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Karl Popper bangs his fist on the table

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A friend writes, regarding this information regarding some information about science philosopher Karl Popper on a Scientific American blog: “It’s the first time I’ve read that Popper later regretted allowing himself to be browbeaten on the subject of the irrefutability of Darwinism.”

In “A Dubitable Darwin? Why Some Smart, Nonreligious People Doubt the Theory of Evolution”, John Horgan writes (Jul 6, 2010)

The philosopher Daniel Dennett once called the theory of evolution by natural selection “the single best idea anyone has ever had.” I’m inclined to agree. But Darwinism sticks in the craw of some really smart people I don’t mean intelligent-designers (aka IDiots) and other religious ignorami but knowledgeable scientists and scholars.

He goes on to trash knowledgeble scientists and scholars, then notes

Early in his career, the philosopher Karl Popper (yes, cited by F and P-P)called evolution via natural selection “almost a tautology” and “not a testable scientific theory but a metaphysical research program.” Attacked for these criticisms, Popper took them back. But when I interviewed him in 1992, he blurted out that he still found Darwin’s theory dissatisfying”One ought to look for alternatives!” Popper exclaimed, banging his kitchen table.

and adds

Postscript: I’d like to thank my buddy Robert Hutchinson -author, editor, polymath, punster, triathlete -for suggesting that I call this blog “Cross-check”A cross-check is an illegal hit in hockey. I don’t cross-check on the ice, but on this blog anything goes.

Well, my own best guess is that Popper couldn’t deal with the mob of (largely) tax mooch Darwinist thugs who cross-check, and neither can Horgan. So Horgan joined the mob. All this is interesting coming from John Horgan who, himself, took a serious hit for his book, the End of Science. (Scroll down past the first story to the next one.)

This is a word of advice for any who question the Darwin industry: You are up against a racket, which means you are up against thugs. Just about everyone knows that the evidence for large scale transformations of one species to another via Darwinism is very poor. But evidence does not matter. Enforcement does. Selling out is common. People regret selling out, but they do.
Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

Since making this claim, Popper himself has modified his position somewhat; but, disclaimers aside, I suspect that even now he does not really believe that Darwinism in its modern form is genuinely falsifiable. ~ Michael Ruse bevets
Both of them pay/paid too much to the midtown thug to leave them alone. O'Leary
Horgan's new revelation contradicts what he wrote in 1992. From "The Intellectual Warrior" by John Horgan, Scientific American, November 1992:
"Popper has in the past irritated biologists by suggesting that Darwin's theory of evolution is untestable and even tautological (survivivors survive) and hence not scientific at all. Popper is clearly reluctant to rehash this issue now, however. Although I ask him several times about his current position, he says only that he may have gone 'a little too far' in his criticism."
zephyr, at 1, thanks. Horgan's post struck me as strange, kowtowing to the little god emperor Darwin, whom everyone knows is not a god and shouldn't be an emperor. Horgan was abused for End of Science, including by Francis Collins. Yet the issues he was raising were real. Resolvable, no doubt, but still real. Perhaps Horgan has just decided to sue for peace. But BE WARNED: You must kowtow to the little god emperor to get any. Me? I would rather have war. O'Leary
I was thinking the exact same things about Horgan recently, given his pathetic rote ad hominem commmentary on ID. Horgan's unfortunate willingness to blindly go with the flow, and tie his mast to the ruling gang of Darwinbots, I too found disappointing, but not really surprising. Disappointing because as Denyse points out, his book 'The End of Science' and for that matter, even more to the point, his 'The Undiscovered Mind' are very much anything but an endorsement of the self-satisfied status quo in science. However the sacred cow of Darwinism stalls even the usual sharp and skeptical Horgan in his tracks - there are things you can question and things you cannot question, not if you want to remain persona grata with the movers and shakers in science. Of course Horgan blogs regularly for Scientific American and has featured on bloggingheads, and if he wants to keep both those gigs (and continue to get his articles published and receive exposure in the mainstream science media), well he has all the motivation to keep his flag tied to the Darwinian mast. I'm not saying this is a conscious, deliberate or cynical decision on his part, to look at who butters his bread and to pontificate accordingly, not at all - it wouldn't be deliberate or wilful, but entirely subconscious. Also as the director at the Center for Science Writings affiliated with the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey, Horgan is very much neck-deep in the mainstream science establishment, he can make a few waves, but rocking the Darwin boat is a red line, a big No. Yes the Stevens Institute is not a school involved in the teaching of any of the natural sciences (as far as I know), their speciality is tech and engineering. Even so no tertiary institute in America is welcoming to Darwin doubters since it goes against the grain of the "intellectual" culture, and to have a Darwin skeptic as director of their Center for Science Writings, can you imagine? All these kind of investments that Horgan has made with the status quo in science undermine any objectivity re the evolution controversy. So it goes. zephyr

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