Darwiniana

History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Entries from February 2006

Erasmus Darwin

February 28th, 2006 · No Comments

Erasmus Darwin had the right idea, and is arguably deserving of the title, along with Lamarck, that his grandson got, stealing the credit by Wallace also. Michael Ruse’s diatribe against evolutionism in his Evolution/Creation Struggle misses the point that all theories of evolution are evolutionism, but the necessity is to get the question of progress […]

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Tags: Evolution

Dennett: A Science Authority

February 27th, 2006 · No Comments

Here’s quote from Dennett’s article in the current instalment of Seed magazine. I would have to admit Dennett has shock value: his thinking is so silly you are taken aback, Can he be serious?

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Tags: Evolution

The Vampire is back!!!

February 27th, 2006 · 1 Comment

In the last post I cited a letter to Enlightenment magazine (wie.org) about the ‘second Axial Age’, and in the process of reading up on it found a note on this guy, ‘Da Free John’, one of the more notorious of the New Age gurus. Many will not have heard of him. After the blowout […]

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Tags: New Age

More on ‘Second’ Axial Age

February 27th, 2006 · No Comments

I have a previous post on Karen Armstrong’s notion of a ‘Second Axial Age’, a completely confused idea, see here. This was an interview at Enlightenment magazine. A letter to the editor in the next issue shows total confusion on the subject. Sit down and study the eonic effect, and the eonic model, and the […]

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Tags: Evolution · New Age · The Axial Age

Selection and Speciation

February 27th, 2006 · 1 Comment

Every time an ounce of evidence comes in favoring Darwinism, we suddenly hear that the theory has NOT been confirmed. Here is an interesting example: New evidence that natural selection is a general driving force behind the origin of species. What else, given their methodology, could they discover but natural selection? This completely begs the […]

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Tags: Evolution

Hoodwinking Judge Jones

February 26th, 2006 · No Comments

Judge Jones (that ‘notorious so and so, etc…) has spoken out on his decision: Philly.com. To rule that ID is not science is one thing. But to imply therefore that Darwinian natural selection is science, then, is a subtle trap into which the Judge fell. For a biologist to go that route is one thing, […]

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Tags: Evolution

Rapid evolution

February 26th, 2006 · No Comments

Global Warming Fuels Speedy Evolution Date: 27 Feb 2006

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Tags: Evolution

The need for feedback

February 26th, 2006 · No Comments

The use of the term ‘evolution’ is, of course, very general, and I was amused to come across this revealing snippet, here p2p news view / p2pnet: The network providers say that a vibrant market will evolve if we just let them prioritize their networks. But evolution requires feedback. The problem with the AT&T (say) […]

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Tags: Evolution

Beyond Natural Selection

February 26th, 2006 · No Comments

An excerpt from Robert Wesson’s Beyond Natural Selection. This book, almost never cited in the Darwin debate, is proof that it is possible for a biologist to indulge in an intelligent critique of Darwin’s theory, do biology, and not get entangled in religious arguments.

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Tags: Evolution

DarkSyde rants

February 25th, 2006 · No Comments

DarkSyde at Daily Kos skewers ID. But the problem is this critique is mostly cliche ridden Darwinian shibboleths. An attempt is made to play the ‘Darwinism as a term is a creationist ploy’, etc… My objection here is that the considerable power of this high traffic blog is being used to promote the Darwin fallacy […]

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Tags: Evolution

Holding Dennett responsible…

February 24th, 2006 · 1 Comment

At the beginning of Dennett’s Breaking the Spell he notes the title echoes Meera Nanda’s Breaking the Spell of Dharma. Below is a revealing essay on Sam Harris’ The End of Faith by the same author. Harris must be baffled by the flak he has taken for the ‘mystical’ overtones in his book. I would […]

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Tags: Evolution

Banalization of Darwinian Nihilism

February 23rd, 2006 · No Comments

Came across a good discussion of nihilism: The Banalization of Nihilism, by Karen Carr (Suny, 1992), dealing with the idea from Nietzsche through Barth, then Rorty. The term ‘banalization’ is right, and it seems to be one part of the good cover for Darwin’s ‘nihilism’, miserable dunce that he was, with his cheerful incomprehension of […]

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Tags: Evolution · Philosophy

‘Esoteric’ deception

February 23rd, 2006 · No Comments

The question of Strauss and his ‘esoteric’ fancies backs up into the question of Nietzsche and his liberal fan club. My problem with Nietzsche is simple: despite respect for his genius I don’t trust him, and wouldn’t know how to correct that short of reading him for a decade with a magnifying glass. He wouldn’t […]

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Tags: General · Philosophy

Origins question

February 23rd, 2006 · No Comments

Have too many cooks spoiled the prebiotic soup? Twenty-five years ago, Francis Crick, who co–discovered the structure of DNA, published a provocative book titled Life Itself: Its Origin and Nature. Crick speculated that early in Earth’s history a civilization from a distant planet had sent a spaceship to Earth bearing the seeds of life. Whether […]

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Tags: Evolution

Anti-evolution Petition

February 23rd, 2006 · No Comments

Kenneth Chang probes Discovery Institute claims and Panda’s Thumb discusses this.

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Tags: Evolution

Dennett: leader among ostriches

February 22nd, 2006 · No Comments

Boston.com adds an article to the dreary discussion of Dennett’s Breaking the Spell with a short catalogue of some of the research on religion. But these kinds of studies–I am trying to be patient–have never amounted to much of anything. They are really assertions of a secular belief system and the presumption of some rational […]

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Tags: Evolution

Western Civilization?

February 22nd, 2006 · 2 Comments

As a prelude to a consideration of postmodern history here is an essay by Windschuttle, the mongoose on the warpath for such things. If you are a postcolonialist, read no further. Actually Windshuttle has a point. Postmodern historiography is part of the decay it is complaining about. The interest for me here is merely to […]

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Tags: 1848+ · Evolution · History

There’s something fishy about Darwinism

February 18th, 2006 · No Comments

There’s something fishy about human brain evolution

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Tags: Evolution

Times review of Dennett

February 18th, 2006 · No Comments

The Times Book Review, tomorrow, has a review of Dennett’s Breaking the Spell: The question of the place of science in human life is not a scientific question. It is a philosophical question. Scientism, the view that science can explain all human conditions and expressions, mental as well as physical, is a superstition, one of […]

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Tags: Booknotes · Evolution · Science & Religion

Tower Of Babel

February 18th, 2006 · No Comments

One of the biggest fallacies in the Darwin debate-and this is not an endorsement of ID arguments–was Pennock’s argument in Tower of Babel about the evolution of language. Comparing linguistic and Darwinian evolution, as Pennock did in that book, is a complete non-starter. The superficial resemblance of the differentiation processes visible in human linguistic families […]

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Tags: Evolution · History · The Eonic Effect

A Tale of Two Design Arguments

February 16th, 2006 · No Comments

ID keeps getting denounced as not science. OK. But is Darwinism science then? ID is a design argument. Darwinism, based on natural selection (design language), claims that this process does the designing. Ergo, it is a design argument. Think about it, keeping in mind that ‘supernatural design’ might be one thing, while ‘naturalistic design’ would […]

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Tags: Evolution

More ‘Second Axial Age’ confusion

February 16th, 2006 · No Comments

The confusion over the term ‘Axial Age’ has found a successor in the idea of a Second Axial Age. I recommend graduating from the idea of the ‘Axial Age’ to the total phenomenon called the ‘Eonic Effect’.

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Tags: Evolution · The Axial Age · The Eonic Effect

Religion and naturalism

February 16th, 2006 · 2 Comments

Dennett in Breaking the Spell passes himself off as some kind of persecuted enquirer after the truth of religion. The spell that I say must be broken is the taboo against a forthright, scientific, no-holds-barred investigation of religion as one natural phenomenon among many. Who on earth is stopping any scientist from doing any of […]

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Tags: New Age · Science & Religion

Davison’s Manifesto

February 16th, 2006 · 1 Comment

Uncommon Descent on the case of John Davison. His manifesto is below

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Tags: Evolution