. But for once, evidence exists to understand living things better rather than to understand Darwin better.

and

Dawkins is “kaput”? Due to a wee hours row in an elevator at a Skeptics convention? Look, the idiot has been good business for us at UD over the years. Try to understand, we had to pull him out of the fire somehow. 😉

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8 Replies to “Darwiniana slams “virulent and prejudiced regime” of Dawkins cult in biology

  1. 1
    Neil Rickert says:

    One might have expected, given the name of the site, that Landon felt himself in somewhat the same position as the turkey who discovers the true meaning of Thanksgiving…

    I’m guessing that this is the same John Landon as the one who has been posting nutty critiques of evolution for a long time.

  2. 2
    News says:

    Actually, it doesn’t sound nutty at all. It is a classic reprise of the problems. Read Mazur’s book; lots of respected people are saying the same thing.

    Whistle. Graveyard.

  3. 3
    rvb8 says:

    I understand that you are a fan of Suzan (‘z’, really?), but surely you know that she is a little beyond the outside barrier, of the border with the land of obscure. Or, more plainly, no one has heard of her beyond this site.

    You also punch incredibly above your weight in assuming Dawkins knows this site even exists. The patronising, “Look, the idiot has been good business for us at UD over the years.”

    This assumes so much. Firstly that Dawkins has heard of UD. Second that UD opinions carry any weight, anywhere, at any time. Thirdly that Dawkins is no longer still a very popular speaking circuit guest.Fourthly, that UD is even invited to this conversation, and has a part to play in this serious scientific discussion on the future of evolutionary study focus. Fifthly…etc.

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    rvb8,

    Such pointless rancor and mindless vituperation . . . your post has told us nothing except that you like to hiss and spit on people with intelligent, scientific objections to a failed, 19th century racist theory.

    Don’t you have anything better to do?

    So we get to watch Rebecca Watson cannibalizing Richard Dawkins at a convention. Oh, and speaking of which, you still haven’t answered my question about any moral prohibition against eating certain types of animal protein.

    We’re still waiting.

    -Q

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    rvb8, as to your indignation that Dawkins has been slandered, should not Dawkins first really exist as a real person, instead of as a neuronal illusion, before ‘you’ get so upset that his reputation has been sullied? i.e. Is it even possible to slander a neuronal illusion?

    Who wrote Richard Dawkins’s new book? – October 28, 2006
    Excerpt:
    Dawkins: What I do know is that what it feels like to me, and I think to all of us, we don’t feel determined. We feel like blaming people for what they do or giving people the credit for what they do. We feel like admiring people for what they do.,,,
    Manzari: But do you personally see that as an inconsistency in your views?
    Dawkins: I sort of do. Yes. But it is an inconsistency that we sort of have to live with otherwise life would be intolerable.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....02783.html

    Which brings me to you rvb8, although you self-admittedly do not really know the details of the science at hand, ‘you’ profess unquestioned certainty that Darwinian evolution is undeniably true. But how is it even possible for illusions to have 100% certainty about anything? i.e. If ‘you’ are not even certain that you really exist as a real person how is it even possible for you, as a person, to be certain about anything else? much less to be certain about Darwinian evolution? Any ‘certainty’ that you may wish to have had about anything is itself predicated on the fact that there really is a ‘you’ who has the ability to be certain about something!

    At the 23:33 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins agrees with materialistic philosophers who say that:
    “consciousness is an illusion”
    A few minutes later Rowan Williams asks Dawkins ”If consciousness is an illusion…what isn’t?”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HWN4cfh1Fac&t=22m57s

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    rvb8, after you answer the question of how it is possible for a collection of randomly jostling particles, i.e. the illusion of Richard Dawkins, to possibly be insulted, I have a bonus question for you.

    First rvb8, the human brain is complex to the point of being ‘almost beyond belief’:

    Human brain has more switches than all computers on Earth – November 2010
    Excerpt: They found that the brain’s complexity is beyond anything they’d imagined, almost to the point of being beyond belief, says Stephen Smith, a professor of molecular and cellular physiology and senior author of the paper describing the study: …One synapse, by itself, is more like a microprocessor–with both memory-storage and information-processing elements–than a mere on/off switch. In fact, one synapse may contain on the order of 1,000 molecular-scale switches. A single human brain has more switches than all the computers and routers and Internet connections on Earth.
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-2708.....2-247.html

    “The brain is not a supercomputer in which the neurons are transistors; rather it is as if each individual neuron is itself a computer, and the brain a vast community of microscopic computers. But even this model is probably too simplistic since the neuron processes data flexibly and on disparate levels, and is therefore far superior to any digital system. If I am right, the human brain may be a trillion times more capable than we imagine, and “artificial intelligence” a grandiose misnomer.”
    Brian Ford research biologist – 2009 – The Secret Power of a Single Cell

    In fact, the human brain is so fantastically complex that we have no hope of ever realistically simulating it in the near future:

    “Complexity Brake” Defies Evolution – August 8, 2012
    Excerpt: Consider a neuronal synapse — the presynaptic terminal has an estimated 1000 distinct proteins. Fully analyzing their possible interactions would take about 2000 years. Or consider the task of fully characterizing the visual cortex of the mouse — about 2 million neurons. Under the extreme assumption that the neurons in these systems can all interact with each other, analyzing the various combinations will take about 10 million years…, even though it is assumed that the underlying technology speeds up by an order of magnitude each year.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....62961.html

    Now my question for you rvb8, assuming there really is a ‘you’ to answer the question, is this. Is the better explanation for this jaw dropping ‘beyond belief’ complexity of the human brain unguided material processes or God?

  7. 7
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    In every hypothesis test, conducted fairly, there exists the possibility that the underlying phenomenon being examined cannot be explained reasonably by the null hypothesis. When this occurs, the weight of preconceived notions kick in, and the commitment of the scientist to integrity, to the data, to the idea of an external standard outside one’s own desires, is tested. What the scientist does in response to this temptation tells us everything we need to know.

    Will the falsified null hypothesis be abandoned, like the sinking ship that it is? Or will the proud but frightened captain freeze and cling to the rail even as the Coast Guard calls out to him to don his personal flotation device and jump into the water, where he will be retrieved? Will the captain, like rvb8, mock the small boat, with its small but brave and skilled crew, ready and even desperate to rescue him and save his life, even at the risk of their own? Will he say that he has never seen this little bitty boat before, and has never seen or even heard of these young sailors, whose combined age cannot equal his own?

    He may stay and mock, but he will sink and die. And it will be by his own hand, and by his own fear, and by his own pride.

  8. 8
    Querius says:

    Beautifully summarized, Dean_from_Ohio!

    -Q

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