Neil Thomas, author of Taking Leave of Darwin (2021), talks about the need to invoke a sort of magic to account for the changes that Darwinism requires, without any intelligence in the process whatsoever:
The shaky logical basis of Darwin’s thinking has not gone entirely unremarked. The notion of a supposedly unintelligent yet remarkably independent “self-evolving” biosphere (like the postulation of a self-creating cosmos) presents, when dispassionately considered, an offense to logic great enough to invite attempts to square the circle. A fairly recent publication which accepts this challenge came in the form of Simon Powell’s Darwin’s Unfinished Business: The Self-Organizing Intelligence of Nature (Rochester: Park Street Press, 2012). Powell willingly concedes that “to state nonchalantly that evolution just happens and that it involves no more than changes in a gene pool over time, or that it is simply descent with modification, is really not good enough. Nature is crying out for a more decent appraisal.” (p. 18)
Indeed so, yet Powell’s ambition to attribute what he terms “bio-logic” to nature, now declared by him to be intelligent, can hardly be said to advance a fresh naturalistic explanation or make convincing his claim that “this new paradigm can be delivered without recourse to supernatural forces.” (p. 26)
For the contention begs the question of the origin of such intelligence.Neil Thomas, “[article title]” at Evolution News and Science Today
This is the sixth article in Thomas’s Victorian Crisis of Faith series. Read all the articles to date here.
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\At Evolution News: Darwin and the ghost of Epicurus. 3 March 2022One way of looking at it: Darwinism enabled thinkers to retain the thought of Epicurus and Lucretius when, in general, the thinkers themselves were forgotten.
Neil Thomas on Darwinism’s place in the Victorian culture wars. Anyone familiar with popular science writing on evolution will see what Thomas means here. Darwinism is introduced as a hypothesis/theory but then treated as a dogma/article of faith — and (this is emotionally very important) a way of segregating the Smart People from the Yobs and Yayhoos. Appeals to science-based analysis fall on deaf ears because the dogma has become what “science” now means.