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Well, we don’t hear this from Brit toffs every day: Darwin was a fraud!

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From A. N. Wilson at Evening Standard:

Darwinism is not science as Mendelian genetics are. It is a theory whose truth is NOT universally acknowledged. But when genetics got going there was also a revival, especially in Britain, of what came to be known as neo-Darwinism, a synthesis of old Darwinian ideas with the new genetics. Why look to Darwin, who made so many mistakes, rather than to Mendel? There was a simple answer to that. Neo-Darwinism was part scientific and in part a religion, or anti-religion. Its most famous exponent alive, Richard Dawkins, said that Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually satisfied atheist. You could say that the apparently impersonal processes of genetics did the same. But the neo-Darwinians could hardly, without absurdity, make Mendel their hero since he was a Roman Catholic monk. So Darwin became the figurehead for a system of thought that (childishly) thought there was one catch-all explanation for How Things Are in nature.

The great fact of evolution was an idea that had been current for at least 50 years before Darwin began his work. His own grandfather pioneered it in England, but on the continent, Goethe, Cuvier, Lamarck and many others realised that life forms evolve through myriad mutations. Darwin wanted to be the Man Who Invented Evolution, so he tried to airbrush all the predecessors out of the story. He even pretended that Erasmus Darwin, his grandfather, had had almost no influence on him. He then brought two new ideas to the evolutionary debate, both of which are false. More.

Darwin, unwittingly, made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled union-stiff science teacher or a clergyman in a dying liberal church.

In short, his zealots are now his biggest problem.

Note: See also A. N. Wilson’s forthcoming book on Darwin as fraud

Look, his ideas weren’t all bad. But putting any human being’s ideas on a pedestal usually makes them look bad. And that’s what’s happened.

On the other hand, maybe it’s best to just let the zealots go on parading around the pedestal and plotting to make everyone else do so so. The spectacle helps more people see the problem.

There is lots of real work to be done in understanding the history of life.

See also: Teaching evolution to creationist students?: Why would anyone who was embarking on teaching evolution as a serious project try to involve a virulently anti-religious figure like Dawkins in the argument?

and

Modern eugenics was, from first to last, a Darwinian project

35 Replies to “Well, we don’t hear this from Brit toffs every day: Darwin was a fraud!

  1. 1
    Mung says:

    I have his upcoming book on my radar!

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/0062433490

  2. 2
    harry says:

    Darwin merely pointed out what everybody already knew from breeding domestic animals: There is a variety of both latent and nascent traits within a given kind that can be developed by artificial selection. But everybody also knew that there were limits to such development. You could breed larger dogs, for example, but not dogs as big as elephants that could eventually be bred into elephants.

    Darwin ignored those limitations and proposed that natural, as opposed to artificial selection, could indeed eventually transform dogs into elephants given enough time.

    We now know that the genome for a given kind, while it contains the information required for the expression of a variety of latent traits, and to further develop nascent traits, does not contain the information required to express an entirely different kind; that information just isn’t present, which is why dog breeders can get a wild variety of dogs, but never a cat.

    That should have been the end of Darwin’s proposal, but it wasn’t. Atheists were simply drooling over the possibility that there could be a godless explanation for the vast array of living things we now find inhabiting planet Earth. So they ran with random genetic mutations and natural selection providing a mechanism that could turn dogs into elephants, and frogs into princes, given enough time.

    The problem with that is that we now know that life is digital information-based, and that, unsurprisingly, random, mindless alterations to extremely functionally complex, highly specified digital information eventually and inevitably destroys its functionality; they never add enhancements that turn into entirely new, functional features.

    Atheistic Darwinism has become a religion that has perverted contemporary science, destroying its objectivity and its intellectual honesty.

  3. 3
    rvb8 says:

    NEWS,

    this is the A. N. Wilson that produced the laughable 224pg ‘Hitler: A Short Biography’? Change the name to, ‘Hitler: A Very Short, Extremely Poorly Researched Puff Piece Biography’, and we have a winner.

    There is a British journalism award given out every year in various catagories, similar to the ‘Ignoble’ awards for weird science.

    The award is called the, ‘Hatchet Job of the Year’ award, for which the egregious Mr Wilson was nominated.

    ‘British Toff’, NEWS? Do you mean upper class? Probably true.

    My advice NEWS would be to, ‘check your secondary sources’.
    I have one question NEWS. Outside people who agree with you Dembski, Mazur, DI fellows etc, have you ever interviewed an evolutionary biologist of repute?

    You know, ‘teach the controversy’ and such, ‘balanced reporting’ etc?

  4. 4

    There are many things in the human body that provide physical evidence, and validate Intelligent Design, and creation. These same things also invalidate Darwinian Evolution.

    One such thing is the mechanism that gives us the hearing experience.

    Take a look at http://health.howstuffworks.co.....aring4.htm

    Then investigate echo-location in bats.

    As was said those many centuries ago “a fool has said in his heart – there is no God.”

  5. 5
    Bob O'H says:

    ‘British Toff’, NEWS? Do you mean upper class? Probably true.

    He was educated at Rugby, so almost certainly.

  6. 6
    Florabama says:

    Rvb8 @ 3, Wilson is one of yours. He’s an evolutionist. “The great fact of evolution…” he says. All he’s doing is pointing out the fact that Darwin personally, was a fraud — no different than the point Tom Wolfe made in Kingdom of Speech. Darwin was a lazy, upper cruster, content to make the rounds on the Royal Society cocktail party circuit. He was neither rigorous academically, nor a dedicated field researcher. He made his name with his one trip on the Beagle then lived on that for the next 20 years like a one hit wonder, boy band. It took Wallace, the dedicated field researcher, writing him and telling him that he, Wallace, was going to publish his findings to motivate Darwin to rush to publish and to arrange with Darwin’s Royal Society buddies to cut out Wallace before Wallace could get back. Contrary to the saintly picture painted of Darwin, he was not a good person at all.

  7. 7
    News says:

    Florabama at 6, I couldn’t have said it better myself about Darwin’s actual significance, though I withhold judgment on whether he is a good person.

    Darwin was someone the toffs needed the way they didn’t need Wallace or, for that matter, Lamarck. And don’t need the Third Way people today.

    What the discipline needs now is quite different from what its current owners need.

  8. 8
    Larry Moran says:

    Florabama said,

    Darwin was a lazy, upper cruster, content to make the rounds on the Royal Society cocktail party circuit. He was neither rigorous academically, nor a dedicated field researcher. He made his name with his one trip on the Beagle then lived on that for the next 20 years like a one hit wonder, boy band.

    Do you wonder why I call some of you IDiots?

  9. 9
    News says:

    Larry Moran at 8, we still wonder. Darwin was a man found perfect (principally, one gathers, by lower-class Huxley) for a specific purpose. He’s had a long run. But every show closes.

  10. 10
    ET says:

    Larry Moran- Do you wonder why we call you an intellectual coward and a scientifically illiterate arse? That is because you are an intellectual coward and a scientifically illiterate arse.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    Florabama- Charles Darwin did some excellent field work with barnacles and dabbed a bit with pigeons

  12. 12
    Barry Arrington says:

    Larry at 8 asks:

    “Do you wonder why I call some of you IDiots?”

    No, we don’t Larry. The reason is quite obvious — you never matured emotionally beyond the 6th grade. Now, why you would bring that to everyone’s attention — that is a mystery.

  13. 13
    asauber says:

    Since we’re indulging in such things, I can’t help but point out that Larry Moran is one monkey-delivered Shakespearean keystroke from Larry Moron.

    Andrew

  14. 14
    Anaxagoras says:

    Harry at 2: You are completely right. Darwin´s theory of evolution is usually presented as having three basic elements: random variation, inheritance and natural selection. But the most important element of the theory is generally neglected: Extrapolation. Extrapolation is the assumption that the observable small changes experimented or produced (agency) by organisms using existing informational resources “might” be the cause of the emergence of biological novelties capable of producing new biological forms.
    This has never been observed. The new movements, critics with the traditional Synthesis, like the Evolutionary Extended Synthesis (Pigliucci, Müller, Jablonka etc) or The third Way (Noble, Shapiro…) have presented solid arguments against the main tenens of the paradigm, looking for including new observed facts, new mechanisms of change, but no one has had the courage to indicate that this necessary extrapolation has no scientific grounds at all.
    That is because they need to keep it in their “new” models. Without extrapolation there is no theory of naturalistic evolutionism that holds

  15. 15
    J-Mac says:

    Why is Larry Moran gettin peeved when Darwin is criticized?

    Doesn’t Larry claim not to be a Darwinist? Isn’t Larry trying to sell random genetic drift as the ‘creative power of evolution’ unlike natural selection that Darwin was trying to sell that Larry finds ineffective?

    So, what’s the problem then? If natural selection can’t do what Darwin claimed it does, Darwin was wrong…Why would anybody defend someone who was wrong according to his own beliefs???

  16. 16

    rvb8 @ 3: Right on cue, you disparage A.N. Wilson just like you disparage every other person who challenges Darwinian theory (of every stripe).

    You are once again forced to play defense by a UD post. How is it that a dying website within a dying movement (according to you) is able to regularly keep you on the defense?

  17. 17

    Larry @ 8: You are either stupid or a fool. As an act of kindness, I will consider you stupid.

  18. 18
    goodusername says:

    ET,

    Florabama- Charles Darwin did some excellent field work with barnacles and dabbed a bit with pigeons

    Much of Darwin’s best work was actually on botany. Darwin had many greenhouses on his estate where he performed decades of experiments.

    It was Darwin who proved that the normal mode of reproduction for most plants is not self-fertilization (which was the general consensus of the time) in his book Fertilisation of Orchids. It was also this book that showed the importance of many insects for plant reproduction.
    Asa Gray, America’s leading botanist, said of this book: “if the Orchid-book (with a few trifling omissions) had appeared before the ‘Origin’ the author would have been canonised rather than anathematised by the natural theologians.”

    Many botanists give credit to Darwin’s books The Power of Movement in Plants and On the Movements, and Habits of Climbing Plants, as the beginning of the field of study of growth and movement in plants.

    A common argument against evolution at the time was that there were very similar plant species separated by thousands of miles of ocean, and yet the seeds would be killed by salt water, and therefore, despite all appearances, they couldn’t have had a common ancestor.
    Darwin imported seeds from all over the world and performed experiments on them and showed that most of them actually survive for very long periods in salt water.
    Asa Gray would write: “Why has nobody thought of trying the experiment before! Instead of taking it for granted that salt water kills seeds.”

    So, little known fact, Darwin was among the greatest botanists of the 19th century.

    Hardly lazy, hardly a one hit wonder.

  19. 19
    ET says:

    That’s right! Good call. He was the one who predicted the moth with the long proboscis due to the existence of an orchid on Madagascar that required one to exist. Was it Madagascar? I’m pretty sure it was an island. 😎

  20. 20
    Dionisio says:

    There’s no gain in referring to others using inappropriate names. If someone doesn’t agree with professor Moran on many issues, that’s not a valid reason to treat him in a way that we wouldn’t like to be treated.
    He’s a respected science professor at a very distinguished university in Canada. But most importantly, he’s a human being, created in Imago Dei, hence possessing dignity.
    I definitely disagree with professor Moran on many important theological, philosophical and scientific issues, but that doesn’t give me any rights to treat him in such a disrespectful manner as some of us here have done.
    Actually, on a recent trip to Toronto, I thought about inviting him to join my family for dinner, but my relatives weren’t excited by the possibility of having to watch a live conversation on boring science-related issues they don’t care much about. 🙂

  21. 21
    scottH says:

    Dionisio is right. No one is exempt from treating one another with respect, even though we may disagree. We shouldn’t feel justified in insulting others just because we may have been provoked.
    The problem is our worldview clouds how we look at science. Too much emotion and need for one’s worldview to be right and therefore the other is wrong mentality. Maybe separating worldview from interpreting evidence is impossible, but it sure needs to be tried.
    My 2 cents: don’t be an “evolutionist”, “creationist”, “IDist”. Be a scientist.

  22. 22
    J-Mac says:

    Well said Dionisio and scottH!

    I’ve realized same a while back and try to curb my emotions as much as possible though it is sometimes not easy…

    It’s not justifiable to lower ourselves to the same level as the ones who use name-calling because they have no evidence for their beliefs…

  23. 23
    Seversky says:

    Wilson is yet another journalist and novelist who thinks that is sufficient to pontificate condescendingly about biology, From the reviews and comments, he seems to be informed by standard creationist tropes and canards rather than offering any original insights. It sounds like the sort of work you’d expect from a convert trying to bolster his religious credentials by pandering to the anti-Darwin sentiment in some parts of the Christian community.

    He appears to be well-regarded in literary circles but, having read his columns in the Evening Standard and Daily Mail for some years I remember being somewhat less than impressed, not that it appeared to matter. I had the distinct impression that any lack of regard that I and others may have felt was more than compensated for by the high regard he had for himself.

  24. 24
    ET says:

    At least he isn’t fooled by the standard evolutionist lies, bluffs and misrepresentations. Just think, Seversky, if your position actually had some science to support it you could blast people like Wilson out of the water with it. Yet you don’t which tells us that you don’t have any science to support the claims of your position. Heck you have already admitted that you hide behind father time. So what isn’t there to mock when given such anti-science babble?

  25. 25
    ET says:

    I will treat others as they treat people. And I don’t see any reason to give respect to the likes of Larry Moran as respect has to be earned. Larry is the guy who claims that ID is anti-evolution and then defines evolution as a mere change in allele frequency over time. And he keeps saying it even after being corrected.

    Larry Moran is nothing but a bully wannabe. Good luck trying to get him to engage in a discussion of how to test the claim that natural selection, drift or any other blind, mindless process could produce something like ATP synthase.

  26. 26
    Seversky says:

    Darwin took the insights of others and combined them with his own and the detailed observational research he compiled to support them and painstakingly synthesized the groundbreaking theory he published in 1859. Regardless of how creationists try to portray it, the theory was never regarded as the biological equivalent of Holy Scripture whose perfection would be forever marred by the changing of a single word but it was a major step along the road to current evolutionary biology. I need hardly point out that the sustained attacks on his character and work are in themselves a measure of his stature as a scientist, the contribution he made to our understanding of life on Earth and the threat those are held to pose to the religious beliefs of some.

  27. 27
    ET says:

    Natural selection, Darwin’s biggest “gift”, hasn’t borne any fruit. His “test” for the evolution of the eyes is a joke. His “ground breaking theory” remains untestable and isn’t used to aid any research. What he ended up doing, unwittingly for I am sure he would disapprove, is having one dogma replace another.

    The sad thing is the “evidence” for the evolution of the eye Darwin used is still used today. Just because there are varying degrees of complexity in eyes and vision systems A) doesn’t mean evolution did it and B) definitely doesn’t say natural selection did it.

    His work on barnacles, pigeons and as a botanist deserves a great deal of respect.

  28. 28
    rvb8 says:

    Larry @8 said IDists were idiots. This brought out understandable anger, but look at this post’s title:

    ‘Well, we don’t hear from Britt toffs everyday: Darwin was a fraud!’

    ID is desperate to be taken seriously, or even to be acknowledged anywhere, outside of its own very insular crowd.

    Now the question; How can any independent, unbiased individual, who is largely uninterested in the attempts of ID to be recognised anywhere, read this title and not say, ‘these people are less than honest in their claim to be scientifically centred.’?

    NEWS’s headings, and her titles are always (not occsionally or sometimes), wildly emotional, dripping with contempt, and utterly indefensible in scientific legitimacy.

    If ID has any illusions, to be taken seriously, as other than what it is, ‘creationism’, it must at some time create one, just one, scientific title worthy of the name. (This does not mean taking current research in respected institutions, and saying, ‘Look! That’s really complicated, it must be design!)

    These constant childish, mildly dislodged, ranting efforts are entertaining sure, but as ways for the public to enter the realm of ID, they are not helpful at all.

    ET, thanks for your efforts to ‘witness’ for me, spare your efforts, pray for the world instead, it will be just as effective.

  29. 29
    Dionisio says:

    Anaxagoras @14:
    Very insightful comment. Thanks.
    Extrapolation is a keyword.
    The popular Darwinian idea seems based on gross extrapolation of the observed phenotypic effects of the built-in variability framework (BVF) associated with the biological systems. The Galapagos finches with different skull shapes remained birds, antibiotic-resistant bacteria remain bacteria.

  30. 30
    Dionisio says:

    Anaxagoras @14:
    Very insightful comment. Thanks.
    Extrapolation is a keyword.
    Check this out:
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/01/a_two-edged_swo/

  31. 31
    asauber says:

    I wouldn’t be so judgemental of name-callers on either side, just because. The Lord Himself dabbled in this, too.

    Now, I know your objection is going to be, “Well He’s God and you’re not” and that is true.

    However, if the shoe fits… why not put it on?

    Andrew

  32. 32
    asauber says:

    I also think that name-calling can help an observer identify the political (in the very broad sense of personal interaction) positions of the name-caller.

    Andrew

  33. 33
    ET says:

    rvb8- As usual you are clueless. ID is the position that makes testable claims whereas yours does not. So why does anyone take your position seriously?

  34. 34

    rvb8 —

    Friends of Intelligent Design are often called IDiots, and much worse. But actually, ID is a position that should be embraced by clear thinking people. It’s what we experience in ordinary life all around us as common sense observations – by the highly educated Evolutionary Biologist as well as the ‘man on the street’.

    An example, among many, is the hearing phenomena most of us fortunately experience. Let me walk you through a couple of features and functions of the inner ear from my own very practical and experiential background.

    The inner ear contains a couple of key componants that make life not only livable, but often times extrermely delightful, while failure in either of both can cause much distress. And, these features have direct analogies to several significant phases of my life which lead me to understand the validity of Intelligent Design in nature.

    First is that part of the inner ear having to do with balance. The inner ear has those semi-circular canals which monitor motion in the three-dimensional space of x/y/z and provide the body with a sense of ‘attitude’. In technical terms – roll, pitch and heading (i.e. where I’m pointing at any given milli-second). This part of our inner ear keeps us on the straight and narrow and tells us up from down and left from right when navigating this often topsy-turvy world.

    For many years I worked on a system that tracked dozens of highly maneuvering and very fast fighter jets. A key component of this system was a pod, hanging on the aircraft, which contained a strap-down inertial reference system called the INS. This INS measured accelerations in all three axis of roll-pitch-heading, and gave the system a sense of what the aircraft was doing, and along with a geographic x/y/z position allowed inter-aircraft interaction for such things as running missile simulations between a fighter and a target.

    When things were working well we had a complete capture of the training missions, both in real-time and later debrief. However, when there was a problem with the INS in a pod, we saw wildly spinning aircraft on the screen or an aircraft that was stuck in a weird attitude until such time as the system could try a re-initialization. If that didn’t work, the pod was written up for off-line maintenance.

    In similar fashion, when the inner ear mechanism for balance goes whacky, as it did for me when I suffered from what was diagnosed as Meniere’s Disease, my personal world spun wildly as severe vertigo and nausea set in. The only solution was to take myself off-line for several hours of absolute stillness until the episode passed.

    So my personal experience along with a knowledge of the design of my own Internal Reference System points me to a Design Inference rather than some sort of randomly put together material assemblage of parts over some nebulous ‘Deep Time’.

    The other component of the inner ear is, of course, the hearing phenomenon. And again I will relate to my personal experiences with hearing – or more accurately, it’s degradation over time.

    In short, my hearing has degraded in recent years to the point where hearing aids are very helpful, but not near the quality of the ‘original equipment’. Thus, I am now pursuing a technology called ‘cochlear implants’.

    Cochlear Implants are different than hearing aids in that they are an implant that place a wire along the path of the natural inner-ear Cochlear, a spiral shaped device which, when healthy, detects the full range of sound frequencies entering the ear and converts these frequencies to electro/chemical inputs to the auditory nerve which are then sent to the brain for further processing. By the way, that is the same nerve bundle used by the balance system I described above.

    What the Cochlear Implant does is two-fold; (1) sound frequencies are detected by an external device attached to the skull. (2) Those frequencies are then transmitted down a wire and the appropriate signals are transmitted to the nerve bundle in a fashion analogous to what the healthy Cochlear would do.

    An amazing part of the Cochlear is a liquid filled tube containing thousands of tiny hairs, each tuned to particular frequencies. Those hairs closest to the sound-caused pulsating liquid wave are the stiffest, and handle the higher frequencies, and those towards the tail end of the moving liquid wave are more flexible and respond to the lower frequencies.

    Also consider that we have two such inner-ear gadgets. This gives us a stereo capability which allows us to determine the direction of sounds. I don’t know how this stereo effect applies to balance, perhaps it does – perhaps it doesn’t.

    As to how this all relates to Intelligent Design — consider that the scientists, designers and engineers developing these implants must first research and understand how the original (natural) design works. Then they must model the human designed and engineered device to replicate as close as possible, the natural design. To put it into other words, the makers of these implants – scientists, designers and engineers, work in an environment of Intelligent Design.

    So I would ask the materialist, the evolutionary biologist — how does evolution explain the two phenomena I have described above. How does evolution in any way come to the aid in developing an understanding of how these phenomena came to be, let alone finding a ‘fix’ for when thing in these designs go bad?

    There are many things in the human body, such as the hearing phenomena, which provide physical evidence, and which validate Intelligent Design and creation. These same things also invalidate Darwinian Evolution.

    So tell me where I’ve gone wrong.

  35. 35

    further to my previous post @34, brouse through the 81 part series of Dr. Howard Glicksman at https://evolutionnews.org/tag/the-designed-body/
    Here Dr. Glicksman examines many of the designed functions and parts of the human body.

    So again I ask, in the larger context of the total human body … tell me where I’ve gone wrong.

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