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New: Another philosopher openly dumps Darwinism, cites its acceptance of deception

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Do readers remember when it was customary to sneer—on behalf of the great medieval philosopher, Thomas Aquinas—at the idea that the universe and life forms show evidence of design? It’s hard to imagine any medieval philosopher, let alone Thomas, thinking that the world around us does not show evidence of design. Medieval thinkers generated orderly hierarchies the way people today generate graphs, except they used imagination, not software. They were often over the top but their instinct was not wrong.

But suddenly, for some years earlier in this century, Thomas—of all people—was cast as the anti-design guy. I won’t soon forget Barry Arrington’s comment on possibly the most egregious example of this trend at First Things, of all places, “This year I let my subscription to FT run out after nearly 20 years. If I want misguided, uninformed anti-ID rants, I can go to Panda’s Thumb for free.”

The writer of the First Things article advised “Readers interested in these arguments are urged to visit websites such as The Panda’s Thumb”

Hmmm. Taking the yayhoo-driven Panda’s Thumb seriously is not a good look for a thinkmag inspired by traditional Western religion and philosophy. For a while, there was silence.

Iust recently, George Weigel made explicit at First Things that Panda’s Thumb Darwinism is not consistent with serious thinking in the Western tradition.

And now, another First Things type, addresses the misuse or bad handling of evidence prevalent among Darwinists:

Philip Kitcher, a philosopher of biology and a supporter of natural selection, chastises Darwin for “appeasing his critics,” writing that “If the presence of particular goals can interfere with the epistemic evaluation of a novel proposal, then it is epistemically desirable for the proposer to respond to those goals, even if it requires deception.”

In other words, you may have to lie to the stupid people to get them to take Darwinism as seriously as we smart people do.

A more elaborate argument in favor of deception is offered by philosopher Phillip L. Quinn, who says that sometimes, in public debate over Darwinism, the only arguments that have a chance of convincing policymakers are bad ones. He argues that presenting arguments one knows to be faulty is morally permissible, but only “provided we continue to have qualms of conscience about getting our hands soiled.” He does worry that after presenting effective but bad arguments has become easy and second nature, one’s hands “become dirty beyond all cleansing and one suffers from a thoroughgoing corruption of mind.” But perhaps scholars could “divide up the labor so that no one among us has to resort to the bad effective argument too frequently.” That way, “we can succeed in resisting effectively without paying too high a price in terms of moral corruption.”

In others words, if you feel bad about lying to the stupid people, that makes it okay, so long as you take turns with other liars so that the habit doesn’t become so well-entrenched that it spills over into the rest of your life. (Why, you might then begin lying to us smart people too.)

J. Budziszewski, “I’m with stupid” at MercatorNet

Budziszewski is onto something here. In a Darwinian universe, there is no reason not to lie to achieve a survival goal. In the traditional universe, classically assumed to exist by most human civilizations, morality is intrinsic to the nature of the conscious entities of the universe. That is, whether one believes in God or in karma, lying separates one from reality. And the universe keeps score and it eventually catches up with you, as surely as physics will.

Not so in a Darwinian frame where consciousness is an evolved illusion and free will does not exist. And morality is an evolved illusion too so … happy are those who know nothing of morality.

It is good to see people clarifying where they stand on such fundamental issues. Could David Gelernter, recently waving Darwin goodbye, have had something to do with what seems now to be a trend?


See also: (for reference) First Things Goes From Giving ID A Platform To Viciously Attacking It (Barry Arrington)

and

Brit commentator Melanie Phillips weighs in on David Gelernter dumping Darwin. For many intellectuals, it must seem like an agonizing, nasty divorce but Phillips would be well placed to take it in stride.

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15 Replies to “New: Another philosopher openly dumps Darwinism, cites its acceptance of deception

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Too funny, a Darwinist, of all people, worried about becoming too morally corrupt by constantly trying to deceive people into believing Darwinian evolution:

    A more elaborate argument in favor of deception is offered by philosopher Phillip L. Quinn, who says that sometimes, in public debate over Darwinism, the only arguments that have a chance of convincing policymakers are bad ones. He argues that presenting arguments one knows to be faulty is morally permissible, but only “provided we continue to have qualms of conscience about getting our hands soiled.” He does worry that after presenting effective but bad arguments has become easy and second nature, one’s hands “become dirty beyond all cleansing and one suffers from a thoroughgoing corruption of mind.” But perhaps scholars could “divide up the labor so that no one among us has to resort to the bad effective argument too frequently.” That way, “we can succeed in resisting effectively without paying too high a price in terms of moral corruption.”

    You just can’t this stuff up. Nobody would believe it.

    But anyways, might I suggest to those Darwinists whose hands have now “become dirty beyond all cleansing and one suffers from a thoroughgoing corruption of mind” that they visit the one who specializes in cleansing us from our sin?

    Isaiah 1:18
    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

    Ephesians 4:22-25
    that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
    Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another.

  2. 2
    Somerschool says:

    Darwinian microevolution “works” by taking an existing information-rich structure and degrading it in a way that provides a short-term survival advantage. The Discovery Institute writers analogize this to jettisoning bits and pieces of a vehicle in order to save it. Both the Book of Jonah ans a story in the Book of Acts tell how sailors threw everything overboard in order to save their ships from a storm; that’s a lousy way to stay in the shipping business in the long term, but it may be the only way to stay afloat through the storm.

    Darwinian LIES do the same thing at a higher level. The “information rich system” in which Darwinism operates is the Western scientific community, which is founded on certain premeses derived from the Christian consensus. When a modern Darwinist “tweaks” the truth, he/she/it is throwing the luggage overboard. “Scientism” may be a kind of cancer on “science,” as it has come to us.

    But–it does make sense that Darwinists would follow the logic of their own thinking and compromise science. There is nothing about Darwinian survival-of-the-fittest that leads one to pursue truth for its own sake. If a lie will gain me social advantages, my “selfish genes” will urge me to lie so that I can have a string of trophy wives (or get Welfare to pay for half a dozen illegetimate brats). The truth is demonstrably good for our species as a whole, but NOT clearly advantageous to the individual truth-teller. (I don’t know that Socrates, Jesus, of Buddha ever had children. Mohammed and Joseph Smith are the only major religious leaders I can name who reproduced.)

  3. 3
    EricMH says:

    Ironically, the most fecund human populations are the religious, and the least fecund are the Darwinian atheists.

    If fitness is the ultimate arbiter of truth, then what this say about Darwinism? Hoisted by his own petard.

  4. 4
    buffalo says:

    Sometimes all it takes is to free up a few logs from the logjam. Then they all break free and go down the river. No stopping them then…….

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Darwinists, since they have ZERO substantiating evidence for their grandiose claim that all life arose via the mindless processes of Darwinian evolution,,,

    Darwin vs. Microbes
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntxc4X9Zt-I

    ,,, since they have ZERO substantiating evidence for their grandiose claim, Darwinists, in grade school textbooks, use misleading evidence, and/or straight out deceptive evidence, to try to indoctrinate children into believing that Darwinian evolution is true.

    Must reading for anyone concerned about their children being taught deceptive information about evolution in grade school textbooks is Jonathan Wells’s book ‘Icons Of Evolution’

    ‘Icons Of Evolution’ – Tenth Anniversary
    http://www.iconsofevolution.com/index.php3
    video clip playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLR8eQzfCOiS2RPQAPifs6t__mIAqITpYy

    Here are two articles defending Wells’s criticism against the Ten Icons of Evolution in detail here:

    Inherit the Spin: The NCSE Answers “Ten Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher About Evolution”
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2....._answ.html

    A Solid 10: Concluding My Review of Massimo Pigliucci’s Treatment of Jonathan Wells’s Icons of Evolution – June 6, 2014
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....86281.html

    Dr. Wells has recently wrote a subsequent book, “Zombie Science”, showing how Darwinists, since they don’t have any real evidence to support their grandiose claim, are forced to constantly recycle, or try to recycle, fraudulent evidence into grade school textbooks in order to try to deceive students into believing in Darwinian evolution:

    Jonathan Wells Presents Zombie Science at National Book Launch – video – 2017
    https://youtu.be/I2UHLPVHjug?list=PLR8eQzfCOiS1rO4HiEiRBLalzTx-TaKYC&t=79

    Jonathan Wells Talks About His New Book — Zombie Science: More Icons of Evolution- April 19, 2017
    https://www.discovery.org/multimedia/audio/2017/04/jonathan-wells-talks-about-his-new-book-zombie-science-more-icons-of-evolution/
    Part 2
    https://www.discovery.org/multimedia/audio/2017/04/jonathan-wells-talks-about-his-new-book-zombie-science-more-icons-of-evolution-pt-2/

    Not surprisingly, the indoctrination into Darwinian evolution with deceptive evidence continues after grade school. In the following interview, Dr. Cornelius Hunter discusses some of the misrepresentations and fallacies that are presented in the typical undergraduate evolutionary biology course

    Selling Evolution To Young People Through Deception
    podcast – On this episode of ID the Future, Casey Luskin sits down with CSC Fellow Dr. Cornelius Hunter, who recently signed up to take a free online course at Duke University titled “Introduction to Genetics and Evolution.” Tune in as Dr. Hunter shares about his experience & discusses the misrepresentations and fallacies that are presented in the typical undergraduate evolutionary biology course.
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....0_02-08_00

    One final note, Darwinists will often falsely claim that to teach Intelligent Design in school is to teach religion in school (and claim that ID therefore violates the establishment clause of the constitution). What they don’t mention is the fact that Darwinian evolution, since it has no real time scientific evidence supporting its sweeping claims, is itself crucially dependent on faulty Theological presuppositions. That is to say, to teach Darwinism is schools is, ironically, to teach (a false) religion to your children in public school.

    Methodological Naturalism: A Rule That No One Needs or Obeys – Paul Nelson – September 22, 2014
    Excerpt: It is a little-remarked but nonetheless deeply significant irony that evolutionary biology is the most theologically entangled science going. Open a book like Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution is True (2009) or John Avise’s Inside the Human Genome (2010), and the theology leaps off the page. A wise creator, say Coyne, Avise, and many other evolutionary biologists, would not have made this or that structure; therefore, the structure evolved by undirected processes. Coyne and Avise, like many other evolutionary theorists going back to Darwin himself, make numerous “God-wouldn’t-have-done-it-that-way” arguments, thus predicating their arguments for the creative power of natural selection and random mutation on implicit theological assumptions about the character of God and what such an agent (if He existed) would or would not be likely to do.,,,
    ,,,with respect to one of the most famous texts in 20th-century biology, Theodosius Dobzhansky’s essay “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (1973).
    Although its title is widely cited as an aphorism, the text of Dobzhansky’s essay is rarely read. It is, in fact, a theological treatise. As Dilley (2013, p. 774) observes:
    “Strikingly, all seven of Dobzhansky’s arguments hinge upon claims about God’s nature, actions, purposes, or duties. In fact, without God-talk, the geneticist’s arguments for evolution are logically invalid. In short, theology is essential to Dobzhansky’s arguments.”,,
    – per evolutionnews

    Damned if You Do and Damned if You Don’t – Published – 2019-06-02
    The Problem of God-talk in Biology Textbooks
    Abstract: We argue that a number of biology (and evolution) textbooks face a crippling dilemma.
    On the one hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks include theological claims in their case for evolution.
    (Such claims include, for example, ‘God would never design a suboptimal panda’s thumb, but an imperfect structure is just what we’d expect on natural selection.’) On the other hand, significant difficulties arise if textbooks exclude theological claims in their case for evolution. So, whether textbooks include or exclude theological claims, they face debilitating problems. We attempt to establish this thesis by examining 32 biology (and evolution) textbooks, including the Big 12—that is, the top four in each of the key undergraduate categories (biology majors, non-majors, and evolution courses). In Section 2 of our article, we analyze three specific types of theology these texts use to justify evolutionary theory. We argue that all face significant difficulties. In Section 3, we step back from concrete cases and, instead, explore broader problems created by having theology in general in biology textbooks. We argue that the presence of theology—of whatever kind—comes at a significant cost, one that some textbook authors are likely unwilling to pay. In Section 4, we consider the alternative: Why not simply get rid of theology? Why not just ignore it? In reply, we marshal a range of arguments why avoiding God-talk raises troubles of its own. Finally, in Section 5, we bring together the collective arguments in Sections 2-4 to argue that biology textbooks face an intractable dilemma. We underscore this difficulty by examining a common approach that some textbooks use to solve this predicament. We argue that this approach turns out to be incoherent and self-serving. The poor performance of textbooks on this point highlights just how deep the difficulty is. In the end, the overall dilemma remains.
    per blyinstitute

    Darwinists, with their vital dependence on misleading Theological presuppositions, instead of any actual substantiating scientific evidence, in order to try to deceive people into believing in Darwinian evolution, (besides violating the establishment clause of the constitution), are as Cornelius Van Til put it, like the child who must climb up onto his father’s lap into order to slap his face.

    “In other words, the non-Christian needs the truth of the Christian religion in order to attack it. As a child needs to sit on the lap of its father in order to slap the father’s face, so the unbeliever, as a creature, needs God the Creator and providential controller of the universe in order to oppose this God. Without this God, the place on which he stands does not exist. He cannot stand in a vacuum.”
    Cornelius Van Til, Essays on Christian Education (The Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company: Phillipsburg, NJ, 1979).

  6. 6
    Dean_from_Ohio says:

    Great comments all!
    Several years ago I too let my subscription to FT lapse after 20 years a subscriber. I couldn’t stand what it became. I was even willing to tolerate David Bentley Hart droning on about his older relations running naked in the woods and sacrificing woodcocks on altars, but this ignorant drivel from Stephen Meredith is about 10^77 bridges too far.
    In requiem for FT, my favorite parts of the magazine were these:
    1. Everything written by Richard John Neuhaus
    2. Nearly everything written by J. Bottum
    3. The essays of J. Budziszewski, the foremost of which was The Revenge Of Conscience, published by FT in 1998 and, thankfully, still on their website (https://www.firstthings.com/article/1998/06/the-revenge-of-conscience)
    As RJN would write, requiescat in pace.

  7. 7
    News says:

    Dean_from_Ohio at 6. Many of us think FT is hardly dead. Rather, it may be coming to terms with some ill-advised changes in direction in the years following Fr. Neuhaus’s death.

    For example, why IS an ecumenical Western-religion journal engaged in a war on the idea of design in nature? Who, exactly, is the intended audience for that sort of thing among thoughtful people?

    Isn’t it rather something we might expect of I SUCK! and AtheistBlogRant Central?

    Design in nature should be a “default acceptable” position among traditional Western thinkers. Critiques of specific positions should proceed on that basis. If one wishes to critique Michael Behe, for example, on the whether the bacterial flagellum, the malaria parasite, or polar bear genetics provide evidence either way, his underlying position should be seen as reasonable in principle.

    In the same way, arguments for the reality of the mind or free will should be seen as reasonable in principle, while individual claims from evidence must defend themselves on their merits.

    For too long, publications like First Things have fudged points like that, acting like they could afford a merely neutral stance in the matter. No more, not if they want to survive.

  8. 8
    asauber says:

    I was a subscriber to the FT print edition for a couple of years ’till FT disappeared an online Maureen Mullarkey article (and her) critical of Pope Francis. There is nothing more disgusting than supposedly good people running cover for corruption WHEN THEY DONT HAVE TO. Puke.

    Andrew

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    So because this Quinn has argued that it is sometimes acceptable to lie to persuade public policymakers, the whole of evolutionary biology is based on lies? As Dr Gregory House was wont to say “Everybody lies”. I’d be willing to bet that everyone here, without exception, has lied at one time or another so none of us are in a position to get all high-and-mighty about it. Especially not Christians since the Bible records could be the first lie ever told as in God telling Adam that if he eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil on that day he will surely die. Except he doesn’t. He and Eve get tossed out of the Garden on their ears but he lives on for a few hundred years. So if God tells porkies, why not the rest of us?

  10. 10
    ET says:

    If evolutionary biology promotes the lie that life’s diversity arose via blind and mindless processes, then yes, it is based on lies, promotes lies and has no place in science except to show how not to proceed. And relying on an English translation and interpretation of the OT is sheer desperation.

  11. 11
    BobRyan says:

    Seversky @ 9
    Did God give any kind of timeline to Adam?

    As for all the Darwinist droolers, macro-evolution has no actual evidence to support the claim. Science deals with what is witnessed, not what is perceived to have existed.

  12. 12
    Seversky says:

    Genesis 2:16-17 (KJV)

    And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
    But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

    Can’t say plainer than that.

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky states:

    the Bible records could be the first lie ever told as in God telling Adam that if he eats the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil on that day he will surely die. Except he doesn’t. He and Eve get tossed out of the Garden on their ears but he lives on for a few hundred years. So if God tells porkies, why not the rest of us?

    You got to be kidding me! It was a ‘spiritual death’, i.e. separation from God who is the source of all life , that was being talked about for crying out loud,

    Jesus Facepalm
    http://i0.wp.com/bulletin.equi......jpg?w=900

    The first mention of death is in Genesis 2:17 when God says that the day that Adam and Eve ate of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they would die (Gen. 2:17). Did they die the day they ate it? Yes, they did. But the death they experienced immediately was spiritual. Later physical death manifested as a consequence. The immediate death they suffered was being separated from God which was manifested by them hiding from God and eventually experiencing physical death.
    https://carm.org/was-there-death-in-the-garden-of-eden-before-adam-and-eve-sinned

    And in John 3:3 Jesus specifically mentions to Nicodemus that we must be ‘born again’ of the spirit which directly implies that we need a spiritual rebirth since we are spiritually dead

    John 3:1-10
    Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.”
    Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”
    “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”
    Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
    “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
    “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?

    ‘Spiritual death’ in the Garden of Eden is one of the first things that I learned as a Christian. I find it very hard to believe that Seversky could, at his adult age, make such an elementary mistake in Theology.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Seversky also asked

    So because this Quinn has argued that it is sometimes acceptable to lie to persuade public policymakers, the whole of evolutionary biology is based on lies?

    To wit: “Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing that is true?”

    Colin Patterson: Can You Tell Me Anything About Evolution That Is True? – May 12, 2019 (with audio links to Patterson’s speech)
    Excerpt: One or the reasons I started taking this anti-evolutionary view, or let’s call it non-evolutionary, was last year I had a sudden realization that for over twenty years I had thought that I was working on evolution in some way. Then one morning I woke up, and something had happened in the night, and it struck me that I had been working on this stuff for twenty years, and there was not one thing I knew about it. That’s quite a shock, to learn that one can be so misled for so long.
    So either there was something wrong with me, or there was something wrong with evolutionary theory. Naturally, I know there is nothing wrong with me, so for the last few weeks, I’ve tried putting a simple question to various people and groups of people.
    The question is: Can you tell me anything you know about evolution, any one thing that is true? I tried that question on the geology staff in the Field Museum of Natural History, and the only answer I got was silence. I tried it on the members of the Evolutionary Morphology Seminar at the University of Chicago, a very prestigious body of evolutionists, and all I got there was silence for a long time, and then eventually one person said, “Yes, I do know one thing. It ought not to be taught in high school.”
    https://uncommondescent.com/evolution/colin-patterson-can-you-tell-me-anything-about-evolution-that-is-true/
    Colin Patterson (1933–1998), was a British palaeontologist at the Natural History Museum in London from 1962 to his official retirement in 1993

  15. 15
    BobRyan says:

    Seversky @ 12

    I suggest you speak with an orthodox Rabbi, since it was originally written in Hebrew and Hebrew cannot be translated. It’s a very figurative language based on Eastern thought. Each word has tremendous meaning and you could fill entire volumes and still not understand the full meaning. The problem with translations that exist today is that it originates with Western thought and much is missed in the translation. If you really want to understand something written in the Tanakh (Jewish Bible, aka The Old Testament), then ask an orthodox Rabbi.

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