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We are invited to ask what would happen if Darwin were excised from biology

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A Darwinectomy in progress:

Some biologists might shudder at the thought of eliminating Darwinism from their scientific work. A “Darwin-ectomy” sounds more painful than a tonsillectomy or appendectomy. To hard-core evolutionists, it might sound like a cephalectomy (removal of the head)! If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts should make research incomprehensible.

If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a “narrative gloss” applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage. Here are some recent scientific papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) to use as test cases.


Evolution News, “No Harm, No Foul — What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology?” at Discovery Institute CSC

What difference would it make if Darwinism were excised from biology?

Well, for one thing, cleaner prose and clearer thinking. Maybe new, better ideas. How about:

“Humans evolved to live in groups”

Response: Wow. Deep.

Fast forward: Editor performs Darwinectomy, resulting in:

“Humans live in groups.”

Response: Well… yeah. But so? Who invited this clown? Is he really worth $5000? That half million-dollar advance on his next book?

Kiddies, try Darwscrubbing at home for fun but keep quiet about the results. Don’t spook your Woke parents if they need Darwin just to get up in the morning and go to work.

Never be cruel.

If you’re a Christian, you know you mustn’t be cruel.

Not a Christian? Fine, but remember, karma’s a bitch. There’s no escape from reality either way. We must dump Darwin non-cruelly.

Take-home point: Science explanations should offer substance, not just reinforcement of belief using hocus-pocus words like “evolved to.”

Hat tip: Philip Cunningham

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38 Replies to “We are invited to ask what would happen if Darwin were excised from biology

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    While it is certainly bad enough for Darwin’s theory to be able to remove all the words that make reference to Darwinian theory and, not only leave the papers unscathed, but have the papers turn out to be “healthier and more useful”,,,,

    No Harm, No Foul — What If Darwinism Were Excised from Biology? – December 4, 2019
    If Darwinism is as essential to biology as Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne argues, then removing evolutionary words and concepts, (“Darwin-ectomy”), should make research incomprehensible. If, on the other hand, Darwinism is more of a “narrative gloss” applied to the conclusions after the scientific work is done, as the late Philip Skell observed, then biology would survive the operation just fine. It might even be healthier, slimmed down after disposing of unnecessary philosophical baggage.,,,
    So, here are three papers in America’s premier science journal that appear at first glance to need Darwinism, use Darwinism, support Darwinism, and thereby impart useful scientific knowledge. After subjecting them to Darwin-ectomies, though, the science not only survived, but proved healthier and more useful.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2019/12/no-harm-no-foul-what-if-darwinism-were-excised-from-biology/

    ,,, While that is certainly bad enough for Darwin’s theory, what is completely devastating for Darwin’s theory is what type of language, i.e. teleological language, that CANNOT possibly be removed from these scientific papers that purport to support Darwinian evolution without severely compromising the integrity of the papers,,

    “Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist; he dare not be seen with her in public but cannot live without her.”
    J. B. S. Haldane

    tel·e·ol·o·gy
    noun
    PHILOSOPHY
    the explanation of phenomena in terms of the purpose they serve rather than of the cause by which they arise.
    THEOLOGY
    the doctrine of design and purpose in the material world.

    (The irresolved problem of) Teleology in biology
    Teleology in biology is the use of the language of goal-directedness in accounts of evolutionary adaptation, which some biologists and philosophers of science find problematic. ,,,
    Nevertheless, biologists still often write about evolution as if organisms had goals, and some philosophers of biology such as Francisco Ayala and biologists such as J. B. S. Haldane consider that teleological language is unavoidable in evolutionary biology.,,,
    Teleology
    Main article: Teleology
    Teleology, from Greek, telos “end, purpose”[3] and , logia, “a branch of learning”, was coined by the philosopher Christian von Wolff in 1728.[4] The concept derives from the ancient Greek philosophy of Aristotle, where the final cause (the purpose) of a thing is its function.[5] However, Aristotle’s biology does not envisage evolution by natural selection.[6]
    Phrases used by biologists like “a function of … is to …” or “is designed for” are teleological at least in language. The presence of real or apparent teleology in explanations of natural selection is a controversial aspect of the philosophy of biology, not least for its echoes of natural theology.[1][7]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teleology_in_biology

    Teleological, (i.e. purpose, goal directed), explanations of any sort are simply self defeating to any Darwinian explanation that seeks to explain biological life as being purely the result of completely blind and purposeless processes (as Darwinists are supposedly ‘purposely intent’ on doing). Yet teleological language is rampant within Darwinian explanations.

    In the following article, Stephen Talbott points out that it is impossible to describe the complexities of biological life without illegitimately using language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness (i.e. teleology). He even challenges readers to “take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness 1.”

    The ‘Mental Cell’: Let’s Loosen Up Biological Thinking! – Stephen L. Talbott – September 9, 2014
    Excerpt: Many biologists are content to dismiss the problem with hand-waving: “When we wield the language of agency, we are speaking metaphorically, and we could just as well, if less conveniently, abandon the metaphors”.
    Yet no scientist or philosopher has shown how this shift of language could be effected. And the fact of the matter is just obvious: the biologist who is not investigating how the organism achieves something in a well-directed way is not yet doing biology, as opposed to physics or chemistry. Is this in turn just hand-waving? Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness 1.
    One reason this cannot be done is clear enough: molecular biology — the discipline that was finally going to reduce life unreservedly to mindless mechanism — is now posing its own severe challenges. In this era of Big Data, the message from every side concerns previously unimagined complexity, incessant cross-talk and intertwining pathways, wildly unexpected genomic performances, dynamic conformational changes involving proteins and their cooperative or antagonistic binding partners, pervasive multifunctionality, intricately directed behavior somehow arising from the interaction of countless players in interpenetrating networks, and opposite effects by the same molecules in slightly different contexts. The picture at the molecular level begins to look as lively and organic — and thoughtful — as life itself.
    http://natureinstitute.org/txt.....ell_23.htm

    Denis Noble also notes that “it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language”.

    “the most striking thing about living things, in comparison with non-living systems, is their teleological organization—meaning the way in which all of the local physical and chemical interactions cohere in such a way as to maintain the overall system in existence.
    Moreover, it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”
    – Denis Noble – Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

    This working biologist agrees with Talbott and Noble’s assessment and states, “in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.”

    Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Ann Gauger – June 2011
    Excerpt: I’m a working biologist, on bacterial regulation (transcription and translation and protein stability) through signalling molecules, ,,, I can confirm the following points as realities: we lack adequate conceptual categories for what we are seeing in the biological world; with many additional genomes sequenced annually, we have much more data than we know what to do with (and making sense of it has become the current challenge); cells are staggeringly chock full of sophisticated technologies, which are exquisitely integrated; life is not dominated by a single technology, but rather a composite of many; and yet life is more than the sum of its parts; in our work, we biologists use words that imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology–we simply cannot avoid them.
    Furthermore, I suggest that to maintain that all of biology is solely a product of selection and genetic decay and time requires a metaphysical conviction that isn’t troubled by the evidence. Alternatively, it could be the view of someone who is unfamiliar with the evidence, for one reason or another. But for those who will consider the evidence that is so obvious throughout biology, I suggest it’s high time we moved on. – Matthew
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....nt-8858161

    Thus, as the article in the OP made clear, we can apparently remove all the words that refer to Darwinian evolution in scientific papers and, not only have the papers remain unscathed, but have the papers turn out to be “healthier and more useful”. Yet what we cannot do is remove all the words that directly imply intentionality, functionality, strategy, and design in biology, (i.e. imply teleology), from the scientific papers without severely compromising the paper. As Talbott stated, “Let the reader inclined to think so take up a challenge: pose a single topic for biological research, doing so in language that avoids all implication of agency, cognition, and purposiveness 1.”

    Bottom line, the very words that Biologists themselves are forced to use when they are doing their biological research, and writing their papers, falsifies Darwinian evolution and validates Intelligent Design:

    Verse:

    Matthew 12:37
    For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    One final note, Michael Egnor has a very insightful article explaining exactly why Darwinists are so “purposely intent” on trying to deny teleology in the first place, “It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.”

    Teleology and the Mind – Michael Egnor – August 16, 2016
    Excerpt: From the hylemorphic perspective, there is an intimate link between the mind and teleology. The 19th-century philosopher Franz Brentano pointed out that the hallmark of the mind is that it is directed to something other than itself. That is, the mind has intentionality, which is the ability of a mental process to be about something, rather than to just be itself. Physical processes alone (understood without teleology) are not inherently about things. The mind is always about things. Stated another way, physical processes (understood without teleology) have no purpose. Mental processes always have purpose. In fact, purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) is what defines the mind. And we see the same purpose (aboutness-intentionality-teleology) in nature.
    Intentionality is a form of teleology. Both intentionality and teleology are goal-directedness — intentionality is directedness in thought, and teleology is directedness in nature. Mind and teleology are both manifestations of purpose in nature. The mind is, within nature, the same kind of process that directs nature.
    In this sense, eliminative materialism is necessary if a materialist is to maintain a non-teleological Darwinian metaphysical perspective. It is purpose that must be denied in order to deny design in nature. So the mind, as well as teleology, must be denied. Eliminative materialism is just Darwinian metaphysics carried to its logical end and applied to man. If there is no teleology, there is no intentionality, and there is no purpose in nature nor in man’s thoughts.
    The link between intentionality and teleology, and the undeniability of teleology, is even more clear if we consider our inescapable belief that other people have minds. The inference that other people have minds based on their purposeful (intentional-teleological) behavior, which is obviously correct and is essential to living a sane life, can be applied to our understanding of nature as well. Just as we know that other people have purposes (intentionality), we know just as certainly that nature has purposes (teleology). In a sense, intelligent design is the recognition of the same purpose-teleology-intentionality in nature that we recognize in ourselves and others.
    Teleology and intentionality are certainly the inferences to be drawn from the obvious purposeful arrangement of parts in nature, but I (as a loyal Thomist!) believe that teleology and intentionality are manifest in an even more fundamental way in nature. Any goal-directed natural change is teleological, even if purpose and arrangement of parts is not clearly manifest. The behavior of a single electron orbiting a proton is teleological, because the motion of the electron hews to specific ends (according to quantum mechanics). A pencil falling to the floor behaves teleologically (it does not fall up, or burst into flame, etc.). Purposeful arrangement of parts is teleology on an even more sophisticated scale, but teleology exists in even the most basic processes in nature. Physics is no less teleological than biology.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2016/08/teleology_and_t/

  2. 2
    ET says:

    Developmental biology would no longer be wed to the debunked “phenotype = genotype + environment” trope. So that would be a good thing

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    What would happen if Newton were excised from physics or Aquinas from Christian theology?

  4. 4
    Latemarch says:

    What would happen if Newton were excised from physics or Aquinas from Christian theology?
    Seversky December 7, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    I think that the point is that eliminating evolutionary words and concepts doesn’t hinder biologic research or the results. No scientific information is lost in the elimination of those words, just the metaphysical gloss.
    I’m pretty sure you just tossed Newton and physics out there as a rhetorical tool to distract or did you really mean to compare Darwin’s tautology of “survival of the fittest” to the tour de force that is The Calculus?

  5. 5
    Mimus says:

    I like the way the author literally didn’t try to re-write any of the articles and instead replaced actual science with “they’re still finches” and the author’s personal belief that the evolution of echolocation is ridiculous. Really ought to be an embarrassing article for IDists.

  6. 6
    BobRyan says:

    Mimus @ 5

    I’d imagine that it’s far more embarrassing when Darwinists asks themselves hard questions about the theory and realize they have no actual evidence to support their claim.

  7. 7
    Mimus says:

    Hi Bob,

    You never told me the origin of the story in this comment. Care to share it now?

  8. 8
    AaronS1978 says:

    Mimus
    December 7, 2019 at 11:50 pm
    I like the way the author literally didn’t try to re-write any of the articles and instead replaced actual science with “they’re still finches” and the author’s personal belief that the evolution of echolocation is ridiculous. Really ought to be an embarrassing article for IDists.

    I read through the article and what you references at the very end of the article and was not used to replace any actual science at all he referenced the articles and highlighted the things that were pertinent to his point

    I’m almost certain the author is actually referring to the fact that none of the finches actually evolved into another species hence the finches are still finches. I also feel that you’re taking his reference to echolocation out of context as well.

    Then he speculates on the fact that the studies can be done without the verbal usage of Darwinism and evolution.

  9. 9
    Mimus says:

    read through the article and what you references at the very end of the article and was not used to replace any actual science

    Well yeah, that’s kind of the point. They set out to replace the science and can only come up with these lame speculations (to use your own term) and tired of yec talking points

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Mimus lives in a fantasy land. He claims that,,,

    “They set out to replace the science,,,”

    HUH??? No, they most certainly DID NOT! They stripped the superfluous Darwinian narrative gloss from the actual science in the papers and had the science in the papers not only remain unscathed but turn out to be “healthier and more useful.” !

    To wit:

    What, exactly, does the e-word “evolved” add to the understanding of the adaptive immune system? It adds fat, not meat. The essential parts of the explanation could be conveyed easily without Darwin. Basically,
    1.The adaptive immune system is “impossibly elegant” (i.e., for unguided processes).
    2. It is devastatingly destructive to pathogens.
    3. It acts with antigen specificity, can expand by cloning, and has long-term memory.
    4. Without regulation, it could damage the host’s tissues, but it follows the Hippocratic oath: “First, do no harm.”
    5. The system regulates inflammation below a threshold so as to avoid harm to the host.
    6. Molecular processes and cellular mediators monitor and maintain homeostasis.
    Isn’t that cleaner? The reader can breathe easier without the smoke of being told over and over that all these elegant mechanisms “evolved.”

    Thus, “Darwin-speak’ is a superfluous narrative gloss in these papers.

    Here’s another example, at the 7:00 minute mark of this following video, Dr. Behe gives an example from the literature of how positive evidence is falsely attributed to evolution by using the word ‘evolution’ as a narrative gloss in peer-reviewed literature:

    Michael Behe – Life Reeks Of Design – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdh-YcNYThY

    And as Dr. Ann Gauger notes, evolutionary language is ‘layered on top of the data’ of the papers

    Rewriting Biology Without Spin By Ann Gauger – Jan. 12, 2014
    Excerpt: It’s a funny thing—scientific papers often have evolutionary language layered on top of the data like icing on a cake. In most papers, the icing (evolutionary language) sits atop and separate from the cake (the actual experimental data). Even in papers where the evolutionary language is mixed in with the data like chocolate and vanilla in a marble cake, I can still tell one from the other.
    I have noticed that this dichotomy creates a kind of double vision. I know what the data underlying evolutionary arguments are. By setting aside the premise that evolution is true, I can read what’s on the page and at the same time see how that paper would read if neutral, fact-based language were substituted for evolutionary language.
    Let me give you an example.,,,
    http://www.biologicinstitute.o.....thout-spin

    And as Dr. Wells notes in his reading of thousands of Peer-Reviewed Articles in the professional literature, the presupposition of and conclusion to Darwinian evolution is IN SPITE of the scientific data in the papers

    Darwinian ‘science’ in a nutshell:
    Jonathan Wells on pop science boilerplate – April 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Based on my reading of thousands of Peer-Reviewed Articles in the professional literature, I’ve distilled (the) template for writing scientific articles that deal with evolution:
    1. (Presuppose that) Darwinian evolution is a fact.
    2. We used [technique(s)] to study [feature(s)] in [name of species], and we unexpectedly found [results inconsistent with Darwinian evolution].
    3. We propose [clever speculations], which might explain why the results appear to conflict with evolutionary theory.
    4. We conclude that Darwinian evolution is a fact.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ilerplate/

    Biology simply does not need Darwinian evolution. PERIOD! As Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, stated, “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”

    “In fact, over the last 100 years, almost all of biology has proceeded independent of evolution, except evolutionary biology itself. Molecular biology, biochemistry, and physiology, have not taken evolution into account at all.”
    Marc Kirschner, founding chair of the Department of Systems Biology at Harvard Medical School, Boston Globe, Oct. 23, 2005

    Or as A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, stated, “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”

    “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution”, most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas. Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superflous one.”
    A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, Introduction to “Evolutionary Processes” – (2000).

    Or as arch-Darwinist Jerry Coyne himself admitted, ““Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”

    “Truth be told, evolution hasn’t yielded many practical or commercial benefits. Yes, bacteria evolve drug resistance, and yes, we must take countermeasures, but beyond that there is not much to say. Evolution cannot help us predict what new vaccines to manufacture because microbes evolve unpredictably. But hasn’t evolution helped guide animal and plant breeding? Not very much. Most improvement in crop plants and animals occurred long before we knew anything about evolution, and came about by people following the genetic principle of ‘like begets like’. Even now, as its practitioners admit, the field of quantitative genetics has been of little value in helping improve varieties. Future advances will almost certainly come from transgenics, which is not based on evolution at all.”
    (Jerry Coyne, “Selling Darwin: Does it matter whether evolution has any commercial applications?,” reviewing The Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life by David P. Mindell, in Nature, 442:983-984 (August 31, 2006).)

    Darwinian Evolution simply has nothing to do with the actual science of biology. In an article entitled “Evolutionary theory contributes little to experimental biology”, the late Philip Skell, Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, states, “Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”

    “Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.
    I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.
    In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.,,,
    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology.”
    Philip S. Skell – (the late) Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. – Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – 2005

    On top of the fact that Darwinian evolution is, for all intents and purposes, a completely useless, even detrimental, narrative gloss to the actual science at hand, (and as I also noted at post 1), the type of language that cannot excised from these papers and from research, without severely compromising the integrity of the papers or the research, is the language of teleology and/or ‘design language’ .

    To repeat,,,, as Denis Noble, President of the International Union of Physiological Sciences, noted, “it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language”.

    “the most striking thing about living things, in comparison with non-living systems, is their teleological organization—meaning the way in which all of the local physical and chemical interactions cohere in such a way as to maintain the overall system in existence.
    Moreover, it is virtually impossible to speak of living beings for any length of time without using teleological and normative language—words like “goal,” “purpose,” “meaning,” “correct/incorrect,” “success/failure,” etc.”
    – Denis Noble – Emeritus Professor of Cardiovascular Physiology in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics of the Medical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.
    http://www.thebestschools.org/.....interview/

    This is not the only instance where the use of language by humans betrays Darwinists. In 2014, a group of leading experts who had been, for 40 years, trying to decipher the origin of language in humans, authored a paper in which they stated that they have “essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,”

    Leading Evolutionary Scientists Admit We Have No Evolutionary Explanation of Human Language – December 19, 2014
    Excerpt: Understanding the evolution of language requires evidence regarding origins and processes that led to change. In the last 40 years, there has been an explosion of research on this problem as well as a sense that considerable progress has been made. We argue instead that the richness of ideas is accompanied by a poverty of evidence, with essentially no explanation of how and why our linguistic computations and representations evolved.,,,
    (Marc Hauser, Charles Yang, Robert Berwick, Ian Tattersall, Michael J. Ryan, Jeffrey Watumull, Noam Chomsky and Richard C. Lewontin, “The mystery of language evolution,” Frontiers in Psychology, Vol 5:401 (May 7, 2014).)
    Casey Luskin added: “It’s difficult to imagine much stronger words from a more prestigious collection of experts.”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....92141.html

    That Darwinists would be betrayed by language itself should not be surprising.

    Language is the communication of information. And yet information is, by its very nature, immaterial and therefore, by definition, irreducible to any possible reductive materialistic explanations of Darwinian evolution.

    In fact, due to advance in modern science, and directly contrary to the reductive materialistic presuppositions of Darwinian evolution, information, not matter and energy, is found to be the fundamental ‘stuff’ of the universe.

    John Wheeler stated “in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe”.

    “it from bit” Every “it”— every particle, every field of force, even the space-time continuum itself derives its function, its meaning, its very existence entirely—even if in some contexts indirectly—from the apparatus-elicited answers to yes-or-no questions, binary choices, bits. “It from bit” symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has a bottom—a very deep bottom, in most instances, an immaterial source and explanation, that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment—evoked responses, in short all matter and all things physical are information-theoretic in origin and this is a participatory universe.”
    – Princeton University physicist John Wheeler (1911–2008) (Wheeler, John A. (1990), “Information, physics, quantum: The search for links”, in W. Zurek, Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information (Redwood City, California: Addison-Wesley))

    Vlatko Vedral, who is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and is also a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics, states, “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”

    “The most fundamental definition of reality is not matter or energy, but information–and it is the processing of information that lies at the root of all physical, biological, economic, and social phenomena.”
    Vlatko Vedral – Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford, and CQT (Centre for Quantum Technologies) at the National University of Singapore, and a Fellow of Wolfson College – a recognized leader in the field of quantum mechanics.

    In the following video at the 48:24 mark Zeilinger states that “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information” and he goes on to note at the 49:45 mark the Theological significance of “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1

    48:24 mark: “It is operationally impossible to separate Reality and Information”
    49:45 mark: “In the Beginning was the Word” John 1:1
    Prof Anton Zeilinger speaks on quantum physics. at UCT – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s3ZPWW5NOrw

    Thus, the fact that human language, i.e. the human use of immaterial information, betrays the Darwinian materialists at every turn should not be all that surprising. His materialistic/atheistic worldview is simply completely upside-down from the way reality is actually found to be structured.

    Genesis 1:26
    And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

    John 1:1-4
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and that life was the Light of men.

  11. 11
    ET says:

    mimus:

    They set out to replace the science…

    What science did they replace? Please be specific

  12. 12
    ET says:

    seversky:

    What would happen if Newton were excised from physics…

    Newton is still relevant and useful within physics. Darwin never added anything beyond untestable speculation.

  13. 13

    .

    What would happen if Newton were excised from physics or Aquinas from Christian theology?

    The existence of Life would still require the capacity to specify something among alternatives. As you know, that requires an irreducible semiotic mechanism – where one arrangement of matter serves as a symbolic token, and a second arrangement of matter establishes what is being specified.

    What would happen if Newton were excised from physics or Aquinas from Christian theology?

    The existence of Life would still require a multi-referent language structure in order to have the descriptive capacity to specify all its constraints and the dissipative process required for semantic closure. It would still require spatial orientation in the medium to distinguish one referent from another.

    What would happen if Newton were excised from physics or Aquinas from Christian theology?

    Life on earth would still require all those things that modern science has discovered, demonstrated, and described in the literature. All those things you ignore with pointless propositions.

  14. 14
    Mimus says:

    What science did they replace? Please be specific

    Again, the point is that the author utterly fails to replace any of the science, but instead offers lame hand-waving alternatives.
    Each paper is linked in the article, if you’d like to see the methods they aimed to replace. Looking back, I think it’s quite liekly the author didn’t actually read the paper ( rather than teh summary that appears with al PNAS papers).

  15. 15
    AaronS1978 says:

    The author honestly does no such thing, he does not offer hand waving, he does not go to replace the science, the entire article is about how you can take Darwinian verbiage out of science and it would just be fine he doesn’t need to replace the science and nor does he need to do hand waving he simply stating a point of fact that you don’t need Darwinian verbiage to do science

  16. 16
    BobRyan says:

    Mimus is rather humorous in writing about science. A scientific theory requires something to be witnessed and the results replicated. Has macro-evolution been witnessed by anyone? Has the results been replicated by anyone? The E. coli experiment ended after 30 years without a single positive mutation being witnessed. Biologist Richard Lenski started the project in 1988 and studied 68,000 generations of E. coli. 68,000 generations is the equivalent of 1,000,000 years to people. Had they found evidence to support macro-evolution, the experiment would not have ended and every Darwinist would be pointing to the results. After 30 years, E. coli remained E. coli and there was no genetic change.

  17. 17
    AaronS1978 says:

    BobRyan I agree with you, but my issue here is Mimus is accusing the author of being deficient and incompetent for reasons the author wasn’t even trying to address and wasn’t even the point of his article. His article was about replacing the Darwinian context of science articles with anything else, his point is the science, exact science can and should be done without invoking Darwin speech and saying Darwin did it. Mimus is accusing the author of the same thing most ID advocates do when evo psychs or ool researchers release an article, story telling and hand waiving with no proof of science.

    The thing is that wasn’t the point of his article he wasn’t trying to provide any science nor was he handwaving he was simply stating you can do the same science without invoking Darwin

    If the author did something similar to what Dutton did when it came to left-handed people and religion, Then Mimus would have a point. Dutton even made up something called a mutational load which was entire load of crap and many people (not just ID but atheists as well) criticized Dutton for his hand waiving, personal belief spewing, no science providing baloney, that also contradicted his original study and assumptions that atheist were generally smarter

    The author of this op article wasn’t doing science he was criticizing the usage of Darwinian verbiage to describe all science articles and giving credit to Darwin

    He doesn’t need to replace the science the science is good what he wants to replace is the Darwin descriptions and verbiage in science articles when it’s not needed

  18. 18
    Mimus says:

    BobRyan,
    Still waiting source for that vampire finch story.

    AaraonS,

    Yeah, obviously the author’s claim is that the language of evolutionary biology is dispensible. But I’m talking about the actual article they wrote, in which they attemp to replace descriptions of actual science (again, the papers are linked, you can read them) but only parade their own ignorance, hand-waving and speculation. Like I say, this failure ought to be embarassing for IDists. I’m genuinely interested if anyone read that articles and thought it was a success.

  19. 19
    AaronS1978 says:

    Courtesy of the Library of Congress

    Darwin’s theory of evolution offers a sweeping explanation of the history of life, from the earliest microscopic organisms billions of years ago to all the plants and animals around us today. Much of the evidence that might have established the theory on an unshakable empirical foundation, however, remains lost in the distant past. For instance, Darwin hoped we would discover transitional precursors to the animal forms that appear abruptly in the Cambrian strata. Since then we have found many ancient fossils – even exquisitely preserved soft-bodied creatures – but none are credible ancestors to the Cambrian animals.

    Despite this and other difficulties, the modern form of Darwin’s theory has been raised to its present high status because it’s said to be the cornerstone of modern experimental biology. But is that correct? “While the great majority of biologists would probably agree with Theodosius Dobzhansky’s dictum that ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,’ most can conduct their work quite happily without particular reference to evolutionary ideas,” A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, wrote in 2000.1 “Evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.”

    I would tend to agree. Certainly, my own research with antibiotics during World War II received no guidance from insights provided by Darwinian evolution. Nor did Alexander Fleming’s discovery of bacterial inhibition by penicillin. I recently asked more than 70 eminent researchers if they would have done their work differently if they had thought Darwin’s theory was wrong. The responses were all the same: No.

    I also examined the outstanding biodiscoveries of the past century: the discovery of the double helix; the characterization of the ribosome; the mapping of genomes; research on medications and drug reactions; improvements in food production and sanitation; the development of new surgeries; and others. I even queried biologists working in areas where one would expect the Darwinian paradigm to have most benefited research, such as the emergence of resistance to antibiotics and pesticides. Here, as elsewhere, I found that Darwin’s theory had provided no discernible guidance, but was brought in, after the breakthroughs, as an interesting narrative gloss.

    In the peer-reviewed literature, the word “evolution” often occurs as a sort of coda to academic papers in experimental biology. Is the term integral or superfluous to the substance of these papers? To find out, I substituted for “evolution” some other word – “Buddhism,” “Aztec cosmology,” or even “creationism.” I found that the substitution never touched the paper’s core. This did not surprise me. From my conversations with leading researchers it had became clear that modern experimental biology gains its strength from the availability of new instruments and methodologies, not from an immersion in historical biology.

    When I recently suggested this disconnect publicly, I was vigorously challenged. One person recalled my use of Wilkins and charged me with quote mining. The proof, supposedly, was in Wilkins’s subsequent paragraph:

    “Yet, the marginality of evolutionary biology may be changing. More and more issues in biology, from diverse questions about human nature to the vulnerability of ecosystems, are increasingly seen as reflecting evolutionary events. A spate of popular books on evolution testifies to the development. If we are to fully understand these matters, however, we need to understand the processes of evolution that, ultimately, underlie them.”

    In reality, however, this passage illustrates my point. The efforts mentioned there are not experimental biology; they are attempts to explain already authenticated phenomena in Darwinian terms, things like human nature. Further, Darwinian explanations for such things are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive – except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed – except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.

    Darwinian evolution – whatever its other virtues – does not provide a fruitful heuristic in experimental biology. This becomes especially clear when we compare it with a heuristic framework such as the atomic model, which opens up structural chemistry and leads to advances in the synthesis of a multitude of new molecules of practical benefit. None of this demonstrates that Darwinism is false. It does, however, mean that the claim that it is the cornerstone of modern experimental biology will be met with quiet skepticism from a growing number of scientists in fields where theories actually do serve as cornerstones for tangible breakthroughs.

    Philip S. Skell tvk@psu.edu is Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. His research has included work on reactive intermediates in chemistry, free-atom reactions, and reactions of free carbonium ions.

  20. 20
    AaronS1978 says:

    You talking about that article from the scientist or all the PNAS articles

  21. 21
    AaronS1978 says:

    Which ones are you talking about mimus
    You know, of the ones that I’ve read, could you please place that link there so we all can see, Particularly the articles replacing the science and doing all the hand waving please

  22. 22
    AaronS1978 says:

    Or are you talking about the one livingwaters film link

  23. 23
    Mimus says:

    I don’t know why this is so difficult for you Aaron. But to clarify.

    The original articles cites 3 papers in PNAS and claims that the evolutionary biology contained therein is mere window dressing and can be excised without loss of meaning. Strangely, the author of the orifnal article focuses only onthe lay-level summary of each paper (perhaps they didn’t read the real article?) and even more strangely doesn’t actually re-write teh summary without the evolutionary language. Instead, we get tired old YEC memes like “they’re still finches” and a alot of hand waving and speculation about otehr ways to study echolocation. So it seems the attemtpt to demonstrate the superfluity of evolutionary biology fell rather short.

    The reason for the failure, of course, is that the tools and framework of evolutionary biology were essential for these studies. There is real evoluionary science underpinning these papers, which, compared to the authors lame hand-waving, demonstrates the the usefulness of evolutionary biology.

    I hope that’s clear enough.,

  24. 24
    AaronS1978 says:

    You made it perfectly clear that you honestly do not understand what the author was trying to get at that is what you’ve made perfectly clear

    It is difficult for me by the way because of the fact that you make broad sweeping accusations mock peoples intelligences, And hold people to a standard that you do not Hold yourself to

    I have wasted my time talking to you again.

    I am an idiot for even trying to entertain the fact that you have a valid opinion on anything

    Your opinion is much appreciated

    Now go ask that author To go write the article with no evolutionary jargon

    And in the same vein I will ask you to write an entire article on the mind and human consciousness without referencing the IP metaphor, Same difference. You honestly can live and do neuroscience without referencing that stupid metaphor it doesn’t make it right because it’s easy to use

    Evolution is no different when it comes to it’s descriptive power

  25. 25
    Mimus says:

    If i was wrong about the goals of the Evolution News article then please correct me.

    I don’t think I’ve mentioned anyone’s intelligence.

    If you think you can excise the evoluionary biology from the PNAS papers then go for it. But you must surely admit the Evolution News fails to do so?

  26. 26
    AaronS1978 says:

    Mimus you have in the past it’s why I take issue with you. Yes you didn’t say it in this article but that doesn’t invalidate why I take issue with you and that’s all I was explaining

    Second if you want a science article where you replace the descriptors using evolution go do it yourself and replace it with the word God or any word of your choice. It works, try listening to Richard Dawkins rant and replace every time he says evolution with God or Jesus, He sounds like a Southern Baptist pastor. A very hateful one

    But because the author didn’t write the article the way you wanted it to that doesn’t make you right

    You do not need the evolutionary descriptor to do science, science was done before it, It’s just a descriptor and that’s it, And I’m not even saying that it’s not useful even the author from the scientist recall admits that it has some use

    I’m sure you know everything about Alex Fleming the scientist that was mentioned in the first article
    He’s a pretty good example of what they’re talking about to be honest with you

    I’ll leave it at that talk to you later

  27. 27
    Mimus says:

    I mean..

    Second if you want a science article where you replace the descriptors using evolution go do it yourself and replace it with the word God or any word of your choice

    This is simply untrue and I don’t know why you keep saying it. But good luck I guess.

  28. 28
    AaronS1978 says:

    It simply is true, please put down any form of proof that you are 100% correct instead of just saying I’m wrong, Prove to us all that evolution is required to do science and to describe it

  29. 29
    AaronS1978 says:

    There are so many things in medical science where they did not need evolution to describe anything

    The only time evolutions really become very useful’s with cancer

  30. 30
    AaronS1978 says:

    By the way do you have anything meaningful to post outside of your right and everybody else is wrong if not please stop

  31. 31
    AaronS1978 says:

    Best of luck to you too chum

  32. 32
    BobRyan says:

    Mimus does not understand much of anything. Mimus believes a scientific theory can be a fact, which tells a great deal about his understanding of science. Mimus does not believe something has to be witnessed to be science. Mimus does not believe results need to be replicated. Mimus believes Darwin deserves to rest in the same ground as Newton.

    Darwin needed a private tutor for his difficulty in understanding even the most basic algebraic equations. He almost flunked out of school as a result of his poor grades in math. He attended Edinburgh University to become a doctor and dropped out. He went to Cambridge, due to his father greasing a few palms and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology in 1831. Rather than pursue his degree any further, he left school again. John Stevens Henslow was one of his professors and urged Darwin to become a Naturalist. He had no experience, but Darwin didn’t have much of a choice. His grades were too weak to continue and his father could only bribe so many officials.

  33. 33
    Mimus says:

    BobRyan,

    Can you please provide the origin of the finch story linked above. I’m genuinely fascinated to know if you made it up right then, or if ti’s something that’s circulated in creationists circles.

  34. 34
    Silver Asiatic says:

    I didn’t pay to read the whole thing, but just getting a start on the first paper:

    Indeed, T cells and B cells endowed with antigen specificity, the capacity for clonal expansion, and most importantly, long-lived memory, represent the pinnacle of such evolution. To preserve balance, adaptive immunity has developed under the guiding principle of primum non nocere, or “first, to do no harm,” limiting the aggression of the innate immune response (e.g., septic shock, penumbra of cerebrovascular and brain infarcts). Herein, redundant mechanisms to preclude aberrant deleterious immunity have evolved as the predominant state of being, establishing a significant molecular and cellular threshold to initiate and maintain inflammation. Often overlooked, following the excitement of the active immune response, are the critical means by which the host resolves the inflammatory process, restoring local and systemic balance.

    Evolution here serves to “preserve balance” – of course. What self-respecting natural law would want to create an organism that is “out of balance”? We see in this case, the “pinnacle of such evolution” which operates under “a guiding principle” to protect the organism from harm. Redundant mechanisms make it extra certain that mutations will not be able to cause morphological change because that might cause “harm” to the organism, and evolution certainly wouldn’t want that to happen!
    Fortunately, evolution protects the organism from “aberrations” and if any such bad mutations ever come along, it will quickly make sure to restore the systemic balance.
    Thank you evolution! What would we do without you?

    … I should have commented about how evolution created a “long lived memory” as additional protection against “harm”, but that’s just a mundane detail at this point.

  35. 35
    BobRyan says:

    Perhaps if Mimus would have taken the time to read Darwin’s journal from his trip, I’ve made it easier for you.

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/co.....sort=title

  36. 36
    Mimus says:

    It’s not in there though, because it didn’t happen. Still interested to know where you heard the story (or ifyou just made it up then and there)

  37. 37
    BobRyan says:

    Mimus @ 36

    It’s in his journal notes, which I posted a link for. Read the journal for yourself. I am posting the link for you again.

    http://darwin-online.org.uk/co.....sort=title

  38. 38
    Mimus says:

    If the story was in his notes could link to it, or cite the page numbers. But the story is not on there because it didn’t happen. So why are you pretending it’s true and accessible in that link? I’m starting to think you made up the story yourself.

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