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Monday, September 25, 2006

Jonathan Wells accuses Darwinists of "intellectual larceny"

As I mentioned previously, the bloggers on the Panda's Thumb blog are doing a group review of Jonathan Wells' new book titled "A Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design," taking one chapter or section at a time. I think that the best chapter to be reviewed so far is Chapter 7. Wells said in Chapter 7, “Darwinists steal credit for scientific breakthroughs to which they contributed nothing,” and he calls this theft a form of “intellectual larceny.”

Wells said,

. . . . . most of the fundamental disciplines in modern biology were pioneered by scientists who lived before Darwin was born. These pioneers include the sixteenth-century anatomist Andreas Vesalius, the sixteenth-century physiologist William Harvey, and the seventeenth-century botanist John Ray. They include the seventeenth-century founders of microbiology, Robert Hooke and Anton van Leeuwenhoek; the eighteenth-century founder of systematics, Carolus Linneaus; and the eighteenth-century founder of modern embryology, Caspar Friedrich Wolff. Even paleontology, which Darwinists now treat as theirs, was founded before Darwin’s birth by Georges Cuvier.

Wells also said,

Generations of breeders have been darwined. Mendel has been darwined. Jenner and Semmelweis have been darwined. Fleming, Florey, Chain, and Waksman have been darwined. So have the real pioneers of modern biology. They’ve all been darwined.

And, of course, Pasteur was also darwined.

I think that there is a lot of truth in what Wells says. I think that all the hoopla over Darwin -- the big international celebration of Darwin's birthday and the frequent citing of Theodosius Dobzhansky's shopworn slogan, “nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” -- belittles the contributions that others have made to biology. So far as I know, there is nothing comparable in any other broad field of science or technology.

Most of the alleged examples of practical applications of Darwinism are the result of conflating macroevolution with microevolution. Most critics of Darwinism accept microevolution.

Darwinists have this thing about trying to establish a grand overarching unifying principle in biology. So far as I know, physics is the only other major field where there has been an effort to establish a "theory of everything".

Related articles on this blog are:

Darwinism is grossly overrated

Darwinism is grossly overrated II


My review of Chapter 3 of Wells' new book is at:

A review of PZ Myers' review of Chapter 3 of Wells' new book

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5 Comments:

Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

< And, of course, Pasteur was also darwined. >

Whereas Darwin has been Pasteurized.

< I think that there is a lot of truth in what Wells says. >

And an even greater quantity of BS.

Monday, September 25, 2006 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

QUOTATION: "If I have seen further [than certain other men] it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
ATTRIBUTION: Isaac Newton (1642–1727), British physicist, mathematician, universal genius. Letter to Robert Hooke, February 5, 1675.

(With reference to his dependency on Galileo’s and Kepler’s work in physics and astronomy.)

The attribution is contested.

Monday, September 25, 2006 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

Strikes me as excessively modest. But it does show that science evolves, in a manner reminiscent of the evolution of the natural world.

Monday, September 25, 2006 11:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

Speaking of "Darwinists" (and apropos of the centenary of the 1906 Special Theory of Relativity), I recently received a link from a correspondent about "Einsteinists". Excellent article.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006 11:14:00 AM  
Blogger Duke of Earl said...

I thought evolution didn't involve intelligent minds selecting what to take and leave from a pool of information. :-)

Monday, March 19, 2007 11:25:00 PM  

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