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History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Evolution debate a liability for secularism itself

August 7th, 2009 · No Comments

The Evolution Controversy

The controversy over evolution has persisted since the publication of Darwin’s Origin to the point of becoming almost a liability for secular society itself. The relentless abuse of the evolution question in the pursuit of agendas, religious or scientific, is the principal culprit. But the ultimate source of the endless debate lies in the claims for natural selection made by Darwin, and the metaphysical character of his original theory. The claims for natural selection exceed the limits of correct observation and the result is the reductionist character of Darwinian attempts to explain the whole scope of biological phenomena in terms of scenarios of adaptation. We are left with the distorted world view characteristic of the era of positivistic scientism in which Darwin lived. The original critics of Darwin were not all motivated by religious beliefs and many of the first objections to the selectionist theory came from scientists themselves who saw at once that Darwin had overextended his claims for natural selection. T. H. Huxley himself, the principal champion of Darwin, said as much and thought the emphasis on natural selection would prove a problem. The later emergence of fundamentalist creationism has further confused the whole question. Lately, this has become the renewed challenge of the Intelligent Design movement, a more sophisticated version of the views of Paley. These claims for design simply compound the metaphysical burden of the debate and the result is the deadlock that we see in our own time as the question of evolution seems irresolvable.

Tags: Evolution · secularism

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