Intelligent Design

The Economist now knows for sure that Darwinism is more important than science achievement

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David Warren, a stalwart hack of the Ottawa Citizen, derides a recent Economist article, “Untouched by the hand of God: How people in various countries view the theory of evolution” (Feb 5th 2009), which allows us to know,

IT IS 150 years since the publication of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, which suggested that all living things are related and that everything is ultimately descended from a single common ancestor. This has troubled many, including Darwin himself, as it subverted ideas of divine intervention. It is not surprising that the countries least accepting of evolution today tend to be the most devout. In the most recent international survey available, only Turkey is less accepting of the theory than America. Iceland and Denmark are Darwin’s most ardent adherents. Indeed America has become only slightly more accepting of Darwin’s theory in recent years. In 2008 14% of people polled by Gallup agreed that “man evolved over millions of years”, up from 9% in 1982.

Well, let’s see: The United States is the world’s science leader, Iceland is on life support, and Denmark? Well, a brave little country if you go by the Mohammed cartoons episode, but these days, they would be better off praying for divine intervention than subverting it. Classically, for Darwin enthusiasts, basic facts mean nothing; only the attitude means something.

Anyway, Warren had pretty much the same reaction, and writes to say about the article:

1. It wantonly confuses two issues: whether evolution happened, & whether Darwin’s explanation of it is true. (Darwin hardly “discovered” evolution.) I would myself have to agree “Yes” to the proposition as stated, though I would almost certainly VOTE “NO” since I would spot the game.

2. It implicitly accepts a choice between “faith” & “science,” while explicitly denying that any such mischief could ever be intended. The very evocation of the choice is scientistic.

3. Like Darwinism itself, it reduces great complexity to pristine simplicity, by removing from consideration every detail except the premise from which it begins.

He adds,

The Economist itself did not used to play these cheap-hit media games. That is why I used to subscribe to it (decades ago), & read it attentively every week — back when it served a much smaller audience of businesslike people who were averse to the sort of pony-doo that is smeared through the liberal newsmagazines. Today it is only slightly better than Newsweek or Time, & full of exactly the sort of progressive posturing & “attitudinizing” that it used so roundly to condemn.

But David, that’s precisely what we should expect to happen when people confuse the mere attitudes of science celebrities and the pop science media for actual evidence and achievement.

I think I will order the Economist another jug of Kool-Aid. It seems to be taking effect, at last. I wasn’t sure if it would really work, but one must learn to be patient in these matters.

Also just up at the Post-Darwinist:

Intelligent design and high culture: Ben Stein bounced from commencement ceremony! (Yanks late again!)

Podcasts and video in the intelligent design controversy

Wintery Knight: Also, some LIKE it cold

4 Replies to “The Economist now knows for sure that Darwinism is more important than science achievement

  1. 1
    GilDodgen says:

    Iceland and Denmark are Darwin’s most ardent adherents.
    I didn’t know that countries could be adherents.

    I’d like to see a survey with the questions posed as follows:

    Which of the following do you believe regarding Darwin’s theory of evolution?
    1) Living things have changed over time.
    2) All living things descended from a single common ancestor in the distant past.
    3) The mechanism that produced all living things and all of life’s complexity and diversity, including the human brain and the complex information and information-processing machinery of the cell, is the Darwinian mechanism of random genetic errors filtered by natural selection. (Note: Natural selection only throws out failed random changes, and does not produce anything new itself. All innovation in living systems comes from random genetic errors, according to the Darwinian theory.)
    4) In the last three million years, and in a few hundred thousand generations, the brains of primitive ape-like creatures were transformed into the brains of Mozart and Einstein through the mechanism described above.

    The results of such a survey would be interesting, and I’ll bet those results would depress and infuriate Darwinists even more. Note that in the standard surveys about belief in “evolution,” the actual claims of the theory as I’ve outlined in 3) and 4) are never revealed.

    Perhaps a big reason so many Americans are skeptical of Darwinian claims is that we have a tradition of questioning authority and not liking to be told what to think and not to question “the experts.” And perhaps we are smart enough to identify an obvious “scientific” scam when we see one, and can see through ideological indoctrination masquerading as scientific fact.

  2. 2
    GilDodgen says:

    P.S.: It might be claimed that I am rigging the game with my comment in 3) that natural selection only throws out failed random changes, and does not produce anything new itself. The reason for this clarification is that people are used to hearing the Darwinist chestnut that natural selection is not random, that in fact it is the antithesis of randomness. (How often have you heard this from Dawkins?) While this claim is true, it is a transparent cheap trick designed to imply that natural selection has some mysterious creative power, which it does not.

  3. 3
    jjcassidy says:

    I think you’re being far too kind to Fogel, Denyse. If there is any reason that Fogel is not a hypocrite, it’s probably because he hasn’t put much thought into it.

    You have to remember this movement which governs today’s colleges all started with students getting upset when the faculty sold a parcel of property (“The People’s Park”) without asking the students’ permission.

    Most college faculty these days are hypocrites in full career. Some can fondly remember shutting down the city of San Fransisco for their temper tantrum, but think that anybody walking across somebody’s path on the way into an abortion center is akin to a mob shakedown, prohibited under Rico statutes.

  4. 4
    winteryknightblog says:

    You know what? I would really like to see some more debates on evolution in these other countries. I know that Bill Craig, who debates on theism and Christianity, recently completed a tour of Ontario, Canada, in January. And he has a tour of Quebec,Canada scheduled for February. I know that I am just wishing, but I would like to see some real debates on some of these topics related to design, abroad. Debates draw crowds – believe me. People like to hear both sides! People like confrontation and controversy.

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