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Will scientists and creationists spoil Darwin’s party?

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The UK’s Sunday Times has an interesting article about the forthcoming Darwin Day celebrations, taking a thoughtful angle compared to some of the Darwin hysteria seen in some of the programming from the BBC For God’s sake, have Charles Darwin’s theories made any difference to our lives? – It is the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth but creationists and scientists alike may spoil the party

A number of interesting points come out of this article by Bryan Appleyard. Dr James Le Fanu has a new book out Why Us? How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves. Le Fanu is a journalist and medical doctor and is reported in the Sunday Times as saying that “new biological discoveries have overthrown Darwin. The old man is “screwed”, he says gruffly.”

The article continues to quote Le Fanu’s view; “Perhaps most startling is the discovery from the deciphering of the human genome that we have only between 20,000 and 25,000 genes. We were previously thought to have 100,000. A mere 25,000 doesn’t seem to be enough to sustain our vast complexity and yet genes are supposed to be the heavy lifters of the Darwinian enterprise. “I wouldn’t get out of bed for 25,000 genes,” says Le Fanu, “and we don’t find form in the genome. We share most of our DNA with chimpanzees, but nowhere in the genome have we found what it is that makes us so different from chimps.”

Appleyard comments that Le Fanu considers that Darwin is directly implicated in a contemporary cultural malaise: “He changed the world fundamentally. Along with those now fallen idols Marx and Freud, he accounts for the secularisation of western society. Darwinism is the foundational theory of all atheistic, scientific and materialist doctrines and of the notion that everything is ultimately explicable and that there is nothing special about it – the self-denigration and self-hatred, the great ‘nothing but’ story.”

Appleyard further comments on the division in modern biology as a result of the complexity now observed. “Even among Darwinists, this unexpected complexity has produced confusion and rancour, not least in the deep disagreements between Dawkins and the late American evolutionist Stephen Jay Gould.” and “The division remains, deep and unresolved. And beyond that, there are even some scientists who think Darwinism is, in effect, a sideshow. In their book Form and Transformation, Brian Goodwin, a developmental biologist, and Gerry Webster, a philosopher, argue that it is in the mathematics of complex systems that we shall find the real solution to the problem of life. The theory of evolution provides “only limited insight”; what matters is the dance of possible forms within nature.”

The article goes on to comment that “Almost from its first appearance, the Darwinian idea has been used to justify appalling behaviour” citing the writing of Herbert Spencer and the influence that Darwinism had on Hitler. Appleyard finishes by commenting that although Darwinism might be an ‘amazing story’ no one knows what it really means for humanity.

----Andrew Sibley: "If the Darwinian state of nature were true we would all be in trouble, where ‘everyman would be against everyman’ to quote Hobbes." Exellent! Your point is unassailable. Darwinists can provide no unifying principle for a well-ordered society. StephenB
The atheist bus campaign moves to Genoa. (See links.) It wouldn't be too difficult to design a bus poster to celebrate the Darwin Day. Imagine a slogan "The Old Man is screwed..." between cartoons of Sergio Staino and Colin Purrington, here http://www.darwin2009.it/eng/cartoon.php?p=1 Possibly with the timesonline subtitle "For God’s sake, have Charles Darwin’s theories made any difference to our lives?" or similar. Genoa bus campaign: http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/2009/01/atheist-buses-in-genoa.html?showComment=1231960860000 http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/faith/article5510761.ece rockyr
Maybe posting at10:14 should be deleted,should it?Probably went too far.Having difficulty sometimes understanding.Most of this is new to me.Apologies? Dr. Time
Thansk for posting that Sallyann. PZ Myer wrote on his blog; "You have to understand something here. I utterly detest Bryan Appleyard. He's a fan of Intelligent Design; as an interviewer, he's a pretentious twit; " The idea idea that it is acceptable to 'utterly detest' someone is so Darwinian. I have often found in discussions with Darwinists that there is little conscience to respect their fellow man. If the Darwinian state of nature were true we would all be in trouble, where 'everyman would be against everyman' to quote Hobbes. Some Darwinists don't seem to think that personal conduct affects the way people judge their science. "By their fruit you will know them." Andrew Sibley
Sorry to spoil it for you tragicmishap but Bryan Appleyard is most definatley on our side. He has written articles that have been very favourable to ID in the past (about the only British journalist to do so) and holds Behe in high regard. To top it all off PZ Myers can't stand him, referring to him as a "British Denyse O'leary" Link: http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2007/10/the_spiritual_brain.php sallyann
Joseph @ #3: By the way, I think a better way to ruin the party is to find people like Berlinski & ReMine to be at "the party". These's are the guys that would have them all disoriented as if their punch got spiked [but rightfully so]. :P JGuy
Joseph @ #3: Actually, there is absolutely a chance that he is going to be there!!! Let everyone know! ;) JGuy
tragicmishap: "Nice to see someone on the other side openly admitting the role of Darwinism in the Holocaust. ‘Bout time." "For the masses of the people, especially faith is absolutely the only basis of a moral outlook on life." "My feelings as a Christian points me to my Lord and Saviour as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God's truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. .. How terrific was His fight for the world against the Jewish poison" Ok so its easy to pick'n'mix quotes from Hitler to support a particular point of view but despite the fact that Hitler had a lot to say about the importance of God, morality and how he was guided by it, and doesn't mention Darwin ONCE, that is not a reason to blame the Bible for having a role in the holocaust even though it evidentially did. Lets not loose sight of who is to blame for the holocaust - HITLER - backed up by a long history of European anti-Semitism. Unfortunately megalomaniac leaders will usually draw selectively on anything from their own cultural and religious backgrounds, distorting it to help justify their actions and persuade others to follow them. Scientific theories are not exempt from this unfortunate fact of human nature. Laminar
I wonder how the liberal press in the United States will deal with competing celebrations of the fake holiday, Darwin Day, versus celebrating the 200th birthday of the infinitely more significant Abraham Lincoln, which will occur on the same day—especially since 2009 is the year the citizens of the United states will witness its first African American (half Kenyan if you must be literal) president take the oath of office. Just a thought. William Wallace
Maybe having a national holiday in honor of Darwin will help (or not): http://www.torontosun.com/news/weird/2009/01/14/8024701.html Barb
If you really want to spoil Darwin's party, just tell some Islamic fundamentalists that Salman Rushdie will be there. :) Joseph
Maybe we can all move on now, lol. tragicmishap
Nice to see someone on the other side openly admitting the role of Darwinism in the Holocaust. 'Bout time. tragicmishap

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