Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

George Gilder in National Review on Evolution

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Evolution and Me
‘The Darwinian theory has become an all-purpose obstacle to thought rather than an enabler of scientific advance’

GEORGE GILDER
National Review
July 17, 2006

. . . Turning to economics in researching my 1981 book Wealth & Poverty, I incurred new disappointments in Darwin and materialism. Forget God — economic science largely denies intelligent design or creation even by human beings. Depicting the entrepreneur as a mere opportunity scout, arbitrageur, or assembler of available chemical elements, economic theory left no room for the invention of radically new goods and services, and little room for economic expansion except by material “capital accumulation” or population growth. Accepted widely were Darwinian visions of capitalism as a dog-eat-dog zero-sum struggle impelled by greed, where the winners consume the losers and the best that can be expected for the poor is some trickle down of crumbs from the jaws (or tax tables) of the rich.

In my view, the zero-sum caricature applied much more accurately to socialism, which stifles the creation of new wealth and thus fosters a dog-eat-dog struggle over existing material resources. (For examples, look anywhere in the socialist Third World.) I preferred Michael Novak’s vision of capitalism as the “mind-centered system,” with the word itself derived from the Latin caput, meaning head. Expressing the infinite realm of ideas and information, it is a domain of abundance rather than of scarcity. Flouting zero-sum ideas, supply-side economics sprang from this insight. By tapping the abundance of human creativity, lower tax rates can yield more revenues than higher rates do and low-tax countries can raise their government spending faster than the high-tax countries do. Thus free nations can afford to win wars without first seizing resources from others. Ultimately capitalism can transcend war by creating rather than capturing wealth — a concept entirely alien to the Darwinian model. . . .

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14 Replies to “George Gilder in National Review on Evolution

  1. 1
    Marcos says:

    YAY!!! =D I was looking forward to read that one, but had no access to the NRO article. Thanks Dr. D.

  2. 2
    Scott says:

    As I pondered this materialist superstition, it became increasingly clear to me that in all the sciences I studied, information comes first, and regulates the flesh and the world, not the other way around. The pattern seemed to echo some familiar wisdom. Could it be, I asked myself one day in astonishment, that the opening of St. John’s Gospel, In the beginning was the Word, is a central dogma of modern science?

    Things that make ya go “hmmmmmmm”.

  3. 3
    Mats says:

    As I pondered this materialist superstition, it became increasingly clear to me that in all the sciences I studied, information comes first, and regulates the flesh and the world, not the other way around. [Emphasys mine]

    So simple and so true. (“Mind came before matter”)

    Could it be, I asked myself one day in astonishment, that the opening of St. John’s Gospel, In the beginning was the Word, is a central dogma of modern science?

    hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Good question!

  4. 4
    tribune7 says:

    Happy 4th, ya’ll.

  5. 5
    PaV says:

    “But by entrance into the “microcosm” of the once-invisible world of atoms, all physical science was transformed. When it turned out early in the 20th century that the atom was not a “massy unbreakable particle,” as Isaac Newton had imagined, but a complex arena of quantum information, the classical physics of Newton began inexorably to break down. We are now at a similar point in the history of the sciences of life. The counterpoint to the atom in physics is the cell in biology. At the beginning of the 21st century it turns out that the biological cell is not a “simple lump of protoplasm” as long believed but a microcosmic processor of information and synthesizer of proteins at supercomputer speeds. As a result, breaking down as well is the established biology of Darwinian materialism.”

    Brilliant assessment!!! And what a remarkable analogy: the “simple lump of protoplasm” and the “raisin and dough’ notion of the atom pre-Bohr!

    “In the 21st century, the word — by any name — is primary. Just as in Crick’s Central Dogma ordaining the precedence of DNA over proteins, however, the word itself is not the summit of the hierarchy. Everywhere we encounter information, it does not bubble up from a random flux or prebiotic soup. It comes from mind. Taking the hierarchy beyond the word, the central dogma of intelligent design ordains that word is subordinate to mind. Mind can generate and lend meaning to words, but words in themselves cannot generate mind or intelligence.”

    Brilliant analysis!!! Leading to the Central Dogma of ID Theory:

    “DNA can inform the creation of a brain, but a brain as an aggregation of proteins cannot generate the information in DNA. Wherever there is information, there is a preceding intelligence.

  6. 6
    wrf3 says:

    Quantum Mysteries Disentangled, by Ron Garret (nee Erin Gatt), looks at measurement and entanglement in quantum mechanics and shows that they are the same thing. He concludes:

    We are not physical entities, but informational ones. We are made of, to quote
    Mermin, “correlations without correlata.” We are not made of atoms, we are made
    of (quantum) bits. At the risk of stretching a metaphor beyond its breaking point,
    what we usually call reality is “really” a very high quality simulation running on a
    quantum computer.

  7. 7
    scordova says:

    In conclusion it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Then 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
    Professor of Physics
    University of Vienna

  8. 8
    Emkay says:

    Terrific stuff! A genuine “page turner,” and a great reminder that the English “Word” is “Logos” in the original Greek the gospel writer used: “In the beginning was the Logos…”

  9. 9
    zapatero says:

    “Information is not a disembodied abstract entity; it is always tied to a physical representation. It is represented by an engraving on a stone tablet, a spin, a charge, a hole in a punched card, a mark on paper, or some other equivalent. This ties the handling of information to all the possibilities and restrictions of our real physical world, its laws of physics and its storehouse of available parts.”

    — Rolf Landauer

    I’ve made the same point on this blog in the past. It seems to me that information cannot be stored or transmitted without some material medium involved in the process. -ds

  10. 10
    Scott says:

    I think the key point is that information proceeds from an intelligent entity. It doesn’t generate itself from non-cognizant material. Even if it requires a material medium for it’s expression. The material medium is required to communicate/realize the information which already exists elsewhere. I write down on paper what I am thinking. I think it would be a mistake to conflate the information itself with it’s physical/material expression. It exists regardless of whether I choose to engrave it onto a stone, or arrange it on the spine of a DNA molecule.

    I suppose then one could argue that my thoughts originated in my material brain, and then plunge deeper into the philosophy of mind questions about the existance of information and propositions in the absense of the physical aparatus, etc… Regardless, I agree that a material entity is required to realize the information.

  11. 11
    Mung says:

    As a Christian I can reasonably believe that information does not require a physical/material medium. Is it coincidence that Shannon’s information system is a three-part system and the Christian God is a triune God (though not one of “parts,” just to be clear on that.) Otoh, it’s a material world, or so the saying goes.

    Of course, I believe in revelation. So how does God impart information to human minds?

    Ah well, I certainly would not accept it on scientific faith that “Information is not a disembodied abstract entity; it is always tied to a physical representation.”

  12. 12
    Daniel512 says:

    Arguments involving socialism can be appealing in the US but certainly they don’t have that force outside.

    I think that it is a common mistake to appeal to this kind of arguments trying to defend ID.

    Sadly, it is a very common move on the “ID apologetics”, creating the idea that ID is just another right wing thing coming from the US… a very bad propaganda for ID.

  13. 13
    avocationist says:

    ” It seems to me that information cannot be stored or transmitted without some material medium involved in the process.”

    That is why the concept of an ether is making a comeback. There has to be a subtle field from God to matter. I had liked the idea in a new-agey kind of way, but on a forum was told that an experiment had done away with the ether idea. With great interest, I googled the Mitchelson-Morley experiment. Interesting read, but never did I think that this rather crude, tho clever, experiment actually had the capacity to address the kind of ether that we require.
    According to a book I’ve got, physicist John Bell thought the primary substance of the universe was nonlocal (existing everywhere). And that David Bohm thought an invisible field connects all matter and events in the universe.

  14. 14

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