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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Response to question in archived Comments box: What would I replace Darwinism with?

(Note: I will post another installment of my extended review of Privileged Planet this afternoon.) Meanwhile, someone asked:

What would I replace Darwinism with?

I don’t have to replace Darwinism with anything. Just as there is no good theory of the origin of life, it may be that there is no good theory of the development of life. That’s not my fault and, much as I might like to fix it, I can’t.

What first attracted my attention to this controversy about ten years ago was the amount of institutional bullying exerted to keep anyone from questioning Darwinism.

There was a book in that, I decided, and then four years ago, I began to research By Design or by Chance? (2004), an examination of the growing uproar. You can read excerpts. My prediction was correct: it has heated up in the last year, but the outlines have not changed at all.

As for the Darwinbots, what they believe is merely a popular superstition, just as Thomas Huxley had feared would happen. I am afraid the Darwinbots have convicted themselves, because they went ballistic over a film (Privileged Planet) they knew nothing about that doesn’t deny evolution at all. Look, I didn’t make this stuff up; it is a matter of public record!

Even if I knew how to replace the Darwinbots’ superstition with a different one, why would I? It might be nicer for Randall Kremer at the Smithsonian if the ‘bots clanked down the gangway after someone else, upon hearing an entirely different rumour, but the net gain to society as a whole would be zero.

Cheers, Denyse
Toronto

(Service note: IF you are looking for a basic introduction to the uproar over the screening of The Privileged Planet at the Smithsonian, you can start anywhere in the archives from May 25, when I broke the story, on. I suggest you go here and here to start, and then this one will bring you up to date. Note that the blogs on the right-hand panel also update the story at various times, so try them too. Right now I am providing a review and detailed account of the controversial film Privileged Planet. itself. - Denyse)

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