Home » Biology, Darwinism » Acids, Bases, Lyes, and Lies

Acids, Bases, Lyes, and Lies

Little did I realize that in a few years I would encounter an idea — Darwin’s idea — bearing an unmistakable likeness to universal acid: it eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view, with most of the old landmarks still recognizable, but transformed in fundamental ways.

Daniel Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1995), pg. 63

Unfortunately, Darwin’s idea, the Greatest Idea Anyone Ever Had — which is a totally naive and preposterously simplistic notion concerning macroevolution and the complexity of the cell, and which is based upon 19th-century ignorance about how biological stuff works — is more like Sodium Hydroxide (a universal Lye) than a universal acid.

Dennett got the pH backwards.

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4 Responses to Acids, Bases, Lyes, and Lies

  1. So, considering I don’t know too much about science history, how much do you think the era that Darwin wrote his book influenced its acceptance?

    I wish Darwin wouldn’t have wrote his book and we could see what people would think of life without his “infallible” ideas. :P

    Go go outdated ideas. Go go complete reluctance to accept the obvious. Go go plugging your ears!

    I’m so sick of the theory of evolution I cannot tell you. Sorry, I’m ranting a bit. Going through a rough time closely related to Darwin’s crazy ideas.

    But I still have the question above. lol I cannot answer my own question, but I’m sure that the era probably had much to do with it’s acceptance.

  2. “I wish Darwin wouldn’t have wrote his book and we could see what people would think of life without his “infallible” ideas.”

    I often wonder about that myself. If Darwin and the Darwinian crew had never gone the way of molecule to man (common descent vs. common design), would science be where it is today. Is the concept of common descent vital to scientific advancement? If anyone has run across any relevant articles contemplating this scenario, please reference them.

  3. Darwin’s dangerous idea is indeed a “universal acid.” So was Dialectical Materialism; so was the will to power.

    The very universality of the idea is also its Achilles’ heel, however. Grand theories like NS obtain universality through resistance to the varieties of existence. The very thing that makes them seem universal and delightfully simple also exposes them to the process of observation, which always produces complex results.

    The modern age is the age of great theories, which are always “antitheses” of existing constructs of value. History indicates that they will be replaced in time by new constructs as their substantive weaknesses are exposed.

    This seems to be happening now, but “How long…?”

  4. The way a theory becomes a “universal acid” is that its explanations are treated as the best explanations *by definition.*

    So any time any Darwinist can think up a Darwinian explanation for something – no matter how unlikely, and no matter that other systems offer more likely definitions – the Darwinian system is regarded as once again “proven”.

    Here is an example: A Darwinian explanation of homosexuality argues that homosexual people spread their selfish genes by helping to raise their siblings’ children.

    As I pointed out to a class last year, that explanation sheds no light whatever on the large gay community about two blocks east of the campus, who are not (for the most part) raising their siblings’ children.

    But the explanation doesn’t need to shed any light on them. It only needs to extend the range of explanations offered by Darwin’s theory.

    In its own terms, the theory is not contestable, let alone refutable. Its adherents are absolutely convinced of the bad faith and motives of all who doubt.

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