Darwinism Human evolution Intelligent Design

At YouTube: Jonathan Wells on Human Evolution, Darwinism, and Media Coverage of Fossils

Spread the love

In under six minutes:

In this brief bonus interview released as part of the Science Uprising series, biologist Jonathan Wells discusses science, Darwinism, the fossil record, Lucy, and how the media cover fossil finds. Wells has two PhDs, one from University of California at Berkeley in Molecular and Cellular Biology, and another in Religious Studies from Yale. A Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute, Wells is the author of numerous books, including Icons of Evolution, Zombie Science, The Myth of Junk DNA, and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design.

11 Replies to “At YouTube: Jonathan Wells on Human Evolution, Darwinism, and Media Coverage of Fossils

  1. 1
    chuckdarwin says:

    Wells has 2 (count them) PhDs, one in “Religious Studies.”
    Neither of them seem to help him with Darwin. He states that, Darwin “didn’t have the evidence” for natural selection, “he just had the argument.” The term “argument” as used by Darwin is similar to a legal argument, where you put out your evidence and demonstrate how it supports your hypothesis or theory. Anyone reading The Origin of Species realizes it is not a rhetorical argument but is filled with example after example of specimens and how observations of these specimens support the notion of natural selection. The Origin is actually an abstract of a much larger work, entitled Natural Selection which was published posthumously in 1975. And, of course, Darwin had many, many years of evidence collecting, in England, Scotland, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and of course the Galapagos Islands. He collected specimens for 5 years while on the voyage of the Beagle. It is estimated according to his notes that he spent 2/3 of the trip on dry land collecting plants and animals. He was considered the world’s expert on beetles, one of the best field biologists and geologists of his day and he was an expert taxidermist.

  2. 2
    Origenes says:

    Chuck Darwin wrote:

    He [Wells] states that, Darwin “didn’t have the evidence” for natural selection, “he just had the argument.”

    Below is what Jonathan Wells actually stated; notice that Wells, contrary to Chuck’s claim, does not mention “natural selection”.

    J. Wells:

    When Darwin wrote his Origin of Species in 1859, he called it ‘one long argument’. And it was basically an argument against creation by design and in favor of a materialistic picture of evolution — unguided natural processes explain everything. So, that’s the story. Darwin didn’t have the evidence for that, he basically just had the argument.

  3. 3
    chuckdarwin says:

    #2 Origenes
    The full title of Darwin’s masterpiece is: The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or The Preservation of Favored Races in the Struggle for Life. (my emphasis)
    I await with bated breath what you think Wells means by “unguided natural processes?” Photosynthesis? Decomposition? Earthquakes? Solar eclipses?

  4. 4
    jerry says:

    Wells describes the “unguided natural processes” as variation and natural selection in his writings.

    So to rewrite

    And it was basically an argument against creation by design and in favor of a materialistic picture of evolution — unguided natural processes such as variation and natural selection explain everything. So, that’s the story. Darwin didn’t have the evidence for that, he basically just had the argument.

    The irony of all this is that the tens of thousands of researchers since Darwin still don’t have the evidence. Otherwise ChuckDarwin would be all over it instead of nit picking.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    ChuckDarwin falsely claims that, “Anyone reading The Origin of Species realizes it is not a rhetorical argument but is filled with example after example of specimens and how observations of these specimens support the notion of natural selection.”

    Well that is certainly an interesting (false) claim seeing that Adam Sedgwick himself, (Professor of Geology at Cambridge), after reading Darwin’s book, told Darwin himself that, “I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly; parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow; because I think them utterly false & grievously mischievous. You have deserted—after a start in that tram-road of all solid physical truth—the the true method of induction—& started up a machinery as wild I think as Bishop Wilkin’s locomotive that was to sail with us to the Moon. Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved. Why then express them in the language & arrangements of philosophical induction?
    As to your grand principle—natural selection—what is it but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts. Development is a better word because more close to the cause of the fact.,,,
    You write of “natural selection” as if it were done consciously by the selecting agent.,,,”

    From Adam Sedgwick – 24 November 1859
    Cambridge
    My dear Darwin,
    Excerpt: I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly; parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow; because I think them utterly false & grievously mischievous. You have deserted—after a start in that tram-road of all solid physical truth—the the true method of induction—& started up a machinery as wild I think as Bishop Wilkin’s locomotive that was to sail with us to the Moon. Many of your wide conclusions are based upon assumptions which can neither be proved nor disproved. Why then express them in the language & arrangements of philosophical induction?
    As to your grand principle—natural selection—what is it but a secondary consequence of supposed, or known, primary facts. Development is a better word because more close to the cause of the fact.,,,
    You write of “natural selection” as if it were done consciously by the selecting agent.,,,
    We all admit development as a fact of history; but how came it about?,,,
    There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly. Tis the crown & glory of organic science that it does thro’ final cause , link material to moral; & yet does not allow us to mingle them in our first conception of laws, & our classification of such laws whether we consider one side of nature or the other— You have ignored this link; &, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two pregnant cases to break it. Were it possible (which thank God it is not) to break it, humanity in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it—& sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history.,,,
    in speculating upon organic descent, you over state the evidence of geology; & that you under state it while you are talking of the broken links of your natural pedigree:,,,
    Lastly then, I greatly dislike the concluding chapter—not as a summary—for in that light it appears good—but I dislike it from the tone of triumphant confidence in which you appeal to the rising generation (in a tone I condemned in the author of the Vestiges),7 & prophesy of things not yet in the womb of time; nor, (if we are to trust the accumulated experience of human sense & the inferences of its logic) ever likely to be found any where but in the fertile womb of man’s imagination.—
    https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-2548.xml

    As well, Richard Owen, who was very friendly to Darwin’s evolutionary ideas, none-the-less, in a review of Charles Darwin’s book shortly after it was published, stated that Darwin had failed to produce “inductive original research which might issue in throwing light on ‘that mystery of mysteries.’.

    Darwin on the Origin of Species (1860)
    Reviewed by Richard Owen for Edinburg Review
    Excerpt: The scientific world has looked forward with great interest to the facts which Mr. Darwin might finally deem adequate to the support of his theory on this supreme question in biology, and to the course of inductive original research which might issue in throwing light on ‘that mystery of mysteries.’ But having now cited the chief, if not the whole, of the original observations adduced by its author in the volume now before us, our disappointment may be conceived.
    http://www.victorianweb.org/sc.....rigin.html

    Shoot, you don’t have to take Sedgwick’s and Owen’s word for it. Charles Darwin himself honestly admitted to Asa Gray that “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science”, and that , “What you hint at generally is very, very true: that my work is grievously hypothetical, and large parts are by no means worthy of being called induction.”

    Anti-Science Irony
    Excerpt: In response to a letter from Asa Gray, professor of biology at Harvard University, Darwin declared: “I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of true science.”
    When questioned further by Gray, Darwin confirmed Gray’s suspicions: “What you hint at generally is very, very true: that my work is grievously hypothetical, and large parts are by no means worthy of being called induction.” Darwin had turned against the use of scientific principles in developing his theory of evolution.
    http://www.darwinthenandnow.co.....nce-irony/

    Oh well, so much for ChuckyD’s false claim that Darwin was just doing good old fashioned science, based on the tried and true inductive methodology of Francis Bacon, and that Darwin was not using rhetorical gimmicks when he wrote his book.

    Despite the false portrait that ChuckyD is trying to paint of Charles Darwin as being some type of great experimental scientist, the fact of the matter is that Darwin was not a great experimental scientist. Far from it!

    His book contained no mathematics, nor did it contain any experimental work by Darwin that might have hinted that his theory of Natural Selection might be valid.

    In fact, his college degree was in theology instead of in any area of study that might be considered important for the founding a brand new theory of science.

    In fact, Darwin once said that he found higher level mathematics to be quote-unquote “repugnant.”

    Again, he called it “repugnant”.

    Moreover, contrary to what ChuckyD tried to claim, Darwin’s book was, in fact, full of rhetorical gimmicks.

    Specifically, instead of using any compelling mathematics or experimental evidence to try to establish his theory as being valid, Darwin instead extensively used faulty Theological argumentation, (i.e. rhetorical gimmicks), throughout his book to try to make it appear as if his, ahem, ‘theory’ was a better theory than Creation was.

    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

    In short, contrary to popular belief, and contrary to what ChuckyD tried to claim, Charles Darwin was certainly NOT one of the “greatest scientists who has ever lived.” Far from it. Darwin was primarily a liberal theologian who practiced bad theology rather than a great scientist who practiced good science.

    In fact, the mathematics of population genetics itself has now, via the waiting time problem, cast Natural Selection itself, which was supposedly Charles Darwin’s greatest claim to scientific fame, under the bus.

    The waiting time problem in a model hominin population – 2015 Sep 17
    John Sanford, Wesley Brewer, Franzine Smith, and John Baumgardner
    Excerpt: The program Mendel’s Accountant realistically simulates the mutation/selection process,,,
    Given optimal settings, what is the longest nucleotide string that can arise within a reasonable waiting time within a hominin population of 10,000? Arguably, the waiting time for the fixation of a “string-of-one” is by itself problematic (Table 2). Waiting a minimum of 1.5 million years (realistically, much longer), for a single point mutation is not timely adaptation in the face of any type of pressing evolutionary challenge. This is especially problematic when we consider that it is estimated that it only took six million years for the chimp and human genomes to diverge by over 5 % [1]. This represents at least 75 million nucleotide changes in the human lineage, many of which must encode new information.
    While fixing one point mutation is problematic, our simulations show that the fixation of two co-dependent mutations is extremely problematic – requiring at least 84 million years (Table 2). This is ten-fold longer than the estimated time required for ape-to-man evolution. In this light, we suggest that a string of two specific mutations is a reasonable upper limit, in terms of the longest string length that is likely to evolve within a hominin population (at least in a way that is either timely or meaningful). Certainly the creation and fixation of a string of three (requiring at least 380 million years) would be extremely untimely (and trivial in effect), in terms of the evolution of modern man.
    It is widely thought that a larger population size can eliminate the waiting time problem. If that were true, then the waiting time problem would only be meaningful within small populations. While our simulations show that larger populations do help reduce waiting time, we see that the benefit of larger population size produces rapidly diminishing returns (Table 4 and Fig. 4). When we increase the hominin population from 10,000 to 1 million (our current upper limit for these types of experiments), the waiting time for creating a string of five is only reduced from two billion to 482 million years.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm.....MC4573302/

    Natural Selection, contrary to what ChuckyD tried to imply, simply has no experimental nor mathematical support that would establish it as being valid.

    In fact, Natural Selection, as it Is used by Darwinists in their literature, functions far more as a fictional rhetorical device than it does as a true explanation for any trait that Darwinists may be trying to explain the origin of.

    Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection Has Left a Legacy of Confusion over Biological Adaptation
    Brian Miller – September 20, 2021
    Excerpt: Evolutionary biologist Robert Reid stated:
    “Indeed the language of neo-Darwinism is so careless that the words ‘divine plan’ can be substituted for ‘selection pressure’ in any popular work in the biological literature without the slightest disruption in the logical flow of argument.”
    Robert Reid, Biological Emergences: Evolution by Natural Experiment, PP. 37-38
    To fully comprehend the critique, one simply needs to imagine attempting to craft an evolutionary barometer that measures the selection pressure driving one organism to transform into something different (e.g., fish into an amphibian). The fact that no such instrument could be constructed highlights the fictitious nature of such mystical forces.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2021/09/darwins-theory-of-natural-selection-has-left-a-legacy-of-confusion-over-biological-adaptation/

    “Natural selection does not act on anything, nor does it select (for, or against), force, maximize, create, modify, shape, operate, drive, favor, maintain, push or adjust. Natural selection does nothing. Natural selection as a natural force belongs in the insubstantial category already populated by the Necker/Stahl phlogiston or Newton’s ‘ether’…Having natural selection select is nifty because it excuses the necessity of talking about the actual causation of natural selection. Such talk was excusable for Charles Darwin, but inexcusable for Darwinists now. Creationists have discovered our empty ‘natural selection’ language, and the ‘actions’ of natural selection make huge vulnerable targets.”
    – William B. Provine, The Origins of Theoretical Population Genetics (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2001), 199-200

    I could go a lot farther, but I will cut this post short and conclude with,,, Darwin theory is not now, nor has it ever been, a hard and testable science.

    Top Ten Questions and Objections to ‘Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics’ – Robert J. Marks II – June 12, 2017
    Excerpt: “There exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. Hard sciences are built on foundations of mathematics or definitive simulations. Examples include electromagnetics, Newtonian mechanics, geophysics, relativity, thermodynamics, quantum mechanics, optics, and many areas in biology. Those hoping to establish Darwinian evolution as a hard science with a model have either failed or inadvertently cheated. These models contain guidance mechanisms to land the airplane squarely on the target runway despite stochastic wind gusts. Not only can the guiding assistance be specifically identified in each proposed evolution model, its contribution to the success can be measured, in bits, as active information.,,,”,,, “there exists no model successfully describing undirected Darwinian evolution. According to our current understanding, there never will be.,,,”
    https://evolutionnews.org/2017/06/top-ten-questions-and-objections-to-introduction-to-evolutionary-informatics/

  6. 6
    Querius says:

    Chuckdarwin @1,

    Wells has 2 (count them) PhDs, one in “Religious Studies.”

    And what was Charles Darwin’s degree in?

    -Q

  7. 7
    Origenes says:

    @3 Chuckdarwin

    Wells said: “Darwin didn’t have the evidence for that, he basically just had the argument.”, and by “that” he referred to (against) “creation by design” and “unguided natural processes explain everything.”

    So, to rephrase that: Wells stated that Darwin did not have the evidence against creation by design, and he did not have the evidence that unguided natural processes explain everything.

    You erroneously claimed that Wells said: Darwin did not have the evidence for ‘what survives survives’, a.k.a. ‘natural selection’. This is both inaccurate—it is not what Wells said—and ridiculous—it is obvious that ‘what survives survives’ (no evidence is required). What survives survives was known long before Darwin.

  8. 8
    Origenes says:

    Chuckdarwin:

    Anyone reading The Origin of Species realizes it is not a rhetorical argument but is filled with example after example of specimens and how observations of these specimens support the notion of natural selection.

    By “support the notion of natural selection” Chuck testifies of his unfounded belief that observed tiny changes explain the whole grand creative process.
    “Look!” Chuck screams. “Darwin points out tiny changes in beak size! Therefor he offers evidence for bear to whale evolution!”

    Philip Johnson:

    Evolution is really easy to prove. Since “evolution” means both tiny changes and the whole grand creative process, if we can prove a tiny change then we’ve proved the whole grand creative process. Therefore “evolution” occurred. So what’s your problem?

  9. 9
    ET says:

    Natural selection is nothing more than contingent serendipity. Evos have FAILED to show that it is the designer mimic that Darwin envisioned.

  10. 10
    Sandy says:

    Darwin had many, many years of evidence collecting, in England, Scotland, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and of course the Galapagos Islands.

    :))) Yep, “evidence collecting”. Poor Darwin today he would be ashamed with his theory .

  11. 11
    ET says:

    The evidence that Darwin collected supports variations WITHIN populations. There isn’t any evidence that supported his grand theme.

Leave a Reply