Atheism Darwinism Genetics Intelligent Design

It would be different if we had found Darwin’s genes and Darwin’s fossils

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Responding to a recent Salon piece by philosopher John G. Messerly, “Religion’s smart-people problem: The shaky intellectual foundations of absolute faith,” a writer responds to the familiar lament that most people don’t buy into naturalist atheism:

Messerly then turns to affirming the “overwhelming body of evidence of biological evolution.” It’s pretty obvious that he is in over his head in affirming really anything associated with scientific evidence. He just asserts with no premises in support, which probably satisfies your typical Salon reader. And what he affirms, the standard unguided natural selection acting on random mutation assertion of the materialists, is just so twentieth century.

The evolutionary theory that the Messerlys of the world just accept is being steadily dismantled. Darwin’s theory has been totally refuted by the fossil record. Search the web for the Cambrian Explosion and judge the evidence for yourself. The transitional forms that Darwin insisted must exist for his theory to become law are nowhere to be found. Science has been looking for 150 years now and the record is a sparse as it was when Darwin expressed doubt in his own theory.

Of course, Darwin had no idea of the existence of DNA and its role in protein synthesis. Today we know an enormous amount about the genetic code and its role in biological life. We understand what it does, but we have absolutely no idea how such a sophisticated set of instructions and their sequencing could have self-assembled through natural unguided processes. The most brilliant software engineers in the world cannot begin to duplicate the eloquence we see in the DNA code. It clearly displays the earmarks of intelligence to those willing to see. John E. Tutten, “Is Religion Anti-Intellectual” at American Thinker

Maybe Tutten overstates his case a bit but, in a general way, he has identified the core of the conflict. The very things that should have been the slam dunk for Darwin—the fossil record and the genetic code—seem to want to tell a different story, whether or not the academics want to listen.

Salon readers will, of course, listen. But then, they would listen gladly to “the artistic license to lie.”

As to why most people don’t buy into naturalist atheism, well, that would be a more awkward discussion. One risks saying something unkind, such as that many naturalist atheists seem to work so hard to undermine the brand, there must be something wrong with it. But we won’t go there just now.

The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd

Hat tip: Ken Francis who, along with Theodore Dalrymple is the author of The Terror of Existence: From Ecclesiastes to Theatre of the Absurd

See also: Eric Holloway: Atheists, Agnostics More Skeptical Of Evolution Now

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6 Replies to “It would be different if we had found Darwin’s genes and Darwin’s fossils

  1. 1
    vmahuna says:

    I’ve had the odd experience 3 or 4 times in the last year in which people I thought to be intelligent and reasonably educated shut down my attempts at a Discussion of some interesting thing I’d read with a comment that runs, “I read/heard ALL about that 10 (20?) years ago, and you’ll NEVER convince me of any other version of it.”

    Peace & joy, I kinda thought the reason we went to school was so we could EDUCATE OURSELVES after graduation. So I spend a great deal of time, in great humility, turning over yet another rock to find out what’s underneath it. Or as Joni Mitchell teaches us:

    Well maybe it is just the time of year
    Or maybe it’s the time of man
    I don’t know who I am
    But ya know life is for learning
    ….
    We are stardust
    (we are) Billion-year-old carbon
    We are golden…
    And we’ve got to get ourselves
    Back to the garden

  2. 2
    Belfast says:

    Vmahuna, it is called the baby duck syndrome. The story goes that when a baby duck emerges from the egg the first thing it sees it regards as its mother.

  3. 3
    Bob O'H says:

    Maybe Tutten overstates his case a bit but, in a general way, he has identified the core of the conflict.

    Do you mean from how he starts his essay?

    Should you believe in a God? All the discord and vitriol in our culture boils down to how you would answer. Border walls, gay marriage, abortion, national defense, school choice — where you stand on these issues and the myriad others comprising our daily tussle is for the most part defined by how you answer this question. Your answer, yeah or nay, draws a very hard line.

    He’s saying that the current conflicts in US culture are entirely theological in nature. Bizarrely, he’s suggesting that all Christians (whether Catholic, Anglican, Baptist, Quaker, Orthodox or whichever denomination they belong to) are all on the same side on these issues, and they are joined by Islam.

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Materialism, naturalism and evolutionism must all be religious as they represent shaky anti-intellectual foundations

  5. 5
    doubter says:

    Bob O’H @ 3:

    This borders on both the ad hominem and the “red herring” false debating arguments or tactics.
    “Ad hominems are a fallacy of relevance where someone rejects or criticizes another person’s view on the basis of personal characteristics, background, physical appearance, or other features irrelevant to the argument at issue. An ad hominem is more than just an insult. It’s an insult used as if it were an argument or evidence in support of a conclusion.”

    What does this writer’s theological position with regard to God and certain social issues have to do with his observations of the evidence with regard to Darwinism?

    Red Herring (ignoratio elenchi):
    “A “red herring” is a distraction from the argument typically with some sentiment that seems to be relevant but isn’t really on-topic. Typically, the distraction sounds relevant but isn’t quite on-topic. This tactic is common when someone doesn’t like the current topic and wants to detour into something else instead, something easier or safer to address. Red herrings are typically related to the issue in question but aren’t quite relevant enough to be helpful. Instead of clarifying and focusing they confuse and distract.”

  6. 6
    Bob O'H says:

    Doubter –

    What does this writer’s theological position with regard to God and certain social issues have to do with his observations of the evidence with regard to Darwinism?

    In an essay titled “Is Religion Anti-Intellectual?”, in which the author claims that everyone who believes in a God is on one side of the US political debate, and everyone who does not is on the other, and that scientists are predominantly on the no-God side, I think the answer is “a lot”.

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