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History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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The reductionist fallacies of darwinism

October 1st, 2014 · No Comments

From yesterday: http://darwiniana.com/2014/09/30/marxist-darwinism-a-dead-duck/
http://darwiniana.com/2014/09/30/the-need-to-break-out-of-darwinian-inertia/
http://darwiniana.com/2014/09/30/darwinism-in-defeat/

The failure of ‘secular’ scientific culture to see through the confusion of Darwinism (the theory of natural selection, not the fact of evolution) is a remarkable failure given the length of time and the centrality of the whole paradigm. In comparison with physics where paradigm shifting is almost constant, the stagnation of evolutionism requires some analysis and commentary. It is a simple difference: problem solving smarts, and problem discovering smarts.

The world’s smartest physicists, and, tellingly, the majority until recently of ‘supersmart’ jews and their other cultural analogs ‘the smart set’ (with significant exceptions, e.g. Johann Von Neuman), stuck doggedly to the stark fallacy of natural selection, and even distorted the understandings of statistics to maintain the ‘theory’. There is even a Wikipedia page that promotes ‘Hoyle’s fallacy’.
How can we explain this? I can’t, actually, but have some obvious comments, at least. Clearly, physics and (evolutionary) biology are different. But let us note that ‘biology’, as such, is a close associate of biochemical sciences, which are also ‘hard’ sciences, like physics. This undercurrent has apparently confused scientists, the more so since the reductionist project here is quite viable, up to a point. As science has graduated to life sciences some kind of fallacy and false analogy has gained ground. The path upward via reductionist closure suddenly becomes fallacious.
We can see the fallacy in the way that ‘biological scientists’ cling to formulas. The ‘formulas’ of natural section have reached a very advanced form in population genetics. I am struck by the sneers of people like Berlinski here. And, for myself, I find the crypto-Newtonian analog distorting correct thinking. The formulas of population genetics are hard to assess, but my feeling (and I have surveyed a lot of math subjects) as always a kind of suspicion the analog to Newton’s laws was an unconscious fantasy in this field. And the analog is false, surely. The formulas here are statistical gumbo and don’t predict anything whatever.
But this sense that the mathematization of a field has somehow put evolution into a class with physics is gross overestimation. The reality is probably that we can’t truly speak of a science of evolution. Of biology, yes, OK. But evolution is a tangent to biology and enters into a different universe of discourse. But here the illusion is maintained in the adamant fundamentalism of genetics, thence biochemistry. Here, I think, we approach the problem. Real evolution is not necessarily genetic (as common sense should remind us in the manifold usage of the term for any number of ‘developmental’ sequences, e.g. the evolution of music, of automobiles, etc…).
That means there must be form factors more general than the genetic to either guide or ‘causally determine/direct’ sequences in development. That factor is often obscure, if it is present at all as evolution. What form factor is involved in the transitions of classical music from Monteverdi to Mozart, late Beethoven, Wagner, and then the realm of atonality? Can we seriously call this development ‘evolution’. We may have mixed several things. But the answer is ‘sure’. The term in slang usage is so fuzzy as to be no fail, but… But there was no doubt some form factor of great obscurity in the ‘development’ from Mozart to late Beethoven/Wagner. Darn’d if I know.
But in the case of biology this suggests some form factor that operates beyond the level of genetics. A most un-Darwinian ‘heresy’. But surely the Cambrian suggests it. Form factors practically reached an apotheosis of ‘primordial body plans’ in experimental extravagance before settling into a set of fixed series. What was all that about? And the decided succession of constellations of form, ‘animal’/’plant’, vertebrate to primate, etc… This is obscure, but the assumption it all emerged from random mutations in genetic sequences doesn’t even sound intelligent if you think about it. It is a kind of ‘dumb error’ that saved the logic of a kind of scientism.
Surely the history of biological objects/subjects shows a massive number of ‘form factors’, yet at this point we can’t name one.

So, in any case, we can see that biology is not physics, but is still close, while evolution is apparently something else altogether. We can see where biologists get confused: the formulas of natural selection seem to do the same thing as Newton’s Laws, and the mind clings to those formulas as the answer, but the reality is somehow far different.

Here the study of the macro effect in world history (WHEE: history and evolution.com) shows a different set of ‘form factors’ operating over tens of millennia: we are far from understanding that, even as we become suspicious that civilizations ‘evolving’ are not really different from ‘organisms’ evolving. It may be a case of organisms/social-group-sets (of organisms) that are evolving in tandem, or even as one complementary process.

We have to study the long sequences of historical civilizations, but embedded are a set of exemplary transitions that generate a whole new set of ‘civilizational innovations’. Look at the Greek Archaic in parallel to the ‘Israel/Judah’ Canaanite parallel from -900 to -600 (a periodization requiring careful analysis): we can see similar or analogous ‘form factors’ at work in two completely different situations. We can see the rough outlines of a form factor: a geographical region undergoing a set of parallel/hi-low innovations in all the variable of culture/population with suspected genetic correlates in reflection.
Look at the Greek archaic in this way: new men in a new culture in a new era in a short burst of ‘evolutionary innovation’.
It is always possible this analysis in reality reflects some kind of design argument, but the basic issue is clear. Lo and behold we discover that the ‘musical transition’ seen in isolation for modern music shares the larger form factor of the modern transition!
Now we are really confused: we are in the presence of hypercomplex objects/sequences that we are inside of, and not able to really observe, save in retrospection. But we are making some progress in accumulating data here. But the point is clear that we can define ‘evolution’ without clear genetic correlates. But form factors here are not necessarily inconceivable: we have to try and visualize a cultural sequence developing over a region over x number of centuries, a stunning problem, but not an inconceivable one. Elephants are big, but his ‘object’ is bigger, much bigger.

The moral for earlier evolution is not clear: the history of civilizations may give us some hints, but in general we are forced to realize we don’t really observe past evolution at close range. The ‘evolution’ of the elephant’s trunk has NOT been observed either in general or in the specific sequences over tens of millennia stretching to eons. We weren’t there, and had no cameras there either. So the actual sequence itself, let alone its causality, are not ‘factual’. In fact, such sequences are ‘Big Data’ at some astronomical level. And they are lost to us.

So we can see that we are in a different realm here: physics isn’t much help.

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