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Monday, December 29, 2008

Sociologist Steve Fuller: Darwin's theory is 19th century sociology

Fuller, a University of Warwick sociologist who specializes in science theory, and author of Dissent over Descent, will comment at Uncommon Descent in 2009, the Year the Darwin Cult Flowers. He starts today with this:

First, stripped of its current scientific scaffolding, Darwinism is a 19th century social theory that has been turned into a ‘general unified theory of everything’, and as such belongs in the same category as Marxism and Freudianism. The big difference is that Marxism and Freudianism – throughout their existence – have been contested (many would say decisively) by several alternative ways of organizing and interpreting the same body of data. In the case of Darwinism, this largely ended by 1950. However, it doesn’t mean that Darwinism has somehow turned into something other than a 19th century social theory. No, it’s simply a 19th century social theory with unusual clout. Indeed, Darwinism is really no different from Marxism and Freudianism in using its concepts as rhetorical devices for associating intuitively clear phenomena with rather deep and mysterious causes. I hope to draw your attention to examples of this in the coming weeks.
Agnostic Fuller also wrote a very entertaining play based on the idea of Darwin and Abe Lincoln appearing on a talk show. He has debated theistic evolutionist Denis Alexander and has replied to conventional Darwinist Sarkar Sahotra. He appears in Expelled.

Rte the Darwin cult: Go here and here for links to ridiculous hagiography of the old Brit toff - along with appropriate antidotes to splitting a gut.

See also: Intelligent design and popular culture: Population crank is now U.S. science and technology policy director


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