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Nancy Pearcey at More Than Cake, on how Darwin really triumphed

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Nancy Pearcey is the author of Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality. More than Cake is the blog of J. R. Miller:

“You Guys Lost!” Is Design a Closed Issue? – Part 1:

It is commonly assumed that the battle over Darwinism was waged in the nineteenth century, and that Darwin won the day because his theory was supported by the scientific evidence.,,, Yet I suggest that there are good reasons for returning to the site of battle and asking whether it was won fair and square. I propose to show that the battle was not won by Darwin in the sense normally intended: I will argue that Darwin was a turning point in biology not so much because the empirical evidence was persuasive but primarily because his theory proved useful in advancing a particular philosophy—-a philosophy of science first of all and in many cases a general metaphysical position as well. by Nancy Pearcey | Nov 12, 2018 More.

“You Guys Lost!” Is Design a Closed Issue? – Part 2:

The interpretation outlined in part 1 that both the primary motivation for supporting Darwin and the principle effect of his work was not so much scientific as philosophical is borne out by examining the writings of key nineteenth-century Darwinians–beginning with Darwin himself. The typical account, certainly in popular works, portrays Darwin as a man forced to the theory of natural selection by the weight of the facts. But professional historians tell a different story. Long before formulating his theory, Darwin nurtured a sympathy for philosophical naturalism. He was therefore predisposed toward a naturalistic theory of evolution even when the evidence itself was weak or inconclusive.

In a personal letter, Darwin describes his gradual loss of religious belief and slide into naturalism. By the late 1830s, he writes, he had come to consider the idea of divine revelation in the Old Testament “utterly incredible.” He had also rejected the biblical concept of miracles: In his words, “The more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become.” This commitment to “the fixed laws of nature” preceded Darwin’s major scientific work, and made it virtually inevitable that he would interpret the evidence through a naturalistic lens. by Nancy Pearcey | Nov 19, 2018 More.

“You Guys Lost!” Is Design a Closed Issue? – Part 3:

“You guys lost” may be a fair assessment of the intellectual battle in the 19th century. But the question is how the battle was lost. It is often said that what made Darwin unique is that he provided a genuinely scientific mechanism for evolution–that others had proposed vague or idealist causes but in natural selection Darwin provided the first genuinely empirical mechanism. Yet, since most of Darwin’s supporters did not accept his theory, that cannot be the reason for his success. I have argued that the battle was “rigged”–that Darwinism won less because it fit the empirical data than because it provided a scientific rationale for those already committed to a purely naturalistic account of life.

Both Darwin’s supporters and opponents understood that philosophical naturalism was the central issue. More. by Nancy Pearcey | Nov 26, 2018

“You Guys Lost!” Is Design a Closed Issue? – Part 4:

In considering how Darwin won the day, we must not ignore politics. The changes sought by nineteenth-century Darwinists were not only intellectual but also institutional. The older epistemology of science accommodated both religion and science: It allowed theology to place limits on the ideas acceptable in science. Once again, this was a balance rooted as far back as the church fathers. The second-century apologists accepted as much as they could of the science of their day (which was a product of Greek philosophy), but they insisted on certain limits: For example, they rejected the idea that the universe is eternal and instead insisted on an absolute beginning, on God’s creation of the world ex nihilo.62

But the new naturalistic epistemology promoted by the Darwinists was aggressively autonomous. It demanded that science be completely independent of theology. Gillespie writes: “The very existence of a rival science or of an alternative mode of knowledge was intolerable to the positivist”; he was “intolerant of all other claims to scientific knowledge. Anyone not of his tribe was a charlatan, an imposter.” As a result, these disagreements did not remain merely academic: They precipitated a struggle for power over social institutions. More. by Nancy Pearcey, Dec 3, 2018

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

Curious times. In the current SJW wars, naturalism is precisely what the Darwinians are being asked to give up. For example, they insisted that we are all 98% chimpanzee; so now they are commanded to embrace the idea that sexual dimorphism is purely a cultural fact among primates, which everyone knows is false… Do they deserve this?

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See also: Science as Priestcraft and Hypocrisy Among the Clerisy (Barry Arrington)

2 Replies to “Nancy Pearcey at More Than Cake, on how Darwin really triumphed

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    Even if we concede, for the sake of argument, that everything that Pearcey alleges here is true, it still has no bearing on whether the theory of evolution is plausible account, well-founded on the available evidence.

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky, you state:

    “it still has no bearing on whether the theory of evolution is plausible account, well-founded on the available evidence.”

    Perhaps you would so kind as to illuminate for us just how well founded Darwinian evolution is as this supposedly rigorous science that you imagine it to be?

    Charles Darwin himself listed (at least) four lines of evidence that could potentially falsify his theory.

    “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down.”
    –Charles Darwin, Origin of Species – 1860 – pg 189

    “to the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system, I can give no satisfactory answer.” So “the case at present must remain inexplicable; and may be truly urged as a valid argument against the views here entertained.”
    – Charles Darwin – Origin of Species – 1860 – pg 308

    “If it could be proved that any part of the structure of any one species had been formed for the exclusive good of another species, it would annihilate my theory, for such could not have been produced through natural selection.”
    – Charles Darwin, Origin of Species – 1866 – pg. 241

    “The foregoing remarks lead me to say a few words on the protest lately made by some naturalists, against the utilitarian doctrine that every detail of structure has been produced for the good of its possessor. They believe that very many structures have been created for beauty in the eyes of man, or for mere variety. This doctrine, if true, would be absolutely fatal to my theory.”
    – Charles Darwin Origin of Species – 1859 – pg. 199

    And all four of those falsification criteria, laid out by Charles Darwin himself, have now been met:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/from-barren-planet-to-civilization-in-four-easy-steps/#comment-666034

    And although these four falsification criteria have been met, Darwinists still refuse to accept falsification of their theory.

    This refusal on the part of Darwinists to accept falsification of their theory is proof that we are not dealing with a science but are in fact dealing with a imaginary pseudoscience, even a religiously held imaginary belief, that is impervious to empirical falsification.

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    Darwin’s Theory vs Falsification – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8rzw0JkuKuQ

    Charles Darwin also laid out a fifth potential falsification of his theory in this personal letter:

    “The impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God.”
    Charles Darwin to Doedes, N. D. – Letter – 2 Apr 1873

    Like the other four falsification criteria, I hold this additional, potential, falsification criteria, laid out by Darwin himself, to have now been met:
    https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/from-barren-planet-to-civilization-in-four-easy-steps/#comment-666038

    Besides Popper’s falsification criteria for judging whether something is a science or not, Darwinian Evolution simply fails to qualify as a science by any other reasonable measure of science one might wish to invoke and thus, once again. Darwinian evolution is more properly classified as a pseudoscience rather than a real science.

    The late Tom Wolfe commented,,,

    “There are five standard tests for a scientific hypothesis. Has anyone observed the phenomenon — in this case, Evolution — as it occurred and recorded it? Could other scientists replicate it? Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)? Could scientists make predictions based on it? Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science? In the case of Evolution… well… no… no… no… no… and no.”
    – Tom Wolfe – The Kingdom of Speech – page 17

    Darwinian Evolution Fails the Five Standard Tests of a Scientific Hypothesis – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7f_fyoPybw

    Whereas on the other hand, Intelligent Design meets all those criteria for being a rigorous science:

    1 Has anyone observed the phenomenon as it occurred and recorded it?

    The fact that I myself right now am ‘recording’ a ‘non-trivial’ amount of information is proof that intelligent agents can create a ‘non-trivial’ amount of information at will, whereas no one has ever seen unintelligent processes create a non-trivial’ amount of information.

    2. Could other scientists replicate it?

    If scientist could not create information at will, and/or ‘replicate’ information at will, then they would not be scientists in the first place.

    3. Could any of them come up with a set of facts that, if true, would contradict the theory (Karl Popper’s “falsifiability” tests)?

    Sure,,, generating non-trivial coded information by unintelligent processes would falsify ID and potentially earn up to 10 million dollars for the person that demonstrated that unintelligent processes could generate non-trivial coded information.

    Solve the #1 Question in all of Science
    Excerpt: Natural Code LLC will pay the researcher $100,000 for the initial discovery of such a code. If the newly discovered process is defensibly patentable, we will secure the patent(s). Once patents are granted, we will pay the full prize amount to the discoverer in exchange for the rights. Our investment group will locate or develop commercial applications for the technology.

    The discoverer will retain a percentage of ongoing ownership of the technology, sharing in future profits of the company, while benefitting from the extensive finance, marketing and technology experience of our investment group. Prize amount as of Summer 2017 is $5 million. The prize caps at $10 million.
    https://www.herox.com/evolution2.0

    Number 4,,,

    4. Could scientists make predictions based on it?

    Sure,,,

    “It has become clear in the past ten years that the concept of design is not merely an add-on meta-description of biological systems, of no scientific consequence, but is in fact a driver of science. A whole cohort of young scientists is being trained to “think like engineers” when looking at biological systems, using terms explicitly related to engineering design concepts: design, purpose, optimal tradeoffs for multiple goals, information, control, decision making, etc. This approach is widely seen as a successful, predictive, quantitative theory of biology.
    David Snoke*, Systems Biology as a Research Program for Intelligent Design – 2014
    http://bio-complexity.org/ojs/.....O-C.2014.3

    Table 2. Predictions of Intelligent Design
    (1) High information content machine-like irreducibly complex structures will be found.9
    (2) Forms will be found in the fossil record that appear suddenly and without any precursors.10
    (3) Genes and functional parts will be re-used in different unrelated organisms.29
    (4) The genetic code will NOT contain much discarded genetic baggage code or functionless “junk DNA”.30
    http://www.ideacenter.org/cont.....php/id/846

    Number 5

    5. Did it illuminate hitherto unknown or baffling areas of science?

    You betcha,,,

    Can biological complexity be reverse engineered? – Sara Green – 2015
    Excerpt: “But many biologists agree that there is a connection between the robustness of biological networks and their non-random connectivity distribution and hierarchical structure (Steinacher & Soyer, 2012). Other examples of design principles are bi-stable switches (Tyson et al. 2003) and overabundant sub-circuits in gene regulatory networks, called network motifs (Alon, 2007a, see below). To some researchers, such findings provide optimism that there is simplicity in the apparent complexity of biological systems (Csete and Doyle, 2002; Alon, 2007c).
    The quest for design principles reflects a hope that key properties of biological systems can be understood without knowing all the lower-level causal details. This is not only a point about practical convenience but also about the relevant level of analysis. The cancer biologist Lazebnik (2002) provocatively compared biomedical research strategies to the attempt to fix a radio by atomizing the system into component parts and studying these in isolation. If the malfunction of the system is connected to the orchestrated organization of parts and processes, searching for broken molecular components is bound to fail. Lazebnik therefore proposes an engineering approach to investigate how the components are wired together as a functional whole.”
    http://philsci-archive.pitt.ed.....neered.pdf

    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:
    *”Negative feedback for stable operation.”
    *”Frequency filtering” for extracting a signal from a noisy system.
    *Control and signaling to induce a response.
    *”Information storage” where information is stored for later use. In fact, Snoke observes:
    “This paradigm [of systems biology] is advancing the view that biology is essentially an information science with information operating on multiple hierarchical levels and in complex networks [13]. ”
    *”Timing and synchronization,” where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that different processes and events happen in the right order.
    *”Addressing,” where signaling molecules are tagged with an address to help them arrive at their intended target.
    *”Hierarchies of function,” where organisms maintain clocks to ensure that cellular processes and events happen at the right times and in the right order.
    *”Redundancy,” as organisms contain backup systems or “fail-safes” if primary essential systems fail.
    *”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.”,,,
    Snoke observes that systems biology assumes that biological features are optimized, meaning, in part, that “just about everything in the cell does indeed have a role, i.e., that there is very little ‘junk.'” He explains, “Some systems biologists go further than just assuming that every little thing has a purpose. Some argue that each item is fulfilling its purpose as well as is physically possible,” and quotes additional authorities who assume that biological systems are optimized.,,,
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....87871.html

    The fact of the matter is that Darwinian evolution is a complete failure as a science. Whereas Intelligent Design more than qualifies as a science in every sense of the word and by any reasonable measure one might wish to invoke:

    “virtually all of science proceeds as if ID is true – it seeks elegant and efficient models; it reverse engineers biological systems; it describes evolution in teleological terms; it refers to natural forces and laws as if there is some kind of prescriptive agency guiding matter and energy; it assumes that the nature of the universe and human comprehensive capacity have some sort of truthful, factual correspondence.”
    – William J Murray

    Verse:

    John 15:5
    “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

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