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Saturday, August 18, 2007

Darwinism and popular culture: David Warren refuses to be bullied by Darwinists

From one of Warren's recent columns:
What struck me, hard, in reading so much more apoplectic rubbish about Darwinism, which I drew down on myself with my Sunday column, was the refusal to look at the key, the hinge, of the whole argument. For I wrote: “We can now roughly date the origin of our universe, and 15 billion years more-or-less is proving much too short a time for random processes to produce a non-random result. Verily, 15 billion times 15 billion years is still not nearly enough time.”

But, David, at this point you are supposed to say, "Well, anyhow, I guess Darwin dunit!! HoorAW!!!" Hey, you're good. You could win big prizes ...
Naw. You never liked crap. (Nor me neither. ) He goes on, merely speaking the truth:
Time and again it is said that the “God thesis” is not proven, while Darwin’s thesis is supported by an immense accumulation of biological research. But read almost any current biology text, and you will find that after ritual obeisance to Darwin and Darwinism in prefatory remarks, the rest of the book hardly mentions them, and the author(s) will keep slipping into the irresistible vocabulary of design, while trying to communicate how an organism works. Res ipsa loquitur, as we say in Latin. (“The thing speaks for itself.”)

He has reached the same conclusion as I have, that "Darwinism is a religion, and moreover, a false religion, in fear of free inquiry."

Well, but what would you expect of people who worship the shibboleth of randomness?

Peer review: A recipe for squelching science?

A friend draws my attention to this choice quotation from an article in Current Biology, Volume 17, Issue 15, Pages R583-R585 by P. Lawrence, in which he quotes the answer the hero of Leo Szilard's 1948 story "The Mark Gable Foundation" provided when a wealthy entrepreneur asked him how he could slow science down:
You could set up a foundation with an annual endowment of thirty million dollars. Research workers in need of funds could apply for grants, if they could make a convincing case. Have ten committees, each composed of twelve scientists, appointed to pass on these applications. Take the most active scientists out of the laboratory and make them members of these committees. ...First of all, the best scientists would be removed from their laboratories and kept busy on committees passing on applications for funds. Secondly the scientific workers in need of funds would concentrate on problems which were considered promising and were pretty certain to lead to publishable results. ...By going after the obvious, pretty soon science would dry out. Science would become something like a parlor game. ...There would be fashions. Those who followed the fashions would get grants. Those who wouldn't would not.

Why does this sound like the peer review problem I reported on last fall?


Darwinism and popular culture: Homo erectus, homo habilis, and Alley Oop

Mustafa Akyol recently noted in "A farewell to homo habilis - a modern icon" in Turkish Daily News that the story regarding human ancestors has greatly changed in the last few years:
These various categories of "human ancestors" look quite convincing and appealing when “reconstructed” and put into a gradual sequence, but when scientific details are examined, it is really not easy to explain how one evolved into the other. One big problem that some paleoanthropologists have noted is the big gap between Homo habilis, which is very much like a big ape, and Homo erectus, which can be considered as a unique, but yet still genuine, human.

Indeed, some responsible sources think that Homo habilis was an ape-asaurus, if you please, and others note that Homo erectus, like Adam and Eve, currently lacks identifiable ancestors. Mustafa goes on,
Now, the reason why I am telling you all about this is an important discovery made two weeks ago in Kenya by Meave Leakey, the veteran paleontologist. The bones that Mrs. Leakey and her colleagues have found really shakes the standard evolution story, because they prove that Homo habilis and Homo erectus, which are supposed to be two different phases of human evolution, actually coexisted for at least half a million years.
"It's the equivalent of finding that your grandmother and great-grandmother were sisters rather than mother-daughter,” said paleontologist Fred Spoor, according to an Associated Press report. The AP news story added that this surprising finding “makes it unlikely that Homo erectus evolved from Homo habilis.” Moreover, it “discredits that iconic illustration of human evolution that begins with a knuckle-dragging ape and ends with a briefcase-carrying man.”

Indeed, the Darwinian evolutionist's story of human origins is always changing. That wouldn't matter except that heaven help you if you doubt them or can't even remember their current cast iron "truths" about human origins.

It feels somewhat like living among fundamentalists EXCEPT that, instead of sticking with a Bible that hasn't changed much over the millennia, Darwinists put out a NEW Bible on human origins every other year. New discoveries are always overturning paradigms, though just how something gets to be a paradigm and then is overturned next season is beyond me. Here in Toronto, we call those kinds of ideas fads.

The old-fashioned sort of fundamentalist is easier to avoid than the Darwinist. Just memorize the key Bible verses (which won't change, any more than math will) and decide what to make of it all on your own time. Do not sign up to receive tracts or visits and you're free and clear. Unlike the Darwinist, the fundamentalist will not try to wreck your career if you question him.

For a gallery of knuckle-draggers to straphangers, and other Darwinism-related humour, go here. Personally, I think Alley Oop is the best bet yet.

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