Daily Archives: 25/11/2011

The illusion of illusion

In my last post  I looked at how the real heart of Darwinian evolutionary theory is a mental concept, comparable to the Anthropic Principle, that enables one to conceive of design witout a designer. This is what makes the theory so malleable to any actual data. I want to  carry on with the example I was using there of the first self-replicating molecule, as it’s relatively uncomplicated to imagine. The question, you’ll remember, is whether it makes any difference (for a theist) to consider such a complex and closely specified self-replicating molecule as the work of God-as-designer, or as the work of God-as-behind-a-rational-and-scientific-fluke-of-extreme-improbability. I concluded that the only real difference … Continue reading

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Theory, or mental back-flip?

What did Darwin actually present in 1859? I suggest it wasn’t so much a scientific theory as a plausible new way of looking at things. It wasn’t his evidence that “swept away the illusion of design” but the mental flip that suddenly enables one to see how design could happen without a designer. Darwin presented some evidence for descent with modification, but that in itself wasn’t new but common currency in the scientific community. His Big Idea was natural selection, and the only evidence he presented for that was a comparison with artificial selection. If a breeder can select for useful traits, why should not nature itself do so? It’s … Continue reading

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