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Another Toronto journalist takes swat at Darwinists (or Darwinoids)


One of the most interesting journalists in Toronto is a friend of mine, David Warren, who – as if he did not have enough troubles – has gotten sick of bloviating Darwinists and decided to take them on. At least I am not alone any more. Far from it.

Writing to friends, Warren notes, “I have been remiss. I have allowed several months to do by without taking another kick at the Darwinoids. I endeavour to correct this oversight in my column for Sunday,” whereupon he directs us to his recent column for The Spectator:

I get such apoplectic letters, whenever I write about “evolutionism,” that I really can’t resist writing about it again. This is not, of course, because I have any desire to tease such correspondents. Perish the thought. Rather, when a writer finds he has hit such a nerve, he can also know that he is approaching a great truth.

In this case, we must ask ourselves why so many people get so excited about an area of science that should not concern them. For most of these correspondents know precious little science, and haven’t the stamina to engage in detailed argument. They are simply shocked and appalled that anyone would dream of challenging what they believe to be the consensus of “qualified experts,” whom they assume are a closed camp of hard-bitten materialists, with no time for religious or poetical flights.

The answer to this question is clear enough. People without a stake in a controversy pay little or no attention to it. They will hardly be vexed by assertions of one party or another, when the result of the controversy cannot touch their lives. It is rather when a person does have a stake, that he begins to care.

It follows that my most apoplectic correspondents have a stake in evolutionary controversies. They imagine themselves to have an impersonal interest in defending science against “religious superstition,” and the dangers to society that the latter might present. They in fact have strong and uncompromising religious beliefs of their own, which they are loath to have questioned.

Much of the “star chamber” atmosphere, that has accompanied the public invigilation of microbiologists such as Michael J. Behe, and other very qualified scientists working on questions of design in organisms and natural systems, can only be explained in this way. The establishment wants such research to be stopped, because it challenges the received religious order, of atheist materialism. Any attempt, or suspected attempt, to acknowledge God in scientific proceedings, must be exposed and punished to the limit of the law; or by other ruthless means where the law does not suffice.

Not to be missed.

An author friend asked Warren recently,

Suppose Lemaitre had offered his Big Bang idea in our current intellectual climate, rather than in 1931. Would he be denounced as a crypto-creationist, trying to dress up the Christian doctrine of creation ex nihilo in scientific garb? After all, a universe that has always existed does not need a God to create it; that is why the eternality of the world has been a cardinal tenet of those who do not need the hypothesis of God. Once the eternality of the world is no longer accepted, then we are right back to Leibniz’ question, “Why is there something rather than nothing,” and this question has dangerous theological implications.

ands he replied,

For sure, Lemaître would have died an ignominious intellectual death in our time. But then, he never tried to call attention to himself, & even now, everyone has heard about Einstein & Hubble, & no one about the man who went “behind & beyond” them.

When I asked Warren if he realized that he would be vilified, as neurosurgeon Mike Egnor has been vilified, he merely replied,

Well, as someone says on your blog (maybe it was you), the way the news on ID gets out, is by all these Darwinoid idiots drawing attention to it. Pravda used to make the same mistake. Nobody realized there’d been a riot in Gorki, until Pravda denied anything had happened.

Yes, that was me, David. I said that the Darwinists have done far more to promote the intelligent design guys’ theories than the evil Discos could ever have done. In fact, I remember listening to a Toronto Darwinist announcing to a media person that the Discovery Institute was very well funded. When I pointed out to him that Discovery’s Center for Science and Culture (the ID think tank) is actually quite small – and that it relies largely on converting the negative energy generated by people like himself into positive energy – it was obvious that he didn’t believe me.

How about that! There he was, actually demonstrating the phenomenon, and he still did not believe me. David, I am afraid there’s no help for people like that.

Note: If you are looking for the story about the major film about the ID guys, starring Ben Stein, go here.

Also, recently at the Post-Darwinist:

Origin of life research as a perfect circularity

A blogger tries to make sense of the intelligent design controversy

And recently at the Mindful Hack:

Do neurosurgeons believe that the mind really exists?

Why science, not faith, is becoming the enemy of reason.

Neurotheology or neurobullshipping? Is this silliness coming to a religious college near you?

Off-Topic: Denyse O'Leary interview on ID the Future...listening right now: http://intelligentdesign.podOmatic.com/entry/2007-08-17T11_15_31-07_00 Atom
Here should be an easy target for fisking. They do mention ID at the end. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/health_science/story/673601.html ninjapirate
Thanks much for putting a face on the numbers, Patrick! The Darwinist NEEDS to believe that Disco is powerful because he cannot accept his own role in Disco's success. Facts and figures have no influence in such perceptions, in my experience, so it is no wonder that they are ignored. I wonder when the Darwoids will get round to linking Disco with various conspirazoid effluvia around 911 and the Middle East? (Yes, yes, I would research that myself, but I am following another trail at the moment. Newshound, she have but one nose. Anyone who wants this one, take it away!) O'Leary
scordova recently said: "Discovery Institute CSC annual budget: about 800,000" Otherwise:
Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture (its program on intelligent design and evolution) only spent $1.2 million in 2003, the year that Olson uses for his film. In 2004 it spent the same, and in 2005 it spent $1.6 million. Indeed, the budget for the entire Discovery Institute, including expenditures on non-intelligent design programs on transportation, technology, and other topics, has never reached $5 million. In 2003, the Institute as a whole spent $2.5 million, or half the figure cited by Olson. In 2004, it spent $3.5 million, and in 2005 it spent $3.9 million. These facts are publicly available for anyone to check on the Institute’s Form 990s posted at www.guidestar.com.
drDan, I think I heard the phrase "don't confuse me with facts!" Collin
Hi Denyse, Thank you for the wonderfully written "blog". I think that what you have written gets to the heart of darwinism. As David Warren wrote " ... why [do] so many people get so excited about an area of science that should not concern them. For most of these correspondents know precious little science, and haven’t the stamina to engage in detailed argument." I am a physicist, and I have to confess that I know little about biology, not enough to argue the merits of Darwinism. I would venture to say that most non-biological scientists know as little as I do. Yet most would defend darwinism as though their eternal soul mattered. And I think this is the crux, for most people the argument is spiritual rather than scientific. This is one of my slogans (maybe someone else said it first but I don't know): Never let facts get in the way of what we believe. DrDan
As more and more journalists get hip to ID, the biologists will see their hegemony over science crumble. rrf
Bueller? Bueller? BarryA you beat me too it. :-) tribune7
I can only hope and pray that in the movie Ben Stein will ask a group of people something like: "What is the evidence that the digital code in DNA could have developed by chance and necessity? Anybody? Anybody?" BarryA

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