Intelligent Design

Why Don’t Darwinists Just Say What They Mean?

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What perplexes me is that Darwinists, when confronted with the astronomically sophisticated technology found in a “simple” living cell, continue to defend the proposed Darwinian process of chance, physical law and natural selection as a plausible explanation, when there is no evidence of this degree of creative power through such a mechanism, and that their proposition defies logic and even the most trivial analytical scrutiny.

But it gets worse. They go much further than just attempting to defend such transparent irrationality. They propose that their fantasies are established, incontrovertible, scientific fact, when nothing could be further from the truth.

And it gets worse still. These people insist that other people’s children must be indoctrinated with this stuff in government funded public education, and insist that no challenges to Darwinian orthodoxy (no matter how scientific, rational, evidential, or mathematical) can be tolerated.

Many of the people who propose such ideas and policies are highly intelligent and well-educated. So what goes? What do they have to fear?

The intellectually honest (and intellectually fulfilled atheist) Darwinist should just say the following:

You ID guys have made some good points. But I won’t, and never will, accept design as an explanation, because this is philosophically unacceptable to me. Furthermore, my goal is to suppress all dissent from my philosophical commitment, by whatever means.

Why don’t Darwinists just say what they mean?

19 Replies to “Why Don’t Darwinists Just Say What They Mean?

  1. 1
    Jon Garvey says:

    You mean like this?

    We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

    A golden oldie, but a goodie.

  2. 2
    Stu7 says:

    And of course Michael Ruse’s honest admission; not too many other Darwinists have adopted the same approach.
    http://www.arn.org/docs/orpages/or151/mr93tran.htm

  3. 3

    Because the person you need to lie to is often yourself. Self-deception and suppression of known truth is a real phenomena.

  4. 4

    One of the ways to ferret this out is to show basic inconsistencies in thought. For instance, when you read this post you don’t think it was assembled by an unintelligent (jokes aside) burst of electrons on a computer with no design behind it.

  5. 5
    William J Murray says:

    It gets even worse when they attempt to argue about first principles, necessary assumptions, logic, free will and morality. Their argument centers around the view that there is no objective basis or means from which or by which to argue such concepts, but then directly imply that views which differ from theirs are “wrong”.

    If it is all just subjective interpretation by biological automatons as they process input into output, and none of it ultimately means anything more than how a rock happens to roll down a hill, what are they arguing about, and why, and how do they expect to reach a meaningful conclusion?

    The self-denying self-deception is staggering. They obliterate the capacity of anyone to make objective-value based arguments about anything, or to make them from any independent, uncaused or non-programmed perspective, while simultaneously believing they’ve made some kind of “valid” argument or point that others should recognize and acquiesce to.

    A Darwinist arguing that darwinism (and, in fact, all of science) is in essence anything different from any other belief (meaning, a set of views and interpretations and conclusions generated by a long history of biological interactions) is engaged in self-deluding hypocrisy. Under the materialist/darwinist/subjectivist mandate, Darwinism = fundamentalist Christianity = Fundamentalist Islam = New Ageism = what anyone in a looney bin believes.

    From their perspective, it’s all just views and beliefs generated from the same source: biological interactions – yet they argue as if we have some capacity beyond those interactions to recognize the validity of their arguments and change our own views; they argue as if, even if we could do so, it would matter in some way.

    If it is all just a bunch of rocks rolling down hills one way or another, and set to do so by the relentless march of physics, why argue?

    All of their arguments become nothing but material sophistry – rocks rolling down hills that happen to make sounds that appear to be “arguments”, no matter how inane or self-defeating.

  6. 6
    Jon Garvey says:

    Of course, on that basis even illusion is an illusion.

  7. 7
    englishmaninistanbul says:

    Descartes: I think, therefore I am.

    Darwinist: I imagine, therefore it is.*

    * And of course thoughts are an illusion, as any fule kno.

  8. 8
    gpuccio says:

    Gil:

    Why don’t Darwinists just say what they mean?

    Maybe they are too smart for that…

    Gil, you always say really what you mean, and very clearly too, and that’s why I like you! But you would be a bad darwinist (me too, I am afraid) 🙂 .

  9. 9
    Bruce David says:

    I think that there is one more element to many atheist Darwinists fight to suppress ID, and that is that they fear organized religion and the suppression of freedom that they imagine a resurgence of Christianity would entail. Personally, even though I am a theist and a proponent of ID, I think they have a point.

  10. 10
    Jon Garvey says:

    EII – our American cousins might be unfamiliar with the philosophical works of nigel molesworth…

  11. 11
    Jon Garvey says:

    The presence of ID would not cause a resurgence of Christianity: only its success as an explanatory model (and knowing America, it would cause as much of a resurgence in most other religions and non-theist teleologies.) So the atheists are saying it should be suppressed in case it’s true. Which sounds just a little partisan and anti-intellectual.

    As for the suppression of freedom, it’s worth remembering that as a matter of historical fact, modern science (like democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the freedom to be an atheist) developed in a thoroughly Christian culture over 1000 years or so. Darwin, though proposing an effectively atheist theory, was not suppressed.

    The “evidence” trotted out for the “theocracy hypothesis” is usually the Scopes Trial (misrepresented and impeding science’s progress not one jot) or Galileo’s trial (misrepresented and impeding science’s progress not one jot). So where’s the point?

  12. 12
    gpuccio says:

    Bruce:

    I firmly believe that philosophical and religious convictions, either theistic or materialistic, while perfectly legitimate in scientists and certainly influenciong them at a personla level, should never directly determine any scientific discourse.

    If darwinists just fought for the independence of scientific thoght form any ideological conditioning, I would certainly fight with them.

    Unfortunately, the basis for the acceptance of darwinism is vastly ideological. Maybe it is not an historical religion, but it is certainly an historical philosophy. In the absence of true logic and true evidence, the acceptance of darwinism is based on the ideological refusal of its very valid alternative, design, because materialistic ideology cannot accept that kind of explanation.

    I am with you and with all dawrinists in the sincere attempt to keep scientific reasoning free from prjudice of any kind. I have never used any specific religious idea here, and I am detetmined to ngo on that way. Sometimes it can be useful to integrate the strict scientific reasonign with some wider philosophical considerations, because the separation between science and philosophy is never clear cut. But in doing so, it is always important to be explicit on the nature of the arguments one is using.

  13. 13
    englishmaninistanbul says:

    Well I would hav thort they coud googel it chiz chiz.

  14. 14
    englishmaninistanbul says:

    Fighting ideological suppression is a noble ideal, certainly. And even as a religious person, I can sympathise with those who look back at human history and even current events and dread what would happen if society became more religious.

    In fact I believe that in an alternate reality I could have been among those whose knee-jerk reaction to ID is to sweep the evidence under the carpet and vigorously defend Darwinism, just because the alternative is unthinkable.

    But I hope that I would eventually wake up to what I was doing.

    Trying to prevent ideological suppression through intellectual dishonesty isn’t just morally wrong, it’s self-defeating, because you turn into the monster you’re fighting.

    What’s more, in the long run it doesn’t even work. You can’t prop up a lie forever. And if the final nail in the coffin is hammered in so hard that Darwinism goes down like, say, communism did after the Berlin Wall fell it’s gonna backfire. Big time.

    There are better ways to promote tolerance and rational thought. Like being tolerant and thinking rationally.

  15. 15
    gpuccio says:

    englishmaninistanbul:

    Well said.

  16. 16
    Bruce David says:

    Jon,

    I agree with you that science has not been suppressed by Christianity in the West nearly as much as the common mythology suggests. For example, the whole Galileo episode seems to have been more about politics than scientific ideas. However, the myth still motivates a lot of scientists in their perceived need to fight any resurgence of religion.

    In the area of civil liberties, freedom of thought and expression, and freedom of action, particularly in the sexual arena, however, the historical evidence is pretty conclusive that any government under control of Christian dogma will to a greater or lesser extent suppress such freedoms. Even today in quite libertarian Europe, countries under the control of Catholic ideology make divorce and the purchase of contraceptives illegal. And of course it was much worse during the middle ages.

    So atheists can feel pretty threatened by the idea of Christianity regaining some of the power it has had historically in the West, and thus will fight with any weapons they have to prevent that, even if it means sacrificing some intellectual integrity to do so.

    I am not condoning this, by the way; I am just adding my observations of what appears to me to be going on to the conversation.

  17. 17
    Bruce David says:

    gpuccio,

    I basically agree with everything you have said. I was just adding my observations of what I believe is motivating atheist scientists to fight so hard (and often so unethically).

  18. 18
    Bruce David says:

    englishmaninistanbul:

    Well, I concur with you as well. See my earlier comments.

  19. 19
    englishmaninistanbul says:

    BD,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I think perhaps part of why everybody is pouncing on your post is because it touches on a very controversial and important subject. In fact I think this is a crucial factor in the widespread opposition to ID that cannot be dismissed out of hand.

    I wasn’t trying to disagree with you, it was just that your post gave me an opportunity to say something I felt needed to be said, so I said it.

    (And thank you too GP.)

    To next time 🙂

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