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Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Post-Darwinist: Now back to our regular coverage ...

Yesterday, an astonishing number of people visited the Post-Darwinist, according to the site meter, and I see that this traffic bump continues*, at least for a while. This was the story that attracted their attention.

So I should perhaps say something to new visitors:

The Post-Darwinist was started in May 2005, to update my book, By Design or by Chance?, a 2004 overview of the intelligent design controversy. As I explained in a recent post:
When I first started monitoring the controversy in 1999, I heard that it was dead every six months. Then every three months, then every few weeks ... . I was fascinated by the difference between what pundits said and what I knew was happening. So in 2003, I ducked lucrative education writing contracts and wrote a book (By Design or by Chance?, 2004) exploring the controversy. In 2005, I started a blog, Post-Darwinist, to log its continued development.
I feel sorry for the third- and fourth-rate tax burdens who have written me shrill missives, advising that I am completely wrong to have ever doubted the old Brit toff Darwin - who ripped off earlier scientists to create a never-demonstrated creation story for atheism. You have done pretty well in forcing the rest of us to pay taxes to support your religion, but that’s where the train stops, I am afraid. And don’t get me started on Darwin's virulent racism either.

Just this on that:
Darwin and his fellow Victorian toffs were stuck with the creationist idea that we are all equally human. That's what the Bible said, but they didn't believe the Bible - however, they did not know exactly how to discredit the Bible. Darwin provided the toffs with a "scientific" means of discrediting the Bible, so that the hoped-for break between races of humans
will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. (The Descent of Man)
So there it was at last. A "scientific" excuse for the toffs' existing sense of vast superiority and entitlement over other races. And the rest is, alas, history.

And Darwinists are so sure of their hold over popular culture that, incredibly, they have somehow wanted to link Lincoln and Darwin as liberators. A popular culture that accepts such a patent lie could not be liberated from anything, ever.

Re 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 laughing.

Anyway, the primary purpose of this blog is to log events in the intelligent design controversy, especially those that relate to popular culture, so let me put up ten of them before I get back to editing a manuscript I am supposed to be working on:

1. A friend directs my attention to Turkish creationist Harun Yahya’s fossil museum, containing, he says, 1500 reasons for doubting Darwin. Yahya, about whom I have written here and here, is interesting and indefatigable, and has a genius for publishing. Look at this coelacanth entry, for example.

Personally, I have only one reason for doubting Darwin: An essentially conservative process like natural selection does not create anything much. I don't claim that it cannot create anything ever, but only that it cannot create the abundance of intricate life we see around us -and that it is obvious that the universe we live in is designed.

*If you find yourself reading this message months from now, the pattern could be back to the usual, of people looking up stories in the archives, to the tune of several hundred a day only. I am referring to the pattern on January 8, 2009, 8:30 a.m. EST.

And while we are here, look at the orchid mantis. This Malaysian insect arranges itself to look like various flowers (while crunching up their pests).

Of course, in the days when the orchid mantis - supposedly slowly evolving along Darwinian lines - looked only 10% like an orchid - and other insects had well-tested strategies for avoiding appearing on the lunch menu - there was no chance whatever of the orchid mantis starving to death just because it looked like a mantis instead of a flower, right? So … oh, wait. Maybe we better go back to a familiar Darwin legend.

Generous donors to my PayPal button will be rewarded with the knowledge that I will try to acquire an orchid mantis and terrarium, and learn how to care for it in Toronto.

Do you live in Australia? Would you like to be part of a play - Darwin and Lincoln appear on a talk show - the author is Warwick University's controversial sociologist Steve Fuller. Hey - practice your 19th century Brit and American accents, folks - and may the best impersonators win! Learn more about the play here.

[More soon]

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