Thursday, February 12, 2009

Darwin The Disturber

I was doing some reading on Darwin and came across this article by Susan Jacoby. Of course, it is slanted and opinionated but what isn't? I wanted to pull some quotes from it and post them here for you. If you have time, feel free to read the whole article; it is linked at the bottom.

This lasting "disturber effect" is, I would argue, one of the most convincing proofs of Darwin's genius. People don't get all riled up, 150 years after the fact, by bland, small, discredited ideas.

This same logic could be applied to Christianity as well yes?

This logic [evolution is the mechanism by which God chose to set in motion the development of his creatures, ending in man]does not, of course, explain why a supreme being would choose such an inefficient process as evolution to arrive at the human species--or why he would choose to bind us to evolutionary forces--such as our desire to consume large amounts of animal fat--that were once useful for the survival of the species but no longer are. Another element of the religion-science compromise, articulated not only by religious thinkers but by scientists like the late Stephen Jay Gould, argues that science and religion are merely "different ways of knowing." I don't agree with this formulation. Science is not really a way of "knowing" but a method of inquiry seeking knowledge that is never final and always modfiiable by new discoveries. Religion is not a way of knowing but, ultimately, a matter of belief that, at some point--regardless of how much material evidence a particular faith is willing to incorporate--relies on non-evidence of a non-material existence.

There are a lot of presuppositions in the first part of this quote is there not?

...Darwin was a man who--without any of the tools of modern science and technology, without the support of the MacArthur Foundation or the National Institutes of Health, not only got the basic insight of modern science right but had the courage to face up to the philosophical and ethical implications of his own observations.

I didn't know the verdict was in on the evolutionary theory having been proven as fact... but I am also assuming that is what she is referring to by "basic insight of modern science". If that is not what she is referencing, please do offer up a better suggestion as that phrase is rather vague.

Mendelian genetics, the discovery of DNA, the mapping of the human genome: all tell us more about evolution than Darwin could have known, and all confirm the genius of his initial insights. Had Mendel's experiments contradicted the theory of natural selection, we would be having quite a different discussion about evolution today. That, of course, is the difference between scientific exploration and religion.

Does that go for climate change as well? Just curious.

Okay, I will stop there.

You can read the rest here.

If you want to read a shorter article concerning the pitfalls in the evolutionary theory- you can do so here. (It is a pdf that is linked to on Stand to Reason.

1 comment:

lastrow said...

Oh you great enemy of science, you...

At least that's how you're being portrayed in one of my posts.

You are, brother, what science is up against...