Stove (1927-1994) is not nearly as cute as the irrefutable rabbit in the Cambrian, but he has a better way with words:
If you discovered tomorrow a new and most un-Darwinian-looking species of animals, in which every adult pair produced on average a hundred offspring, but the father always killed all of them very young, except one which was chosen by some random process, it would take an armor-plated neo-Darwinian no more than two minutes to “prove” that this reproductive strategy, despite its superficially inadvisability, is actually the optimum one for that species. And what is more impressive still, he will be able to do the same thing again later, if it turns out that the species had been misdescribed at first, and that in fact the father always lets three of his hundred offspring live. In neo-Darwinianism’s house there are many mansions: so many, indeed, that if a certain awkward fact will not fit into one mansion, there is sure to be another one into which it will fit to admiration.
— Against the Idols of the Age, David Stove, p. 244
From the publisher:
Little known outside his native Australia, David Stove was one of the most illuminating and brilliant philosophical essayists of the postwar era. A fearless attacker of intellectual and cultural orthodoxies, Stove left powerful critiques of scientific irrationalism, Darwinian theories of human behavior, and philosophical idealism. Stove’s writing is both rigorous and immensely readable. It is, in the words of Roger Kimball, “an invigorating blend of analytic lucidity, mordant humor, and an amount of common sense too great to be called ‘common.'”
At Access Research Network, Denyse O’Leary published a multi-part review of Stove’s Darwinian Fairytales,, a book that is also unjustly neglected.
6 Replies to “Agnostic philosopher David Stove on the unfalsifiability of Darwinism”
I also remember & refer to the wonderful discussion of “Stove’s Discovery of the Worst Argument in the World” at http://web.maths.unsw.edu.au/~jim/worst.html .
Rebutting the familiar refrain in poor philosophy that ‘because we have eyes, we cannot see’ !
I think William J Murray nailed unfalsifiability of Darwinism here.
Of course, I’m hardly one to let something like this go with just one on the mark quote. Thus, a few notes:
Here is how neo-Darwinian evolution avoids falsification from ‘anomalous’ genetic evidence:
Here are articles that clearly illustrate that the protein evidence, no matter how crushing to Darwinian evolution, is always crammed into the Darwinian framework by Evolutionists:
From this heads I win, tails you lose, Darwinian method of practicing science of comparing protein sequences:
Here is how neo-Darwinian evolution avoids falsification from the fossil record;
Here is how evolutionists avoid falsification from the biogeographical data of finding numerous and highly similar species in widely separated locations:
Many Darwinists have tried to protect Darwinism from being falsified by the recent ENCODE findings of widespread functionality for ‘junk’ DNA by claiming that Darwinism predicted this finding all along:
Let’s not forget another time honored tradition for Darwinists in which to protect neo-Darwinism from falsificatio; the fraudulent practice of literature bluffing;
More detailed instances of Darwinism avoiding falsification from the empirical data, by ad hoc models (rationalizations), are found on this following site:
In fact there is no demarcation criteria for Darwinism so as to delineate as a true science and not a pseudo science:
Verse and music;
Thanks, News! Sounds like a good read…
It is. But be warned, Stove is addictive.