Saturday, April 07, 2007

Delusional Claims

Michael Egnor posted 'Hitchin’ a Ride: Darwinism is indispensable to Darwinists' in Evolution News and Views. The first two paragraphs follow:

"Philip Skell, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a pioneer in antibiotic research, said it best: Darwinism is a "narrative gloss" on biology. Darwinists expropriate the work of other fields of science, then claim the credit for Darwin's theory. Nowhere in science is the truth of Skell’s observation more apparent than in the Darwinist claim that Darwin’s theory — the assertion that random variation and natural selection is the source of all biological complexity — is indispensable to modern medicine. It is a claim that, upon inspection, is almost delusional.

I’ve examined this claim in detail in a series of posts: here, here, and here. Darwinists claim that comparative medicine and biology, which is the study of the similarities between non-human organisms and humans, arose from Darwin’s theory. That’s nonsense. Comparative biology has been the been the basis for biological science for thousands of years, and many of the greatest medical advances, such as Galen’s and Vesalius’ studies of anatomy and Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of the blood, were the fruit of comparative biological research that antedated Darwin by centuries. The father of modern comparative biology was Carolus Linnaeus, who worked a century before Darwin was born."

I've also encountered weakly supported claims to the indispensibility evolutionary theory to scientific progress. Egnor sets the record straight. More from the linked article:

"There’s a reason for this almost delusional attribution of scientific progress to Darwin’s theory. Darwinism is based on the radical and unsubstantiated assertion that all natural biological complexity arose from random heritable variation and natural selection. It is the creation myth of contemporary philosophical materialism, which is the view that the material world (matter and energy) are the only things that exist. The materialist worldview depends critically on Darwin’s theory. We can do science just fine without Darwin’s theory, using molecular biology, biological statistics, and other well established fields of biology."

The attachment of ID critics to materialism is evident at Telic Thoughts where many commenters openly defend both materialism and mainstream evolutionary theory as if one logically follows the other. Some materialists foster fear mongering in an attempt to persuade the uncommitted that a theocracy would accompany acceptance of an intelligent inference. It's a propaganda ploy that will grow old and increasingly ineffective with the passage of time. In the interim the focus needs to be on pointing out the inadaquacy of randomness and selection as a sole explanation for both the origin and subsequent diversity of biological complexity.


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