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Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New Book: Ben Wiker's Life and Lies of Charles Darwin

A friend writes to draw attention to Ben Wiker's new "very balanced" biography of Darwin, which argues that he "deliberately set out to create a 'godless' science and that the theory preceded his collection of evidence."

Don't be put off by the title, "The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin." As I will describe in an upcoming review of a different book, the ol' Brit toff told lots of stretchers during his career and deliberately misled people on many occasions. If the recent ridiculous hagiography around Darwin has accomplished anything, it has forced people who know the facts to make them public.
Wiker, in my friend's view, argues rather convincingly that the divorce of science and theism dates to Darwin.

Yes, absolutely. That is precisely what makes "theistic evolution" so stupid. The whole point of Darwin's theory was to get rid of theism - as stories like this clearly show. Theistic scientists are reduced to mumbling that they believe "in their hearts" that there must be a God somewhere out there, but they are not allowed to use any evidence to support their view. They should just holler from their guts about Jesus, or whatever.

My friend also expects a cascade of rote negative votes from Darwinist trolls and combox morons against Wiker's book, people who are their own best demonstration of why their belief system doesn't promote human civilization, only animal rights - which makes a lot of sense if we are the animals, right?

Meanwhile, Mike Flannery, whose book, Alfred Russel Wallace's theory of Intelligent Evolution, I shall shortly review, also wrote, to say,
That Darwin deliberately set out to establish a materialistic metaphysic supported by some biological speculations is clearly supported from Darwin's early university years and his notebooks, a point which I have already argued in my book. That Darwin clearly did not follow the evidence, as he claimed in his autobiographical boilerplate (largely a promotional effort instigated by Francis, his son), is also very true. I was able to read portions of Wilker's book in Amazon and have ordered a copy. I do indeed look forward to reading his entire assessment. This could be the most completely honest and frank analysis of Darwin yet; it certainly appears as though he's asked the right questions of this Victorian paterfamilias.
Of course Darwin did not follow the evidence. He knew what conclusion his culture compelled him to come to, and he obliged, as soon as he had cobbled together a theory. It's high time someone started asking the right questions.

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