Ernst Mayr at the millennium: A study in misplaced triumphalism
|July 28, 2006||Posted by O'Leary under Intelligent Design|
Darwinian evolutionist Ernst Mayr wrote in Scientific American in 2000:
“Let me now try to summarize my major findings. No educated person any longer questions the validity of the so-called theory of evolution, which we now know to be a simple fact. Likewise, most of Darwin’s particular theses have been fully confirmed, such as that of common descent, the gradualism of evolution, and his explanatory theory of natural selection.”
(Mayr E.W., “Darwin’s Influence on Modern Thought,” Scientific American, Vol. 283, No. 1, pp.67-71, July 2000, p.71)
Note how Mayr has smeared the “so-called theory of evolution” (why “so-called”?) together with the facts of the history of life. He makes clear that he does indeed think that the theory can be identical with the historyÃ‚Â it interprets and that Darwin’s is the onlyÃ‚Â conceivable interpretation.
This bunkum entanglementÃ‚Â first attracted my attention as a journalist years ago. When I first caught sight of the hordes ofÃ‚Â churchgoing scientists who rushed to defend it, I knew I was onto something.
The best way to unpack bunkum entanglement is toÃ‚Â recognize it for what it is: a creed constructed so as to prevent legitimate evidence-based doubt.
After all, if theory and fact are identical, there is no basis for evidence-based doubt.
In any event, by now, 600 scientists do in fact question Darwin’s “particular theses,” on the evidence. I am sure many more would if Richard Sternberg and Guillermo Gonzalez had not demonstrated, by example, what happens to dissenters.
But my instinct is that it isn’t working for the Darwinists any more. Listen to the caterwauling about Visigoths at the gates. Note the ridiculous-beyond-parody hagiography of Darwin, an upper-class Brit toff who lent respectability to the theory that ruthless competition was the key to all life.
And just yesterday, I noted that John Rennie, editor-in-chief of Scientific American, has been blogging up a storm against a young lawyer, Casey Luskin, who works for the Discovery Institute, in re the current Kansas science standards uproar.
I would have thought that a man in Rennie’s positionÃ‚Â would find himself too beset by the demands of his publication to get into a row with …. But I guess not …. ? … ?
Look, it isn’t the Visigoths that are at these people’s gates. It’s all the people who know things that Darwinism doesn’t account for. Things that would cause a reasonable person to doubt Darwinism.
The most common argument I hear for Darwinism – the absolutely darling must-have story in the pop sci media – is “We have found evidence for Darwinism!
We found it – in the eye of a fly – in the butt of an extinct anteater – in the lies guys tell about sex.” And we have more, too! Watch this space!”
The fatal problem, as any journalist knows, is:Ã‚Â An apparently convincing case can be constructed if the only requirement is to assemble evidence forÃ‚Â one’s ownÃ‚Â position. The caseÃ‚Â can then be aced byÃ‚Â bullying anyone who knows contrary evidence into silence.
The one thing the Darwinists can’t do is, in the words of the old song, “Make the world go awa-a-ay/Get it off of my shoulder.”
No it won’t go away.Ã‚Â And it’s colder and colder.Ã‚Â