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Monday, September 19, 2005

Thirty-eight Nobel laureates oppose critical thinking about Darwin’s theory

TheNobel laureates say pretty much what you might expect, about Darwin's theory being "indispensable," which of course it isn't — any more than Freud's theories were indispensable — but, what is interesting is that the linked Kansas Lawrence Herald article notes, about intelligent design,

That increasingly popular theory argues that some features of the natural world are best explained as having an intelligent cause because they are well-ordered and complex. Its followers attack Darwin's evolutionary theory, which says natural chemical processes could have created the basic building blocks of life on Earth, that all life had a common ancestor and that man and apes shared a common ancestor.
I have got so used to media bloopers on intelligent design that I have to rejoice at this, acknowledging that one out of three isn't bad.

YES, the intelligent design hypothesis argues that "some features of the natural world are best explained as having an intelligent cause because they are well-ordered and complex."

NO, Darwin's theory does NOT say that "natural chemical processes could have created the basic building blocks of life on Earth." Darwin was too smart to commit himself to anything as ambitious as an origin-of-life theory. He was only attempting to write, as the title of his key work indicates, On the Origin of Species. It was left to later researchers to reach a complete impasse on the origin of life.

NO, intelligent design theory does NOT entail rejection of common ancestry. In the context of ID, common ancestry stands or falls on its explanatory merits. Darwinism absolutely requirescommon ancestry because the possibility of design does not exist. ID does not require it because the design is considered an alternative (not a requirement, but an alternative). As a result, ID proponents differ from one another on the subject of common ancestry.

Anyway, hats off to the Lawrence Herald for getting at least one point right. Now let's work on some of the others ones, so we can have a real discussion.

As for the Nobel laureates, it is hard to believe that they would put their collective foot in their mouths by writing this:

Logically derived from confirmable evidence, evolution is understood to be the result of an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection.

but that's exactly what they did. (Note: If you click the link, you might not be able to use your back browser button to return.)

How do they know that the process is "unguided" and "unplanned"? They don't. It is merely a religious (well, anti-religious) assumption that they intend to impose on the school board. Even if no one believes it but them.

The good news is that, by writing this, they are helping to clarify what is really happening in Kansas. The school board is trying to get THAT stuff out of the system.

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