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Darwin reader: Darwin’s racism

In the face of systematic attempts to efface from public view, Darwin’s racism, a friend writes to offer quotes from Darwin’s Descent of Man:

Savages are intermediate states between people and apes:

“It has been asserted that the ear of man alone possesses a lobule; but ‘a rudiment of it is found in the gorilla’ and, as I hear from Prof. Preyer, it is not rarely absent in the negro.

“The sense of smell is of the highest importance to the greater number of mammals–to some, as the ruminants, in warning them of danger; to others, as the Carnivora, in finding their prey; to others, again, as the wild boar, for both purposes combined. But the sense of smell is of extremely slight service, if any, even to the dark coloured races of men, in whom it is much more highly developed than in the white and civilised races.”

“The account given by Humboldt of the power of smell possessed by the natives of South America is well known, and has been confirmed by others. M. Houzeau asserts that he repeatedly made experiments, and proved that Negroes and Indians could recognise persons in the dark by their odour. Dr. W. Ogle has made some curious observations on the connection between the power of smell and the colouring matter of the mucous membrane of the olfactory region as well as of the skin of the body. I have, therefore, spoken in the text of the dark-coloured races having a finer sense of smell than the white races….Those who believe in the principle of gradual evolution, will not readily admit that the sense of smell in its present state was originally acquired by man, as he now exists. He inherits the power in an enfeebled and so far rudimentary condition, from some early progenitor, to whom it was highly serviceable, and by whom it was continually used.”

[From Denyse: Decades ago, I distinguished myself by an ability to smell sugar in coffee. It wasn't very difficult, with a bit of practice, and it helped to sort out the office coffee orders handily. My best guess is that most people could learn the art if they wanted to. Most human beings don't even try to develop their sense of smell - we are mostly occupied with avoiding distressing smells or eliminating or else covering them up. I don't of course, say that we humans would ever have the sense of smell of a wolf, but only that Darwin's idea here is basically wrong and best explained by racism. ]

“It appears as if the posterior molar or wisdom-teeth were tending to become rudimentary in the more civilised races of man. These teeth are rather smaller than the other molars, as is likewise the case with the corresponding teeth in the chimpanzee and orang; and they have only two separate fangs. … In the Melanian races, on the other hand, the wisdom-teeth are usually furnished with three separate fangs, and are generally sound; they also differ from the other molars in size, less than in the Caucasian races.

“It is an interesting fact that ancient races, in this and several other cases, more frequently present structures which resemble those of the lower animals than do the modern. One chief cause seems to be that the ancient races stand somewhat nearer in the long line of descent to their remote animal-like progenitors.”

[From Denyse: The nice thing about teeth is that, if they give trouble, they can simply be pulled. I would be reluctant to found a big theory on the size or convenience of teeth, given that this  fact must have occurred to our ancestors many thousands of years ago.]

“It has often been said, as Mr. Macnamara remarks, that man can resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes; but this is true only of the civilised races. Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country.”
[From Denyse: Native North Americans often perished from human diseases to which they had not become immune in childhood. That is probably unrelated to the inability of anthropoid apes to stand cold climates.]

This includes the degraded morals of lower races:

“The above view of the origin and nature of the moral sense, which tells us what we ought to do, and of the conscience which reproves us if we disobey it, accords well with what we see of the early and undeveloped condition of this faculty in mankind…. A North-American Indian is well pleased with himself, and is honoured by others, when he scalps a man of another tribe; and a Dyak cuts off the head of an unoffending person, and dries it as a trophy. … With respect to savages, Mr. Winwood Reade informs me that the negroes of West Africa often commit suicide. It is well known how common it was amongst the miserable aborigines of South America after the Spanish conquest. … It has been recorded that an Indian Thug conscientiously regretted that he had not robbed and strangled as many travellers as did his father before him. In a rude state of civilisation the robbery of strangers is, indeed, generally considered as honourable.”

“As barbarians do not regard the opinion of their women, wives are commonly treated like slaves. Most savages are utterly indifferent to the sufferings of strangers, or even delight in witnessing them. It is well known that the women and children of the North-American Indians aided in torturing their enemies. Some savages take a horrid pleasure in cruelty to animals, and humanity is an unknown virtue….. Many instances could be given of the noble fidelity of savages towards each other, but not to strangers; common experience justifies the maxim of the Spaniard, “Never, never trust an Indian.”

[From Denyse: If early modern Europeans in Canada had not trusted "Indians," they would all have died off pretty quickly.]

“The other so-called self-regarding virtues, which do not obviously, though they may really, affect the welfare of the tribe, have never been esteemed by savages, though now highly appreciated by civilised nations. The greatest intemperance is no reproach with savages.”

“I have entered into the above details on the immorality of savages, because some authors have recently taken a high view of their moral nature, or have attributed most of their crimes to mistaken benevolence. These authors appear to rest their conclusion on savages possessing those virtues which are serviceable, or even necessary, for the existence of the family and of the tribe,–qualities which they undoubtedly do possess, and often in a high degree.”

[From Denyse: Charles Darwin, let me introduce you to Hollywood, before you say any more silly things about the supposed immorality of "savages." ]

Making slavery understandable, though of course distasteful now:

“Slavery, although in some ways beneficial during ancient times, is a great crime; yet it was not so regarded until quite recently, even by the most civilised nations. And this was especially the case, because the slaves belonged in general to a race different from that of their masters.”

[From Denyse: Not really. In ancient times, slaves were typically unransomed captives in war, convicted criminals, or people who had fallen into irrecoverable debt. In Roman times, there would be nothing unusual about being a slave to someone of the same race as oneself. Slavery based on race alone was an early modern legal invention, aimed against blacks.]

Mass killings of savages is understandable as a type of species extinction:

“At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

“The partial or complete extinction of many races and sub-races of man is historically known….When civilised nations come into contact with barbarians the struggle is short, except where a deadly climate gives its aid to the native race…. The grade of their civilisation seems to be a most important element in the success of competing nations. A few centuries ago Europe feared the inroads of Eastern barbarians; now any such fear would be ridiculous.”

“[Flinders Island], situated between Tasmania and Australia, is forty miles long, and from twelve to eighteen miles broad: it seems healthy, and the natives were well treated. Nevertheless, they suffered greatly in health….With respect to the cause of this extraordinary state of things, Dr. Story remarks that death followed the attempts to civilise the natives.” [--Obviously the problem was trying to civilize these barbarians!]

“Finally, although the gradual decrease and ultimate extinction of the races of man is a highly complex problem, depending on many causes which differ in different places and at different times; it is the same problem as that presented by the extinction of one of the higher animals.”

Of course the degradation extends to the intellectual:

“There is, however, no doubt that the various races, when carefully compared and measured, differ much from each other,–as in the texture of the hair, the relative proportions of all parts of the body …Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in their emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison, must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn, even morose, aborigines of S. America and the light-hearted, talkative negroes. There is a nearly similar contrast between the Malays and the Papuans who live under the same physical conditions, and are separated from each other only by a narrow space of sea.”

[From Denyse: I would imagine that the aborigines of South America felt some resentment over the loss of their continent to invaders from Europe ... ]

” A certain amount of absorption of mulattoes into negroes must always be in progress; and this would lead to an apparent diminution of the former. The inferior vitality of mulattoes is spoken of in a trustworthy work as a well-known phenomenon; and this, although a different consideration from their lessened fertility, may perhaps be advanced as a proof of the specific distinctness of the parent races.”

“So far as we are enabled to judge, although always liable to err on this head, none of the differences between the races of man are of any direct or special service to him. The intellectual and moral or social faculties must of course be excepted from this remark.”

And… drum roll.., the main conclusion:

“The main conclusion arrived at in this work, namely, that man is descended from some lowly organised form, will, I regret to think, be highly distasteful to many. But there can hardly be a doubt that we are descended from barbarians. The astonishment which I felt on first seeing a party of Fuegians on a wild and broken shore will never be forgotten by me, for the reflection at once rushed into my mind-such were our ancestors. These men were absolutely naked and bedaubed with paint, their long hair was tangled, their mouths frothed with excitement, and their expression was wild, startled, and distrustful. … He who has seen a savage in his native land will not feel much shame, if forced to acknowledge that the blood of some more humble creature flows in his veins.”

[From Denyse: Sounds like a local rave to me. Not my ancestors (who were, as it happens, rigidly correct people, but my 2009 fellow Torontonians.)]

“For my own part I would as soon be descended from …[a] monkey, or from that old baboon… –as from a savage who delights to torture his enemies, offers up bloody sacrifices, practices infanticide without remorse, treats his wives like slaves, knows no decency, and is haunted by the grossest superstitions.

[From Denyse: Yuh, I know. I know women who have divorced guys like that too ... but, when founding a theory in science, it strikes me that ... ]

And let’s not forget sexism!

“The chief distinction in the intellectual powers of the two sexes is shewn by man’s attaining to a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can woman–whether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands…We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on ‘Hereditary Genius,’ that if men are capable of a decided pre-eminence over women in many subjects, the average of mental power in man must be above that of woman.”

“The greater intellectual vigour and power of invention in man is probably due to natural selection, combined with the inherited effects of habit, for the most able men will have succeeded best in defending and providing for themselves and for their wives and offspring.”

[From Denyse: Re women vs. men: Actually, if we leave Darwin's obsession with natural selection out of the matter for a moment, we can come up with a simple explanation for the difference between men's and women's achievements. Men are far more likely to win Nobel Prizes than women - but also far more likely to sit on Death Row.

For most normal achievements, women will do as well as men, given a chance. Women do just as well as men at being, say, a family doctor, an accountant, a real estate agent, a high school teacher, etc.

It's only in outstanding achievements - either for good OR for ill - that men tend to dominate. One way of seeing this is that the curve of women's achievements fits inside the curve of men's achievements, either way.

Natural selection does not explain this because most men who have outstanding achievements do not contribute a great deal to the gene pool as a consequence.

Either they produce few or no children, or their children do nothing outstanding. So Darwin did not really have a good explanation for this fact.

What should we do? Breeding of people and letting the weak die off:

"The advancement of the welfare of mankind is a most intricate problem: all ought to refrain from marriage who cannot avoid abject poverty for their children; for poverty is not only a great evil, but tends to its own increase by leading to recklessness in marriage. On the other hand, as Mr. Galton has remarked, if the prudent avoid marriage, whilst the reckless marry, the inferior members tend to supplant the better members of society. Man, like every other animal, has no doubt advanced to his present high condition through a struggle for existence consequent on his rapid multiplication; and if he is to advance still higher, it is to be feared that he must remain subject to a severe struggle. Otherwise he would sink into indolence, and the more gifted men would not be more successful in the battle of life than the less gifted. Hence our natural rate of increase, though leading to many and obvious evils, must not be greatly diminished by any means. There should be open competition for all men; and the most able should not be prevented by laws or customs from succeeding best and rearing the largest number of offspring."

"We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

[From Denyse: But how would anyone know who the "worst animals" are among people?]

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141 Responses to Darwin reader: Darwin’s racism

  1. If only people understood that, contrary to the common view of his time, Darwin was actually racist, then they would understand why evolution must be wrong. Thank you, O’Leary, for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

  2. Maybe it’s worth being aware of the social and political baggage Darwin and others attached to the evolutionary theory. I happen to believe in evolution – though I reject the extraneous Darwinian metaphysical baggage that so often is attached to it. If it turned out that Darwin was a racist or worse, it wouldn’t impact the scientific validity of evolution.

    It does, however, illustrate the flaws – and perhaps ugliness – of the worldview Darwin extracted from evolution. Nothing wrong with dealing with such, much as it makes some (for whatever silly reason) squirm nowadays.

  3. Even granting that Darwin was racist (which I do not, especially by the standards of his day), how does this make him “wrong”? Wrong in what way? Wrong about his theory of evolution by natural selection? Wrong about his theory descent with modification? Wrong about his belief that Down House was drafty in the winter?

    Come on, this kind of ridiculous logical fallacy would get one of my students shredded in less than a second, by the other students in the room. What a person believes about any particular subject (and especially what a person’s “character” is like) has absolutely no bearing on whether they are “right” or “wrong” about any other subject at all.

    Suppose that Newton were an alcoholic who liked to drown cute little puppies – would that make his theory of gravitation “wrong”? If you think people who listen to rap music are uncultured, and you found out that Richard Dawkins thinks the same thing, would that make him “right” about the theory of evolution?

  4. While we’re on the subject, we had a panel discussion here at Cornell during our Darwin Week celebration. The topic: Evolution and Racism. Oddly enough, every single one of the panelists (which included four eminent evolutionary biologists: Warren Almann, Sylvester Gates, Kenneth Kennedy, and Will Provine) agreed that Darwin was:

    1) an ardent abolitionist,

    2) somewhat less racist than his contemporaries, and

    3) generally wrong in his racist and sexist views, when viewed by today’s standards.

    All of them also agreed that modern evolutionary theory:

    1) has virtually eliminated race as a salient biological characteristic of humans,

    2) has provided a scientific basis for treating all people equally (since we are all genetically very similar due to our common ancestry), and

    3) has virtually nothing to do with racism, which is primarily an economic, political, and religious phenomenon.

    So, what point was O’Leary trying to make with this post?

  5. So, what point was O’Leary trying to make with this post?

    Maybe it was just to contrast his view with the one held by Alfred Russel Wallace and to point out this birthday deification thing is just a little too much.

  6. Allen,

    What made Darwin,

    “Wrong about his theory of evolution by natural selection? Wrong about his theory descent with modification?”

    was that the theory never received the empirical backing for him to have made the conclusions he did in his time or even today. You are right about it having nothing to do with his thoughts on race. It had all to do with the fact the was wrong on most of what he believed and was advocating. He got a couple things right and that is all and for that he is memorialized.

    I would have thought your panel would be complaining about the false extolment of his accomplishments.

    Of all your time here you have never been able to justify why Darwin should not be more than a small footnote in the history of biology. Mainly for his work on barnacles and earth worms. For that he deserves some credit but on evolution he has been discredited.

  7. Allen,

    Aren’t you embarrassed that anyone should have a Darwin Week celebration let alone Cornell. I would think you would be protesting an event like that at such a prestigious university. Did you protest it?

  8. Unless there is a factual error in Denyse’s post, I don’t see why anyone would have a problem with it. Because Charles Darwin was an historical figure of great import, and because of “Darwin Day”, he is natrually going to invite great scrutiny, which is a good thing.
    In my experience you have to be careful when discussing certain historical figures (see Martin Luther King and William T. Sherman). Some people like sanitized versions of their idols.

  9. Factual error? The post is merely quotations of Darwin’s views, with a couple of clearly identified reflections from me.

    It matters because of the ridiculous hagiography around Darwin, falsely linking him with Lincoln, for example. Students deserve better than that rubbish, and it won’t be MY fault if they don’t get it.

    Darwin helped provide a “scientific” basis for racism. I think that fact should just be acknowledged so that we can all move on – instead of the whitewash that has become a regular feature of the false knowledge of our times.

  10. We would all do well to keep in mind that racism is a human problem and that, looking back over our history, it is hard to find any society that has been free of its taint. Some of what Darwin wrote is clearly racist by modern standards but, by the standards of his day, he was on the liberal and humane end of the political spectrum. He was also far from being what we would imagine a racist to be. As others have pointed out, he was a fervent abolitionist with regards to the slave trade, unlike a substantial part of the Christian community that not only endorsed it on Biblical grounds but, in some cases, profited from it.

    The author of this piece declares herself to be both Canadian and a Roman Catholic so these comments from the website of a Canadian group called Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance concerning Christian support of slavery could be thought of as apposite:

    Circa 400 CE: St. Augustine [354 - 430 CE] speaks of the granting of freedom to slaves as a great religious virtue, and declares the Christian law against regarding God’s rational creation as property.
    595 CE: Pope Gregory dispatched a priest to Britain to purchase Pagan boys to work as slaves on church estates.
    Circa 610: Isidore of Seville wrote: “I can hardly credit that a friend of Christ, who has experienced that grace, which bestowed freedom on all, would still own slaves.” In his writing “Regula monachorum” which describes the monastic life, he wrote that “God has made no difference between the soul of the slave and that of the freedman.”
    Circa 600 CE: Pope Gregory I wrote, in Pastoral Rule: “Slaves should be told…not [to] despise their masters and recognize that they are only slaves.”
    655 CE: In an attempt to persuade priests to remain celibate, the 9th Council of Toledo ruled that all children of clerics were to be automatically enslaved. This ruling was later incorporated into the canon law of the church.
    13th century CE: Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) accepted the teachings of the ancient Greek Pagan philosopher, Aristotle, that slavery is “natural.”
    1404 CE: After Spain discovered the Canary Islands the Spanish colonized the islands In 1435 Pope Eugene IV wrote a bull to Bishop Ferdinand of Lanzarote titled “Sicut Dudum.” In it, he noted that the black inhabitants of the Islands had been converted to Christianity and either baptized or promised baptism. Subsequently, many of the inhabitants were taken from their homes and enslaved. He commanded that all enslaved Christians who were inhabitants of the Canary Islands be freed from slavery. The Pope’s concern appears to have been over the enslavement of Christians by Christians, not the institution of human slavery itself.
    1452/4 CE: Pope Nicholas V wrote Dum Diversas which granted to the kings of Spain and Portugal the right to reduce any “Saracens [Muslims] and pagans and any other unbelievers” to perpetual slavery.
    1519: Bartholomew De Las Casas, a Dominican, argued against slavery. “No one may be deprived of his liberty nor may any person be enslaved” He was ridiculed, silenced and ignored.
    1537 CE: Pope Paul III wrote in Sublimis Deus about the enslavement of persons in the West and South Indies. He wrote that Satan:

    “… the enemy of the human race…has thought up a way, unheard of before now, by which he might impede the saving Word of God. … Satan has stirred up some of his allies … who are presuming to assert far and wide that the Indians be reduced to our service like brute animals. And they reduce them to slavery, treating them with afflictions we would scarcely use with brute animals. … Rather, we decree that these same Indians should not be deprived of their liberty…and are not to be reduced to slavery.” only hostile non-Christians, captured in just wars, could become slaves.
    1548 CE: Pope Paul III confirmed that any individual may freely buy, sell and own slaves. Runaway slaves were to be returned to their owners for punishment.
    1629 to 1661 CE: Pope Urban VIII in 1629, Pope Innocent X in 1645 and Pope Alexander VII in 1661 were all personally involved in the purchase of Muslim slaves.
    Late 17th century: The institution of slavery was a integral part of many societies worldwide. The Roman Catholic church only placed two restrictions on the purchase and owning of slaves:

    - They had to be non-Christian.
    - They had to be captured during “just” warfare. i.e. in wars involving Christian armies fighting for an honorable cause.

    Late in the 17th century, Leander, a Roman Catholic theologian, wrote:

    “It is certainly a matter of faith that this sort of slavery in which a man serves his master as his slave, is altogether lawful. This is proved from Holy Scripture…It is also proved from reason for it is not unreasonable that just as things which are captured in a just war pass into the power and ownership of the victors, so persons captured in war pass into the ownership of the captors… All theologians are unanimous on this.”

    Does all this means that all Catholics, including the author, support slavery or that their views are irredeemably tarnished by racism? Of course it doesn’t. Does it mean that the teachings of the Bible are racist on those grounds? Of course it doesn’t.

    By the same token, Darwin’s minor racism has absolutely no bearing on whether or not the theory of evolution is an accurate explanation of how life on Earth has diversified and spread since it first appeared. Neither does the fact that it was enlisted to support what we now rightly regard as the abhorrent program of the eugenicists.

  11. Something for all — especially Allen — to consider: the modern synthesis is basically Darwinism tacked on to Mendelian genetics. Now as Jerry has pointed out Darwin was wrong on most things. Mendel, of course, was right on most things.

    Why is not Mendel the one who is lionized? Why is it not claimed that modern biology hinges on Mendel (which is actually kind of accurate)?

    The answer is obvious– Darwinism is not about science.

  12. Seversky, your at 10 you’ve provided a list of largely anti-slavery statements by the Catholic Church. Do you really think the Pope is all powerful and every nominal Catholic would fall down and obey him?

    If Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi lived in Cuba circa 1540, I suspect they would be slaveowners and they would find some way of ignoring any command to be otherwise from the Church.

    And there are plenty of Catholic clerics who like worldly praise and a soft life and who would give them support in doing so.

    Neither the Pope nor the Church is all powerful.

    And not all slavery is bad.

    Ask yourself this: are you, today, against slavery?

  13. If it turned out that Darwin was a racist or worse, it wouldn’t impact the scientific validity of evolution.

    Yes it does because human scientia/knowledge cannot be separated humans themselves in some “pure”/dead objective form and hypotheses of “evolution” emerged from and is associated with grand mythologies of Progress to this day. That’s why critics of evolution are often criticized for wanting to return to the so-called Dark Ages and so on. Evolution is woven into a mythology of Progress so it is assumed that they critics are against progress, yet it’s curious how slavery was generally undermined in the “Dark Ages” as the stage was set for abolition. See: (For the Glory of God: How Monotheism Led to Reformations, Science, Witch-Hunts and the End of Slavery by Rodney Stark)

    Ironically Darwin turning science back into a form of Nature based paganism in the name of naturalism is linked to a re-emergence of the Roman pattern, paganism/tribalism/racism, an attempt to build an empire on the backs of slaves and even the elimination of the “Jewish influence” as an enemy of paganism.

    Suppose that Newton were an alcoholic who liked to drown cute little puppies – would that make his theory of gravitation “wrong”?

    You’re trying to cite evidence drawn from an imaginary world. It’s imaginary, that’s all need be said of it. It seems that imaginary evidence is all that can be used to support the idea that “pure”/objective science can be separated from “dirty”/subjective sentience. In the real world we know that’s not the case, that’s probably why we consistently act as if it is not the case. Why is it that physicists often judge a theory by its mathematical beauty and elegance?

  14. All of them also agreed that modern evolutionary theory:

    1) has virtually eliminated race as a salient biological characteristic of humans

    Although Darwin used the term “selection” the theory of evolution is not a sentient being constantly “scrutinizing” things and working for Progress as we know it and so on. We are sentient beings who have to work and “select” for Progress, as there is little evidence that anything else will.

    2) has provided a scientific basis for treating all people equally (since we are all genetically very similar due to our common ancestry)

    The theory of evolution has had very little to do with the knowledge that we ought to treat people equally yet much to do with attempts to return to Nature based paganism. That is why the so-called “theory of evolution” had a lot to do with the eugenics movement, Nazism and a continent reduced to cinders.

  15. mynym @13

    Suppose that Newton were an alcoholic who liked to drown cute little puppies – would that make his theory of gravitation “wrong”?

    You’re trying to cite evidence drawn from an imaginary world.

    nullasalus is not attempting to cite evidence at all with his/her statement. It’s what’s known as a thought experiment, which is often used when reasoning to test the logical veracity of an idea. In this case, we’re testing the idea that a scientists personal views determines the truth or falsity of any theory that originated with that scientist.

    Presumably, you accept Newton’s theory of gravitation as essentially right (though incomplete, of course). Let us now assume only for the sake of argument that some long lost historical documents were discovered whose accuracy could be verified which indicated that Newton was, in fact, an alcoholic who liked to drown puppies. If we assume that your idea is correct, logically you must then say that the theory of gravitation is no longer a valid theory.

    Understand, we’re not saying that this has happened, or will happen, or is even remotely likely to happen. It is only a thought experiment, the conclusion of which appears to be quite absurd. This is known as “reductio ad absurdum” and generally indicates that the idea being tested (that a scientists personal views determines the truth or falsity of any theory that originated with that scientist) is itself wrong.

  16. Added to this post should be the fact that Darwin was a chauvinist. I’ve mentioned it here:
    http://sciencedefeated.wordpre.....got-right/

    It’s interesting to note that the scientific community seems obsessed with defending the things Darwin was wrong about (e.g., random beneficial mutation – an oxymoron), and ideologically denies the things he was right about! Notice for example the rabid response of S. Gould to the publication of the Bell’s Curve. Unbelievable.

    NS
    http://sciencedefeated.wordpress.com/

  17. Newsflash: Panel of four evolutionary biologists during a Darwin Day celebration find Darwin to have been a great man, modern evolutionary theory to support all their social outlooks! Eugenics and evolutionary-based racism past and present ‘all a big misunderstanding’!

    This is all a distraction. I don’t see Denyse arguing that ‘Darwin was racist, therefore evolution is wrong’. But the quotes provided did illustrate Darwin’s views and thoughts on some particular subjects (and related to biology, no less), and how he was not only ‘politically incorrect’ but wrong. And also how that wrongness was related to his (unwarranted) extrapolations from his view of nature.

    As 11 said, this doesn’t really seem to be about the science.

  18. Precisely.

    O’Leary’s comments and quotations are not about science at all. Neither is this thread, nor most of the posts and threads on this blog. Like this thread, they’re almost all about:

    1) argument via analogy (which is logically invalid),

    2) argument via assertion (i.e. without evidence, again logically invalid),

    3) argument via character assassination,

    4) guilt by association,

    5) pseudo-mathematical speculation without empirical testing or validation, and/or

    6) religious apologetics.

    Like ID, none of these arguments are remotely related to the natural sciences.

  19. notedscholar wrote in #16:

    “…the scientific community seems obsessed with defending the things Darwin was wrong about (e.g., random beneficial mutation – an oxymoron), and ideologically denies the things he was right about!”

    So, notedscholar agrees that Darwin was right about racism, sexism, and the rest. Refreshing, really, to see an ID supporter making unsupported assertions about such things. Now we all know where you stand on these issues: in support of racism and sexism.

    Interesting: all of the evolutionary biologists at the panel last week stood foresquare against these things. We can all therefore conclude that evolutionary biologists think that racism and sexism are wrong, while notedscholar agrees that they are right.

  20. O’Leary, like most people not trained in science, apparently does not understand that what a scientist thinks and does outside her area of expertise has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of her science. That is determined by empirical testing and statistical verification.

    As just one example, George R. Price was a brilliant and unconventional theoretician who revolutionized the field of mathematical sociobiology. He also was clearly mentally unbalanced, and eventually committed suicide by slashing his throat with a pair of nail scissors:

    “George R. Price (1922 – January 6, 1975) was an American population geneticist. Originally a physical chemist and later a science journalist, he moved to London in 1967, where he worked in theoretical biology at the Galton Laboratory, making three important contributions: first, rederiving W.D. Hamilton’s work on kin selection with a new Price equation; second, introducing (with John Maynard Smith) the concept of the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS), a central concept in game theory; and third, formalising Fisher’s fundamental theorem of natural selection. A troubled man, Price converted to Christianity from atheism, and after giving all his possessions to the poor, committed suicide.”[from Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_R._Price

    That Price was a mentally unbalanced Christian (and former atheist) has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on the validity of his scientific work. In the same way (and for exactly the same reasons), Darwin’s views on race, gender, or anything else outside the realm of evolutionary biology have no bearing whatsoever on the validity of his theory.

  21. In #11 tribune7 wrote:

    “Why is not Mendel the one who is lionized? Why is it not claimed that modern biology hinges on Mendel (which is actually kind of accurate)?”

    Clearly, tribune7 has never taken a biology course or read a biology textbook. If s/he had, s/he would have read at least one chapter on the subject of “Mendelian genetics”. Mendel is indeed lionized as the founder of the science of genetics, as Darwin is as the founder of the science of biology.

    However, there is one big difference between Mendel and Darwin. The science developed by Mendel didn’t directly contradict the dogma of the Christian church (indeed, Mendel himself was a monk when he made his discoveries, and later an abbot). Therefore, his work was not attacked by fundamentalist Christians in the way Darwin’s was, and still is.

  22. As for the “modern evolutionary synthesis”, it represented not only the integration of Darwinian biology and Mendelian genetics, it also included the integration of botany, ecology, paleontology, physical anthropology, and theoretical population genetics into the first “grand unified theory” of biology. The fact that we have now moved far beyond the limited purview of the “modern synthesis” in no way diminishes its importance for biology as a whole and evolutionary biology in particular.

  23. Like ID, none of these arguments are remotely related to the natural sciences.

    As opposed to Darwinian handwaving? How many advantageous mutations would it take to turn a one-cell organism into the simplist eukaryote? At observed rates, how long can we expect this to take to occur?

  24. Mendel is indeed lionized as the founder of the science of genetics, as Darwin is as the founder of the science of biology.

    You read some funny textbooks, Allen. Biology was in use as a term before Darwin’s celebrated birth, and genetics and germ theory — even cell theory — have much more to do with organized “study of life” than horse breeding applied to nature.

  25. According to Lynn Margulis, the conversion of a one-celled organism into a simple eukaryote didn’t require any mutations at all. Instead, it was the result of what is now commonly referred to as “serial endosymbiosis”, whereby the fusion of two prokaryotic cells formed the ancestor of all eukaryotes.

    So, your lame attempt to invoke the standard “RM & NS” strawman argument doesn’t even begin to address the issue of the origin of eukaryotes, which you would have known if you had even a passing acquaintance with modern evolutionary theory.

    BTW, Lynn Margulis is widely recognized as perhaps the most important female evolutionary biologist of the 20th century, and one of the top ten evolutionary biologists of all time, regardless of gender. And she completely rejects the “modern evolutionary synthesis” as an inadequate explanation of the major macroevolutionary transitions, such as the evolution of eukaryotic cells.

    And I, along with many other evolutionary biologists, agree with her. Why? Not only is her theory of serial endosymbiosis comprehensive and elegant, it has what ID “theory” completely lacks: a mountain of empirical evidence, amassed over four decades of hard, painstaking work by Margulis and her colleagues.

  26. The use of the term “biology” (or, more properly, “biologie”) to refer to the science of life was popularized by Lamarck in his landmark book, Philosophie Zoologique, published in 1809, which coincidentally was exactly the year of Darwin’s birth. So, you also clearly know virtually nothing about the history of biology either. I would recommend that you start with Ernst Mayr’s The Growth of Biological Thought, published by Harvard University Press.

  27. BTW, Darwin did not usually refer to the science that he studied as “biology”. He, like virtually all of his British contemporaries, referred to it as “natural history”. The French preferred the term “biologie” for obvious reasons (see my earlier comment on Lamarck).

  28. Tribune7 @ 12

    Seversky, your at 10 you’ve provided a list of largely anti-slavery statements by the Catholic Church. Do you really think the Pope is all powerful and every nominal Catholic would fall down and obey him?

    Actually, counting them up, four oppose slavery to some extent but the majority, nine in all, condone or justify or support slavery. Although plainly there were a few individuals speaking out against slavery, the Church as a whole acquiesced in or actively supported it for centuries.

    Not being Catholic, what I think about the Pope is irrelevant. But my understanding is that, for Catholics, the Pope is presumed to be speaking with the authority of God and his decrees are binding on the faithful, which includes the author.

    If Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi lived in Cuba circa 1540, I suspect they would be slaveowners and they would find some way of ignoring any command to be otherwise from the Church.

    Quite possibly, we are all children of our times whether we like it or not. In a thousand years, the people of that time may be condemning us for attitudes that we think are perfectly natural and justifiable. Hopefully, slavery will be as abhorrent to them as it is to us.

    And not all slavery is bad.

    Really? Which type of slavery would you consider to be “not bad”?

    Ask yourself this: are you, today, against slavery?

    Yes, absolutely.

  29. We have just had an example of the McNeill Gallop. He blusters in like a drive by shooter and spreads a lot of nonsense here then disappears to reappear another time. Makes a lot of outrageous claims based on periphery observations then gallops off like the headless horseman.

    For those who don’t know, Allen is an evolutionary biologist from Cornell who cannot tell us where macro evolutionary events come from. He occasionally disparages Darwin, but lionizes the Darwin week at Cornell. We love Allen here because his silliness with his comments makes our case so much easier. He has an almost complete knowledge of evolutionary biology but cannot dent the ID argument except by assertions and allegations. We have a lot of these type of self righteous people who come here who help grease the skid for ID arguments. If only they would put up a more coherent challenge.

    Thank you, Allen.

  30. “But my understanding is that, for Catholics, the Pope is presumed to be speaking with the authority of God and his decrees are binding on the faithful, which includes the author.”

    I have never heard any Catholic make that argument and I know a fair number.

    So what you have is a couple instance of the longest institution in the world and one that oversaw most of the Western world for a long time. With that much time and that wide spread the extent of the Church’s power, I am amazed at the paucity of your research. Maybe you should go back to the books. Having studied a lot of history I could offer a lot more but they are trivial with the good the Church has done.

    So again your self acclaimed allegations make the accused look, how should I say it, like a saint. Given all the opportunities there were to be bad or unfair.

    But as I said on another thread. Keep up the good work.

  31. You’re quite welcome.

    As to the origin of macroevolutionary transitions, I’ve listed one in this thread: serial endosymbiosis. The fact that you didn’t recognize it as such indicates that you, too, know virtually nothing about evolutionary biology. This, however, doesn’t stop you from declaring it invalid, without providing even the slightest evidence to back up your argument.

    Rather than consume a huge quantity of bandwidth listing off the various mechanisms by which macroevolutionary transitions have occurred, I recommend Macroevolution: Diversity, Disparity, Contingency; Essays in Honor of Stephen Jay Gould, edited by Elisabeth S. Vrba and Niles Eldredge and published by The Paleontological Society. That is, I recommend it to anyone who is inclined to actually read about the subject and to weigh the evidence presented.

  32. Nullasalus @ 17

    This is all a distraction. I don’t see Denyse arguing that ‘Darwin was racist, therefore evolution is wrong’. But the quotes provided did illustrate Darwin’s views and thoughts on some particular subjects (and related to biology, no less), and how he was not only ‘politically incorrect’ but wrong. And also how that wrongness was related to his (unwarranted) extrapolations from his view of nature.

    No, she did not write that in so many words but if you review what she has written there is clear evidence of an extended smear campaign against the man she characterizes as an “old Brit toff” on the grounds of his racism. These posts appear on sites supportive of Intelligent Design and it is hard to escape the inference that she is attempting to discredit Darwin’s theory of evolution by highlighting passages in his published work which suggest attitudes that today we interpret as racist. And all this coming from a member of a church which has a history of acquiescing and, in some cases, active involvement in the practice of slavery.

  33. Allen_MacNeill wrote:

    [...]Darwin’s views on race, gender, or anything else outside the realm of evolutionary biology have no bearing whatsoever on the validity of his theory.

    I guess he should have refrained from expressing such views in an ostensibly scientific book, then.

    All the Darwinians here are correct of course. Darwin publishing such views in his Descent of Man in no way could have been influentual in lending credence to social and/or racial Darwinism. I personally saw Francis Galton, Thomas Huxley, Herbert Spencer, and Ernst Haeckel turn their heads in disgust every time they spied the passages Ms. O’Leary quotes. Then I heard Darwin (pbuh) himself denounce these horrible men in his loudest voice when they formed eugenics groups that were of course completely unrelated to anything written by Darwin (bismallah) and even drew in the grandson of Darwin (blessed be his progeny).

  34. Allen –referred to as “serial endosymbiosis”, whereby the fusion of two prokaryotic cells formed the ancestor of all eukaryotes.

    That actually makes sense. Now, how often has this been observed or is it still handwaving?

    And from this eukaryote, how many advantageous mutations would it take for it to develop lungs, limbs and a spine? At observed rates, how long can we expect this to take to occur?

    The use of the term “biology” (or, more properly, “biologie”) to refer to the science of life was popularized by Lamarck in his landmark book, Philosophie Zoologique, published in 1809, which coincidentally was exactly the year of Darwin’s birth.

    Oh, I can see how that would certainly make him the father of it.

    And quite understandably you are incorrect. The word was introduced in 1802 by Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus.

    That would be 7 years before Darwin’s sainted birth.

  35. Allen,

    I never said that endosymbiosis was not a macro evolutionary event so this is an example of how Allen deflects nicely. Allen, were you a hockey goalie when you were young? I am typing this while watching the Rangers/Flyers game which just ended.

    The question is how in general, macro evolutionary processes developed all the new information. There was a lot more than just two prokaryotes getting together and I understand there is a literature challenging that. So I am non committal on whether or not the eukaryote developed as you believe. You seem to begging the question by assuming that this example is true and solves the issue.

    So we have another book to read. I just ordered it from Amazon so will see what it has to say. A year and a half ago you blustered in here recommending Evolution in Four Dimensions by Jablonka and Lamb. That was a great book and did not put one tiny dent in the ID argument and actually admitted in one place that there is no evidence for origin of at even one species. Thank you for the good read as it just made the ID argument stronger.

    I will see what the Vrba and Eldredge Book has to say. And when you gallop back in here some time in the future, we can maybe discuss it. Every book I read that supports Darwin or a naturalistic process for evolution ends up making the ID case stronger. So I look forward to the book.

  36. Seversky

    But my understanding is that, for Catholics, the Pope is presumed to be speaking with the authority of God and his decrees are binding on the faithful, which includes the author.

    It has always been rather common for Catholics to make their own interpretations (or ignore or force changes to) Papal decrees, especially if those Catholics had wealth or power. Just consider the history of Europe and the popes and anti-popes and disobedient nobles etc.

    Really? Which type of slavery would you consider to be “not bad”?

    The next time — assuming you are an American — you happen to see a group of people wearing blaze-orange vests picking up trash along the highway followed by a sheriff’s van, understand that what they are doing is without pay and under compulsion.

    I am fine with that :-)

  37. On Cornelius Hunter’s site, there is a section challenging the endosymbiosis scenario but I have not read all of it in detail nor currently have the time. But maybe someone who is interested could read it and present both sides.

    See

    http://www.darwinspredictions......es_evolved

  38. Seversky

    What my point is with regard to Papal authority and secular politics it has always been common for people to call themselves Catholic and not be completely sincere about it; and sincere religious authorities have had to take that into account often to keep things from falling completely apart.

  39. Seversky @10: Let me make the point as clearly as possible: The Catholic Church has NEVER supported slavery in any way. More than any other institution, it was responsible for ENDING slavery. As you do your Googling, please discipline yourself in the fine art of uncovering responsible sources. The website that you allude to dispenses grossly inaccurate information conceived by an apparently disaffected Catholic who has some kind of ax to grind.

    Throughout history, the Church found itself among cultures practicing slavery and had to deal with it as best it could. In the beginning, the Church was in no position to combat slavery effectively because it simply didn’t have the power. What it did do is beg slave owners to be merciful. To ask a slave owner to be merciful when there are no other appeals that can be made is not to support the activity. Please make a note of that.

    In many cases, what we now call slavery was something more like indentured servitude, which is much milder and deserving of less condemnation. Also, a large number of these cases were made up of what is called “just title” servitude, which was just punishment for crimes against humanity, much like those in American prisons who are given hard labor. The constitution of the United States continues to allow for this provision. It is NOT SLAVERY.

    During biblical times, a man could voluntarily sell himself into slavery in order to pay off his debts (Deut. 15:12-18). But such slaves were to be freed on the seventh year or the Jubilee year (Lev. 25:54). The Church tolerated just-title servitude for a time because it is not wrong in itself, though it can be seriously abused. The Popes did, however, consistently oppose racial slavery which completely lacks any moral justification.

    I am not going to take time out to list the multitude of papal documents on record that condemn slavery. Suffice it to say, I could fill page after page with them. A few references are as follows:
    Popes Gregory XIV (Cum Sicuti, 1591), Urban VIII (Commissum Nobis, 1639) and Benedict XIV (Immensa Pastorum, 1741) condemned slavery and the slave trade. Some of these writings were aimed at the clergy, since the Church has always had traitors and corrupting influences in its ranks. In 1839, Pope Gregory XVI issued a Bull, entitled In Supremo. Its main focus was against slave trading, but it also clearly condemned racial slavery:

    For all their condemnations, Popes were largely ignored by the Catholic laity and clergy. That means that some Catholics and some Catholic nations did engage in the practice, and the scandal is there for all to reflect on. The same thing happens today. The Catholic Church condemns abortion, but clusters of visible and influential Catholics support it anyway, including the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
    To sum up, you must learn to be more sophisticated in your analysis. You keep dropping these quick shot bombs right and left without thinking things through, and some of your comments are second, third and fourth order references to something that you “heard” about or something else that someone may have written.

    If you want to defend Darwin’s views on race then have at it, but please stop injecting multiple irrelevant themes and peddling erroneous information. The fact that you seriously entertain the notion that Charles Darwin was a greater defender of human dignity than the Catholic Church ought to end forever any hope you have of being taken seriously.

  40. Ah, yes, Gottfried Reinhold Treviranus, a man whose name is on everyone’s lips. Notice that I did not say who coined the term “biology”, but who popularized it. That person was Lamarck. But, you just keep on backing up those goalposts, tribune7, you’ll get somewhere eventually…

  41. Allen — Notice that I did not say who coined the term “biology”, but who popularized it. That person was Lamarck.

    You break me up Allen. You were the one who objected to my claim in post 24 that “biology was in use as a term before Darwin’s celebrated birth”

    And when I show that, well, “biology” was in use as a term before Darwin’s celebrated birth you accuse me of “moving the goalposts.” LOLOLOLOL

    Anyway, go back and check the link to the Online Etymology Dictionary . Lamarck started using it the same year.

    And with this interesting and enlightening segue into etymology out of the way, how about addressing those questions on the table that are in you area of expertise:

    How often has serial endosymbiosis been observed?

    And from this eukaryote created by serial endosymbiosis, how many advantageous mutations would it take for it to develop lungs, limbs and a spine? At observed rates, how long can we expect this to take to occur?

  42. —-Jerry: “We have just had an example of the McNeill Gallop. He blusters in like a drive by shooter and spreads a lot of nonsense here then disappears to reappear another time. Makes a lot of outrageous claims based on periphery observations then gallops off like the headless horseman.”

    Your metaphors are becoming quite compelling.

  43. Serial endosymbiosis has been observed multiple times in nature. Perhaps the most notable example is in the protozoan Mixotricha paradoxa, an endosymbiont of the Australian termite, Mastotermes darwiniensis. When first described and classified, Mixotricha paradoxa was considered to be a ciliated protozoan similar to the more familiar Paramecium. However, Lynn Margulis and her colleagues have shown that Mixotricha paradoxa is actually a composite organism, formed from the serial endosymbiosis of four different bacteria with a eukaryotic host. The resulting composite organism is both structurally and functionally very different from any of its components living separately. Ergo, the evolution of Mixotricha paradoxa via serial endosymbiosis is a paradigmatic example of macroevolution via serial endosymbiosis. You can read more about Mixotricha paradoxa here:
    http://www.naturalhistorymag.c.....ature.html

    There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of similar examples scattered throughout the three domains of life. One closer to home is the serially endosymbiotic protozoan Paramecium bursaria, which consists of a ciliated protozoan inside of which lives a green alga, Zoochlorella. Again, neither of the partners in this endosymbiotic relationship is genotypically or phenotypically similar to the composite when living alone, and so this is another clear example of macroevolution via serial endosymbiosis. See more here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramecium_bursaria

    Yet another example is any common lichen. As Beatrix Potter (the author of The Tale of Peter Rabbit) first pointed out, lichens are actually an endosymbiotic relationship between a fungus and an alga. When grown separately, neither bears any resemblance to the lichen they form when living together. Lichens can also live in environments that would be lethal to either of the symbionts living alone. Ergo, here is yet another example of a macroevolutionary transition resulting from serial endosymbiosis.

    To read more about Margulis’s theory of endosymbiosis and its relevance to macroevolutionary theory, I recommend the recent book she co-authored with her son, Dorian Sagan: Acquiring Genomes: A Theory of the Origins of Species (2002) Amherst, MA: Perseus Books Group, ISBN 0465043917.

    For more about the significance of Lynn Margulis’s work in evolutionary biology, go here:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......igent.html

  44. Metaphors may be “compelling”, but they in no way constitute a form of logical argument. This is why the typical “argument by analogy” offered by ID supporters is entirely nugatory. See:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......gical.html

    and

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......ience.html

  45. In #41 tribune7 asks:

    “And from this eukaryote created by serial endosymbiosis, how many advantageous mutations would it take for it to develop lungs, limbs and a spine?”

    We don’t know yet, but people working in the field of evo-devo are closing in on the answer to this and many other questions. What empirical research are you and the other ID supporters doing to validate your hypotheses?

  46. Serial endosymbiosis has been observed multiple times in nature. Perhaps the most notable example is in the protozoan Mixotricha paradoxa, an endosymbiont of the Australian termite

    Allen, the idea is that two prokaryotic cells become an eukaryote. Has this been seen?

  47. What empirical research are you and the other ID supporters doing to validate your hypotheses?

    You mean that evolution might have an edge?

  48. “And from this eukaryote created by serial endosymbiosis, how many advantageous mutations would it take for it to develop lungs, limbs and a spine?” , , , We don’t know yet,

    What new observations would be required to model it?

  49. 45
    Allen_MacNeill
    02/15/2009
    8:53 pm
    [...]
    What empirical research are you and the other ID supporters doing to validate your hypotheses?

    fmri studies?

  50. —-”Metaphors may be “compelling”, but they in no way constitute a form of logical argument. This is why the typical “argument by analogy” offered by ID supporters is entirely nugatory.”

    Do you labor under the misconception that a metaphor is synonymous with an analogy. If so, I am not the one that needs to be sent to a website for instruction.

    I did notice that you stated that there is no such thing as absolute truth. Are you “absolutely” certain that is true. If so, then you have refuted your own statement by uttering an absolute truth. If not, then your statement is false and truth exists.

    Did you say that you have been studying logic for 25 years?

  51. —-”This is why the typical “argument by analogy” offered by ID supporters is entirely nugatory.”

    You are confusing an induction with an analogy. Inductions do not depend on the degree to which examples are similar.
    I can draw the inference that explosions make things scatter, whether it be a firecracker, car bomb, or expanding universe. The inference to design does not depend on an analogy. Abductions have been in the scientist’s tool box for a long time.

  52. Allen_MacNeill,

    I would avoid this sort of incendiary language if I were you.

    “So, you also clearly know virtually nothing about the history of biology either.”

    “The fact that you didn’t recognize it as such indicates that you, too, know virtually nothing about evolutionary biology.”

    “So, your lame attempt to invoke the standard “RM & NS” strawman argument…..”

    Even if it’s not incendiary to whomever it’s directed, it is to me.

  53. Tribune7 @ 36

    Really? Which type of slavery would you consider to be “not bad”?

    The next time — assuming you are an American — you happen to see a group of people wearing blaze-orange vests picking up trash along the highway followed by a sheriff’s van, understand that what they are doing is without pay and under compulsion.

    I am fine with that :-)

    In that particular case, so am I but it is not what is customarily thought of as slavery.

  54. Allen_MacNeill,

    Since you’ve invoked the Australian termite, I might throw in my hat … In contrast to nearly all other insects, the front and back wings of the termite look totally alike, as I have experienced dealing with these things for many years. The exception is the species Mastotermes darwiniensis, aka “Darwin termite” (It’s named after Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, which was named after some bloke named Charles Darwin. He did something or other of note … or notoriety …)

    Anyway, the anal lobe is similar to that seen on the cockroach and praying mantis. This is observed when their hind-wings are unfolded. Evolutionists were ecstatic when this was first observed near 110 years ago. The origin of the species, at least of this area, was now a truth … The anal lobe was the proof!!!!

    Cockroaches were the termites forbears, they proclaimed. Thankfully, Australia still housed these relics of the past which could be observed. Evolution is true.

    OK, that’s not all. Other features that evolutionists claimed that linked cockroaches to Mastotermes termites were:

    They had a more complex vein pattern in their wings, whilst other termites’wings were ‘primitive’. This is, of course, using an evolutionary assumption!

    Termites have four tarsal segments in their feet, where cockroaches and Mastotermes have five tarsal segments.

    Mastotermes eggs are laid in two rows, similar to cockroaches, whereas termite lay their eggs in one row.

    If you are like Allen_MacNeill and invoke evolution then these features will be exactly what is required to say macroevolution is ‘Truth’. Yet, from an ID perspective a common designer is as just as likely, even more so when further evidence is brought into the mix.

    Firstly, Mastotermes is far from being a primitive ancestor. The communities they build are among the most populous of the social termite species. An evolutionist may even indicate that this species might even be highly-evolved (!).

    Termites, and not cockroaches, shed their wings at their pre-formed breakage points. So do Mastotermes. The pre-formed breakage points also point, in my estimation, to something showing design.

    The mantis and cockroach anal lobe is folded up in a fan-like manner. Mastotermes bends over flat on the wing. This seems more to be looking for a link than finding one. But when Darwinism is floundering, any anal lobe similarity is proof …

    But that’s not all folks! Interestingly, a fossil in Dominican amber, allegedly 35 million years old, of a winged ‘Mastotermes electrodominicus’ is near identical as the ones found still living in Australia:

    The species has the same complicated wing-vein pattern;

    It has the five-segmented feet;

    It has those wonderful anal lobes!

    Mastotermes at its first ‘evidentiary’ appearance isn’t any less ‘evolved’ than what you can find in the Australian ‘Darwin termite’. Is there ‘scientific’ reason to consider that this termite has evolved at all, in a macro-sense, from cockroaches, Allen_MacNeill?

    BTW, the same amber also holds termite species that have ‘modern’ features, as evolutionist would tell us. So, again, what is the evidence that one type is the ancestor of the other?

    The link with cockroaches is more fanciful than evidential.

    Watchathink Allen?

  55. Just a personal observation… I’ve only recently started to recognize the religion of Darwinism. Yes, I realize that there are many people who believe in God and in Darwinism (don’t make “Darwinism” and “evolution” the same thing). But there are also many who have developed Darwinism into a full fledged religion. I found the Darwin worship of the last few days was shocking. Then after this post revealing Darwin’s racism, the comments are flooded with devout defenses of the Man and his Word.

    It just proves that we were made to believe in something. That is to say, our inelegant “kluge” of a chemical computer has evolved to compute a belief in our origin.

  56. I believe evolution happened. I don’t believe it was because of random mutations and/or variation along with natural selection. Allen, you have asked for the empirical evidence to disprove neo-Darwinism. That’s not the only thing that can refute it, IMO. Neo-Darwinism must be extrapolated, if true, would have to be extrapolated as a worldview to every area of our lives. But when that is done, it becomes completely unliveable. neuroscience says we aren’t actually conscious, we don’t actually make decisions, etc. Those aren’t scientific facts based on empircal evidence, but just an extrapolation of neo-Darwinian evolution.

    “Well if Darwinism is true, then it must be like this. So this is how it is. Alert the press. Tell them Science has some interesting new extrapolations, errr, discoveries, about how our minds, errrr, brains work.”

  57. While we’re on the subject of slavery…

    I couldn’t find the word “slave” in a word search of Pope Gregory I’s Pastoral Rule at http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3601.htm , but I finally came across this passage in Book III, chapter 5:

    Chapter 5
    How servants and masters are to be admonished.
    (Admonition 6). Differently to be admonished are servants and masters. Servants, to wit, that they ever keep in view the humility of their condition; but masters, that they lose not recollection of their nature, in which they are constituted on an equality with servants. Servants are to be admonished that they despise not their masters, lest they offend God, if by behaving themselves proudly they gainsay His ordinance: masters, too, are to be admonished, that they are proud against God with respect to His gift, if they acknowledge not those whom they hold in subjection by reason of their condition to be their equals by reason of their community of nature. The former are to be admonished to know themselves to be servants of masters; the latter are to be admonished to acknowledge themselves to be fellow-servants of servants. For to those it is said, Servants, obey your masters according to the flesh (Colossians 3:22); and again, Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their masters worthy of all honour (1 Timothy 6:1); but to these it is said, And ye, masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening, knowing that both their and your Master is in heaven (Ephesians 6:9).

    Compare this with Seversky’s quote, which I imagine he lifted from http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav4.htm:

    Slaves should be told…not [to] despise their masters and recognize that they are only slaves.

    I’ll leave it to my readers to decide whether http://www.religioustolerance.org quoted Gregory I fairly or not.

    What about the other slander against Pope Gregory I?

    595 CE: Pope Gregory dispatched a priest to Britain to purchase Pagan boys to work as slaves on church estates.

    Some Web sites have compounded the slander, adding that these pagan boys had to be “attractive.”

    Here are the facts, which the reader can check at
    http://www.summagallicana.it/l.....0Santo.htm :

    The state in which Gregory became pope in 590 was a ruined one. The Lombards held the better part of Italy. Their predations had brought the economy to a standstill. They camped nearly at the gates of Rome. The city was packed with refugees from all walks of life, who lived in the streets and had few of the necessities of life. The seat of government was far from Rome in Constantinople, which appeared unable to undertake the relief of Italy. The pope had sent emissaries, including Gregory, asking for assistance, to no avail.

    In 590 Gregory could wait for Constantinople no longer. He organized the resources of the church into an administration for general relief. In doing so he evidenced a talent for and intuitive understanding of the principles of accounting, which was not to be invented for centuries. The church already had basic accounting documents: every expense was recorded in journals called regesta, “lists” of amounts, recipients and circumstances. Revenue was recorded in polyptici, “books.” Many of these polyptici were ledgers recording the operating expenses of the church and the assets, the patrimonia. A central papal administration, the notarii, under a chief, the primicerius notariorum, kept the ledgers and issued brevia patrimonii, or lists of property for which each rector was responsible.

    Gregory began by aggressively requiring his churchmen to seek out and relieve needy persons and reprimanded them if they did not. In a letter to a subordinate in Sicily he wrote: “I asked you most of all to take care of the poor. And if you knew of people in poverty, you should have pointed them out … I desire that you give the woman, Pateria, forty soldi for the childrens’ shoes and forty bushels of grain ….” Soon he was replacing administrators who would not cooperate with those who would and at the same time adding more in a build-up to a great plan that he had in mind. He understood that expenses must be matched by income. To pay for his increased expenses he liquidated the investment property and paid the expenses in cash according to a budget recorded in the polyptici. The churchmen were paid four times a year and also personally given a golden coin for their trouble.

    Money, however, was no substitute for food in a city that was on the brink of famine. Even the wealthy were going hungry in their villas. The church now owned between 1300 and 1800 square miles of revenue-generating farmland divided into large sections called patrimonia. It produced goods of all kinds, which were sold, but Gregory intervened and had the goods shipped to Rome for distribution in the diaconia. He gave orders to step up production, set quotas and put an administrative structure in place to carry it out. At the bottom was the rusticus who produced the goods. Some rustici were or owned slaves. He turned over part of his produce to a conductor from whom he leased the land. The latter reported to an actionarius, the latter to a defensor and the latter to a rector. Grain, wine, cheese, meat, fish and oil began to arrive at Rome in large quantities, where it was given away for nothing as alms.

    Distributions to qualified persons were monthly. However, a certain proportion of the population lived in the streets or were too ill or infirm to pick up their monthly food supply. To them Gregory sent out a small army of charitable persons, mainly monks, every morning with prepared food. It is said that he would not dine until the indigent were fed. When he did dine he shared the family table, which he had saved (and which still exists), with 12 indigent guests. To the needy living in wealthy homes he sent meals he had cooked with his own hands as gifts to spare them the indignity of receiving charity. Hearing of the death of an indigent in a back room he was depressed for days, entertaining for a time the conceit that he had failed in his duty and was a murderer.

    These and other good deeds and charitable frame of mind completely won the hearts and minds of the Roman people. They now looked to the papacy for government, ignoring the rump state at Constantinople, which had only disrespect for Gregory, calling him a fool for his pacifist dealings with the Lombards. The office of urban prefect went without candidates. From the time of Gregory the Great to the rise of Italian nationalism the papacy was most influential in ruling Italy.

    Does this sound like a slave-trader to you? I’ll let my readers decide.

  58. uoflcard @55

    Just a personal observation… I’ve only recently started to recognize the religion of Darwinism.

    I’m just curious as to what definition of religion you are using to characterize “Darwinism” as one. Perhaps I am simply displaying my own lack of intelligence, but I can’t think of any definition of religion that would include Darwinism, but would not include any of the other sciences (physics or chemistry for instance).

  59. StephenB @ 39

    Seversky @10: Let me make the point as clearly as possible: The Catholic Church has NEVER supported slavery in any way.

    Googling further found this letter to The Observer newspaper.

    In the fourth century, St. Augustine thought slavery could be beneficial to both slaves and masters; in 650 Pope Martin I forbade people to help slaves escape; in 1179 the Third Lateran Council decreed the enslavement of anyone helping the Saracens; in 1226 Pope Gregory IX incorporated slavery into the Corpus Iuris Canonici (Canon Law), where it remained until 1913; in the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas considered slavery to be in accordance with natural law and a consequence of original sin; in 1454 Pope Nicholas V’s bull Romanus Pontifex allowed the King of Portugal to enslave Saracens and pagans at war with Christians; in 1493, Pope Alexander VI gave the same right to the King of Spain in fighting native Americans; in 1548 Paul III allowed both clergy and laity to own slaves; in 1866 Pope Pius IX specifically declared that “slavery in itself, considered as such in its essential nature, is not at all contrary to the natural and divine law, and there can be several just titles of slavery, and these are referred to by approved theologians and commentators of the sacred canons. … It is not contrary to the natural and divine law for a slave to be sold, bought, exchanged or given.”

    Are you saying that all the examples quoted here of apparent endorsement of slavery are factually incorrect or complete misrepresentations of the intent of the original authors?

    More than any other institution, it was responsible for ENDING slavery. As you do your Googling, please discipline yourself in the fine art of uncovering responsible sources. The website that you allude to dispenses grossly inaccurate information conceived by an apparently disaffected Catholic who has some kind of ax to grind.

    That your response to the factual claims on that website is an ad hominem attack on the authors is duly noted.

    I am not going to take time out to list the multitude of papal documents on record that condemn slavery. Suffice it to say, I could fill page after page with them. A few references are as follows:
    Popes Gregory XIV (Cum Sicuti, 1591), Urban VIII (Commissum Nobis, 1639) and Benedict XIV (Immensa Pastorum, 1741) condemned slavery and the slave trade. Some of these writings were aimed at the clergy, since the Church has always had traitors and corrupting influences in its ranks. In 1839, Pope Gregory XVI issued a Bull, entitled In Supremo. Its main focus was against slave trading, but it also clearly condemned racial slavery:

    Thank you. Now let me make it as clear as I can that I was not claiming that the Roman Catholic church has been a uniform supporter of slavery throughout its history. As you show above, there is more than sufficient evidence that it has condemned and attempted to curb or ban various forms of slavery at different times.

    However, the vehemence of your and other responses to allegations that the Church had also acquiesced in, condoned or taken part in the trading of slaves is revealing. Perhaps you will now understand the feelings of those who believe that a theory in science stands or falls by its scientific merits not by the views of its author on unrelated matters, that a sustained attack on Darwin’s views on race and sex in a attempt to tarnish his theory with guilt by association is nothing more than blatant argumentum ad hominem.

    If you want to defend Darwin’s views on race then have at it, but please stop injecting multiple irrelevant themes and peddling erroneous information. The fact that you seriously entertain the notion that Charles Darwin was a greater defender of human dignity than the Catholic Church ought to end forever any hope you have of being taken seriously.

    No one is defending Darwin’s relatively mild racism or indulging in pointless comparisons between him and the Catholic Church as defenders of human dignity. What is being pointed out is that his racism, as seen from a 21st Century perspective, is irrelevant to the scientific merit of his 19th century theory of evolution. That is fair game for criticism on scientific grounds and you do not need my permission to “have at it”.

  60. vjtorley @ 57

    Does this sound like a slave-trader to you? I’ll let my readers decide.

    No, I agree that does not sound like a slave-trader to me either.

    But let me refer you to the letter from The Observer quoted above in my reply to StephenB and ask you the same question: are all those examples factually incorrect or complete misrepresentations of what was intended?

  61. Folks:

    Reality check — Mrs O’Leary is right, dead right. It is time we came face to face with the fact and dealt with it.

    Doubt me?

    First, try Darwin’s 1871 Descent of Man, Ch 6:

    Man is liable to numerous, slight, and diversified variations, which are induced by the same general causes, are governed and transmitted in accordance with the same general laws, as in the lower animals. Man has multiplied so rapidly, that he has necessarily been exposed to struggle for existence, and consequently to natural selection. He has given rise to many races, some of which differ so much from each other, that they have often been ranked by naturalists as distinct species . . . .

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    Indeed, the general discussion of Chs 5 – 7 is rather plain, and as a fellow descendant of the Irish as well, I join with Denyse in horror over the way Darwin so lightly dismissed the context of the Irish famines of the 1840′s. (Not to mention that Governor Eyre’s attitude in 1865 in Jamaica (my homeland) reflected the same pattern of thought, provoking the uprising of October that year. Jamaicans refused to starve to death quietly!)

    Observe, carefully: CD here viewed the matter as a question of straightforward out-workings of SCIENCE.

    And insofar as the 1865 J’ca uprising made headline news in London [Governor Eyre was burned in effigy by the Cockneys -- a fine tribute to the good sense of the common man!], I have to suspect that his remarks on Negroes being wiped out makes some very, very suggestive reading to me in a book penned a few years later in which he in effect dismisses the “irresponsible” Irish as causing their own plight.

    It gets worse.

    Fast forward to 1897, through Darwin’s Bulldog to someone who studied under Huxley, H G Wells. let us read an excerpt from the opening words of his War of the Worlds, right at the beginning of Ch 1:

    No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water . . . No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us . . . . looking across space with instruments, and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance only 35,000,000 of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas.

    And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that, generation after generation, creeps upon them.

    And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?

    Do you not see the thinly veiled warning in these words?

    or, their prophetic import in light of a certain Adolph Schicklegruber’s My Struggle [Mein Kampf], esp Ch XI [I refuse to link, go google yourself and read . . .]?

    In short, it is fair (though obviously frequently most unwelcome, and even angrily dismissed)comment to observe:

    1 –> That struggle for HUMAN existence in light of Malthusian population checks was seen as applying to races of man, was accepted as “science.” By a certain Charles Robert Darwin, specifically.

    2 –> This was interpreted in the context of “race”; that being applied to not only Australians and Negroes vs Caucasians, but across even the British peoples — the “Saxons,” the “Celts,” and the “Scots.” [Read; English, Irish, Scottish.] Again, by CRD.

    3 –> The same CRD coolly projected that in the span of centuries to follow, the more advanced races would wipe out the less advanced human races and the more advanced apes.

    4 –> A common thread in it, as H G Wells pointed out, was that dehumanising/ devaluing leads to the idea that one may wipe out so-called lesser breeds; all “scientifically” warranted by the ideas of natural selection.

    5 –> In short, by late C19, the “scientific” rationale was there for social darwinism, eugenics and genocide; as was taken up by men who would carry it forth ruthlessly in the next century. And, CRD was one of the very first to advance that rationale, in the book in which he took the theses of origin and extended them to humanity.

    6 –> And, let us never forget: such was not corrected until AFTER mass murders and horrible abuses in the name of scientific Eugenics. Decades of such horrors.

    7 –> We may put on the other side of the balance sheet his humanitarianism, or his antislavery position, etc, but a true and fair view of the man and what he did and its consequences MUST not erase this side of his legacy.

    GEM of TKI

  62. KRIS –I’m just curious as to what definition of religion you are using to characterize “Darwinism” as one.

    Maybe cult might be a better term. The Darwinist clings to a dogma, the claims of which can’t be demonstrated, and attacks any and all who question it.

  63. PS: In addressing slavery, one needs to reckon with not only the Catholic church but also, e.g. the Evangelicals [try William Wilberforce, Olaudah Equiano (former slave and author of An interestign narrative), Thomas Foxwell Buxton, William Knibb et al, and of course Deacon [and national hero of J'ca) "Daddy" Sam Sharpe, from my native land's history as then a part of the British empire], and their readings of texts such as:

    Were you a slave when you were called? Don’t let it trouble you – although if you can gain your freedom, do so. For he who was a slave when he was called by the Lord is the Lord’s freedman; similarly, he who was a free man when he was called is Christ’s slave. You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men. [1 Cor 7:21 - 23.]; . . . .

    ,b>It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery . . . . You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” If you keep biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. [Gal. 5:1, 13 - 15.]

    The law is good if one uses it properly . . . [it] is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders [KJV: menstealers] and liars and perjurers – and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God. [1 Tim 1:8 - 11, emphasis added]

    If a man is caught kidnapping one of his brother Israelites and treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die. You must purge the evil from among you. [Deut. 24:7. Cf. Lev. 24:22: "You are to have the same law for the alien and the native born . . ."]

    In short, while the passages have a main reference to spiritual freedom, and make precisely the “good advice in a bad situation recommendation” that SB points out, the Bible in the vernacular in the hands of the ordinary man was a significant force for liberation. One that, once the gospel was beginning to help democratise civilisation, helped spark, motivate and then guide to success, the antisalvery campaigns of the past few centuries.

    A true and fair view of the church on slavery will need to reckon with this too.

  64. Seversky — was not claiming that the Roman Catholic church has been a uniform supporter of slavery throughout its history.

    Here’s what you have to remember: a concession is not the same thing as an endorsement.

    Slavery was a well-established fact of life at the time of Christ. It was a well-established fact of life at the time of Moses for that matter. Heck, at the time of Abraham.

    Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a whole musical about a certain young son of Israel sold into slavery in Egypt.

    Is the story of Joseph an endorsement of slavery? I don’t think so.

    So because, the Catholic Church had to recognize this reality does not mean it was endorsing it.

    With regard to the letter to the editor that you cite, I suspect it has serious distortions which would be rather time-consuming to fact check.

    But let’s consider one thing with regard to the allowance to keep POWs as slaves. What if the the church forbid it? What would have happened to the POWs?

    Some of these arguments made about the Catholic Church and slavery are as annoying as those saying the U.S. Constitution established slavery.

    In no way it did. Like the church the Founding Fathers recognized a reality. Slavery had been well-established in the colonies by the British Crown. The fugitive slave clause was a concession. The three-fifths rule was aimed at weakening the power of the slave-holders.

    But there are those who insist that the Constitution is pro-slavery. Why? To correct history? No, they do so to weaken foundations, stir resentment and acquire power.

  65. KF, here’s an interesting exercise:

    Go to this link of the Murphy translation of Mein Kampf and text search for “evolution”. Don’t use the quotes. Make sure you put a space before the “e”.

  66. Seversky, you are truly amazing. I warn you about going to anti-Catholic websites to obtain information about the Catholic Church, and the first thing you do is search out a “letter to the editor” authored by an anti-Catholic partisan as evidence of your position. I will simply provide enough information on one or two aspects and trust that the reader will understand your errors, which are many and multifaceted.

    In his overall analysis of morality in human relationships, Aquinas placed slavery in opposition to natural law, deducing that all “rational creatures” are entitled to justice. In keeping with that principle, he found no natural basis for the enslavement of one person rather than another, “thus removing any possible justification for slavery based on race or religion.” Right reason, not coercion, is the moral basis of authority, for “one man is not by nature ordained to another as an end.”

    Aquinas differentiated between two forms of “subjection” or authority, just and unjust. The former exists when leaders work for the advantage and benefit of their subjects. The unjust form of subjection “is that of slavery, in which the ruler manages the subject for his own [the ruler's] advantage.” Based on the immense authority vested in Aquinas by the Church, the official view came to be that slavery is sinful. So, yes, your source was dead wrong and was making things up as he goes along.

    Please make a note of that.

    You are undoubtedly unaware of the fact that Aquinas often provided arguments contrary to his own position in the beginning of his discourse in order to shoot them down later. Inasmuch as he was able to articulate these arguments even better than those who had misconceived them, badly educated professors often borrow them to support their misconceived positions without even bothering to read the refutation that follows.

    Please make a note of that.

    On the matter of papal teaching, the official pronouncements are equally consistent. Some popes were hypocrites as is the case for leaders in all institutions. That is why in 1488 Pope Innocent VIII violated his own Church’s teachings and accepted slaves. However, laxity must not be confused with doctrine. This same pope also fathered many children, but he did not retract the official doctrine that the clergy should be celibate. In similar fashion, his acceptance of a gift of slaves should not be confused with official Church teachings. These were enunciated often and explicitly as they became pertinent.

    During the 1430’s, Spanish leaders took control of the Canary Islands and began to enslave the native population. Pope Eugene IV issued a bull, Sicut dudum. He gave everyone involved fifteen days “to restore to their earlier liberty all and each person of either sex who were once residents of said Canary Islands…These people are to be totally and perpetually free and are to be let go without the exaction or reception of any money.” Pope Pius II and Pope Sixtus IV followed with additional bulls condemning enslavement. And so it goes.

    All the official teachings of the Church are anti-slavery—all of them.

    Please make a note of that.

  67. #61:
    I call Godwin’s Law:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......arwin.html

  68. Trib

    Second hit takes me to part of the passage in I had in mind.

    GEM of TKI

  69. Allen_MacNeill [31]:

    As to the origin of macroevolutionary transitions, I’ve listed one in this thread: serial endosymbiosis…

    Rather than consume a huge quantity of bandwidth listing off the various mechanisms by which macroevolutionary transitions have occurred, I recommend Macroevolution: Diversity, Disparity, Contingency; Essays in Honor of Stephen Jay Gould

    Why don’t you just list them as terms, without descriptions – just the relatively viable and non-speculative ones, that shouldn’t consume too much bandwidth and would be a great resource.

  70. Kris said:It’s what’s known as a thought experiment, which is often used when reasoning to test the logical veracity of an idea. In this case, we’re testing the idea that a scientists personal views determines the truth or falsity of any theory that originated with that scientist.

    Given that it’s a thought experiment which has nothing to do with the real world it’s not much of a test for the fact/value split. If the only way that an apparently beautiful or useful idea can be supported is with imaginary evidence then it remains at the level of Darwinism.

    Presumably, you accept Newton’s theory of gravitation as essentially right (though incomplete, of course). Let us now assume only for the sake of argument that some long lost historical documents were discovered whose accuracy could be verified…

    But we don’t have to assume or imagine anything, history shows that no great physicist was a serial killer or took part in the patterns typical to them as instead they seek the “Mind of God.” If there was a great physicist who turned out to be a serial killer that would call into question his supposed knowledge/scientia because we already know that physicists understand beauty and use the elegance or beauty of a theory as part of the evidence that it is true.

    There is no “pure” form of science that exists sans sentience.

    If we assume that your idea is correct, logically you must then say that the theory of gravitation is no longer a valid theory.

    I’m not focusing on thought experiments which deal with imaginary evidence. If you could point out many great physicists who were serial killers or who matched that pattern (drowning puppies, etc.) then the idea that all truth is linked would be undermined. It’s telling that apparently the only way you can find evidence supporting the fact/value split is by imagining some in thought experiments.

    Understand, we’re not saying that this has happened, or will happen, or is even remotely likely to happen.

    Exactly…so if I’m interested in what actually happens in the real world who should I talk to?

    ….generally indicates that the idea being tested (that a scientists personal views determines the truth or falsity of any theory that originated with that scientist) is itself wrong.

    So you’ve tested the idea that true knowledge is linked based on imaginary evidence and found that it may be wrong, yet on your own imaginary account your theory may have nothing to do with anything real? As compelling as the argument that a supposedly “pure” scientia/knowledge can be separated from sentience I think I’ll reject your arguments until you provide something more substantive than imaginary evidence for them. For example, what great physicist was a serial killer or actually did enjoy drowning puppies and so on?

  71. Allen, before you run off, can you address the question from 48:

    What new observations would be required to model how many advantageous mutations it would take for the original eukaryote to develop lungs, limb, spine etc. ?

  72. Allen

    Godwin is sometimes irrelevant to the point of being fallacy . . .

    My central concern is a lot more personal than that, I am afraid; though it is not part of YOUR history. It is part of not only my national history but my family’s story, Allen. (Herr Schicklegruber is a footnote for me on this.)

    For, I bear the name of that relative unjustly hanged in J’ca under Eyre (who was extending the ‘do nothing” policy that led to mass starvation when the potato blight hit, to J’ca as it faced drought and famine in the waning days of the US Civil War).

    So, let’s connect some dots:

    1 –> The issue of the Morant Bay uprising [consequential on a do-nothing Malthusian policy in a land of people not inclined to starve quietly . . . ] and its kangaroo court was headlined in the UK circa 1865/66, and led to Cockneys burning Eyre in effigy; then

    2 –> 5 – 6 years later, lo and behold, I find a book in which one of the English elites, writing in the name of “science,” speaks of Irish as inferior races doomed to Malthusian positive checks. And . . .

    3 –> in close association with that, the book speaks of Negroes [etc down to great apes] being wiped out by more advanced “races,”

    4 –> that gets my attention, bigtime.

    5 –> Notice, I then go to H G Wells [via Huxley, yes, that Huxley], to show that this sort of “scientific” thinking was by 1897 very pervasive.

    6 –> That gets my eyes even more open.

    7 –> And finally, I can read Mr Shchicklegruber for myself — why not read that passage on Foxes and Geese, Cats and Mice, races, imagined results of mixing the races [we J'cans know better -- just check out Beijing 08 and all the way back to '52 with McKinley et al; or, beauty pageants, or cultural achievements, or a lot of other areas in which J'ca's stock has consistently out-punched its weight on the world stage . . . ] and survival of the fittest?

    8 –> And the eugenicists [including founders of Planned Parenthood] etc, etc. sing a very similar song.

    And the ghost of my granny’s great uncle sitting by my right shoulder — hanged for speaking up for the oppressed and impoverished, Allen: for people who were suffering FAMINE Allen — agrees with me.

    So, please, come better than that.

    The fact is, that “scientific” racism [and classism . . . ] was discredited AFTER the Holocaust, not before.

    I know this is painful reading [imagine how I feel, writing with a relative's ghost sitting by my right shoulder . . . ], but I am driven by the point that if we don’t learn from a true and fair view of bitter history, we are doomed to repeat its worst chapters

    Sorry to have to address such painful reading, but I think we must; if we are to learn from a very, very bitter past, Allen.

    Please, let us learn, lest we repeat it.

    GEM of TKI

  73. PS: Allen, I see you have tried the [im-]moral equivalency card.

    Sorry –given that I put up substantiating evidence from relevant documents and history [including my national and family history] — that comes across to me as a turnabout accusation, not a serious response.

    And, when I smell cover-up and turnabout, I think I have a right to ask even more serious questions, Allen.

    And, the ghost sitting by my right shoulder tells me I have a RIGHT to equally serious answers, Allen.

    GEM of TKI

  74. mynym @71

    Calling a thought experiment “imaginary evidence” displays a profound lack of understanding of even the most basic processes of scientific thinking. I think I can safely ignore your posts in the future.

  75. KRiS [Re mynym]:

    Darwin, Descent of Man, 1871, Ch 6 — nb, NOT a private letter:

    __________

    Man is liable to numerous, slight, and diversified variations [Random Variation, check], which are induced by the same general causes, are governed and transmitted [i.e. natural selection etc, check] in accordance with the same general laws, as in the lower animals. Man has multiplied so rapidly, that he has necessarily been exposed to struggle for existence [Malthusian positive checks, check], and consequently to natural selection. [NS, explicit, check] He has given rise to many races ["preservation of favoured races . . . " check -- subtitle, Origin], some of which differ so much from each other, that they have often been ranked by naturalists as distinct species [origin of species, check] . . . .

    At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. ["Scientific" prediction per presumed acting laws, & subject to empirical test, check] At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked, will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla. [Note what he means by "races," in a SCIENTIFIC context . ..]]
    ____________

    1] Is this a mere personal view or intended to be a scientific claim?

    2] If your answer is “a personal view,” in light of the above context and highlighted points, on what grounds do you infer such?

    3] A Gedankenexperiment is an application of laws to imaginary situations not likely to be instantiated but “in principle” possible. Is the above a mere thought experiment, or is it an intended analysis of an observed reality, with predictions for the future that were expected to be confirmed — especially given what was happening to the aboriginal peoples of Australia and esp. Tasmania?

    4] Further to all this, has RV + NS ever been reliably and directly observationally confirmed to originate (i) species and (ii) higher levels, especially (iii) at the level of novel body-plans?

    5] If so, when, by whom, in what situation, as published where?

    GEM of TKI

  76. Calling a thought experiment “imaginary evidence” displays a profound lack of understanding of even the most basic processes of scientific thinking.

    Sorry, I did not realize you were engaging in scientific thinking. I thought you were just thinking about what is true. As far as I go I’m just thinking about actual historical evidence, not “thought experiments” and so on. Did you put your thoughts in a test-tube and verify or falsify them scientifically? If I were to put my thoughts in a test-tube could I claim to be thinking scientifically too?

    Perhaps I do not understand the “basic processes” of scientific thinking, whatever they may be, but it seems to me that if a “thought experiment” is based on little more than “Well, I can think of it.” then that is little different than “I can imagine it so. Just so.” And that’s the sort of imaginary evidence which permeates Darwinian reasoning in general.

    Again, what great physicist was also a serial killer in reality? I can think that it is possible to separate scientific knowledge from knowledge in general but that does not change the fact that there is no evidence that people generally do so or have done so. For example, did Newton’s religious views on the intelligible structure and intelligent origins of his scientia/knowledge really have nothing to do with his “pure and objective” scientific theories?

    I think I can safely ignore your posts in the future.

    As far as “scientific thinking” goes consider this hypothesis or thought, the defense mechanism of a nerd tends to be charlatanism. Given that they don’t have much else to work with, they are forced to focus on intelligence and knowledge. So in a theoretical debate with science geeks this type of pattern might emerge every time they could not deal with a bit of evidence outside the scope of their microscope: “I’m feeling a bit scientific now! You don’t know what I know but oh how I know it!” Etc. It wouldn’t matter if they actually knew anything or not, they would claim knowledge.

    There actually is some evidence that science geeks of the sort that have issues with “Father God” want to crawl back into the womb of Mother Nature. Given the pattern of a smothering mother lurking in the background of many nerds if they seemed intent on clinging to their metaphoric Mommy Nature and sought connection to her to the point that they never seem to stop trying to suck at her teat, murmuring about science without demonstrating any specific knowledge might only be a symptom of neurosis. Imagine that!

  77. Wow. Just…wow.

  78. Is this a mere personal view or intended to be a scientific claim?

    On Darwin’s terms it is clearly intended to be a “scientific claim,” one which he lamented based on the hypothetical vestiges of a “noble instinct” if I recall correctly.

    Unfortunately this type of reasoning allowed the Nazis to engage in “doubling” as well, as the historian Robert Lifton notes. So on the one hand they might feel terrible about what they did as private persons but given what was true biologically they could do away with whatever they knew as an individual to support extermination as a public citizen based on science. E.g.

    For doctors there were the added components of omnipotent tendencies in medicine in general but most especially the vision of National Socialism as “nothing but applied biology” (see pages 129-31).
    ….doctors could buttress their omnipotence with those bizarre and compelling claims made in the name of biology, evolution, and healing. The Auschwitz self could feel itself to be tapping the power source of nature itself in becoming the engine of the Nazi movement, or nature’s engine.
    That metaphor of “nature’s engine” suggests the relationship of omnipotence to the apparently opposite feeling of powerlessness or impotence, of being no more than a tiny cog in someone else’s machine.
    [...]
    Moreover the Auschwitz self quickly sought that stance of powerlessness…. This emotional and moral surrender to the environment had great psychological advantages. The Auschwitz self could feel: “I am not responsible for selections. I am not responsible for phenol injections. I am a victim of the environment no less than the inmates.” (The Nazi Doctors: Medical Killing and the Psychology of Genocide by Robert J. Lifton :449-450)

    It does not help that language is polluted by concepts like natural “selection” which attribute intelligence and knowledge to Nature. If you view your Self or sentience as an illusion brought about by natural selection then the “selection” of who dies and who lives has little to do with “you,” it’s simply the way that Nature is.

    Natural selection should have been called natural culling or natural preservation, yet it was not because Darwin was trying portray natural “selection” as a cause of creative/progressive forms of evolution instead of admitting that the only known cause for evolution of that sort is sight and intelligence, not blind processes.

  79. Wow. Just…wow.

    If you ever become interested in thinking about what is true or seeking the truth then let me know. I’m not sure what “scientific thinking” is in your mind but if it has little to do with seeking the truth then I have little use for it. After all some people argue that “scientific thinking” shows that what we think we see and know is an illusion brought about by blind processes. As far as I’m concerned people who argue that they have a knowledge of sight and sentience based on ignorant and blind processes are like Holocaust deniers. They are always picking around the edges of knowledge in order to create ignorance with respect to things that we should already know and admit to.

  80. Mynym

    thanks for your answer.

    KRiS:

    Yours is? Why?

    Thanks

    GEM of TKI

  81. kairosfocus @75

    1] Is this a mere personal view or intended to be a scientific claim?

    It appears to me that it was intended to be a scientific claim. Unfortunately, he was working with inaccurate data precisely because of his personal views. Essentially, given the evidence at his disposal in his day, the quoted text couldn’t necessarily be shown to be false. However, it wasn’t necessarily supported by the evidence, either. His mistake was to utilize his personal views as the “tie-breaker” to determine whether such a claim was warranted.

    2] If your answer is “a personal view,” in light of the above context and highlighted points, on what grounds do you infer such?

    I think it’s pretty clear that he was working on the false assumption that different races were different species, and that this assumption was based in whole or in part on his own personal views. Unfortunately, these views were only reinforced by other naturalists of his day (e.g. “they have often been ranked by naturalists as distinct species”).

    3] A Gedanken experiment is an application of laws to imaginary situations not likely to be instantiated but “in principle” possible. Is the above a mere thought experiment, or is it an intended analysis of an observed reality, with predictions for the future that were expected to be confirmed — especially given what was happening to the aboriginal peoples of Australia and esp. Tasmania?

    It appears from the text that it was intended to be the latter. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe that “some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries” would be unlikely to be instantiated eventually. I certainly hope that you are not next going to claim that because this prediction has been invalidated, that therefore the entire theory of evolution is similarly invalidated. I would be sorely disappointed in you.

    4] Further to all this, has RV + NS ever been reliably and directly observationally confirmed to originate (i) species and (ii) higher levels, especially (iii) at the level of novel body-plans?

    I will admit that I’ve never looked too deeply into it. I suspect that it has not, since you seem quite certain in your incredulity, and I really have no reason to doubt that. At this point, it’s a prediction that has been neither confirmed nor falsified, and so it’s an open question. However, for me at least, there are enough independent lines of evidence supporting evolution to convince me that this, too, is likely to one day be observed. If any significant portion of the other lines evidence (even a significant minority) were convincingly shown to be false or misleading, then I would begin to question such a stance. Until then, I see no reason to do so.

    5] If so, when, by whom, in what situation, as published where?

    Again, I have no reason to doubt your apparent conviction that such observations are not to be found in current or past scientific literature.

  82. Darwin, Descent of Man, page 296.

    “In an early chapter we have seen that the mental powers of the higher animals do not differ in kind, though so greatly in degree, from the corresponding powers of man, especially of the lower and barbarous races; and it would appear that even their taste for the beautiful is not widely different from that of the Quadrumana [ape]. As the negro of Africa raises the flesh on his face into parallel ridges “or cicatrices, high above the natural surface, which unsightly deformities, are considered great personal attractions;” mdash; as negroes, as well as savages in many parts of the world, paint their faces with red, blue, white, or black bars,—so the male mandrill [baboon] of Africa appears to have acquired his deeply-furrowed and gaudily-coloured face from having been thus rendered attractive to the female.”

  83. Going back to Allen’s original claims:[The theory of evolution]…has provided a scientific basis for treating all people equally (since we are all genetically very similar due to our common ancestry)…

    Note that Allen has pointed out that the genetic focus of Darwinism may be incorrect before, yet apparently focuses on it when it apparently fits a mythology of natural/”scientific” Progress. But if genetic similarity serves as the scientific basis for equality then would the basis for our knowledge of human equality disappear if it was found to be incorrect? Also, how equal are chimps or daffodils? After all:

    In the context of a 35% similarity to a daffodil, the 99.44% similarity of the DNA of human to chimp doesn’t seem so remarkable. After all, humans are obviously a heck of a lot more similar to chimpanzees than to daffodils.
    More than that, to say that humans are over one-third daffodil is more ludicrous than profound. There are hardly any comparisons that you can make to a daffodil in which humans are 33% similar. DNA comparisons thus overestimate similarity at the low end of the scale (because 25% is actually the zero-mark of the DNA comparison) and underestimate comparisons at the high end. [...]
    Whether the actual number is less than %1 or 2% is obviously trivial in the great scheme of things. Our genes are very, very similar. But somehow “very, very similar” doesn’t sound quite scientific enough. The invocation of a number with a decimal point, on the other hand, certainly does sound scientific. It implies that there is some officially calculated, scientifically sanctioned degree of similarity between the DNA of human and chimpanzee, when in fact there are simply a variety of crudely measured, but generally concordant, studies. (Emphasis added) (What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee by Johnathan Marks :28-29)

    If we take Allen’s argument seriously then what does it entail about the equality of chimps and humans? As Dawkins argues:

    Many of our legal and ethical principles depend on the separation between Homo Sapiens and all other species. Of the people who regard abortion as a sin, including the minority who go to the lengths of assassinating doctors and blowing up abortion clinics, many are unthinking meat-eaters, and have no worries about chimpanzees being imprisoned in zoos and sacrificed in laboratories. Would they think again, if we could lay out a living continuum of intermediates between ourselves and chimpanzees, linked in an unbroken chain of interbreeders like the California salamanders? Surely they would. Yet it is the merest accident that the intermediates all happen to be dead. It is only because of this accident that we can comfortably and easily imagine a huge gulf between our two species-or between any two species, for that matter.
    (The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins :303)

    It seems to me that both Allen and Dawkins are confusing a mythology of Progress with actual progress. Note the way that the Darwinian mind constantly works towards citing imaginary evidence, so by the end of the paragraph he’s treating his imaginary ancestors and imaginary events in the past as if they are a reality which must be “imagined” away by others. It bears repeating that he’s the one imagining things while what can actually be observed is a “huge gulf.”

    Dawkins should know that if there were actual evidence for his imaginary ancestors it wouldn’t make a huge difference. Does genocide happen among humans? Of course. Do people who know that they have the same ancestors still kill each other? Of course. Would knowledge of a common ancestry for humans chimps be any safeguard for chimps? Of course not, Jews were experimented on by Nazis who firmly believed in Darwinism and the Nazis advanced anti-vivisection laws at the same time that they performed experiments on Jews.

    At any rate, the “theory” of evolution is more of a collection of mutable hypotheses than a theory, so if it serves as the basis for human equality then human equality becomes mutable. Public leaders stating in a public language that they were willing to impose on other people that “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” had much more to do with advancing human equality than the pseudo-science which has been typical to Darwinism historically.

  84. Allen also claimed:["The theory of evolution"] has virtually nothing to do with racism, which is primarily an economic, political, and religious phenomenon.

    Yet:

    …I would advance the even stronger claim that the theory of natural selection is, in essence, Adam Smith’s economics transferred to nature. (The Structure of Evolutionary Theory by Stephen J. Gould :122)

    Think about it.

  85. StephenB @ 66

    Seversky, you are truly amazing. I warn you about going to anti-Catholic websites to obtain information about the Catholic Church, and the first thing you do is search out a “letter to the editor” authored by an anti-Catholic partisan as evidence of your position.

    The letter was quoted simply as a handy listing of examples of support for slavery that are alleged against the Roman Catholic Church. I agree that, in itself, it is of little evidentiary value – much like lists of quotes from The Descent Of Man do not prove Darwin was a card-carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan and Origins was a thinly-disguised justification for racism, eugenics and genocide.

    I will simply provide enough information on one or two aspects and trust that the reader will understand your errors, which are many and multifaceted.

    To save space, I have omitted what you wrote about Aquinas because I have no problem conceding its accuracy.

    Please make a note of that.

    Duly noted.

    On the matter of papal teaching, the official pronouncements are equally consistent. Some popes were hypocrites as is the case for leaders in all institutions. That is why in 1488 Pope Innocent VIII violated his own Church’s teachings and accepted slaves. However, laxity must not be confused with doctrine. This same pope also fathered many children, but he did not retract the official doctrine that the clergy should be celibate. In similar fashion, his acceptance of a gift of slaves should not be confused with official Church teachings. These were enunciated often and explicitly as they became pertinent.

    In other words, the all-too-human foibles and failings of some members of the Church’s leadership are no reason to think that the Catholic Church was not otherwise solidly anti-slavery and do not in any way discredit the core message of Christianity. If I agree to that will you concede that the campaign to undermine Darwin’s theory of evolution on the grounds of his alleged racism is both based on a logical fallacy and a black propaganda campaign unworthy of a place on a website that claims to be devoted to science?

    All the official teachings of the Church are anti-slavery—all of them.

    Please make a note of that.

    Of course, and, in this context, you and the other readers should also take note of the following passages taken from an English translation of the full text of the Bull Romanus Pontifex issued by Pope Nicholas V, January 8th, 1455:

    We have lately heard, not without great joy and gratification, how our beloved son, the noble personage Henry, infante of Portugal,…has not ceased for twenty-five years past to send almost yearly an army of the peoples of the said kingdoms with the greatest labor, danger, and expense, in very swift ships called caravels, to explore the sea and coast lands toward the south and the Antarctic pole. And so it came to pass that when a number of ships of this kind had explored and taken possession of very many harbors, islands, and seas, they at length came to the province of Guinea, and having taken possession of some islands and harbors and the sea adjacent to that province, sailing farther they came to the mouth of a certain great river commonly supposed to be the Nile, and war was waged for some years against the peoples of those parts in the name of the said King Alfonso and of the infante, and in it very many islands in that neighborhood were subdued and peacefully possessed, as they are still possessed together with the adjacent sea. Thence also many Guineamen and other negroes, taken by force, and some by barter of unprohibited articles, or by other lawful contract of purchase, have been sent to the said kingdoms. A large number of these have been converted to the Catholic faith, and it is hoped, by the help of divine mercy, that if such progress be continued with them, either those peoples will be converted to the faith or at least the souls of many of them will be gained for Christ…We [therefore] weighing all and singular the premises with due meditation, and noting that since we had formerly by other letters of ours granted among other things free and ample faculty to the aforesaid King Alfonso — to invade, search out, capture, vanquish, and subdue all Saracens and pagans whatsoever, and other enemies of Christ wheresoever placed, and the kingdoms, dukedoms, principalities, dominions, possessions, and all movable and immovable goods whatsoever held and possessed by them and to reduce their persons to perpetual slavery, and to apply and appropriate to himself and his successors the kingdoms, dukedoms, counties, principalities, dominions, possessions, and goods, and to convert them to his and their use and profit…

  86. I have the feeling that Allen’s hopes for “endosymbiosis” is unsupported. It’s a bit of wishful thinking coupled with claims of “intermediate” links and a lack of actual physical, observable, in-motion evolution.

    Here’s one description, if not the whole description, of endosymbiosis:

    Endosymbiosis may be initiated when a phagotrophic protist engulfs an alga as prey. The protist fails, however, to digest the alga and thus accidentally retains it within the cell like a toothpick that cannot be swallowed,

    and

    This process of endosymbiosis requires genetic integration between the host and symbiont; vast amount of genes are transferred to the host nucleus, and protein transport machinery is established to transport products back into the plastid.

    Keep in mind this hasn’t actually been observed.

  87. “Keep in mind this hasn’t actually been observed”

    Did you see [43]? He says that the author of Peter Rabbit new that a lichen originated from an endosymbiotic relationship of two organisms.

  88. new = knew

  89. ….lists of quotes from The Descent Of Man do not prove [that] Origins was a thinly-disguised justification for racism, eugenics and genocide.

    Darwin was warned that the way he was “reasoning” against theism was dangerous, in fact some scholars argue that Darwin understood this quite well and basically worried himself sick over it. The problem is this, he thought just like you apparently do that some “pure” form of science exists devoid of subjectivity and sentience and that he should try to speak from a dead perspective. Note that the only way that you can have a truly “scientific” perspective devoid of sentience is to be dead. As a critic of this view of “science” pointed out it is impossible for living beings to consistently adhere to such a view:

    The achievements which form the subject matter of biology can be identified only by a kind of appraisal which requires a higher degree of participation by the observer in his subject matter than can be mediated by the tests of physics and chemistry. The current ideal of “scientificality” which would refuse such participation would indeed destroy biology but for the wise neglect of consistency on the part of its supporters.
    (Scientific Outlook: Its Sickness and Cure by Michael Polanyi
    Science New Series, Vol. 125, No. 3246 (Mar., 1957), pp. 482)

    …will you concede that the campaign to undermine Darwin’s theory of evolution on the grounds of his alleged racism is both based on a logical fallacy and a black propaganda campaign unworthy of a place on a website that claims to be devoted to science?

    The original post did little more than to quote Darwin extensively, this is simply a matter of knowledge. Why shouldn’t people know about it?

    The only reason I can think of is that those who venerate Darwin actually understand that “pure” scientific knowledge cannot be totally separated from the “dirty” little humans that have a knowledge of it anymore than empirical evidence can be separated from sentience. So they have their “Darwin day” and so on and so forth and nothing is said about the supposed irrelevance of Darwin as a person. Where is the consistency? Given this lack of consistency it seems that everything positive about Darwin is to be woven into the mythology of progress typical to the Darwinian creation myth while anything negative about Darwin is denied and ignored.

    In the end it gets a bit ridiculous when someone like Allen argues that Darwinian theory is somehow responsible for promoting human equality. Is there historical evidence that once people generally denied equality but then when they heard about their genetic similarity then they concluded that they were equals? Maybe in an imaginary world the so-called “theory of evolution” inspired equality and progress as we now know it but history shows something else entirely. As the philosopher David Stove noted the reasons for this are fairly simple:

    ..it is perfectly obvious that accepting Darwin’s theory of a universal struggle for life must tend to strengthen whatever tendencies people had beforehand to selfishness and domineering behavior towards their fellow humans. Hence it must tend to make them worse than they were before, and more likely to commit crimes: especially crimes of rapacity, or of cruelty, or of dominance for the sake of dominance.
    These considerations are exceedingly obvious. There was therefore never any excuse for the indignation and surprise with which Darwinians and neo-Darwinians have nearly always reacted whenever their theory is accused of being a morally subversive one. [E.g. "...a black propaganda campaign!" Etc.] For the same reason there is, and always was, every justification for the people, beginning with Darwin’s contemporaries, who made that accusation against the theory. Darwin had done his best to separate the theory from the matrix of murderous ideas in which previously it had always been set. But in fact, since the theory says what it does, there is a limit, and a limit easily reached, to how much can be done in the way of such a separation. The Darwinian theory of evolution IS an incitement to crime: that is simply a fact. (Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity and Other Fables of Evolution by David Stove :106-109)

  90. JT,

    “Did you see [43]? He says that the author of Peter Rabbit new that a lichen originated from an endosymbiotic relationship of two organisms.”

    I could be completely wrong, but I’m thinking this is a case where the author knew that “a lichen originated from an endosymbiotic relationship of two organisms,” much in the same way most neo-Darwinists also know that dinosaurs evolved into birds and mammals into whales. In other words: hey, we think this is how it happened, and there’s some fossils that highly subjective and that may possibly support us, so we know it happened.

    If I’m completely wrong, I’m sorry for suggesting such a thing. I may have jumped the gun.

  91. *EDIT*

    “and there’s some fossils that ARE highly subjective”

  92. Okay,

    Following up on points:

    1] KRiS:

    First, thanks for responding. You come across in that response as being serious. That is important.

    2] @ 81: he [CRD] was working with inaccurate data precisely because of his personal views. Essentially, given the evidence at his disposal in his day, the quoted text couldn’t necessarily be shown to be false. However, it wasn’t necessarily supported by the evidence, either.

    H’mm, on try 2 [managed to kill an earlier version . . .] let’s roll back to 1859, with the help of Wiki:

    Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species (published 24 November 1859) is a seminal work in scientific literature and a landmark work in evolutionary biology.[1] The book’s full title is On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. In the 6th edition of 1872 the title was changed to The Origin of Species.[2] It introduced the theory that populations evolve over the course of generations through a process of natural selection.

    In short, CRD’s central thesis from 1858/9 on was that “races” are the populations competing in a Malthusian world for existence [with extinction the price tag for losing], and that this is how species originate. Races that per Ch 6 Descent, originate through random variation, and even among humans undergo “natural selection.”

    Then, as CRD used NS, that EXPLICITLY includes how human races may drive other human races [as well as species of apes] into extinction; i.e. what we have come to term genocide. Nor is that view novel with me, e.g. H G Wells’ prophetic warning was premised on this reading of the inner dynamic. So were the motivations of the social darwinists, including the eugenics movement, which enjoyed decades of favour as a major SCIENTIFIC mocvement, including encoding into law. indeed, Hitelr’s laws on eugenics, were modelled on American exemplars, as he explicitly said.

    Now,the fall of eugenics etc was only after the holocaust became well known. So, there is a big gap here in the account on Darwin + 200 K.

    further, pert the just-so story standard that seems to obtain so often for evo mat theories, there was abundant “evidence,” as CRD listed [observe from Denyse above] and so the issue of soundness of method comes up.

    that does not touch on the question of the degradation of ethics thought he injection of the notions of inequality and life unworthy of being lived. A quesionthat has contributed to int eh case ofg the USA,t eh ongoing slaughter of 48 + million unborn children since 1873, at the rate of more than a 9/11 a day.

    So, I think there is a serious case to be answered to, one that was conspicuous by absence this last Darwin Day.

    2] it’s pretty clear that he was working on the false assumption that different races were different species, and that this assumption was based in whole or in part on his own personal views.

    A closer reading will note that he was subtly distancing himself from these (I gather he opposed the idea that the different races were different species). His view is that competition is at the sub-specific, racial level, as well as between species: contrast genocide of races of men and extinction of apes.

    More to the point, science always is driven by provisional inferences based on what seems credible evidence among the guild of peers, and so by personal views and agendas of schools and movements. Science =/= truth or knowledge beyond correction.

    Thus aslo, at a given time, the politics of science may suppress truth and/or ethical responsibilities.

    And this lesson too was AWOL at the Darwin + 200 celebrations.

    3] There doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe that “some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries” would be unlikely to be instantiated eventually. I certainly hope that you are not next going to claim that because this prediction has been invalidated, that therefore the entire theory of evolution is similarly invalidated. I would be sorely disappointed in you.

    Actually, the peculiar horror of the cite from Ch 6 of Descent, is that it nearly came true in 1939 – 45: 1 in 3 Jews in the world was dead at the hands of genocide in large part motivated by the then dominant reading of Darwinian theory, but without remaining ethical or prudential concerns that at least diverted some to eugenics [block "undesirable" births . ..] elsewhere.

    So, I ‘ent so sure this prediction has not been at least in part substantiated as a self-fulfilling prophecy. [And Heine made a telling prediction in 1831 on the implications of Germany walking away form its Judaeo-Christian foundations per the ideas of the increasingly skeptical-secularist philosophers and scientists . . . ]

    My thought on why Darwinism, paleo and neo-fails, runs along very different lines:

    a –> FSCI is in our general and exception-less observation produced by and characteristic of intelligence.

    b –> Cell based life, and body plan level biodiversity in major part imply increments in FSCI. So, they credibly are products of design not chance + necesity.

    c –> And indeed, while minor pop variations per usually gene transfer and/or loss of function mutations are empirically observed, no credible case of body plan origination as observed per C + N exists. And that is just as true now as it was in the days when CRD tried to reason from the analogy of artificial selection.

    d –> if origins of life and biodiversity were by evolutionary mechanisms, they were intelligently directed.

    [cf the always linked for details of my argument]

    And this issue too is missing in action at Darwin + 200.

    4] I suspect that it [empirically observed body-plan level evo] has not [been observed], since you seem quite certain in your incredulity, and I really have no reason to doubt that. At this point, it’s a prediction that has been neither confirmed nor falsified, and so it’s an open question. However, for me at least, there are enough independent lines of evidence supporting evolution to convince me that this, too, is likely to one day be observed.

    Excuse me: we are talking of a claimed central theory of bio and its main claim, after 150 years in its various forms. THERE IS NO GOOD OBSERVATIONAL BASIS. So, it is not evidence based.

    As to other lines of evidence supporting evo, the issue is: if life originated by evo mechisms,and diversified across body plans by same [cf issue on the Cambrian revolution of fossil life -- known to CRD and admitted as a challenge but he hoped fossils would turn up, they have not] then on the observational evidence we DO have, it did so by desiogn.

    In short, there is no good reason to argue for Lewontinian evolutionary materialism/ the precise form of evolutionary thought tha tis institutionally dominant, and that advocates would teach as thought there are no concerns, serious gaps in evidence and controversies.

    And, again, there is no serious discussion of this with a fair hearing of all sides, at Darwin + 200.

    5] I have no reason to doubt your apparent conviction that such observations are not to be found in current or past scientific literature.

    And, K, what does that tell you on the real level of evidence for Evolutionary Materialism as a scientific paradigm?

    GEM of TKI

    PS: SB and Sev: ther is no doubt that many have done wrong in the name of ding good, including int eh church across the centuries. But in the churches [Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant], that was in plain opposition to the principles and spirit of gospel ethics,and as the gospel was put in the hands of the ordinary man in a book he could read, he struck out for freedom. And that too is vitally important. The material ethical issue for this thread, as I just pointed out, is that the Darwinian view has no good grounds for an ethics of equality among men. And, we should note that seriously.

  93. 93

    JT and Domoman,

    You could actually go and look up the examples that Allen mentioned, that is, if you actually cared. I find this happens quite often around here. Someone, in this case Allen, is asked to provide evidence of observable evolution, he does so, and either no one notices or they mock without understanding, like yourselves.

    I suppose it allows you to continue saying that “no one has ever given us one piece of evidence that evolution has happened, no matter how many times we ask!”

  94. 1- Evolution is NOT being debated.

    2- The way MACROevolution is defined YEcs aren’t even debating that.

    3- Serial endosymbiosis has been observed.

    4- It has NEVER been observed to account for the differences observed between prokaryotes and eukaryotes.

    5- I have been observed to swim to the bottom of a 12′ deep pool.

    6- Does that mean I can also swim down to the deepest part of the ocean?

  95. Winston –Someone, in this case Allen, is asked to provide evidence of observable evolution,<p

    I don’t think anybody here doubts that evolution happens. What is doubted is whether it can do what some claim it can do.

  96. Winston Macchi said,

    “I suppose it allows you to continue saying that “no one has ever given us one piece of evidence that evolution has happened, no matter how many times we ask!””

    You need to study human behavior more. Humans are remarkably consistent just as this comment of yours is one that has been seen before and so have Allen’s comments. We discuss substance all the time here.

    Allen MacNeill has pointed us to many things over the last three years and none have supported any theory of macro evolution. They have been interesting and we have learned a lot from Allen but he himself admits that macro evolution does not have a model to support it. He recommended a book by Vrba and Eldredge on macro evolution just last week and I have ordered it and will read it but I don’t expect to find anything of substance. He made a big deal over other books that have not affected ID in one iota. Either he does not understand the argument or he thinks he can befuddle us with technical details.

    Look at yourself. If you had an argument that would undermine our point of view would you say we do not respond to arguments when that is not true, would you send us to some obscure examples in the literature knowing that many of us would have trouble with the technical details. No, you would outline the results in all it glory and rub our noses in it.

    So what do you say. You claim we do not look at the evidence and thus imply we are ignorant. There are whole sites on the web dedicated to proving naturalistic evolution as the explanation for life changes over the last 4.5 billion years and they send people here constantly but when they get here they have a case of amnesia. They just cannot remember or explain their arguments. So what are we to say.

    We will eventually discuss endosymbiosis and what it means in the scheme of things. See comment #37.

  97. UD Post 2

    So, I think there is a serious case to be answered to, one that was conspicuous by absence this last Darwin Day.

    I think we’ve gotten away from the personal views of the theorist and into the ethical implications of a theory. However, I think the same basic question still applies, and that is, does the fact that a theory can be interpreted in a way that justifies unethical behavior mean that the theory itself is factually wrong? In other words, do the personal views of the person interpreting the theory affect whether the theory itself is factual? In the interest of space, I’ll just skip what I think about Hitler and eugenics. Suffice it to say I think it’s a result of misunderstanding the theory. Anyway, let’s assume for the sake of argument that the Theory of Evolution necessarily leads to such unethical behavior. Is it your contention, then, that this proves that the theory is factually wrong?

    (BTW, ditto on the call of Godwin’s Law)

    My thought on why Darwinism, paleo and neo-fails, runs along very different lines…

    I can guarantee that if I respond to those points, it will balloon into something far beyond what I am willing to tackle at this time. I’ll just ignore this for now.

    Excuse me: we are talking of a claimed central theory of bio and its main claim, after 150 years in its various forms.

    It seems that 150 years is always presented as such a very long time that we must have seen something by now. Meanwhile, the Cambrian Explosion is always presented as such a very short amount of time that it effectively disproves evolution. In other words, we should have directly observed in 150 years what took evolution the extremely short amount of time of only 5 million years to do. I liken this to hearing about the atomic theory of matter for the first time, walking out of the room, then turning around and walking right back in to say “You haven’t actually seen an atom yet? That proves your theory wrong!” This is further complicated by the fact that any man-made experiment (such as Ev) is immediately discounted because it’s man-made, which means it’s designed, which means any observed CSI is a product of the designer (us) and not a product of the process being modeled. That means that no lab experiment is allowed…only natural occurrences count.

    THERE IS NO GOOD OBSERVATIONAL BASIS. So, it is not evidence based.

    I think what you mean is that there is no direct observational basis. However, it is very much evidence based. As I stated in my previous post there is such overwhelming indirect evidence that I believe it has a very good observational basis, even without the direct observation that you seem to require. What you are apparently claiming is that, unless you can observe something directly, no other evidence matters. Based on that logic, you must reject heliocentricity, because that has never been directly observed by anyone. The indirect evidence (for instance, predicting the movements of heavenly bodies, including, of course, the Sun itself) is so overwhelming that it’s easy to forget that no one has ever actually been in a position to be able to directly view the Earth going around the Sun.

    …then on the observational evidence we DO have, it did so by desiogn

    This is based on the assumption that your points above (a, b, c, and d) are valid. Since I’m ignoring those for now, I will similarly ignore this.

    The material ethical issue for this thread, as I just pointed out, is that the Darwinian view has no good grounds for an ethics of equality among men.

    Again, I ask, is it your contention that this proves that the theory is factually wrong?

  98. Eep…left my little tag on the front of my post. Ignore that “UD Post 2″ doohickey.

  99. Seversky: @85:

    If you have anything substantive to say in defense of Darwin, this would be a good time to do it. You might follow the lead of Allen MacNeill, who has attempted to do just that. The thread is coming to a close and you have yet to be heard from on that subject, which is, after all, the main theme under discussion.

    On the other hand, your disruptive and unfounded attacks on the Catholic Church do not speak to the issue in any way. Even at that, I have made it clear on several occasions that your sources are not credible and your arguments are not sound. In your last correspondence, you acknowledge that the Catholic Church has never supported slavery, and, in fact, that it has always opposed it. Even so, for some strange reason you continue to search for evidence to the contrary. Surely, you must know by now that I have more than a passing acquaintance with the subject and I can attest to the true facts in the matter.

    In keeping with that point, you say that you will concede the truth about the Catholic Church ask if I will concede that Darwin is not a racist. To that I can only say that you need to take up that subject with those who are making that argument. My presence on this thread has been limited to disabusing anyone of the notion that your comments about Catholicism have any merit. In any case, we should all have enough respect for the truth to acknowledge it unconditionally.

  100. KRiS:

    no ti9me just nopw for more, but this one slice of the cake has in it the ingredients of the problem.

    re: Again, I ask, is it your contention that this proves that the theory is factually wrong?

    let’s roll the tape from 92:

    My thought on why Darwinism, paleo and neo-fails, runs along very different lines:

    a –> FSCI is in our general and exception-less observation produced by and characteristic of intelligence.

    b –> Cell based life, and body plan level biodiversity in major part imply increments in FSCI. So, they credibly are products of design not chance + necesity.

    c –> And indeed, while minor pop variations per usually gene transfer and/or loss of function mutations are empirically observed, no credible case of body plan origination as observed per C + N exists. And that is just as true now as it was in the days when CRD tried to reason from the analogy of artificial selection.

    d –> if origins of life and biodiversity were by evolutionary mechanisms, they were intelligently directed.

    [cf the always linked for details of my argument]

    So, you have set upand knocked over a strawman.

    As to the observation claim, I am pointing out that the grand thesis of macro evo by RV + NS, lacks observational warrant. It is an inference to explanation of the unobserved, remote and unrepeatable past, and it runs into the central problem of not being able to account for the increments in bioinformation. (Biologists, qua biologists are not particularly expert on info theory.)

    We do have a very well-justified, observed source for FSCI, and chance + necessity it ain’t. (These posts in the thread are cases in point.)

    Nor is 5- 600 MY for biodiversity, or 10 – 20 BY and 10^80 atoms or so for origin of cell-based life NEAR enough to begin to be search-space plausible.

    GEM of TKI

  101. Sev:

    Kindly address the substance of Descent of Man, as cited, e.g. Ch 6 as excerpted.

    The issue is not whether Darwin the man was or was not a racist [if he was not, in C19 England, he would have been very exceptional] but whether the theory he propounded has in it concepts and elements regarding race that Darwinists celebrating his 200th anniversary need to address, as a matter of getting to a true and fair view of the past 150 years of biology and its intersection with history, politics and ethics.

    “You’re another” arguments do not address that issue on the merits, and come across as playing the [im-]moral equivalency: turnabout shut-up rhetoric card.

    Absent facing the truth, there can be no reconciliation.

    GEM of TKI

  102. Winston Macchi,

    Actually, I made that comment after I did some research into endosymbiosis, so it wasn’t completely without warrant. I will do some more research, at least to satisfy you, but I’d keep quiet about blaming myself and JT for being ignorant. Especially JT, because at least he, based on what he understood from Allen, suggested that endosymbiosis has been observed.

  103. The issue is not whether Darwin the man was or was not a racist [if he was not, in C19 England, he would have been very exceptional] but whether the theory he propounded has in it concepts and elements regarding race that Darwinists celebrating his 200th anniversary need to address, as a matter of getting to a true and fair view of the past 150 years of biology and its intersection with history, politics and ethics.

    Very well said, KF. That gets to the nub of it.

  104. Jerry, re: 37,
    I looked at the website and it has one immediate glaring error: the best evidence now suggests that eukaryotes are thought to have evolved from endosymbiosis of prokaryotes and archaea, not prokaryote and prokaryote, as he keeps suggesting. Many of the articles he quotes explicitly state this, so I am not sure how he missed it. the rest of the article boils down to the fact that there have been a lot of hypotheses about eukaryotic evolution. true enough, but most of them have dissappeared and only one really strongly supported one remains.

  105. So, you have set upand knocked over a strawman.

    It was my understanding that we were debating whether the theory of evolution must automatically be considered false because of Darwin’s personal views on race. What you’ve done is introduced a whole new debate (whether evolution is wrong based on entirely different criterion) and claimed that that was really what the debate was about from the beginning. Call it a strawman if it makes you feel better, but we both know it is you who are attempting to pull a bait-and-switch.
    I’ll address the new topic tomorrow. I work third shift, and it’s way past my bedtime.

  106. “It was my understanding that we were debating whether the theory of evolution must automatically be considered false because of Darwin’s personal views on race.”

    Is anyone seriously debating that? That would be extreme. I can see how someone could come to the conclusion that the reason Darwin came up with his bogus conclusions was through his racist tendencies. But even with this bias in his thoughts, it does not automatically disqualify his theory. What disqualifies his theory is that it has no empirical backing for the main part of it whether he came by it through racist eyes or not.

  107. Allen_MacNeill (msg. #3):

    “Even granting that Darwin was racist [SNIP....], how does this make him “wrong”? Wrong in what way? Wrong about his theory of evolution by natural selection? Wrong about his theory descent with modification?”

    It makes him wrong because AFTER he rejects God as Creator and Designer
    he then relies on his pre-existing racism to answer a human origin question that did not exist before.

    The point is that AFTER God is rejected as creator of Adam and Eve (late 1836-1837), Darwin THEN suddenly “sees” a “similarity” between apes and dark skinned peoples; that is, men of Tierra del Fuego and apes that he had been observing in the London zoo (Edward Larson, “Evolution: History of a Remarkable Theory” 2004:66-67).

    Darwinism is racism. All Darwinists are racists. To contend that apes first began to evolve into men in Africa is not science, it is gutter racism.

    Do you now understand?

    Ray

  108. This raises an interesting question. Was the reason that Darwin proffered his theory because he was a racist which it seems everyone admits. Despite the fact that the theory is true in some minor parts it is bogus in its major conclusion. The theory is accepted by a fair number of people but why. Was it originally because of the racist implications? For intellectual reasons did Darwin need these bogus conclusions. Was it cognitive dissonance that explains his conclusions. It did seem to have a good hearing amongst the eugenics crowd and I believe these are racists too. Can cognitive dissonance explain Darwin’s theories popularity. We all know that Darwin may have become an atheist and was probably at best a Deist. So the theory has multiple cognitive dissonant uses for him.

    We all know that it is pushed today not because of its truth which has no backing but because of its atheistic implications. The racist implications have lost their import but not the atheistic ones. I often marvel at the gyrations that the anti ID crows goes through to justify their positions. Can cognitive dissonance explain it all?

  109. 109

    jerry,

    We discuss substance all the time here.

    I find that sometimes that is true, and sometimes weeks go by with only posts on Darwin the Racist or Hitler, Darwin’s best friend.

    Allen MacNeill has pointed us to many things over the last three years and none have supported any theory of macro evolution

    I’ll have to take your word for that.

    …would you send us to some obscure examples in the literature knowing that many of us would have trouble with the technical details. No, you would outline the results in all it glory and rub our noses in it.

    The substance is in the technical details. That is where the real info lies. And I have seen many people do this, but no response or a brush off. Plus, I don’t care to rub your nose in anything, that isn’t the point.

    There are whole sites on the web dedicated to proving naturalistic evolution as the explanation for life changes over the last 4.5 billion years and they send people here constantly but when they get here they have a case of amnesia.

    I find when they get here, they get ignored.

    We will eventually discuss endosymbiosis and what it means in the scheme of things. See comment #37.

    Fair enough, I took the liberty to check out that link. Tho only mention of endosymbiosis is:

    Perhaps some of the eukaryote’s organelles, such as the mitochondria, evolved via a symbiotic merger of an early eukaryotic progenitor and a prokaryote. In this endosymbiotic hypothesis, the eukaryote’s mitochondria is thought to be the descendant of an ancient prokaryote that was engulfed by the eukaryote progenitor. Afterwards, a symbiotic relationship is thought to have developed between the larger cell and its new organelle. But even this hypothesis addresses only a fraction of the complexity of the eukaryote cell.
    and so has nothing really to say on the topic.

    What I wish could be discussed every once and a while (and, of course, this is not my site so what I wish is totally meaningless, but there you go) is interesting new papers. Eg.
    http://esciencenews.com/articl.....ses.evolve
    and
    http://esciencenews.com/articl......be.needed

    Both popular articles of papers (info on the source paper can be found in the article)

    The are neat, topical in this forum, and can be used to flush out ideas of how intelligent design happened, if it happened.

  110. Jerry (msg. #105):

    “Is anyone seriously debating that? That would be extreme. I can see how someone could come to the conclusion that the reason Darwin came up with his bogus conclusions was through his racist tendencies. But even with this bias in his thoughts, it does not automatically disqualify his theory. What disqualifies his theory is that it has no empirical backing for the main part of it whether he came by it through racist eyes or not.”

    You are naive.

    Charles Darwin rejected the God of Genesis as Creator by 1837 (Autobio:85). He THEN suddenly “sees” a “similarity” between apes that he had been observing in the London zoo and dark skinned peoples.

    Evolution was accepted AFTER God is rejected as Creator. THEN based on pre-existing racism the theory is born.

    Richard Dawkins, IIRC, called Ronald Fisher the greatest scientist since Darwin. Fisher had no degree in biology and none higher than a B.A. But he was Professor of Eugenics (= white superiority).

    Nobel winner Darwinian biologist James Watson got caught recently saying Africans are not as intelligent as whites. The only surprise is that he got caught. All of his peers believe the same. You would have to be incredibly stupid to believe otherwise.

    Evolution is BASED on gutter racism: its starting point. Stop trying to be fair to Darwinists. They are all gutter racists.

    Ray

  111. 111

    Domoman,

    I wasn’t blaming you for being ignorant, though I apologize if it came off like that. I was decrying the lack of true scientific discussion on these pages. I don’t pretend that I am any better (indeed by commenting in this thread the way I did, I am probably worse). I just find it frustrating.

  112. 112

    Domoman,

    I wasn’t blaming you for being ignorant, though I apologize if it came off like that.

    Reading that back, that sounds worse. What I mean to say is that I am not saying you are ignorant, I don’t know anything about you. That was not the point of my post.

  113. Winston Macchi,

    Thanks for the reply man, and the respect. :) I appreciate it. Sorry I frustrated you with a lack of “true” scientific discussion. I’m not an expert by any means, but I like to put in my two cents, wherever that lands, scientifically speaking.

  114. Ray,

    You are entitled to your opinions but I will have to respectfully disagree with nearly all of what you say here. Yes, Fisher was an eugenicist and no I do not approve of eugenics. But he was an absolute genius regardless of his lack of advanced degrees. Those with Ph.D. would give their eyeteeth for a small portion of his accomplishments Those who are wondering should read the Wikipedia biography of him.

    I do not know if there is anything in his work that is a threat to ID. ID is quite happy with population genetics and natural selection. So your attack on Fisher is an example of bad logic if you think by discrediting him you support ID. So he was a racist and supported eugenics. His ideas on evolution are sound and as I said have no bearing on ID.

  115. Winston Macchi,

    Here is my personal reaction to your comments:

    “We discuss substance all the time here.

    I find that sometimes that is true, and sometimes weeks go by with only posts on Darwin the Racist or Hitler, Darwin’s best friend.”

    I agree 100% with this. But the background and inclinations of many here are not in sync with this. I usually do not comment much on the social stuff but every once in awhile I chip in. But I would prefer it not be as frequent as it is.

    “Allen MacNeill has pointed us to many things over the last three years and none have supported any theory of macro evolution.

    I’ll have to take your word for that.”

    I used the comment, “MacNeill Gallop” to chide him over his behavior because he used the comment himself to describe others. Allen has never once provided concrete support for macro evolution, that is the origin of new information governing any complex new capability. He often points to a section on his blog that has 47 different processes that introduce variation into the genome and we have no problem at all with that except he never pays it out with what each has accomplished.

    “…would you send us to some obscure examples in the literature knowing that many of us would have trouble with the technical details. No, you would outline the results in all it glory and rub our noses in it.

    The substance is in the technical details. That is where the real info lies. And I have seen many people do this, but no response or a brush off. Plus, I don’t care to rub your nose in anything, that isn’t the point.”

    I have to disagree strongly with your interpretation. Allen knows the parameters of the debate. At least I hope so. It is over the origin of new information to control new capabilities in the genome. It is easy enough to discuss this if he had the goods in his pocket. So three things, either it doesn’t exist, he doesn’t know what it is or he doesn’t understand his example. So until he presents the evidence, he is begging the question that it is really macro evolution especially when we don’t see anyone else rushing to use these examples.

    “There are whole sites on the web dedicated to proving naturalistic evolution as the explanation for life changes over the last 4.5 billion years and they send people here constantly but when they get here they have a case of amnesia.

    I find when they get here, they get ignored.”

    Well you have to provide examples and then if we did ignore them, then force us to discuss them. I am not aware of us doing that. But you obviously are so find the thread and show us and then bring it up here and see what happens. If we continue to ignore it and you think it is important then you have a gotcha. So essentially I am challenging you and we can increase the percentage of substance discussed here.

    “We will eventually discuss endosymbiosis and what it means in the scheme of things. See comment #37.

    Fair enough, I took the liberty to check out that link. Tho only mention of endosymbiosis is:
    Perhaps some of the eukaryote’s organelles, such as the mitochondria, evolved via a symbiotic merger of an early eukaryotic progenitor and a prokaryote. In this endosymbiotic hypothesis, the eukaryote’s mitochondria is thought to be the descendant of an ancient prokaryote that was engulfed by the eukaryote progenitor. Afterwards, a symbiotic relationship is thought to have developed between the larger cell and its new organelle. But even this hypothesis addresses only a fraction of the complexity of the eukaryote cell.?and so has nothing really to say on the topic.”

    I read Hunter’s site quickly but it seemed to say that there were considerable difficulties with prokaryotes combining and the result being the eukaryote whether it is endosymbiosis or other processes. On re-reading it, I have just reinforced my impression that the relationship between the two is still speculative. But I am far from an expert on this so if you are interested, why don’t you challenge Hunter here. It would be an interesting discussion.

    “What I wish could be discussed every once and a while (and, of course, this is not my site so what I wish is totally meaningless, but there you go) is interesting new papers. Eg.
    ?http://esciencenews.com/articl…..ses.evolve?and?http://esciencenews.com/articl……be.needed

    Both popular articles of papers (info on the source paper can be found in the article)
    The are neat, topical in this forum, and can be used to flush out ideas of how intelligent design happened, if it happened.”

    They are interesting papers and as far as I can see offer no threat to ID. ID accepts nearly everything the geneticist finds in the genome and how it interacts within its own genome or with possibly others. It does not deny that these characteristics could have arisen by chance and natural selection. Each month there are probably a hundred papers like this that are fascinating. If you think they are a threat to ID, then state so and we can examine it. If we ignore you then persist.

  116. Several commentators in this thread and others have asserted (without corroboration) that although there is abundant evidence for microevolution (which they apparently accept), there is no evidence for macroevolution (which they do not accept, mainly because of its implications for their religious beliefs). I started to write a response to this, but it started to get very long, so I made it into a post on my own blog. You can read it here:

    http://evolutionlist.blogspot......dence.html

    After you do, I would appreciate any comments (and especially substantive criticisms) you might have…but please, save the ad hominems for each other. Thank you for goading me to write what will become yet another chapter in my forthcoming evolution textbook from John Wiley & Sons (due out in 2010).

  117. Allen_MacNeill,

    Re: evening primrose, Oenothera lamarckiana, de Vries (1905)

    Oenothera lamarckiana is an invalid synonym for the plant species Oenothera glazioviana, It’s common name means ‘large-flower evening primrose’. Oenothera gigas was the name used a century ago for tetraploid mutants of the various Oenothera species. This included tetraploids of Oenothera lamarckiana.

    de Vries had named named it O. lamarckiana, but it had already been called Oenothera glazioviana by Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius. So the name O. lamarckiana should be defunct and so it is wrongly cited.

    De Vries believed that tetraploid Oenethera plants would ‘breed true’, forming a distinct species. However, the tetraploid specimens of Oenothera that de Vries and other botanists cultivated did not form their own self-perpetuating populations, requiring constant special care and consistently generating a range of chromosome sets (diploid, triploid, tetraploid, etc.) in their offspring. In his zeal to provide evidence for evolution, de Vries had presumptuously proclaimed tetraploid Oenotheras to be a new species This was in spite of direct evidence to the contrary. This included evidence from his own breeding efforts. The idea that these plants constituted an example of speciation is wrong, and this was realized at least as long ago as 1943. [See Davis, B.M., An amphidiploid in the F1 generation from the cross Oenothera franciscana x Oenothera biennis, and its progeny, Genetics 28(4):275–285, July 1943.] On page 278 Davis writes: “In summary it should be emphasized that this amphidiploid did not present a settled behaviour of all pairing on the part of the chromosomes at diakinesis. On the contrary, there was much irregularity in the process of chromosome segregation during meiosis. Accounts of amphidiploids have frequently assumed that these plants even from hybrids would breed true because the double set of chromosomes would permit a regular pairing between homologues. It will be noted that here is an amphidiploid Oenothera hybrid in which the pairing is far from regular with the result that the plant does not breed true, as will appear in the accounts of later generations.”

    That O. gigas is still presented as an evidence for evolution reflects very poorly on those amplifying evolution to be able to do things as they claim. There is a matter of pride, honour and status for a scientist to identify and name a new species. This results in the situation where some species have been named and renamed multiple times by different scientists. This is true for botanists to identify varieties as new species, even when the evidence is equivocal. As such, in this case it seems that an intense desire to produce evidence for his evolutionary faith apparently influenced de Vries to ignore conflicting data.

    I’m sure you’ll note that all this has nothing to do with evolution of the microbes-to-man sort. Evolution requires the coming into existence of encyclopaedic amounts of new information, coding for new types of organs, new kinds of appendages, etc. Change of this sort, from one kind of organism into a different kind, has not been observed. Observed speciation involves only the elimination, duplication, reshuffling or degradation of existing genetic information. The various mutant varieties of evening primrose are all still evening primroses. If a self-sustaining reproductively-isolated population (i.e. a new ‘species’) of tetraploid Oenothera plants had developed, this would not constitute an example of evolution of the microbes-to-man sort. The same genes are present in the tetraploid, just twice as many of them. The information is merely duplicated in the tetraploid.

    I can’t wait to see your chapter in your forthcoming textbook. If you place any of that information on which you blogged in your text because of your comment: “response to yet another unsupported assertion by creationists and ID supporters, who often state (without evidence) that although microevolution might happen, there is no evidence for macroevolution” then it says more about your fundamentalist beliefs than about your science.

  118. Allen_MacNeill,

    Just to add to your response touting “another unsupported assertion by creationists and ID supporters, … there is no evidence for macroevolution”, I wrote at #54 in response to your paradigmatic example of macroevolution via serial endosymbiosis.

    There was a lot of traffic, so you may have missed it or just ignored it. Nevertheless, answers to your examples are being provided to counter your claims. Occasionally vitriol is present instead of substance, but of all people you can’t say that you don’t try and bite as much as you are bitten?

    C’mon Allen!

  119. AusieID [116]

    Evolution requires the coming into existence of encyclopaedic amounts of new information, coding for new types of organs, new kinds of appendages, etc. Change of this sort, from one kind of organism into a different kind, has not been observed.

    Of course no one has observed a single change of this magnitude. Evolutionary theory predicts such a change would only happen through a series of many, much small changes. Such a change would be evidence against modern evolutionary theory (although like any evidence it would be compatible with an all powerful designer)

  120. Ray:

    I would avoid this sort of incendiary language if I were you.

    “Evolution is BASED on gutter racism: its starting point. Stop trying to be fair to Darwinists. They are all gutter racists. ”

    Even if it’s not incendiary to whomever it’s directed, it is to me.

  121. “I find when they get here, they get ignored.”

    “Well you have to provide examples and then if we did ignore them, then force us to discuss them.”

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  122. KRiS:

    Re @ 104: It was my understanding that we were debating whether the theory of evolution must automatically be considered false because of Darwin’s personal views on race.

    1 –> I have little or no interest in debate, for reasons connected to what Jefferson, echoing Socrates, can be paraphrased: “debate is that wicked art that makes the worse appear the better case; being abetted therein by rhetoric, the deceptive art of persuasion.” (My interest is in serious dialogue towards truth, thus constrained by logic and facts.)

    2 –> I think you need to re-look at my post at 61:

    Reality check — Mrs O’Leary is right, dead right. It is time we came face to face with the fact and dealt with it . . . . it is fair (though obviously frequently most unwelcome, and even angrily dismissed)comment to observe [7 points, having given cites and data] . . . .

    [5] . . . by late C19, the “scientific” rationale was there for social darwinism, eugenics and genocide; as was taken up by men who would carry it forth ruthlessly in the next century. And, CRD was one of the very first to advance that rationale, in the book in which he took the theses of origin and extended them to humanity.

    6 –> And, let us never forget: such was not corrected until AFTER mass murders and horrible abuses in the name of scientific Eugenics. Decades of such horrors.

    7 –> We may put on the other side of the balance sheet his humanitarianism, or his antislavery position, etc, but a true and fair view of the man and what he did and its consequences MUST not erase this side of his legacy.

    3 –> FYI, I happen to be descended from two of the “races” CRD so coolly condemned to Malthusian extinction [which, recall includes not only famine etc but WAR], one in common with Ms O’Leary. And, through my J’can roots, I can see a very direct connexion between the 1840′s in Ireland and the 1860′s in J’ca [Governor Eyre . . .],then onward to the Poles [no 2 target] and Jews [no 1 target; overlapping] of the 1940′s.

    4 –> So, this is a very personally relevant issue for me. Thus, when I see worldwide celebrations that do not frankly and fairly address what is in the very title of his first book,and comes down to cool predictions of genocide in his second, I have reason to be very, very concerned.

    5 –> Nor, are my concerns new: As I have introduced to the discussion [extensive cite, 61], the opening paragraphs of H G Wells’ War of the Worlds, 1897/8, have a pretty direct warning on the consequences of Darwin’s theses on the competition of races for survival as the engine of progress, applied to humanity.

    6 –> If I had seen a balanced discussion in the celebrations, of how the original form of Darwinian thought was birthed in a racist matrix and unfortunately opened the door to Social Darwinism and worse, but we have faced this and corrected it this way and that, that would be another story. (After all, I am a Christian, who believes in repentance, reconciliation and forgiveness leading to reformation of life and culture, as the mark of greatness in a sin-marred world.)

    7 –> But, even here, when I have raised the issue, I see attempts to shut up or dismiss the inconvenient voices, to divert attention and to play at immoral equivalency through turnabout cross-accusations. Plato’s Cave shadow-show and divide and rule games, in short.

    8 –> Do you see why my warning flags therefore trip when I see that sort of pattern among the supporters of Darwin, 150 years after he wrote, 110 years after H G Wells warned, coming on 70 years after the Holocaust, and even while in our common Civilisation, we tolerate mass abortions of unborn infants on grounds boiling down to convenience, set out on using killed embryos as medical treatments, euthanise the sick and helpless by nutrient and water deprivation, and worse?

    9 –> If you don’t, think a bit on how SB, GP and I have set out time and again to “define” science as it ought to be in the Weak Argument Correctives:

    . . . the unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) pursuit of the truth about our world, in light of empirical evidence, observation, experiment and analysis.

    10 –> And, I say that in full knowledge that it was my base discipline, physics, that has given the politicians and the generals the nukes and the missiles that have already cost 1/2+ million their lives, and could easily cost most of the world their lives in an hour or so. [Observe Iran's launch of a satellite . . . cf. the Sputnik crisis, 1957] Worse, some of the leaders of the Manhattan Project, when asked, suppressed the dissenting voice among the scientists, that the nuke bomb should be DEMONSTRATED to the Japanese — who were far gone already — rather than used to roast a city. (Even showing the film of the Trinity test would have probably made a difference . . . )

    11 –> In short, my principal concern from my first intervention on, has been the gaping ethical hole in modern science and in formal and informal science education, as so plainly illustrated by Darwinism and Darwin 200. And, the responses — including yours (and, especially including Allen’s) — above do not allay those concerns, KRiS.

    12 –> Now, it was you who raised rthe issue on Darwin’s theory and wherther I saw the above ethical hole as disqualifying the theory as a valid one. As originally conceived C19, plainly the theory 1.0 is — had better be! (I think of Marxism that Vampire socio-cultural and economic evolutionary theory that in large part extends C19 Darwinism, lying in a shallow and noisily stirring grave . . . ) — dead.

    13 –> 2.0, is in trouble, as I have pointed out, as it is a pre-info age theory [30's - 40's] that — once DNA and its role as an algorithmic, discrete state information-storing entity had been discovered [from '53 on] — threw out a bridge to Information Science and linked Thermodynamics. (Cf my always linked discussion, Section A.)

    14 –> That means that its core ideas are suddenly subject to major empirical tests through ideas developed in previously independent and unconnected areas of study. And, plainly, it is not faring well; though that is being stoutly resisted with all the zeal of a threatened magisterium and its zealous followers.

    15 –> But, the issue is not in serious doubt. The handwriting has been on the wall — ah, actually, in the DNA — for some time now.

    So, now KRiS, can we have a serious discussion on matters of grave import?

    GEM of TKI

  123. Mark:

    We HAVE routinely observed the creation of encyclopedic amounts of information. For good reason connected to the needle in a haystack challenge, chance + necessity are not plausible sources for such FSCI. Intelligence is a ROUTINELY observed source.

    So, once biosystems in the heart of the cell turned out to be Information Systems, the issues of Info Theory come to bear, and the known source of large quanta of complex, functional info is relevant.

    The logic is simple:

    1 –> Biosystems at the core of the cell, are complex info systems [Observed since 1953, check]

    2 –> to get to observed simplest independent life and onward to biodiversity, the observed info storage ranges from 600 kbits to 3 -4 + Giga bits. (Observed in recent decades, check]

    3 –> Just 1,000 bits specifies a config space of 2^1,000 ~ 10^301, or about 10 times the SQUARE of the number of quantum states for the ~10^80 atoms of observed cosmos across its typically estimated lifetime of about 10^25 s. [Simple calculation, check]

    4 –> That is, converting the cosmos into a search for life system configs, would not be able to access more than 1 in 10^150 of this far smaller search space, raising serious needle- in- a- haystack search doubts that either OOL or body-plan biodiversity are feasible explanatory frameworks for origin of observed life. [implication, check]

    5 –> But, we routinely observe that FSCI is the product of intelligence [direct observation and experience, check]

    6 –> Moreover, the fossil record, after 150 years of search for missing links, shows a persistent and pervasive pattern of sudden diversity, stasis and extinction [summary of observations, providing an empirical test for competing explanations, check]

    7 –> So, on inference to best explanation, design is a viable, arguably better candidate for explaining the OOL and origin of body-plan level biodiversity [logic of empirically anchored inference to best explanation]

    8 –> the rise of Lewontinian a priori materialism, often in the guise of imposed methodological naturalism [cf US NAS et al], shows that this is by and large not being resisted on evidence but on worldview level imposition [history and current state of arguments, check]

    9 –> Similarly, we see the distortions and propagandistic misrepresentation of ID to the scientific, policy, educator and general publics, showing through resort to red herring, strawman and ad hominem fallacies that the balance on the merits is not on the side of the evolutionary materialist establishment and its de facto magisterium. [obseervations, and analysis in light of issues in logic and rhetoric; check]

    CONCLUSION: A paradigm is in profound crisis, and is being stoutly defended by all the resorts that a threatened orthodox, dogmatic establishment can bring to bear. But, the heretics out in the bushes and on the fringes are clearly winning the guerrilla war.

    Time for a negotiated settlement!

    GEM of TKI

    GEM of TKI

  124. PS to KRiS:

    I forgot this part: “Darwin’s personal views on race.”

    Look at the original title of Origin, for edns 1 – 5. Namely: On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

    I –> It that a matter of mere “personal” views?

    II –> Or, — and cf my excerpt from Descent of Man, ch 6 — is “race” the competing population unit, that CRD had in mind when he spoke, qua SCIENTIST, of survival of the fittest through competition for SURVIVAL in a Malthusian context?

    Your answer will tell us a lot, including whether you are a serious participant in dialogue, or a sock-puppet as has been raised in another thread.

    GEM of TKI

  125. Why is Ray Martinez still allowed to post here? None of his/her comments contain anything more than the most vitriolic ad hominem attacks; no evidence, no logic, no arguments, nothing but ugly, unsupported character assassination. Is this the kind of person you folks want the world to think is representing your position? Just curious…

  126. Kairosfocus said:In short, my principal concern from my first intervention on, has been the gaping ethical hole in modern science and in formal and informal science education, as so plainly illustrated by Darwinism and Darwin 200. And, the responses — including yours (and, especially including Allen’s) — above do not allay those concerns, KRiS.

    Not only do they not allay such concerns, they reinforce them.

    Note what Allen said in one of his first comments: O’Leary, like most people not trained in science, apparently does not understand that what a scientist thinks and does outside her area of expertise has no bearing whatsoever on the validity of her science. That is determined by empirical testing and statistical verification.

    This argument is false given that Darwin was making scientific claims based on his supposed area of expertise. O’Leary did not claim that Darwin had scientific knowledge having to do with the extermination of lower races, Darwin did. Assembling a panel of scholars to deny this doesn’t change anything.

    Note that Allen’s view of a totally “pure” science divorced from ethical concerns has led to the emergence of technically proficient barbarians in the past. Counter to his claims science as we know it is reliant on sound ethics just like empirical observations are reliant on a sane form of sentience. History shows that what people think and do outside their area of expertise or technical proficiency does have an impact on their supposedly “pure” science.

  127. Allen_MacNeill (msg.125):

    “Why is Ray Martinez still allowed to post here? None of his/her comments contain anything more than the most vitriolic ad hominem attacks; no evidence, no logic, no arguments, nothing but ugly, unsupported character assassination. Is this the kind of person you folks want the world to think is representing your position? Just curious…”

    Egregious and deliberate lie and/or misrepresentation. I will re-post my reply to Allen in its entirety. I answered his question—-directly. My answer is based on facts, **referenced fact** and straightforward logic. What is obvious is that Allen is angry caused by the inability to address and/or refute; and true to the Atheist mindset he seeks his enemy (IDists) to censor and silence his enemy (me, IDist)—-exactly what Atheist-Communism did to their Christian enemies in the 20th century (and much worse, of course). Allen is fishing for a Judge Jones, a Judas, according to the Bible he will probably find one.

    Again, Allen is noticeably stung and unable to refute: the truth hurts.

    BEGIN re-post:

    Allen_MacNeill (msg. #3):

    “Even granting that Darwin was racist [SNIP....], how does this make him “wrong”? Wrong in what way? Wrong about his theory of evolution by natural selection? Wrong about his theory descent with modification?”

    It makes him wrong because AFTER he rejects God as Creator and Designer he then relies on his pre-existing racism to answer a human origin question that did not exist before.

    The point is that AFTER God is rejected as creator of Adam and Eve (late 1836-1837), Darwin THEN suddenly “sees” a “similarity” between apes and dark skinned peoples; that is, men of Tierra del Fuego and apes that he had been observing in the London zoo (Edward Larson, “Evolution: History of a Remarkable Theory” 2004:66-67).

    Darwinism is racism. All Darwinists are racists. To contend that apes first began to evolve into men in Africa is not science, it is gutter racism.

    Do you now understand?

    END re-post.

    Ray

  128. Laminar (msg.#120):

    “I would avoid this sort of incendiary language if I were you.

    ‘Evolution is BASED on gutter racism: its starting point. Stop trying to be fair to Darwinists. They are all gutter racists.’

    Even if it’s not incendiary to whomever it’s directed, it is to me.”

    Quote mine. The conclusion, quoted above, is plainly justified by the facts and logic (not quoted above).

    Also: your reply is classic messenger shooting. You are more upset with the messenger than you are with the message-facts (Darwinists are gutter racists).

    Why is Laminar more upset with the reporting of racism than with the perpetrators of racism?

    I am afraid that the answer to this question would be truly incendiary, so I will refrain.

    Ray

  129. Jerry (msg.114):

    “You are entitled to your opinions but I will have to respectfully disagree with nearly all of what you say here. Yes, Fisher was an eugenicist and no I do not approve of eugenics. But he was an absolute genius regardless of his lack of advanced degrees. Those with Ph.D. would give their eyeteeth for a small portion of his accomplishments Those who are wondering should read the Wikipedia biography of him.”

    I never questioned Fisher’s intelligence. I kept to the subject matter of THIS thread, that is, the racism of Darwinism. I reported facts about Fisher, which you have expressed agreement with.

    Darwinism was born in racism, that is, AFTER God is rejected as Creator, Darwin relies on his pre-existing racism to answer a question that did not exist before (human origins; apes morphing in Africans—-gutter racism). Darwinists, and their sympathizers in this thread, have evaded this ugly fact.

    By the way: Wikipedia is NOT a source. Anyone with a computer can contribute. The site is controlled by Atheists-Darwinists as seen in the on-slaught of slander written about the Bible, Creationism, IDism and its sources. Tell me, who wrote the Wikipedia article on Fisher: Paris Hilton, Ronald McDonald, or your uncle Joe?

    Ray

  130. Ray Martinez, Mr. Martinez rather.

    Are you “the” Ray Martinez from Texas? The sherrif?

  131. Mynym @ 126:

    Thanks.

    Allen [@ 125] and/or KRiS [Missing for a day . . . ]:

    Are you able to allay my ethics of science and linked education, public opinion and policy concerns on Darwin + 200?

    How?

    GEM of TKI

  132. Ray said: Darwinism is racism. All Darwinists are racists.

    There was a time when that was generally true. It is not true now. That is simply a fact. It is not true due to changes in culture overcoming scientific racism and causing scientific challenges to such views, although Darwinists sometimes naturally fall back into racism. Also, the “pure” science that Allen promotes was a barrier to change of this sort, not a catalyst.

  133. On the contrary, one of the most powerful arguments against racism was Richard Lewontin’s argument that the amount of variation within a group is much greater than the amount of variation between groups. Interestingly, this generalization holds regardless of how one defines such groups (i.e. “races”).

    For example, the average variation in IQ within any particular group of people is on the order of 12 units (i.e. the standard deviation from the average IQ, especially as defined as “G”, or “general intelligence”), whereas the average variation between women and men (or between African-Americans and European-Americans, or between Jews and non-Jews) is on the order of 3 to 4 IQ units. Indeed, some estimates of the latter variation place it less than 3 IQ units.

    That is, the average difference in IQ between the dumbest and smartest person within any particular group of people is on the order of three to four times as great as the average difference in IQ between the dumbest and smartest person in two different groups of people.

    Lewontin is an evolutionary biologist of the first rank, as was his colleague (and co-author) Stephen Jay Gould. Both of them argued tirelessly throughout their lives against any “evolutionary” justification for racism, sexism, and other forms of unequal treatment or opportunity.

    Ergo, any assertion that evolutionary biologists in general, and those of us who began doing our science after World War II, are ipso facto “gutter” racists (or any other kind of racist) are nothing less than egregious lies, uttered by people who have no knowledge of the history of modern evolutionary biology and even less knowledge or care about modern science and its relationship to morals and ethics.

  134. Or, to put it terms that even Ray might understand, the empirical evidence (as developed and analyzed by population geneticists) points to the conclusion that race (and sex, and ethnicity) plays little or no significant role in intelligence.

  135. Allen_MacNeill

    No’s 54 and 117.

    Think of Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day off, but with your name inserted:
    “MacNeill? … MacNeill?”

  136. Mr MacNeill:

    I appreciate that Lewontin’s findings on intra vs inter-group variations on intelligence metrics are relevant empirical evidence that “race” is not a good discriminant on competitiveness of groups.

    I would also imagine that in today’s culture — post WW 2 and post civil rights movement — racism should be at most a tiny minority, “in the closet” view among biologists.

    However, that does but little to address my first concern: that there is a significant history that has to be come to terms with, and that that means taking a true and fair — not a sanitised — view of the history of evolutionary biology. (As has been aptly said by Santayana and others: If we refuse to face and to learn from history, we are doomed to repeat its worst chapters.)

    Here, the lessons of history include the fact that H G Wells, by 1897 – 98, had publicly warned of the possible consequences of Social and racial Darwinism. Themes that — as Denyse and I have cited — are undeniably explicitly taught in CRD’s Descent of Man, and taught in ways that tie it to the very core of Darwinism 1.0; literally starting with the sub-itle of Origin of Species:

    On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.

    For instance,

    1 –> Why was not h G Wells’ warning heard and heeded by scientists and the educated public, many of whom doubtless read his pioneering Science Fiction novel,or would have been in a position to hear its warning message had it been taken seriously?

    2 –> Could a similar deafness to warnings be happening today — e.g. on the ID issue?

    3 –> Also, it seems to me that the question of the ethics of science and the value placed on humans — e.g. quality of life [including mind/intelligence . . . ] vs inherent worth of the human being — is still an issue, one that speaks straight to a host of bio-ethics concerns as I have noted on.

    And, more broadly, the there is the question that science (especially origins science) should be an unfettered (but intellectually and ethically responsible) empirically based search for the truth about our world.

    I am particularly concerned over the increasingly evident imposition of Lewontinian, a priori materialism in the name of science, including through the actions of the US National Academy of Sciences. For, that is plainly the imposition and quasi-establishment of a dogma in the name of science, in ways that mislead the public on its effect on the proper goals of science and on the degree of warrant for its findings.

    In short, a focus on Mr Martinez’ assertions, while failing to address weightier matters does very little to allay far weightier concerns on science and ethics. For, that comes across rather like the classic story of the boxer who took on the strawman, instead of his real challenger.

    I therefore hope that the above concerns will be properly and fully addressed as Cornell and other relevant institutions continue to celebrate Darwin 200.

    GEM of TKI

  137. PS: An interesting article on history that needs to be faced squarely and learned from is here. Observe in particular the remarks by Hannah Arendt [1951], that by Alan Bullock, the one by John Toland, and that by Ian Kershaw.

  138. PPS: On a linked matter, it is my understanding that for decades following WW 2, medicine had little choice but to use the results of the Nazi medical experiments (possibly saving more lives than were lost to the holocaust). However, on ethical responsibility, a decades long initiative was undertaken to re-prove the relevant findings in ethically sound ways; I think being completed in the 1980′s or so. Is this not a lesson to us, from one of the elder professions?

  139. Allen_MacNeill (msg. #134):

    “Or, to put it terms that even Ray might understand, the empirical evidence (as developed and analyzed by population geneticists) points to the conclusion that race [SNIP....] plays little or no significant role in intelligence.”

    Nobel winner, Darwinian microbiologist James Watson, disagrees:

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/s.....index.html

    “Watson [says] he [is] “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really.”

    A person would have to be incredibly naive to believe that a person of Watson’s prominence and stature, that is, his gutter racism views, to be isolated or aberrational. Since Watson is a leading Darwinist we can deduce rightly that his view represents the view of all of his colleagues.

    Again, the *only surprise* in the Watson incident is that he got caught.

    Ray

  140. Mr Martinez:

    It is grossly unfair to extrapolate form one individual — however prominent — to “all.”

    The evidence is that, having SEEN the horror of WW 2, racism is in abeyance in Evolutionary Materialist circles.

    But, the underlying theory and worldview lend themselves to denying he intrinsic worth of a human being, thus to immoralities based on imposing power on perceived inferiors who are somehow unworthy. the habitual viciousness with which perceived dissidents are treated, starting with the sort of uncivil language that is ever so common, is telling. For, out of the abundance of teh heart, the mouth speaks. The current dilemmas on bioethics and imposed death as a “solution” to social or medical problems, is equally telling.

    the inability to address teh above histry in a calm and objective fashin tells us the histry is plainly unfinished, too.

    But, at the end of the day, racists are a plainly small and in-the-closet group among modern biologists; though I have heard Mr David Duke on shortwave radio, using IQ and biology arguments to bolster his racism: the subtlest part was conceding that Asians have a higher IQ than whites on average . . .

    Let us — on both sides — not lose sight of fairness or truth towards those with whom we may differ.

    GEM of TKI

  141. kairosfocus (msg. #140):

    “Mr Martinez:

    It is grossly unfair to extrapolate form one individual — however prominent — to ‘all.’”

    Like I pointed out: Nobel winner Darwinian microbiologist James Watson’s views are the views of his colleagues; and the only surprise is that he got caught—-you are naive

    kairosfocus: “The evidence is that, having SEEN the horror of WW 2, racism is in abeyance in Evolutionary Materialist circles.”

    Could we expect a Darwinist to say anything else?

    While Darwinists were ratifying natural selection in the late 1930s and early 1940s in what the History of Science calls the “biological synthesis,” the Nazis were implementing natural selection in the field: accepting the conclusions of Darwin’s theory that no God exists, and that we are but modified animals, Hitler selected his enemies for extinction.

    Ray

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