Darwinists tend to be very condescending when debating anti-Darwinists. This condescension is especially apparent in a response
that John Derbyshire, a National Review Online (NRO) columnist, wrote to an NRO article
by George Gilder, a co-founder of the Discovery Institute. Derbyshire says,
It’s a wearying business, arguing with Creationists. Basically, it is a game of Whack-a-Mole. They make an argument, you whack it down. They make a second, you whack it down. They make a third, you whack it down. So they make the first argument again.
-- and anti-Darwinists see arguing with Darwinists as a wearying business. Darwinists have this idea that any argument that they present is automatically an airtight refutation. For example, Darwinists think that the idea of "exaptation" (also called "co-option" or "co-optation" ) -- the notion that some parts of an irreducibly complex system had different functions before becoming part of the system -- completely refutes the idea of irreducible complexity, but exaptation is "whacked down" here
. The absurd concept of exaptation is the Darwinists' only answer to irreducible complexity.
It would be less boring if they’d come up with a new argument once in a while, but they never do.
Questioning co-evolution is not new, but I have questioned co-evolution
in ways that I have been unable to find elsewhere on the Internet. Not even the "experts" over at Panda's Thumb were able to help me.
Also, there are things called "oldies but goodies" -- an argument is not necessarily bad just because it is old. And new evidence can revive or reinvigorate old arguments -- for example, recent discoveries about the great complexity of one-celled organisms have added support to the principle of irreducible complexity.
Nowadays I just refer argumentative e-mailers to the TalkOrigins website, where any argument you are ever going to hear from a Creationist is whacked down several times over. Don’t think it’ll stop ’em, though.
You're right -- it won't stop 'em. Many of the TalkOrigins website's rebuttals of creationist arguments are very sketchy, consisting of just a few sentences. For example, the TalkOrigins' article on "obligate mutualism"
does not even begin to address the questions about co-evolution
that have been raised on this blog. So arguments against co-evolution were not even "whacked down" once, let alone several times over.
Creationists seem not to be aware of how central evolution is to modern biology. Without it, nothing makes sense.
Contrary to the idea that evolution is central to modern biology, I assert that it is possible to study biology without any reference to evolution theory at all (in fact, lots of students have done it), but if it makes biologists more comfortable, they can continue to use the concepts and tools of Darwinism even while believing that all or part of it is untrue.
To say to biologists: “Look, I want you to drop all this nonsense about evolution and listen to me,” is like walking into a room full of pilots and aeronautical engineers and telling them that classical aerodynamics is all hogwash.
Well, classical aerodynamics looks like hogwash. No method of scientific or engineering analysis has a lower physical relationship to reality than conformal mapping, which is used in aerodynamics. NASA says "Conformal mapping is a mathematical technique used to convert (or map) one mathematical problem and solution into another. It involves the study of complex variables ....... Many years ago, the Russian mathematician Joukowski developed a mapping function that converts a circular cylinder into a family of airfoil shapes."
I previously pointed out another kind of analysis that has little or no physical relationship to reality: the use of complex-plane mathematics in the analysis of AC circuits
-- the complex impedance vector
is particularly devoid of physical meaning.
Biologists are of all scientists least in need of a new metaphysic. Neurophysiology aside, it is in the “hard” sciences that our epistemological underwear is showing. When physicists have to resort to explanations involving teeny strings vibrating in scrunched-up eleven-dimensional spaces a trillion trillion trillion trillionth of an inch across, or cosmologists try to tell us that entire universes are proliferating every nanosecond like bacteria in a petri dish, there is a case to be made for a metaphysical overhaul. Not that work in these fields has come to a baffled dead stop, as George seems to imply ........ Biology, by contrast, really has no outstanding epistemological problems.
Ahem. Biology has no epistemological problems? Biologists don't even have a hypothesis -- let alone a theory -- for explaining the origin of life.
Why is the proportion of scientists willing to accept it [creationism] still stuck below (well below, as best I can estimate) one percent?
Wrong. A recent poll of physicians
-- who are well-trained in the biological sciences -- shows that a large percentage of them are skeptical of Darwinism.
Darwinists' disdain for their opponents extends well beyond biology and into other fields, such as law. For example, in response to my literal interpretation of Rule 12
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, "Dan," a friend of Ed Brayton who teaches constitutional law, responded with nothing but invective
and Ed banned me permanently from his blog, "Dispatches from the Culture Wars." The Darwinists think that in any debate, they are the only ones who are informed and who can think logically. Everyone else is stupid and ignorant.
Labels: Evolution controversy (4 of 4)