Darwinism Evolution

Evolutionary Theory and Monty Python’s Black Knight

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Just as Monty Python’s Black Knight was whittled from a full human to a stump, so evolutionary theory is finally being whittled to its proper size. Where, in the whittling of the Black Knight, is evolutionary theory (stage I, II, III, IV, or V?):

I: full knight

II: minus one arm

III: minus two arms

IV: minus arms and a leg

V: stump

14 Replies to “Evolutionary Theory and Monty Python’s Black Knight

  1. 1
  2. 2
    chunkdz says:

    It’s a V.
    I.Naturalism was fine with cells as blobs of protoplasm
    II.Naturalism was fine with cells that have complex structures
    III.Naturalism was fine with cells containing a complex code for life
    IV.Naturalism was fine with cells that create small IC machines
    V.Naturalism was fine with cells that regulate their own genetic mutations

    The limbs keep getting hacked off, but it just won’t shut up.

  3. 3
    Mats says:

    If we consider the body as being Philosophical Naturalism, the head as the evolutionary Media, and the leg as the surpression of scientific evidence against Darwinism in public schools, then we can say that we are in stage IV. Darwinism is not “officialy” defeated yet, but, just like the Knight in picture IV, it’s just a matter of time until the scientific evidence “chops away” the other leg (surpression of evidence, AKA “We don’t allow for critical analysis of the theory of Evolution”).

    Something we need is a “visual mark”. Communism was “officialy” dead when the Berlin Wall was destroyed. Saddam was “officialy” rejected by the Iraqis when they brought down his statue. We still need something like that to declare Darwinism dead. I sugest that the British Christians remove Darwin’s body from Westminster Abbey and put his body somewhere else. Saddly, since there is a 4-5% church attendency in England, and since many churchian leaders are “burning incence to Darwin”, I don’t think that will happen any time soon.

  4. 4
    crandaddy says:

    We’re in stage V, most certainly. As long as we can’t offer a logical proof for ID, the materialist will continue to retreat ever more deeply into the depths of ignorance and pure chance–and mock and taunt us all the while. The Black Knight is an outstanding analogy for our situation!

  5. 5
    leebowman says:

    I’m afraid we’re only at stage II, since he still has his sword; the sword of the Federal Court system.


    Seriously though, since no appeal was filed of the Kitzmiller, et al vs. Dover decision, and with its religious components might have lost in appeal anyhow, we need to initiate a test of the very valid ‘alternative to Darwinism proposal’ and a ‘promulgation of free thought directive’, similar to what was proposed at Dover, but in a more astute way.

    The two principal cases to be made are, (1) ID is not religion, and (2) ID is science. These two points can and must be legally defended in the judicial arena, before that cursed sword can be cast down.

    Any educators interested? Any lawyers in the house?

  6. 6
    tragicmishap says:

    I like III personally, because that one has the most blood spurting out. Darwinism right now is leaking fast right now. You could say it’s reached the inflection point of a sigmoidal curve. That would be the middle, hence stage III.

  7. 7
    Tom English says:

    You’re stuck at stage I until you explain how the coconut got to England. Fortunately, The Life of Bryan gives you extraterrestrials to invoke.

    All of the blood and gore makes me think of Jean Staune’s “Darwinism Design and Purpose: A European Perspective” (posted at this site), which suggests that some who would dismember evolution could put their swords to better use:

    [quote]… if the keepers of Intelligent Design are (like myself) persuaded that Darwinism is false, not for religious and political reasons but scientific, and if, as Christians (like myself) they are committed to the search for the truth; I suggest that they climb onto the nearest tabletop straightaway and yell at the top of their lungs:

    “ Yes! Evolution is a fact! ”

    When young Earth creationists say that the Earth is not older than 10,000 and that mankind existed during the time of dinosaurs, I tell them that if they really want to do something against Darwinism, that they should commit suicide as soon as possible![/quote]

    He said it, not I.

  8. 8
    GilDodgen says:

    Re #7: With all due respect, this post strikes me as completely incoherent. ID does not challenge evolution, broad sense. Of course, evolution is a fact. Things are not now as they once were, so they have evolved, by definition. The question is whether or not the Darwinian mechanisms of random mutation and natural selection can explain everything, and whether or not Darwinian incrementalism is demonstrable or even a rational inference in light of the fossil record and the enormously complex functional integrity and information content of living systems.

    What do coconuts, the age of the earth, or humans coexisting with dinosaurs have to do with any of the claims of ID theory, or the deficiencies of the major tenets of contemporary Darwinian hypotheses?

    Posts such as #7 really are a waste of bandwidth and precious ASCII characters.

  9. 9
    Tom English says:


    “ID does not challenge evolution, broad sense.”

    ID is open to evolution only in a narrow sense. ID cannot countenance any theory of evolution that does not acknowledge that information enters biological systems from an “unembodied,” telic, intelligent source. For instance, if I say that evolution requires a supernatural source of information, but that there is no need to attribute goal-directedness and intelligence to the source, then ID will challenge my theory of evolution, no matter that it is not materialistic.

    Furthermore, ID does not embrace evolution in any sense. Thus it does not challenge creationism in any sense. Although some ID advocates accept one form or another of evolution, many advocates are creationists. In the Staune passage I quoted, the author suggests that ID would stand more of a chance of gaining scientific credibility if creationists were evicted from the Big Tent.

    “What do coconuts, the age of the earth, or humans coexisting with dinosaurs have to do with any of the claims of ID theory, or the deficiencies of the major tenets of contemporary Darwinian hypotheses?”

    What do five pictures of a man in stages of dismemberment have to do with the neo-Darwinian paradigm of scientific research? It’s humor, man! Take a break and watch Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Or find the script online and search for “coconuts.” You’ll see a big debate as to how coconuts (look at what’s in the hands of the man standing behind King Arthur in the first picture above) could have arrived in Arthurian England. The film’s hypothesis that swallows carried them is less than satisfying, so I fell back on the ID explanation that extraterrestrials did it (maybe). Obviously extraterrestrials exist — they appear in another Python film.

    “Posts such as #7 really are a waste of bandwidth and precious ASCII characters.”

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote, “Until you understand a writer’s ignorance, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding.”

  10. 10
    Chris Hyland says:

    If in the future people are to look back and make this analogy as what happened to evolution, then one of the phases will have to be ‘alternatives produce succesful scientific research program’. So I’m going to say the first stage at the moment.

    “We still need something like that to declare Darwinism dead.”

    When it is not taught to undergrad biologists and the alternative is I’d say thats a good enough sign.

  11. 11
    Joseph says:

    Seeing that evolutionists are in complete denial it is pretty obvious we have reached stage V.

    Tom English:
    Furthermore, ID does not embrace evolution in any sense.

    That is pure rubbish, as Dr Behe demonstrates:

    Intelligent design is a good explanation for a number of biochemical systems, but I should insert a word of caution. Intelligent design theory has to be seen in context: it does not try to explain everything. We live in a complex world where lots of different things can happen. When deciding how various rocks came to be shaped the way they are a geologist might consider a whole range of factors: rain, wind, the movement of glaciers, the activity of moss and lichens, volcanic action, nuclear explosions, asteroid impact, or the hand of a sculptor. The shape of one rock might have been determined primarily by one mechanism, the shape of another rock by another mechanism.

    Similarly, evolutionary biologists have recognized that a number of factors might have affected the development of life: common descent, natural selection, migration, population size, founder effects (effects that may be due to the limited number of organisms that begin a new species), genetic drift (spread of “neutral,” nonselective mutations), gene flow (the incorporation of genes into a population from a separate population), linkage (occurrence of two genes on the same chromosome), and much more. The fact that some biochemical systems were designed by an intelligent agent does not mean that any of the other factors are not operative, common, or important.


    Scott refers to me as an intelligent design “creationist,” even though I clearly write in my book Darwin’s Black Box (which Scott cites) that I am not a creationist and have no reason to doubt common descent. In fact, my own views fit quite comfortably with the 40% of scientists that Scott acknowledges think “evolution occurred, but was guided by God.” Where I and others run afoul of Scott and the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is simply in arguing that intelligent design in biology is not invisible, it is empirically detectable. The biological literature is replete with statements like David DeRosier’s in the journal Cell: “More so than other motors, the flagellum resembles a machine designed by a human” (1). Exactly why is it a thought-crime to make the case that such observations may be on to something objectively correct?

    And that some IDists are Creationists has about as much relevance as the fact that some, perhaps even many, evolutionists are atheists. That some evolutionists can call themselves “christians” with a straight face should also be a cause for alarm as the two are contradictory.

    To Chris Hyland:

    What successful scientific research programs has NDE given rise to? Geez we are afraid of birds and mosquitos…

  12. 12
    Tom English says:


    I said that ID itself does not embrace evolution. I furthermore said that some ID advocates are evolutionists, and that some are creationists. You respond by quoting an ID advocate who is an evolutionist, and then conceding that some ID advocates are creationists. It seems we agree.

    “And that some IDists are Creationists has about as much relevance as the fact that some, perhaps even many, evolutionists are atheists.”

    Tell that to the judge.

  13. 13
    Joseph says:

    Tom English:
    I said that ID itself does not embrace evolution

    And that is nonsense. Or perhaps we are talking past each other. Please explain what you mean by “ID does not embrace evolution”- evolution has several meanings and it at least appears to me that ID embraces several of those…

    “And that some IDists are Creationists has about as much relevance as the fact that some, perhaps even many, evolutionists are atheists.”

    Tom English:
    Tell that to the judge.

    Trust me- I will. But if the judge didn’t know and understand that already then perhaps he/ she shouldn’t be in that position. Justice may be blind but judges shouldn’t be ignorant.

  14. 14

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