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And now… David Hume Cancelled? Jerry Coyne reports.

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As so often, Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne (himself a Canceler) has the story. He’s perturbed that that famous Scottish anti-miracles philosopher David Hume (1711–1776) is being Cancelled. It appears that the wrong people are being Cancelled:

Just two notes, as you can read her piece for yourself—it’s free. [Allison] Pearson addresses the opprobrium descending on the University of Edinburgh when it renamed Hume Tower: “Dozens of donors have cancelled financial gifts to the University of Edinburgh since it renamed the David Hume Tower over the philosopher’s comments on race more than 250 years ago. The presiding genius of the Scottish Enlightenment, Hume held views which now look either radical and laudably ahead of their time or discordantly ugly. An opponent of slavery, he helped his patron Lord Hertford buy a slave plantation. Guess what, human beings were as complicated and flawed back then as they are now. Edinburgh said it had to act to protect student “sensitivities”. Many alumni disagree. “Hume was cancelled in life by the Scottish universities for failing to fall in line with the religious tenets of his day,” wrote one, “so I admire him in death for having the same effect on the grandees of this new [woke] religion.” “

Renaming Hume Tower is a supreme act of stupidity.

And, as I reported before, both Imperial College and Western Washington University are in the process of cancelling the great biologist and educator Thomas Henry Huxley…

Jerry Coyne, “Is Wokeness moving Brits to the right?” at Why Evolution Is True (November 5, 2021)

Jerry, what goes around, comes around. You did to Eric Hedin what the Woke are doing to your faves. They’ll Cancel them all. Then they won’t have to do any homework.

We didn’t tell them to. You did. We could all help stop it now but then you have to stop too.


See also: It begins at last… T. H. Huxley, Darwin’s bulldog, about to be Cancelled – other early Darwinists to get the chop soon, we hear. W. D. Hamilton, Ronald Fisher, and J. B. S. Haldane are also threatened. We never thought it would happen but it is happening… so fast.

8 Replies to “And now… David Hume Cancelled? Jerry Coyne reports.

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    As I understand it, Hedin was not “cancelled” but he was prohibited from teaching intelligent design creationism (IDC) in a science course. Apparently, he later earned tenure at Ball State and then moved to a position at Biola University.

    Universities should be bastions of academic freedom, places where controversial ideas can be discussed openly without fear or favor. The gray area in Hedin’s case is at what point does teaching students about IDC move to improperly advocating for what is essentially a religious belief in the science classroom.

  2. 2
    Seversky says:

    As far as “Wokeness” is concerned, I get the impression that resistance is stiffening towards the movement.

  3. 3
    Upright BiPed says:

    .
    Sev,

    When the first ever aaRS constraint was synthesized from a description, how many of the other constraints had to be in place?

    Do you have a religious belief that prevents you from answering this question?

  4. 4
    polistra says:

    You’ve probably noticed this already, but in case you haven’t:

    Many of the Cancelleds have been working together to start a new Non-Cancel University. It’s just been publicly announced. All the famous Cancelleds are on the faculty.,

    https://www.uaustin.org/

  5. 5
    BobRyan says:

    Cancel culture is not new. Stalin cancelled a great deal in terms of human lives taken, people who simply disappeared, entire references to history.

  6. 6
    News says:

    Polista at 2, we have noticed and wish them the very best, as the new Harvard and Yale.

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states,

    “Universities should be bastions of academic freedom, places where controversial ideas can be discussed openly without fear or favor. The gray area in Hedin’s case is at what point does teaching students about IDC move to improperly advocating for what is essentially a religious belief in the science classroom.”

    Seversky is a blatant hypocrite. As has been pointed out to Seversky many times before, Seversky’s own worldview of Darwinian Atheism, from Charles Darwin to the present day, (and since Darwinists have no real time empirical evidence to support their grandiose claims that all life, in all its unfathomable complexity, arose via, basically, completely accidental processes),,, Darwinian atheism is itself crucially dependent on faulty theological presuppositions, and thus teaching only Darwinian Atheism in the science classroom is to, in fact, “move to improperly advocating for what is essentially a religious belief in the science classroom.”

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    Excerpt: The Origin supplies abundant evidence of theology in action; as Dilley observes:
    I have argued that, in the first edition of the Origin, Darwin drew upon at least the following positiva theological claims in his case for descent with modification (and against special creation):
    ?1. Human beings are not justified in believing that God creates in ways analogous to the intellectual powers of the human mind.
    2. A God who is free to create as He wishes would create new biological limbs de novo rather than from a common pattern.
    3. A respectable deity would create biological structures in accord with a human conception of the ‘simplest mode’ to accomplish the functions of these structures.
    4. God would only create the minimum structure required for a given part’s function.
    5. God does not provide false empirical information about the origins of organisms.
    6. God impressed the laws of nature on matter.
    7. God directly created the first ‘primordial’ life.
    8. God did not perform miracles within organic history subsequent to the creation of the first life.
    9. A ‘distant’ God is not morally culpable for natural pain and suffering.
    10. The God of special creation, who allegedly performed miracles in organic history, is not plausible given the presence of natural pain and suffering.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    Evolution as a Theological Research Program – by Cornelius Hunter – August 2021
    Abstract
    Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution interacted with non-empirical factors including a range of theological concerns. The influence of these theological concerns is typically modeled as secondary to that of empirical evidence. In both Darwin’s thought and later development of the theory of evolution, theological concerns have been viewed as serving in a range of possible roles. However, the theological concerns have consistently been viewed as, ultimately, subservient to empirical science. In the end, science has the final say regarding the content and evaluation of the theory. Here, this paper demonstrates the failure of this model. Theological concerns do have primacy over the science. They motivate the development of evolutionary theory, and they control the interpretation of the empirical evidence and justification of the theory. It is more accurate to view evolution as a theological research program.
    Introduction Excerpt:
    ,,, theological claims are common in Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (Darwin 1859), where they are essential to his science. The religion is not a tangential message, and one need not read between the lines to see it. In the Origin, it would not be an exaggeration to say the religion drives the science. Darwin’s religion is not merely present, it is prominent and has primacy over the science. The religion is foundational.
    The importance of religion in Darwin’s theory is also apparent in the science he presented. As Section 5 shows, Darwin did not have sufficient scientific arguments and evidence to advance his theory. Finally, as Section 6 and Section 7 demonstrate, these roles and relationships between religion and science persisted after Darwin. This religious foundation was by no means peculiar to Darwin’s thought. It has remained foundational since Darwin in motivating and justifying the theory. What we find in Darwin continued in later evolutionary thought. Therefore, the thesis of this paper is that evolution is best understood as a theological research program.
    https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1444/12/9/694/htm

    Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t – Steve Dilley- 2019-06-02
    The Problem of God-talk in Biology Textbooks
    Abstract: We argue that a number of biology (and evolution) textbooks face a crippling dilemma.
    On the one hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks include theological claims in their case for evolution.
    (Such claims include, for example, ‘God would never design a suboptimal panda’s thumb, but an imperfect structure is just what we’d expect on natural selection.’) On the other hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks exclude theological claims in their case for evolution. So, whether textbooks include or exclude theological claims, they face debilitating problems. We attempt to establish this thesis by examining 32 biology (and evolution) textbooks, including the Big 12—that is, the top four in each of the key undergraduate categories (biology majors, non-majors, and evolution courses). In Section 2 of our article, we analyze three specific types of theology these texts use to justify evolutionary theory. We argue that all face significant difficulties. In Section 3, we step back from concrete cases and, instead, explore broader problems created by having theology in general in biology textbooks. We argue that the presence of theology—of whatever kind—comes at a significant cost, one that some textbook authors are likely unwilling to pay. In Section 4, we consider the alternative: Why not simply get rid of theology? Why not just ignore it? In reply, we marshal a range of arguments why avoiding God-talk raises troubles of its own. Finally, in Section 5, we bring together the collective arguments in Sections 2-4 to argue that biology textbooks face an intractable dilemma. We underscore this difficulty by examining a common approach that some textbooks use to solve this predicament. We argue that this approach turns out to be incoherent and self-serving. The poor performance of textbooks on this point highlights just how deep the difficulty is. In the end, the overall dilemma remains.
    https://journals.blythinstitute.org/ojs/index.php/cbi/article/view/44

    The reason why Darwinian Atheism is itself crucially dependent upon faulty theological presuppositions is that ALL of science is based upon Judeo-Christian presuppositions and is certainly not based upon, indeed cannot be based upon, the presuppositions of Atheistic Naturalism.

    As Paul Davies pointed out, “even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”

    Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address – by Paul Davies – August 1995
    Excerpt: “People take it for granted that the physical world is both ordered and intelligible. The underlying order in nature-the laws of physics-are simply accepted as given, as brute facts. Nobody asks where they came from; at least they do not do so in polite company. However, even the most atheistic scientist accepts as an act of faith that the universe is not absurd, that there is a rational basis to physical existence manifested as law-like order in nature that is at least partly comprehensible to us. So science can proceed only if the scientist adopts an essentially theological worldview.”
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/1995/08/003-physics-and-the-mind-of-god-the-templeton-prize-address-24

    Atheists, at the core of their naturalistic worldview, simply do not presuppose that the universe should be rational. In fact, at the core of their naturalistic worldview, Atheists presuppose that everything happened ‘randomly’ with no rhyme or reason for why it occurred.

    No further proof for this fact in needed than to point out that Darwinian Atheists deny teleology altogether, in the universe, in life, as well as in their very own thoughts.

    Definition of teleology
    1a : the study of evidences of design in nature
    b : a doctrine (as in vitalism) that ends are immanent in nature
    c : a doctrine explaining phenomena by final causes
    2 : the fact or character attributed to nature or natural processes of being directed toward an end or shaped by a purpose
    3 : the use of design or purpose as an explanation of natural phenomena

    As the late William Provine, (historian of science and of evolutionary biology and population genetics), himself admitted, “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind.”

    “When you die, you’re not going to be surprised, because you’re going to be completely dead. Now if I find myself aware after I’m dead, I’m going to be really surprised! But at least I’m going to go to hell, where I won’t have all of those grinning preachers from Sunday morning listening.
    Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear — and these are basically Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death. When I die, I am absolutely certain that I am going to be dead. That’s the end of me. There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either.”
    William Provine
    https://evolutionnews.org/2015/09/william_provine/

    And as Dr. Michael Egnor explains, “It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.”

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: From the hylemorphic perspective, there is an intimate link between the mind and teleology. The 19th-century philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the hallmark of the mind is that it is directed to something other than itself. That is, the mind has intentionality, which is the ability of a mental process to be about something, rather than to just be itself. Physical processes alone (understood without teleology) are not inherently about things. The mind is always about things. Stated another way, physical processes (understood without teleology) have no purpose. Mental processes always have purpose. In fact, purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) is what defines the mind. And we see the same purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) in nature.
    Intentionality is a form of teleology. Both intentionality and teleology are goal-directedness — intentionality is directedness in thought, and teleology is directedness in nature. Mind and teleology are both manifestations of purpose in nature. The mind is, within nature, the same kind of process that directs nature.
    In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others.
    Teleology and intentionality are certainly the inferences to be drawn from the obvious purposeful arrangement of parts in nature, but I (as a loyal Thomist!) believe that teleology and intentionality are manifest in an even more fundamental way in nature. Any goal-directed natural change is teleological, even if purpose and arrangement of parts is not clearly manifest. The behavior of a single electron orbiting a proton is teleological, because the motion of the electron hews to specific ends (according to quantum mechanics). A pencil falling to the floor behaves teleologically (it does not fall up, or burst into flame, etc.). Purposeful arrangement of parts is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

    As should be needless to say, if there is no rhyme or reason for why anything occurs, i.e. no teleology for anything in the universe, not even for your own thoughts, then searching for a rhyme or reason for why anything occurs in the universe, or in life, or even in your own thoughts, is an extremely futile endeavor and Darwinian Atheism, at its core, is therefore a ‘science stopper’ in the most fundamental way possible. Darwinian Atheism simply makes scientific rationality itself impossible.

    And that is why Darwinian Atheists are crucially dependent on faulty Theological presuppositions, instead of any real time empirical evidence, in order to give their ‘scientific theory’ some semblance of being rational and therefore some semblance of being scientific. Without Theological presuppositions all rationality is lost.

    As Cornelius Van Til put the self refuting position that Darwinian Atheists are actually in, “the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    – Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

    Thus the next time you hear a Darwinian atheist, such as Seversky, falsely claim that religion has no place in science, just remember Seversky is being blatantly hypocritical and that it is a “deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going.”

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....89971.html

    Verse:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test all things. Hold fast to the good.

    Of supplemental note:

    Although the Darwinian atheist firmly believes he is on the terra firma of science, (in his appeal, even demand, for methodological naturalism), the fact of the matter is that Darwinian atheists are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to:

    Basically, because of reductive materialism (and/or methodological naturalism), the atheistic materialist (who believes Darwinian evolution to be true) is forced to claim that he is merely a ‘neuronal illusion’ (Coyne, Dennett, etc..), who has the illusion of free will (Harris), who has unreliable, (i.e. illusory), beliefs about reality (Plantinga), who has illusory perceptions of reality (Hoffman), who, since he has no real time empirical evidence substantiating his grandiose claims, must make up illusory “just so stories” with the illusory, and impotent, ‘designer substitute’ of natural selection (Behe, Gould, Sternberg), so as to ‘explain away’ the appearance (i.e. the illusion) of design (Crick, Dawkins), and who also must make up illusory meanings and purposes for his life since the hopelessness of the nihilism inherent in his atheistic worldview is simply too much for him to bear (Weikart), and who must also hold morality to be subjective and illusory since he has rejected God (Craig, Kreeft). Who, since beauty cannot be grounded within his materialistic worldview, must also hold beauty itself to be illusory (Darwin).
    Bottom line, nothing is truly real in the atheist’s worldview, least of all, beauty, morality, meaning and purposes for life.,,,
    April 18, 2021 – Detailed Defense of each claim
    https://uncommondescent.com/philosophy/philosopher-mary-midgeley-1919-2018-on-scientism/#comment-728595

    Thus, although the Darwinian Atheist and/or Methodological Naturalist may firmly, and falsely, believe that he is on the terra firma of science (in his appeal, even demand, for naturalistic explanations over and above God as a viable explanation), the fact of the matter is that, when examining the details of his materialistic/naturalistic worldview, it is found that Darwinists/Atheists themselves are adrift in an ocean of fantasy and imagination with no discernible anchor for reality to grab on to.

    It would be hard to fathom a worldview more antagonistic to modern science, indeed more antagonistic to reality itself, than Atheistic materialism and/or methodological naturalism have turned out to be.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  8. 8
    KRock says:

    The very word “university” is said to stem from the phrase, “unity in diversity.” Unfortunately, many universities no longer represent this. In fact, a large number of them could instead be classified as indoctrination camps for liberal and far-left ideologies. That is why I like distance learning, as you tend to be less exposed to their authoritarianism and their culture of conformity, at least in my experience anyway.

    I even thought about undertaking my postgraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh. However, their continued attempts to cancel those who do not conform to their far-left radical agenda convinced me to look elsewhere (see, for example, the attempted canceling of an on-campus Christian group at the University of Edinburgh). I’d much rather spend my hard-earned money at a university that isn’t bigoted.

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