Monday, December 09, 2013

Evolution by Natural Selection - more than a scientific theory...'s a faith system that where those who are not enthusiastic enough about it must be sent to a re-education camp!

Here's the latest comment on my review of Michael Denton's "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.":

"How do mutations create new structures?" Etc.

Sorry. A rejection of science based on your personal incredulity is simply ridiculous.

"Likewise, how do we know that Pakicetus and Ambulocetas were in fact precursors to the modern whale?"

Who cares? The answer will not help to provide a cure for cancer.

"I will have to take TENS on faith"

Improper use of the word "faith". Perhaps you could say "I will have to accept the authority of the consensus of biological scientists who really know what the Theory of Evolution is."//

Wow! I must be a knuckle-dragging Creationist.

Except I'm not. Here is a part of what I actually wrote in my review:

Ultimately, though, for me at least, Denton explains why I remain a dissatisfied Darwinist; it's the only game in town. In his final chapter on Kuhn's approach to the philosophy of science, Denton points out that you can't beat something with nothing. Pointing out the problems in a science is only the first step to replacing the science. The next step is coming up with a theory that explains the problems that were paradoxical under the previous paradigm. Denton does not provide that theory as far as I could tell. Undoubtedly, his purpose was to highlight the problems in TENS so as to start a discussion "outside the box" of TENS.

But we don't have that theory yet. What we have is TENS. So, until a better one comes along, I will have to take TENS on faith with respect to the conundrums and paradoxes that Denton points out. It may ultimately be the only game that is ever in town. As Denton suggests in his final chapter, "There is still a possibility that living systems could possess some novel, unknown property or charactristics which might conceivably have played a role in evolution." In light of the evidence of types emerging fully developed, like Athena from the head of Zeus, that may well be the case. Perhaps the unknown property we don't understand is the property that answers to the "final cause," or teleology, as discussed by Etienne Gilson in From Aristotle to Darwin & Back Again: A Journey in Final Causality, Species and Evolution, but as Gilson points out that discussion is not "scientific" because science has restricted itself from all considerations of final causes in order that it can do its "scientific thing."

So, I accept Darwin, but, apparently, I committed the cardinal sin of giving "the other side" a fair hearing and for that I must be driven from the tribe.

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