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Yesterday was the 160th anniversary of Darwinism

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The Victorian upper class loved Darwinism and so did everyone who wanted to think we are just another species, for whatever reason:

Surely the “iconic” status of Origin could never have been predicted by either Darwin or his publisher. Murray did think it would sell well, but personally he thought the book was absurd. Nevertheless, Origin not only sold well, it sold phenomenally — and it still does. This is all the more astonishing since one would never have guessed this by any indicator of the intellectual prowess of its author. Darwin’s exceptional gift as a rhetorician masked a less than shining intellect in other respects.

Gertrude Himmelfarb acknowledges Darwin’s adroitness in presenting his argument. Instead of presenting facts, Darwin mounted an argument that offered a “logic of possibility” (Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution, p. 334). Certain facts, of course, were presented, but then Darwin inflated the implications of those facts by rather adroitly promoting them into possibilities and then into probabilities; when a difficulty became too great to explain away he appealed to our ignorance of nature, sometimes (as with the fossil record) giving instead a promissory note of future discovery. It was clever and crafty but “brilliant” is probably a word better reserved for genuine creative accomplishment. Coherent and masterful logical exposition should not be conflated with rhetorical sleight of hand.

Paul Johnson’s brief critical biography, Darwin: Portrait of a Genius (2012), is most revealing in this regard. He uses “genius” in his title as a tongue-in-cheek reference to the ironic fact that Darwin, despite his ability at “stealthy self-promotion,” was a poor mathematician, a worse anthropologist, possessed limited foreign language skills, and was an awkward theoretician. While Johnson’s book is not flawless, he is surely correct on these points. He is also refreshingly honest in observing, “One has the feeling that Darwin was often inclined to avoid the hard cerebral activity of thinking through fundamental scientific principles, taking refuge in minute observations” (p. 122).


Michael Flannery, “Darwin’s Origin of Species — Some Historical Reflections 160 Years Later” at Evolution News and Science Today

But no one wanted to grasp the nettle. The price Darwinism charges for putting the rubes in their place is way too high. And at one time, many fans probably just wanted an excuse to embrace eugenics or worse. All Darwinism needed to provide was plausible cover.

And to judge from Darwinism’s lobbyists and followers in recent decades, who want to make a living putting rubes in their place, without embracing eugenics, he has certainly paid off.

But the genome map is killing all that. If the genome says, horizontal gene transfer, they can’t just shout “Darwin!” in response. Not after all those years of “parent-offspring” spiel.

But now, about the history of life … Here’s what the fossils told us in their own words

6 Replies to “Yesterday was the 160th anniversary of Darwinism

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    And to judge from Darwinism’s lobbyists and followers in recent decades, who want to make a living putting rubes in their place, without embracing eugenics, he has certainly paid off.

    It certainly has. You only have to look at all those Darwinian billionaires to see that evolutionary biology is the best way to get rich quick, while all those poverty-stricken prosperity gospelers are reduced to begging for money to buy their third business jet.

  2. 2
    drc466 says:

    Ah, but Sev, the currency of Darwinist lobbyists and followers is not monetary, but in an elevation to the “peer”-age! As in, being able to “peer” down one’s nose at the rubes and creationists (lol, look at those funny creationist morons! don’t they know God is dead?!), and wrap themselves in the comforting royal robes of intellectual superiority!

    Edit: Well, that and the fact that there are literally hundreds if not thousands of Darwinists making a fine living off taxpayer dollars at public universities, and maybe a handful of prosperity gospel millionaires who in your non-sequitur snark teach prosperity gospel, not particularly YEC/ID/Darwinism.

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    a prediction:

    one day, and i hope the day is not so far from today, the Darwin’s theory will be called THE BIGGEST MISTAKE IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE …

  4. 4
    ET says:

    Martin_r- It is enough just knowing that no one uses it for anything and it hasn’t added anything to our knowledge

  5. 5
    DATCG says:

    Sev,

    is the prosperity gospel forcefully taught in all public schools across the nation?
    is the prosperity gospel of Darwin’s evolution forcefully taught in all public schools?

    Answer the questions above honestly.

    Then ask,
    Which one can openly indoctrinate young minds today for decades in schools as the only Origins religion?
    Where most people have to send their children to public schools.

    I know, I went through the indoctrination of the Darwinist religion and Origins myth of the secular beliefs.
    I believed it, accepted, embraced it, thought it to be a real theory, but it’s not, it’s a religion for atheist or agnostics.

    Junk DNA is a royal failure, so Modern Synthesis has failed. Neither could save the religion of Darwin.

    What now? More blind, religious evolution?

  6. 6
    Seversky says:

    DATCG@ 5

    is the prosperity gospel forcefully taught in all public schools across the nation?

    Not that I’m aware.

    is the prosperity gospel of Darwin’s evolution forcefully taught in all public schools?

    No. The theory of evolution is not a prosperity gospel. But where it is a part of the prescribed science curriculum in schools then it is a subject students are expected to study and understand just like any other. Do you regard the study of mathematics or Shakespeare in school as forceful indoctrination? When parents teach their religious beliefs to their children, who have no choice in the matter, is that forceful indoctrination?

    Is it not possible to study and understand a subject without necessarily having to believe it?

    Is it not possible for historians to study Nazi Germany without becoming Nazis themselves?

    Is it not possible for Christian children to study and understand the theory of evolution without having their religious beliefs undermined?

    What does that say about the strength of your and their faith?

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