Tales from the quote mine: Leading Darwinists believe, with or without evidence – and why it matters
|November 9, 2011||Posted by News under Darwinism, Culture, News|
Churning through the quote mine, we note that Richard Dawkins wrote,
Instead of examining the evidence for and against rival theories, I shall adopt a more armchair approach. My argument will be that Darwinism is the only known theory that is in principle capable of explaining certain aspects of life. If I am right it means that, even if there were no actual evidence in favour of the Darwinian theory (there is, of course) we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories – p. 287, Blind Watchmaker
The structure of the current punditocracy prevents anyone from coming to a logical conclusion about what this means, while remaining a favourite of hair model TV. But in In the Beginning, Granville Sewell reminds us (p. 104) that it is hardly an unusual stance:
Olan Hyndman, in The Origin of Life and the Evolution of Living Things , [Hyndman 1952], calls Darwinism “the most irrational and illogical explanation of natural phenomena extant.” Yet he says “I have one strong faith, that scientific phenomena are invariable… any exception is as unthinkable as to maintain that thunderbolts are tossed at us by a man-like god named Zeus,” and he goes on to develop an alternative – and even more illogical – theory (Lamarckian, basically) of the causes of evolution. Jean Rostand [Rostand 1956], quoted in previous chapters, says “However obscure the causes of evolution appear to me to be, I do not doubt for a moment that they are entirely natural.” Hans Gaffron [Gaffron 1960], in a paper presented at the 1959 University of Chicago Centennial Congress Evolution After Darwin, presents a theory on the origin of life, but admits, “no shred of evidence, no single fact whatever, forces us to believe in it. What exists is only the scientists’ wish not to admit a discontinuity in nature and not to assume a creative act forever beyond comprehension.”
We’ve said it before: Darwinism is not a theory in science, it is a mood, in both elite and popular culture.
Elite culture know it is true without evidence, and popular culture feels it is true without evidence – which is why so much beyond-parody evolutionary psychology rolls through the pop science press unchallenged.