Monday, July 20, 2020

Hmm …

… He Lives: Those darn Christians and their pseudo-intellectual anti-science nonsense! (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

I recently saw this from a philosopher-theologian on twitter: [3], [4] 
Tbc: I reject Darwinism totally. It is bad sc. resting on worse metaphysics. I'm tired of wild-eyed schemes for integrating it into Xian theology. We ran that experiment & it led to pantheism. [Rolls eyes] 
I replied: 
This is nonsense and a form of lying for Jesus. Darwinism (I think he means evolution) might turn out to be wrong or like most science incomplete, but it is not bad science. Human Philosophy is more of a risk to sound Christian doctrine than science.
Well,  Darwinism is the currently accepted form of evolution. There was that fellow Lamarck. And there was Charles Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, who also advanced a notion of evolution, as did the great Augustine of Hippo, quite a few centuries earlier than any of them.  Charles Darwin’s version was on the way to being forgotten when Julian Huxley grafted Gregor Mendel’s discovery of genetics onto it, thus giving us neo-Darwinism.

But that seems to be in a bit of trouble, as indicated in David Gelernter’s Giving Up Darwin. Here is just one excerpt:

Consider the whole history of living things—the entire group of every living organism ever. It is dominated numerically by bacteria. All other organisms, from tangerine trees to coral polyps, are only a footnote. Suppose, then, that every bacterium that has ever lived contributes one mutation before its demise to the history of life. This is a generous assumption; most bacteria pass on their genetic information unchanged, unmutated. Mutations are the exception. In any case, there have evidently been, in the whole history of life, around 1040 bacteria—yielding around 1040 mutations under Axe’s assumptions. That is a very large number of chances at any game. But given that the odds each time are 1 to 1077 against, it is not large enough. The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 1040x(1/1077)—1040 tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 1077—which equals 1 in 1037. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. Darwin loses.
Like Gelernter, I find Intelligent Design Theory wanting as a substitute for Darwin. I’ll settle for Heraclitus and the Logos or  Laozi’s Tao — a principle of intelligence inherent in being.

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