Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Why is critical evaluation of Darwinism not permitted in the public square?

UPDATE: Welcome Post-Darwinist readers! Thanks for the link Denyse!

UPDATE: Welcome visitors from 4Simpsons! Thanks for the link!

No one doubts what can be proved in the lab or in the fossil record about the ability of organisms to adapt to their environment. Finch beak sizes can change, bacteria can become resistant, etc. Perhaps even some limited “speciation” between ancestors due to geographic isolation. But that isn’t what Darwinism-skeptics object to. We object to naturalistic accounts of the origin of life and to macro-evolution.

But Darwinism, like global warming, is one of those beliefs that is long on faith and short on evidence. And the way you can tell that you’re being sold a pig in a poke is by taking a look at how welcoming Darwinists are to debate. Do they organize public debates and publish books with their opponents? Or do they simply have them fired and black-listed from the academy? Let’s talk a look at the data.

The case of NPR media bias

Here is an interesting article from Evolution News by ID proponent Casey Luskin. Casey was interviewed by the government-run, taxpayer-funded National Public Radio, regarding the recent decision favoring critical thinking in science by the Texas Board of Education.

Casey writes:

Last week I did an interview with an NPR reporter, Bob Garfield, for his NPR show “On the Media” about the recent Texas decision…

The interview started with benign questions about the recent decision of the Texas State Board of Education to welcome scientific critique of evolution into the curriculum. This quickly descended into various “how dare you” type questions, about whether this was all a plot by the “Religious Right” to insert religion into public schools, and why I rejected all the fossil and cosmological evidence that shows the universe isn’t 10,000 years old. “Huh?,” I replied. I quickly informed Mr. Garfield that not only do we oppose advocating religion in science classrooms, but that I’m not a young earth creationist, and that the debate in Texas has never been about young earth creationism. The new Texas Science Standards only require scientific critical analysis of evolution, and in no way shape or form invited biblical creationism or religion into the classroom.

Mr. Garfield was also reminded that many of the 13 members of the Texas State Board of Education who voted for the new science standards both professed to accept evolution and stridently opposed the teaching of creationism, and thus it would seem highly unlikely that the new Texas standards were a “Trojan horse” for teaching religion. Nonetheless, the final story favorably quoted members of the evolution lobby saying this is all a ruse for creationism.

How familiar is the left-wing elite media with the 700+ scientists who dissent from Darwinism? Not so much:

But during our interview, having lost his argument that the new Texas Science Standards were a conspiracy to bring religion into the curriculum, Garfield shifted our conversation to the science. Again, he asked various “How dare you?” type questions, making assertions like virtually “100%” of scientists accept evolution, or that evolution comprised the unchallengeable “consensus,” or that there is no fossil evidence that challenges evolution. I reminded him that a critical mass of well-credentialed scientists in fact don’t support neo-Darwinian evolution, and that a number of Ph.D. biologists testified in Texas about scientific weaknesses in evolution. He then accused me of cherry-picking data because, outside of the Texas hearings, he asserted that essentially the “universe” of scientists support evolution. Not true, I told him. I replied that while surely majority of scientists do support evolution, there are credible scientists who dissent from it–hundreds of Ph.D.s in fact–and that there are plenty of discussions of doubts about core claims of neo-Darwinism in the scientific literature. I also discussed some of the reasons for these doubts-ranging from the inability of empirical evidence of natural selection to be extrapolated to bolster the grand claims of neo-Darwinism to the lack of confirming fossil evidence.

And the result of this cloistered, close-minded, intolerant, bigoted, echo-chamber caricature of evolution critics?

Mr. Garfield’s reply to my discussion of the science was that we were getting outside of his field, and he cut all of my discussions of the scientific weaknesses in neo-Darwinism from the final story. There’s no shame in him not knowing much about science, but it’s troubling that despite his self-professed ignorance on the science, he acted like he knew for a fact that skeptics of Darwinian evolution had no scientific basis should be treated like crazy religious fanatics.

But isn’t the left-wing elite media right to think that opposition to evolution is entirely from Bible-thumping, snake-handling, shotgun-toting, pick-up-truck driving rednecks?

As a last ditch attempt to discredit Darwin-doubters, Garfield compared teaching critique of evolution to teaching Holocaust denial. I replied that not only is there a world of difference between the two (hundreds of serious Ph.D. scientists doubt neo-Darwinism, and one cannot find such credibility supporting something as pernicious as Holocaust denial!), but I also told him that given that I (as well as many other Darwin-skeptics) am Jewish and had close friends impacted by the Holocaust, his comparison was not just fallacious, but out-of-line. I mentioned that even more scientists would come out of the closet to express their doubts about evolution were it not for the intolerance in the scientific community towards dissent from Darwinism. His reply was to twist my position into allegedly arguing that scientists don’t really believe in evolution, they’re just forced to pledge allegiance to it due to pressure.

I replied that this was not at all what I was saying, because of course a great many scientists harbor purely bona fide scientific support for evolution. My point was that were it not for the climate of intolerance, we’d see far more doubters and skeptics breaking their silence. However, in the final story, Garfield apparently sliced and diced my response so that it sounded like I affirmed his assertion that any “consensus” over evolution is the result of intimidation, when that is not at all how I responded to his question and false characterization of my views.

The article goes to explain how NPR cited a well-known critic Ken Miller of intelligent as an authority on intelligent design, despite the fact that he elementary errors on obvious details about the ID research program. I recommend reading the entire article, as it explains a lot about leftism and their propensity for group-think, censorship and fascism.

When he isn’t misleading his readers about historical facts, even Richard Dawkins allows that the first living system may have been intelligently designed by aliens. But those aliens must have evolved. How does Dawkins know that? Even without looking at the evidence, they must evolved, because of Dawkins’ anti-science faith in materialism. Evidence is irrelevant once you pre-suppose materialism, on faith.

So how did the Darwinists win then?

The same way that they’ve been winning on global warming alarmism. By avoiding a fair, open debate on the merits!

First, by intimidation, censorship and ridicule of anyone who opposes them. To say that their treatment of skeptics is like McCarthyism would be a tremendous insult to McCarthy. These are fact-averse fideistic fascists, plain and simple. If they had the evidence, they wouldn’t be firing peope left, right and center in the academy – they would be welcoming public debates.

Consider the case of Caroline Crocker. Here is video clip 1 of 6:

Second, by deliberate deception. Jonathan Wells’ book “Icons of Evolution”, showed multiple serious inaccuracies in the way that Darwinism is presented in textbooks. To take just one, the images of Haeckel’s embryos used in textbooks are fraudulent and have known to be so for decades! And this fraud is debunked in the highest research journals, like Science and Nature.

Consider this one example from Science: (Science 5 September 1997: Vol. 277. no. 5331, p. 1435)

[Abstract:] Using modern techniques, a British researcher has photographed embryos like those pictured in the famous, century-old drawings by Ernst Haeckel–proving that Haeckel’s images were falsified. Haeckel once admitted to his peers that he doctored the drawings, but that confession was forgotten.

Third, by judicial activism. Since Darwinists cannot win a debate on the evidence, in the public square, the next best thing is to win by judicial fiat. Judges typically have no relevant qualifications, either in science or in philosophy of science. They can also be intimidated by peer-pressure to conform to the opinions of the elite, regardless of the evidence.

Conclusion

The reason why critical evaluation of Darwinism is not permitted in the public square by Darwinists is because they would lose the debate. I will be posting a few of the debates that have occurred between faith-based Darwinists and their fact-based critics later in the week, and you will be able to see how well their case for naturalistic evolution holds up.

Further study

Here are posts on cosmological argument and the fine-tuning argument.

UPDATE: How well do Darwinists do in debates: Michael Shermer vs Steven Meyer.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

18 Responses

  1. ECM says:

    The parallels between questioning dogmatic evolution and athropogenic global warming are so freakishly obvious that it’s a wonder more people haven’t picked up on it. (And by “more people” I refer to those that think AGW is a laughable hoax but think that evolution is a flawless masterpiece of scientific reasoning.)

    • I could not agree with you more. I find it amazing how conservative blogs credulously assume that there are naturalistic explanations for the origin of life and the Cambrian explosion, but rightly dispute the evidence for AGW. It’s a great point to make.

  2. [...] WHY IS ANY critical evaluation of Darwinism not permitted in the public square? …. [...]

  3. Mike says:

    Quick question: What is the mechanism that prevents the occurrence of “macro-evolution?” Where are the studies?

    I mean there has to be a demonstration of such a barrier if skeptics of evolution are so dead set that it is impossible?

    All you need to do is point me to the codon that says “here stops macroevolution.”

  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Why won’t you allow debate here?

    • I do allow debate, but this is a family blog. Don’t say anything your mother or boss shouldn’t hear. Always remember the words of Jay Richards from his debate with Christopher Hitchens: “A sneer is not an argument, an insult is not evidence”.

  5. [...] Intolerant evolutionists biggest fear:  a critical evaluation of evolution in the public square [...]

  6. Ed Darrell says:

    You forgot to mention the list of 79,000 scientists who say evolution theory is fine, or the smaller, “Steve’s List,” of more than 1,000 scientists named Steve who say intelligent design is crank science. About 1% of the population has the name “Steve” or some derivative of that, so statistically, that 1% being greater than the opponents of evolution listed by the Discovery Institute, we should conclude that a tiny minority of people have any difficulty at all with evolution.

    Let’s be fair about this.

  7. mcoville says:

    Mike: Can you show me an example of macro-evolution? To take a page form atheists, I don’t have to prove the non-existence of something you have to prove it exists.

  8. N.Schuster says:

    I’ve read that some Darwinists said that problems wiht Darwinism shouldn’t be taught in high school because tennagers aren’t smart enough to understand them. I teach high school biology to kids who are classified as leanign diabled. They think of the weaknesses themselves. They come up wiht the questions. So obviously, they are capable of grasping the weaknesses.

  9. Ed Darrell says:

    Mike: Can you show me an example of macro-evolution? To take a page form atheists, I don’t have to prove the non-existence of something you have to prove it exists.

    Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Canola, modern beef (from the ancient species aurochs), the American apple maggot, Turkey red wheat, to mention a few. Macro evolution — speciation to the rest of us — has been observed in the wild hundreds of times.

  10. mcoville says:

    ED: Do you mean to say that Broccoli turned into our modern day beef? (sarcasm detected)

    Name one testable and verifiable instance that we have seen one kind of organism turn into another completely different organism. Because if it is not observable and verifiable, it is not science.

    • I would also settle for a mathematical model showing the emergence of a new body plan or organ type. I want to see every point mutation in the sequence and a probability estimate of the likelihood of the correct sequence of mutations occurring within a reasonable period of time.

  11. Ed Darrell says:

    I know what scientists say macro evolution is — speciation. Speciation is what leads into new genera, too, and I’ll wager we could find a case of a new genera or two being documented.

    Yes, I know what macro evolution is. Are you going to take the classic creationist dodge now, and deny that it happens? Broccoli is not mustard. It’s not radish. And yet, they are descended from the same stock. Are you now going to argue that radish and broccoli are really the same thing?

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