And that is what is killing it.
From Yahoo News:
Women’s rights, the foundations of capitalism and the warping of space-time can all take a backseat to meticulous descriptions of long-beaked finches, at least if public opinion is any measure.
“On the Origin of Species,” Charles Darwin’s famous tome on evolution, has been voted the most influential academic book in history, according to an online survey answered by the public.
The biology bombshell edged out competitors such as “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare”; “On the Vindication of the Rights of Women,” by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; “The Wealth of Nations,” by Adam Smith; and even physics classics such as the theory of general relativity by Albert Einstein and “A Brief History of Time,” by Stephen Hawking More.
It’s the most influential work because it is essentially a big philosophy, the creation story of naturalist atheism and Christian Darwinism. Not really science.
I’ve lost all hope of count of the many science news releases that offer “evidence” for Darwinian evolution (natural selection acting on random mutation generates huge levels of information).
Some are sound but so many are just plain flawed—they are really just candles lit at Darwin’s shrine. Like the famous finch beak claims.
Why is that fatal? Because in the wake of genome mapping, real sciences of evolution have begun to grow up. See Talk to the fossils: Let’s see what they say back.
One way the new proposed mechanisms of evolution are different is that they aren’t philosophy. It would be hard to make a creation story out of chromosome doubling or horizontal gene transfer. The most they do is fill in pieces of the history of life accurately.
That may not be what the public wants, but it is what scientists need.
As I noted elsewhere,
The more we learn about the history of life on earth, the less evolution is theory and the more it is history. It is less like Epicureanism and more like World War II. That cannot be good for Darwinian thinking, which fills in large gaps in history by the exercise of theory. Things that “must have” happened if the theory is correct are assumed to have happened.
But history is not like that. Consider, for example, Pearl Harbor, when the Japanese crippled the U.S. Pacific fleet in a surprise attack, though the United States was not at war with Japan. Assume that the account broke off there. Maybe a theory can fill in the blanks for us and tell us what “had to” happen.
But then, what if we later discover more and more evidence for what actually happened? It will be bad news Tuesday for some theories developed in the absence of evidence — maybe for quite a few theories.
That’s a key reason that the hegemony of Darwin is weakening. So much that we now know either doesn’t fit the theory or could get on just fine without it. More.
The change is inexorable, but don’t expect pop science media to catch on any time soon. Many will go under first.
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