Further to Barry’s suggestion that readers kindly remember Uncommon Descent in their year end giving (Donate button is on the main page):
My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads.
The main thing is to keep it up Here are five stories from January 2014 that illustrate what I mean. (I’ll follow them up with five stories from each of the subsequent months of course.) – O’Leary for News
1. Why I’m calling Darwin’s Doubt the news event of 2013
It stays near the top in paleontology because the questions cannot be suppressed any more by mere Darwinbabble. As of December 19, 2014 EST 3:00 am:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1 in Books > Science & Math > Evolution > Organic
- #2 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Paleontology
- #2 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Theology > Creationism
Incidentally, Christian Darwinist Karl Giberson allows us to know that the book’s publication was part of a “terrible year for evolution.” Presumably, that means a year in which facts matter.
2. Philosopher Thomas Nagel’s signal got picked up: “The intelligentsia was so furious [at him] that it formed a lynch mob” “Him” being philosopher Thomas Nagel, who has begun, in Mind & Cosmos Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False to question the unquestionable truths of naturalism, materialism, and Darwinism as if he had any right to do so. Computer science prof David Gelernter aptly titles the mob dogging him as “punks, bullies, and hangers-on.” Now, those people can indeed be very serious opposition, but not of the intellectual kind. His challenge remains on the table, of course unmet.
3. Meanwhile, back at the corpse candle farm, who would have expected Darwinian evolution to come up in The Edge’s list of science ideas ready to be retired? Courtesy science museum curator and sometime journalist Roger Highfield: “the dogmatic declaration of its ‘truth’ lures a thinker into a close-minded confidence, unjustified by even the best current science of evolution.” (Um, yes, if not worse, like, “punks, bullies, and hangers-on.”) Some, of course, blame “creationists” for the failure:
There are several related reasons why this unsubstantiated idea continues to be repeated without evidence. The first is fear that non-random mutations would be misunderstood and twisted by creationists to wrongly deny the reality and importance of evolution by natural selection.
Which, as a commenter helpfully translates: “We are intentionally obscuring and misrepresenting scientific data in order to deny any comfort to our political enemies.” But Darwin can be comforted in his grave: Jerry “Why Evolution Is True” Coyne remains faithful, and who could ask for more? Especially when “DNA studies shake the Tree of Life.”
4. A life form turned up that has gears, which everyone predicted could just randomly evolve. No, wait, … if life is full of machinery, machinery must “just happen,” right, or maybe … maybe … ?
5. We started to talk about William Dembski’s Being as Communion in a brief excerpt here:
Intelligent design is the study of patterns (hence “design”) in nature that give empirical evidence of resulting from real teleology (hence “intelligent”). In this definition, real 37 teleology is not reducible to purely material processes. At the same time, in this definition, real teleology is not simply presupposed as a consequence of prior metaphysical commitments. Intelligent design asks teleology to prove itself scientifically.
In his book Mind & Cosmos, Nagel recognizes the bankruptcy of materialism in its mechanistic understanding of nature, but at the same time he wants to find a naturalistic basis for the teleology that animates nature. I desire to make common cause with such naturalistic nonmaterialists not because it is politically expedient in the controversy with Darwinian materialism but because theistic and naturalistic nonmaterialists are both attempting, without the blinders of materialism, to understand how teleology operates in nature. Thus, it seems to me, both sides should be able to come to some basic, even if limited, agreement on how teleology operates in nature and, at those points of agreement, advance a common teleological understanding of nature.
The book came out this year; we will see where it goes in 2015.
And that was just January 2014. On to February shortly.
February 2014: Events that made a difference to ID We are definitely past having to care what Christians for Darwin think.
March 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Old, taken-for-granted “truths” are collapsing; an information theory approach may help us forward.
April 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Despite these developments, naturalists would prefer chaos and nonsense to signals that point away from naturalism.
May 2014: Events that made a difference to ID BUT then things took a really odd turn: It turned out that everyone who doubts Wade’s race theories is a creationist. Hey, is “creationist” the new “think for yourself”?
June 2014: Events that made a difference to ID In June we began to think seriously about William Dembski’s then upcoming Being as Communion, a more philosophical look at design in nature
July 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Among many other events, a UD Post where a famous chemist says no scientist understands “macroevolution” passed 200,000 views.
August 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Famous Darwin follower, Jerry “Why evolution is true” Coyne, was really mad that information theorist William Dembski is allowed to speak at his fort, Fort Chicago University
September 2014: Events that made a difference to ID It was becoming obvious that no one who knows the facts need be defensive about doubting the naturalist spin.
October 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Even establishment science media are now moving to recognize the problems with Darwinian evolution theory.
November 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Not only has the kill-ID bomb not exploded, but lots of people besides us are beginning to notice that fact.
December 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Fake Facebook pages started in an attempt to discredit ID theorists. (People fake Rolexes, not Timexes.)
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