Monthly Archives: December 2011
Actually, if I hadn’t liked the alliteration, I wouldn’t have used “falsifying” in the title. What I really want to assert is that none of the key ideas in Neodarwinian theory (taken as the heart of evolution) are either verified or logically capable of being demonstrated empirically, let alone falsified. This has been said before, but it’s worth reiterating, because we’re still being told it’s as factual as gravity…
I’ve stumbled across this astonishing series of articles by Stephen L Talbott at the Nature Institute. Astonishing because it’s an overview of some of the new (and astonishing!) processes being discovered within the cell, including some very good stuff on epigenetics, yet put in the context of a whole scientific and philosophical critique of not only Neodarwinism, but of the whole reductionist approach to biology and of ateleological science overall. An ambitious set of targets indeed! There’s a lot of it, and some is somewhat technical, but don’t let that put you off wading through the lot. It’s some of the most conceptually fruitful stuff I’ve read in a long … Continue reading
An interesting article on Evolution News & Views by Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, a German molecular plant geneticist. Basically he claims precedence in publishing the process recently re-discovered by Austin L Hughes and published in Heredity. Apparently the idea (called plasticity-relaxation-mutation) has been around in the literature for 25 years, but not in English journals. Its importance is that it provides an evolutionary adaptive mechanism completely different to (and conceivably a complete replacement for) adaptive natural selection.
A refutation of William Paley’s design argument (Garvey, J.C. Kipling, J.R. et al 2011) William Paley, the 19th century Intelligent Design Creationist, tried to put the scientific clock back 500 years to the time when Francis Bacon was burned at the stake for denying that the world was flat, by using the example of a self-replicating watch found during a walk on the heath. His “argument” (which was never peer-reviewed in the proper way) has been rightly dismissed many times on the basis that a watch is quite different from the biological systems known to have evolved by random mutation and natural selection. But in these days when Fundamentalist attempts … Continue reading
I’ve argued in my last post that ateleology is a recent usurper in the domain of science, and therefore that admitting the hypothesis of design would merely be a return to intellectual normality. In July I argued more specifically for teleology in a Christian approach to science , and I want to that revisit that from a slightly different angle in the context of my recent post.
One argument often heard against Intelligent Design is that allowing it into science would put pressure on people to believe in God, to the detriment of faith. In its most extreme expression, one blogger said that a scientific proof of God would put our generation at an unfair advantage over all the previous generations, who did not have that proof.
One of the things one often finds in discussion with theistic evolutionists, in particular, is an extension of the practical use of methodological naturalism to a, usually vaguely expressed, principle that God’s presence ought not to be detectable in nature. I exclude here those heterodox ideas of a God who doesn’t actually create, but leaves a quasi-sentient universe “free” to experiment with evolution, and so on. No, the people I’m talking about are orthodox (especially Bible-respecting) Christians who believe God is “behind” creation, but who hold that on principle one is unlikely to detect that fact through science.