I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

Name:
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Shameless ballyhoo about Darwin



Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, the founder of the analysis of heat conduction in solids. Also a great mathematician.



In a NY Times opinion piece titled "Darwinmania," Olivia Judson exults,

The party is about to begin.

In a week or so, the trumpets will sound, heralding the start of 18 months of non-stop festivities in honor of Charles Darwin. July 1, 2008, is the 150th anniversary of the first announcement of his discovery of natural selection, the main driving force of evolution. Since 2009 is the 200th anniversary of Darwin’s birth (Feb. 12), as well as being the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterpiece, “On the Origin of Species” (Nov. 24), the extravaganza is set to continue until the end of next year. Get ready for Darwin hats, t-shirts, action figures, naturally selected fireworks and evolving chocolates. Oh, and lots of books and speeches.

How can Darwinists object to being called "Darwinists" when so many Darwinists worship Darwin. Sheeesh.
.
I'm jealous. My own field of mechanical engineering -- even most of its specialties and many of its subspecialties -- has no central unifying principle and no single founding individual. My own specialty, heat transfer analysis, has the heat transfer modes of conduction, convection, and radiation, but only conduction has a single unifying principle, Fourier's Law, and a single founder, Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier. So maybe I should celebrate "Fourier Day" and get some "I love Fourier" items -- maybe a T-shirt, a coffee mug, and a bumper sticker.

Biologists have an inferiority complex as a result of the kind of attitude expressed by Lord Rutherford: "All science is either physics or stamp collecting." As a result of this inferiority complex, biologists are waging a prestige war against other branches of science by boasting that biology has something that the other branches don't have, a grand central supreme overarching underlying unifying theory of everything, Darwinism.

The article continues,

By 1858, Darwin had spent more than 20 years studying plants and animals and thinking about evolution. . . . But he had published nothing. (He had, however, published books on several other subjects, including an exhaustive study of barnacles, both living and extinct.) Then, in June of that year, Darwin received a package from a young man named Alfred Russel Wallace; in the package, Wallace enclosed a brief manuscript in which he outlined the principle of evolution by natural selection.

On July 1, 1858, Wallace’s manuscript, as well as a couple of short statements on natural selection by Darwin . . . . were read at a meeting of the Linnean Society in London. . . .

Of the material presented that night, the manuscript by Wallace is, in some respects, the more impressive: it is clearer and more accessible. Yet it is Darwin we celebrate; it is Darwin who, like a god in a temple, sits in white marble and presides over the main hall at the Natural History Museum in London. Why?

The reason is the “Origin” . . . .the “Origin” changed everything. Before the “Origin,” the diversity of life could only be catalogued and described; afterwards, it could be explained and understood. Before the “Origin,” species were generally seen as fixed entities, the special creations of a deity; afterwards, they became connected together on a great family tree that stretches back, across billions of years, to the dawn of life. Perhaps most importantly, the “Origin” changed our view of ourselves. It made us as much a part of nature as hummingbirds and bumblebees (or humble-bees, as Darwin called them); we, too, acquired a family tree with a host of remarkable and distinguished ancestors.
(emphasis added)

So the article says that the "Origin" (which as everyone knows is the book "On the Origin of Species") "changed our view of ourselves" -- i.e., Darwinism is not just a scientific idea but represents a worldview, a philosophy of life, and even a religion. And I don't know why Judson calls our putative ancestors "remarkable and distinguished"; while I don't think that the idea of being descended from monkeys -- or worse -- is anything to be ashamed of, I don't consider it anything to be proud of, either.

Darwinists seem to regard the idea of natural selection as a stroke of genius, but it is really just a mickey mouse idea -- all it says is that fitter organisms are more likely to survive and reproduce than less fit organisms. Duh. Natural selection does not compare to the genius and elegance of many of the ideas I have seen in engineering, science, and mathematics, e.g., (1) using complex-plane vectors to analyze AC circuits and (2) the Joukowski transformation of conformal mapping, where the aerodynamics of rotating cylinders is used to analyze the aerodynamics of fixed-wing airfoils.

Also, why is Wallace largely forgotten today? He made a lot of independent contributions to evolution theory and it was he who induced Darwin to finally write and publish "On the Origin of Species" after years of procrastination. Maybe the reason why Wallace is ignored is that it was his misfortune to not have the same official birthdate as Abraham Lincoln. LOL Well, at least he has not been forgotten by the Linnean Society of London -- a medal conferred by the society is named for both Darwin and Wallace.

The article "Darwinmania" is one of a series by Olivia Judson. Other articles in the series so far are listed below. I have already posted an article about "Let's Get Rid of Darwinism":

An Original Confession

Let's Get Rid of Darwinism

A Natural Selection
.

Labels:

25 Comments:

Anonymous Jim said...

"How can Darwinists object to being called "Darwinists" when so many Darwinists worship Darwin."

There's no worship of Darwin. Darwin is a "celebration" of "science and humanity" and is meant to be an educational experience. But you can keep focusing on the singularity of the name if it makes you feel better.

http://www.darwinday.org/NEWlang/aboutddc/history.html

It started at Stanford and "the overall goal of the original concept was to recognize the achievements of humanity as represented in the acquisition of verifiable scientific knowledge."

It wasn't until 2000 that the current advisory committee began to form and the event turned into a wide scale thing as opposed to a singular event at Stanford. Coincidentally this is only a year after the appearance of the DI's wedge strategy and, although it doesn't say it on the website, I'm sure it went a long way to spur the expansion of Darwin Day.

"So maybe I should celebrate "Fourier Day" and get some "I love Fourier" items -- maybe a T-shirt, a coffee mug, and a bumper sticker."

Maybe if some day the DI publishes a memo explicitly laying out a strategy to systematically discredit your field and begins telling all the mechanical engineers that they're full of shit and it's actually God causing heat transfer you'll have your Fourier Day complete with merchandise.

" Biologists have an inferiority complex as a result of the kind of attitude expressed by Lord Rutherford: "All science is either physics or stamp collecting."

Does it actually hurt to be so ignorant? You clearly don't know any biologists as I have yet to meet a single one who gives a damn about what other people think about their field. Biologists don't have an inferiority complex, Lord Ruthorford just happens to have a SUPERIORITY complex.

"As a result of this inferiority complex, biologists are waging a prestige war against other branches of science by boasting that biology has something that the other branches don't have, a grand central supreme overarching underlying unifying theory of everything, Darwinism."

Now here your just making shit up. Biologists don't boast anything and don't see any sort of superiority due to the fact that evolution is a central concept in biology (notice I didn't say unifying?). All the biologists I've met are concerned with one thing: obtaining data and expanding their field of study.

"i.e., Darwinism is not just a scientific idea but represents a worldview, a philosophy of life, and even a religion."

HAHA you claim you're not a fundy but you parrot their talking points like one.

" Darwinists seem to regard the idea of natural selection as a stroke of genius, but it is really just a mickey mouse idea -- all it says is that fitter organisms are more likely to survive and reproduce than less fit organisms. Duh."

Many of the great discoveries of science turned out to be incredibly obvious AFTER they were realized. You have the benefit of hindsight so of course it seems obvious.

"Natural selection does not compare to the genius and elegance of many of the ideas I have seen in engineering, science, and mathematics"

That's because you know nothing about it.

Friday, July 25, 2008 8:01:00 AM  
Anonymous jim said...

"Lord Ruthorford just happens to have a SUPERIORITY complex."

just happenED to have a superiority complex.

Friday, July 25, 2008 8:03:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"You have the benefit of hindsight"

He does?

Friday, July 25, 2008 8:28:00 AM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Lord Rutherford just happened to have a SUPERIORITY complex."

Perhaps this explains why physics has been wandering in the wilderness ...

Friday, July 25, 2008 8:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, the only effect of posting multiple entries on your blog which all say the same thing, more or less, is that your seeming stupidity is magnified and multiplied. You have repeatedly said that 'Darwinism' is a religion, a worldview and a philosophy, but, so far, have yet to provide even a single shred of evidence of ANYONE 'worshipping' Darwin as you describe, far less this being the case of everyone you describe as 'Darwinists'.

Friday, July 25, 2008 11:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone pray to Chucky D? Claim to see him in bagels or other pastries? Any miracles attributed to Chuck? Do you claim that people worship George Washington because he has his own day, his image on currency (something Darwin doesn't have, at least in the US), his own monument? Or Lincoln, for that matter?

Friday, July 25, 2008 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

One of the main reasons that Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-proposer of evolution by accidental variations and natural selection, is rarely mentioned by apostles of conventional Darwinism and materialism, is that he changed his views and became the first intelligent design theorist. So we can be sure that those guys will never celebrate Wallace's birthday!

Friday, July 25, 2008 1:35:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

A Darwinist bawled, "I'm a tard,
For I worshipped old Darwin too hard!
As his theory collapses,
My neural synapses
Are sputtering, hopelessly scarred."

Friday, July 25, 2008 1:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>One of the main reasons that Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-proposer of evolution by accidental variations and natural selection, is rarely mentioned by apostles of conventional Darwinism and materialism, is that he changed his views and became the first intelligent design theorist.<<<<

No, he didn't. He had a lot of questions and speculations, seemingly stemming from the idea that, 'natural selection could only have endowed the savage with a brain a little superior to that of an ape, whereas he actually possesses one but very little inferior to that of the average members of our learned societies', and that, 'The same line of argument may be used in connexion with the structural and mental organs of human speech, since that faculty can hardly have been physically useful to the lowest class of savages', which he and Darwin fundamentally disagreed about. The various speculations and questions he posed were quote-mined and twisted quite spectacularly by the Discovery Institute to suggest he proposed ID, as so:

[T]here seems to be evidence of a Power which has guided the action of those laws [of organic development] in definite directions and for special ends. And so far from this view being out of harmony with the teachings of science, it has a striking analogy with what is now taking place in the world…

but the full quote reveals he most definitely accepted evolution as being the predominant force:

While admitting to the full extent the agency of the same great laws of organic development in the origin of the human race as in the origin of all organized beings, there yet seems to be evidence of a Power which has guided the action of those laws [The Discovery Institute inserted "of organic development" here] in definite directions and for special ends. And so far from this view being out of harmony with the teachings of science, it has a striking analogy with what is now taking place in the world, and is thus strictly uniformitarian in character.

We now know that the entire premise upon which Wallace based his questions and speculations is false, as the reason the 'savages' and 'non-savages' are so close, in terms of speech and brain-power, is that they are one and the same, and, even then, at best, he only speculated about some kind of weak form of ID regarding particular parts of mankind's development, and attributed the rest to evolution.

Friday, July 25, 2008 2:01:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"his image on currency (something Darwin doesn't have, at least in the US)"

Good point. BTW, Darwin has appeared on British currency. Which is fine -- they're entitled.

Friday, July 25, 2008 3:37:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"structural and mental organs of human speech"

It has been said that the development of speech was one of the key innovations that made humans possible (along with upright posture). It's an "enabling capability" from which many surprises, not readily predictable, flowed. A fine example of evolutionary bootstrapping in action.

Friday, July 25, 2008 3:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Alfred Russel Wallace became a genuine intelligent design theorist. The title of his last book was: The World of Life: A Manifestation of Creative Power, Directive Mind and Ultimate Purpose.

In Chapter XIV, entitled Proofs of Organising Mind, Wallace held that the wing of the bird was intelligently designed. On p. 287-8 of the 1914 edition, he wrote:

"Looking at it as a whole, the bird's wing seems to me to be, of all the mere mechanical organs of any living thing, that which clearly implies the working out of a preconceived design in a new and apparently most complex and difficult manner, yet so as to produce a marvellously successful result. The idea worked out was..."

And, Wallace held that pre-existing mind is the cause of brain development, rather than the reverse, in both humans and other animals:

"so we may believe that mind is the cause, not the consequence, of brain development...the mind-giver, in like manner, enables each class or order of animals to obtain the amount of mind requisite for its place in nature, and to organise a brain such as is required for the manifestation of that limited amount of mind and no more." (p.284)

Somewhat like Michael Behe, Wallace thus eventually ascribed some features in life to intelligent design, and others to accidental variations plus natural selection: in a long process of descent of mew species from older ones. He proposed that "myriads" of "intelligences" were involved in this process, in his conclusion (p.400).

Friday, July 25, 2008 4:48:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

If Darwinists don't want to be accused of worshipping Darwin, then they should cut the "I love Darwin" crap, the "Friend of Darwin" certificate crap, the Darwin-Lincoln crap, etc.. IMO celebrating Darwin Day is OK in moderation.

Jim Sherwood said...

>>>>>> One of the main reasons that Alfred Russel Wallace, the co-proposer of evolution by accidental variations and natural selection, is rarely mentioned by apostles of conventional Darwinism and materialism, is that he changed his views and became the first intelligent design theorist. So we can be sure that those guys will never celebrate Wallace's birthday! <<<<<<

Well, Wallace is on the Darwin-Wallace medal of the Linnean Society of London, so I doubt that he repudiated Darwinism.

Friday, July 25, 2008 4:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

A minor error in the above: Wallace wrote that the bird's wing is "that which most clearly implies the working out of a preconceived design," not "that which clearly implies the working out of a preconceived design."

Friday, July 25, 2008 4:56:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Larry: Wallace repudiated Darwinism alright, in the sense that he came to believe that intelligent design plays an important role in "evolution." See my quotes from Wallace's last book (above), The World of Life: A Manifestation of Creative Power, Directive Mind, and Ultimate Purpose. Wallace held that bird's wings were intelligently designed, for instance.

Darwin and Wallace broke rather sharply, and Darwin wrote to Wallace: "I hope you have not murdered too completely your own and my child." (I believe that's the exact quote.)

But Wallace continued, very confusingly, to call his own theory of evolution--which involved intelligent action--"Darwinism."

What the Linnean Society may make of that, I have no idea. But many books and encyclopedias gloss over Wallaces's later views on intelligent design, or don't mention them at all.

Friday, July 25, 2008 5:37:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

A minor error in the above: Wallace wrote that the bird's wing is "that which most clearly implies ..."

Acknowledging an instance of intellectual integrity on your part. (Genuine compliment.) Thank you.

Friday, July 25, 2008 6:42:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"Well, Wallace is on the Darwin-Wallace medal of the Linnean Society ..."

Looks like they politely declined to ding him for senility.

Friday, July 25, 2008 6:45:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim Sherwood wrote, "Alfred Russel Wallace became a genuine intelligent design theorist"

But Jim wrote (about six weeks ago): "ID originated in the 1970's when it began to appear to some scientists that intelligence was apparently necessary to account for some features of terrestial life.

One of the first to propose the ID hypothesis was astrophysicist Fred Hoyle, who had been a lifelong materialist and atheist. In 1982 Hoyle wrote that "intelligent design," as he called it, is the best explanation for the first living cells on earth. At that time, Hoyle supposed that the intelligence involved is space aliens.
Monday, June 09, 2008 2:00:00 PM"

So which is it? And why are you inconsistent?

Friday, July 25, 2008 9:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Anonymous: to be more precise, I should have said that intelligent design in its modern form originated in the late 1970's, with astrophysicist Fred Hoyle playing a leading role. It's true that Alfred Russel Wallace and others had developed theories of intelligent design long before then. But they had had few followers.

Hoyle was influenced by Wallace: in his book Cosmic Life-Force, 1990, with his co-worker Chandra Wickramasinghe, he discussed Wallace at some length. Hoyle proposed that a "cosmic intelligence" that emerged by natural causes, probably played a role in designing some features of life.

Saturday, July 26, 2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

In 1982 Hoyle proposed what he called the the "intelligent design" of the first microorganisms on earth, by space aliens. By 1990 he and Chandra Wickramasinghe, in their book Cosmic Life-Force, suggested that the designing intelligence may have been a "cosmic intelligence" that emerged by natural laws, rather than an extraterrestial civilization.

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe discussed Wallace at some length. So while ideas of intelligent design have been around at least since Wallace, the current wave of intelligent design thinking began in the late 1970's.

Saturday, July 26, 2008 12:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>>By 1990 he and Chandra Wickramasinghe, in their book Cosmic Life-Force, suggested that the designing intelligence may have been a "cosmic intelligence" that emerged by natural laws, rather than an extraterrestial civilization.<<<<

Interesting. What 'natural laws' gave birth to this 'cosmic intelligence'? You see, this is one of the major problems with ID. Even if you were to accept the idea, for a moment, that all life here was created by some Designer, where did the Designer come from? You could say that He, in turn was designed, but, if so, where did THAT Designer come from? If you follow it back, eventually you come to a first Designer, and he has to arise from either a natural process, such as evolution, or, basically, be a god. If you're saying he arose from a natural process, how is it that you can accept that a natural process can result in such a complex being as to be able to artificially design and create life itself, but you can't accept that a natural process can simply result in us? If you're saying he's a god, well, essentially, what you're proposing is 'creationism by proxy', but you also have to definitively prove such a being exists in order to design and create anything. And also, which god is he? God (as in the Christian God)? Allah? YWHW? The Flying Spaghetti Monster? Something else entirely?

Saturday, July 26, 2008 6:53:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Incidentally, I'm a long-time admirer of Alfred Russel Wallace. My information about him comes from reading his books and from books about him, not (as some imagine) from the Discovery Institute. I doubtless know a lot more about Wallace than does the DI.

So in 2006 I even commented at Uncommon Descent under the name alfredrusselwallace2. And I'll defend Wallace's name against those who besmirch it by claiming that he continued to agree with Darwin, or that Wallace's theory of evolution didn't come to involve an important element of intelligent design.

Sincerely yours, alfredrusselwallace2.

Monday, July 28, 2008 1:52:00 PM  
Anonymous 'Nonymous said...

"how is it that you can accept that a natural process can result in such a complex being as to be able to artificially design and create life itself, but you can't accept that a natural process can simply result in us?"

Simple -- the intelligence required to create humans must be several orders of magnitude less than the (rather limited) intelligence that they display.

Makes sense, no? (NO!)

Note once again how JS totally dodges a reasonable question -- that is his hallmark, his signature.

Monday, July 28, 2008 2:04:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Jim Sherwood said...

>>>>>>> Incidentally, I'm a long-time admirer of Alfred Russel Wallace. My information about him comes from reading his books and from books about him, not (as some imagine) from the Discovery Institute. I doubtless know a lot more about Wallace than does the DI. <<<<<<

That's right, Jim -- the Darwinists keep claiming that we have been brainwashed by the DI and that we can't think for ourselves.

Monday, July 28, 2008 2:06:00 PM  
Anonymous LS/JF Dog/Pony Show said...

Larry Sherwood and Jim Fafarman sing:

"But we digress."

Monday, July 28, 2008 3:33:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home