Here’s a good illustration:
Here, Cornelius Hunter references U Washington evolutionary biology prof ‘s religious screed, which he presents to his students, in favour of Darwinism (and there is no doubt that “it is a religious screed):
As evolutionary science has progressed, the available space for religious faith has narrowed: It has demolished two previously potent pillars of religious faith and undermined belief in an omnipotent and omni-benevolent God.
So, is BioLogos (or, as I call them, Christians for Darwin) a waste of time?
It is hard to believe that an organization that claims to be Christian could have so signally failed in vision that it would be attacking Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt. And I haven’t heard anything like the same level of concern about blatant promos for atheism in evolution classes like this one. I have no idea what motivates them, which may be just as well.
But back to Barash:
The twofold demolition begins by defeating what modern creationists call the argument from complexity. This once seemed persuasive, best known from William Paley’s 19th-century claim that, just as the existence of a complex structure like a watch demands the existence of a watchmaker, the existence of complex organisms requires a supernatural creator. Since Darwin, however, we have come to understand that an entirely natural and undirected process, namely random variation plus natural selection, contains all that is needed to generate extraordinary levels of non-randomness. Living things are indeed wonderfully complex, but altogether within the range of a statistically powerful, entirely mechanical phenomenon.”
Do we see what he has done here?
He simply states that “an entirely natural and undirected process, namely random variation plus natural selection, contains all that is needed to generate extraordinary levels of non-randomness.”
Is that true? Does he demonstrate it?
No, for two reasons. First, he can’t, because it probably isn’t true. See Dembski on the Law of Conservation of Information here.
Information is powerful, but it is not magic, and that is what Barash would need.
Now, Dembski could be wrong. Maybe Darwin really did discover magic. But Barash knows he doesn’t have to address that. Which brings me to my second point.
In today’s science world, the more important reason Barash doesn’t demonstrate it is that he doesn’t need to. His hearers at the New York Times, where the article appeared, nod approvingly, and assume their magic is safe.
If reality mattered, it’s crumbling, actually (but then so is the Times). See for example, New Atlantis dumps on the hard Darwinism of Dawkins and Dennett (Would this account not have been greeted five years ago by howls of media outrage? Where are Darwin’s airheads?)
That said, Darwinian claims are probably still good for a decade and a half anyway, just as the Times may be. Magic dies hard. – O’Leary for News
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