Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Darwinian evolution is not true, but then it doesn’t need to be

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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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Comments
Here's an apparently 'OT' issue that perhaps could be 'somehow' related to the general discussion? Is the bold word -in the text quoted within the following link- a politically correct term in scientific literature these days? I was surprised to see it in the article referred to by its DOI in this post: https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/a-third-way-of-evolution/#comment-518202 In another discussion that took place in this site sometime ago, I mentioned a medical school textbook on human development, where the first paragraph in the introduction contained a similar term in an older edition, but got removed in most recent versions of the same book. Any comments on this? Thanks.Dionisio
October 7, 2014
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“Is that true? [...] No, for two reasons. First, [...] because it probably isn’t true.” Way to go!!!!
Logic fail, Guil. To state an assertion is true ("the core of the moon is solid 24K gold!") is radically different than admitting it probably isn't true ("actually, the core of the moon probably isn't 24K gold"). This is a perfectly valid objection, and you missed it entirely (not to mention deliberately misstating the argument by selective editing out the part which had to do with demonstrating the truthfulness). Way to go!!!!drc466
October 6, 2014
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I know there are decent people associated with BioLogos.
AGREED! My approach is to give them the benefit of the doubt. If I am not convinced that they intentionally misrepresent ID (e.g., Kenneth Miller), I assume they just haven't done their homework.Mung
October 6, 2014
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"In today’s science world, the more important reason Barash doesn’t demonstrate it is that he doesn’t need to." Profound truth!Moose Dr
October 6, 2014
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Guillermoe states:
"Easy. Throw a dice and select a selection criteria to keep the outcome or discard it ..."
And exactly who is throwing the dice and 'selecting' a selection criteria?
Random Chance and Necessity (i.e. law) have never caused anything to happen in the universe: https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/has-jeffrey-shallits-fundamentalism-driven-him-barking-mad/#comment-517782
Or as the old joke goes, "get your own dirt!"
Get Your Own Dirt One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and mind your own business?” God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “Okay, we can handle that!” “But,” God added, “we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.” The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt. God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt.”
supplemental notes:
Constraints vs. Controls - Abel - 2010 Excerpt: Classic examples of the above confusion are found in the faulty-inference conclusions drawn from many so-called “directed evolution,” “evolutionary algorithm,” and computer-programmed “computational evolutionary” experimentation. All of this research is a form of artificial selection, not natural selection. Choice for potential function at decision nodes, prior to the realization of that function, is always artificial, never natural. http://www.bentham.org/open/tocsj/articles/V004/14TOCSJ.pdf From David Tyler: How do computer simulations of evolution relate to the real world? - October 2011 Excerpt: These programs ONLY work the way they want because as they admit, it only works because it has pre-designed goals and fitness functions which were breathed into the program by intelligent designers. The only thing truly going on is the misuse and abuse of intelligence itself. https://uncommondescent.com/darwinism/from-david-tyler-how-do-computer-simulations-of-evolution-relate-to-the-real-world/comment-page-1/#comment-401493 In computer science we recognize the algorithmic principle described by Darwin - the linear accumulation of small changes through random variation - as hill climbing, more specifically random mutation hill climbing. However, we also recognize that hill climbing is the simplest possible form of optimization and is known to work well only on a limited class of problems. Watson R.A. - 2006 - Compositional Evolution - MIT Press - Pg. 272 How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design - July 2014 Excerpt: Snoke lists various features in biology that have been found to function like goal-directed, top-down engineered systems:,,,, *"Adaptation," where organisms are pre-engineered to be able to undergo small-scale adaptations to their environments. As Snoke explains, "These systems use randomization controlled by supersystems, just as the immune system uses randomization in a very controlled way," and "Only part of the system is allowed to vary randomly, while the rest is highly conserved.",,, http://www.evolutionnews.org/2014/07/when_biologists087871.html
Verse and Music:
1 Corinthians 3:19 For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight. As it is written: "He catches the wise in their craftiness"; Take Me In - Holy Of Holies - Kutless - Music Video https://vimeo.com/108109389
bornagain77
October 6, 2014
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"Is that true? [...] No, for two reasons. First, [...] because it probably isn’t true." Way to go!!!! "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?" Easy. Throw a dice and select a selection criteria to keep the outcome or discard it (for example, "if it is the first record, should be the lowset number, else should be the lowest number following the previous record"). Repeat several times and then check the full series of numbers obtained: 1,2,3,4,5,6. Is this random?Guillermoe
October 6, 2014
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Mapou, I just don't know. I know there are decent people associated with BioLogos. But there is so much ferment going on now in non-Darwinian evolution (horizontal gene transfer, epigenetics, convergence), stuff that is really interesting, to say nothing about people with no religious commitments wanting to just bust the mold. So I don't even understand why the BioLogos organization even got started. They seem determined to demonstrate that Darwinian evolution is a "correct science." Yes, their founder’s words, I am told. -- In 2009, World Magazine editor Marvin Olasky noted that when Collins set up the BioLogos Foundation in 2007 (with accolades from such well-known Christians as Os Guiness, Philip Yancey, and Tim Keller), its Web site “defined BioLogos as ‘the belief that Darwinism is a correct science.’” (Darrel Falk, notes the following as part of the organizing committee: “Joel Hunter, Tim Keller, John Ortberg, Os Guinness, Andy Crouch, and Philip Yancey” See Darrel Falk, “‘The Vision Lives On . . . and On’ by Darrel Falk,”BioLogos, July 2012: http://tinyurl.com/8rfn5ya Accessed September 8, 2012.) -- But why, when so many of Darwinism’s practitioners are hostile to Christianity (and all non-materialist belief whatever) did BioLogos think they needed defending? They are now in the ridiculous position of getting feeble academics to talk down a book on the Cambrian by an admitted Christian, Steve Meyer when that book has remained one of the top picks in paleo for well over a year. See also: If anyone cares, Biologos (Christians for Darwin) will now actually review Darwin’s Doubt Mapou, I might get in trouble for saying this, but it sounds so much like Bible school academics yattering that if only Christians would adopt materialist beliefs like Darwinian evolution, we could impact the culture. Yes, that’s it. It’s always “impact the culture.” Okay. So. Fine. Guy Steve Meyer writes a book. Talks about something people care about. The Cambrian mystery. Hey, it worked. Impacted the culture. And now who was upset? Well, just guess! I wonder if Bill Dembski, also a Christian, will be the next target. If Conservation of Information is correct, Darwinism is not a correct science. Hey, I know! Why don’t people just start marketing Darwin’s theory of evolution more openly as a religion? Alternatively, people could quit defending dead Victorians and neo-Victorians.News
October 5, 2014
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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.
Biologos is a con game, IMO. They figure that once you start straddling the fence, it's because you have already swallowed the bait. Then they can reel you in at their leisure. Darwinism/materialism is the only organized religion that is openly and shamelessly devious.Mapou
October 5, 2014
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