Darwin

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Dec 31, 2001.

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    JOHN WELLS
    From its roots, the theory of evolution did not come about as the result of objective scientific methodology.
    Darwin did not set sail on the “Beagle” to study various forms of wildlife and suddenly discover evidence of evolution. Darwin had already settled against the idea of creation and had developed a settled conviction, in his words that “everything in nature is the result of fixed laws.” Darwin set out to frame a naturalistic account of life before observing any evidence. Darwin described natural selection as “an inference, grounded chiefly on analogy.”
    Many of Darwin’s earliest and most ardent supporters were quick to spot the weaknesses in his theory, yet they chose to champion it because it supported naturalistic philosophy.
    Herbert Spencer, the first person to extend evolution into every discipline, from ethics to psychology, explained that he “felt an enormous internal pressure to find a naturalistic alternative to the idea of creation. The Special Creation belief had dropped out of my mind many years before, and I could not remain in a suspended state. Once you accept the philosophy of naturalism, some form of naturalistic evolution is an inevitable corollary. The strength of the scientific evidence is a secondary matter.
    Thomas Huxley christened himself “Darwin’s bulldog.” He admitted that he never thought Darwin’s theory amounted to much scientifically. Long before his encounter with Darwin, Huxley rejected the biblical teaching of creation and was actively looking for an alternative. Huxley said, “Darwin did the immense service of freeing us forever from the dilemma – Refuse to accept the creation hypothesis, and what have you to propose that can be accepted by any cautious reasoner?”
    Richard Lewontin, Harvard geneticist stated, “in the struggle between science and the supernatural, we take the side of science because we have a prior commitment to materialism. The methods of science are driven by materialistic philosophy. The rules that define what qualifies as science in the first place have been crafted by materialists in such a way as to ensure they get only materialistic theories. We are forced by our a priori (a decision reached before examining the facts) adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations.”
    This is a stunning admission! The authority of science rests primarily on its public image – on the impression that its theories rest firmly on a foundation of empirical facts. But Lewontin has pulled back the curtains in Oz to reveal the wizard’s strings and levers. The truth is that much of Darwinism is not science but naturalistic philosophy masquerading as science. So an honest debate between Darwinism (evolution) and Christianity (creationism) is not fact versus faith, but philosophy versus philosophy, worldview versus worldview.

    THE BARBARIAN
    From its roots, the theory of evolution did not come about as the result of objective scientific methodology. Darwin did not set sail on the “Beagle” to study various forms of wildlife and suddenly discover evidence of evolution. Darwin had already settled against the idea of creation and had developed a settled conviction, in his words that “everything in nature is the result of fixed laws.”
    Darwin was, when he left with the Beagle, a creationist. He was a creationist well into his voyage, and may have been for some time afterward. His puzzlement at the existance of fossil giant sloths, so much like the smaller existing ones, is a matter of record. He didn't conclude that these xenarthrans represented evolutionary change for some time afterward.

    Darwin set out to frame a naturalistic account of life before observing any evidence. Darwin described natural selection as “an inference, grounded chiefly on analogy.” Many of Darwin’s earliest and most ardent supporters were quick to spot the weaknesses in his theory, yet they chose to champion it because it supported naturalistic philosophy.
    Darwin himself discussed the weaknesses of his theory. Chief among these was the question of how a mutation would not be swamped in the general population. Mendel had already discovered how that could be, but few knew about his work. Darwin was, of course a Christian until late in life when he described himself as an agnostic, and his co-discoverer, Wallace, remained a Christian all his life.
    Spencer founded "Social Darwinism", which was opposed to scientific evolution. It proposed that we could find moral and ethical values in evolution, something Darwin emphatically rejected.
    Hence, "Social Darwinism" was at odds with biologists, because it suggested that people who were oppressed deserved to be.

    Thomas Huxley christened himself “Darwin’s bulldog.”
    Nope. Others did that.

    He admitted that he never thought Darwin’s theory amounted to much scientifically.
    Since he was one of the premier scientists of his day, and since he was a committed Darwinist, I think we should have a verifiable source for that one.
    [Regarding the Lewontin quote] All science is methodologically naturalistic. That is, it limits itself to the natural universe, without denying that there might be more to existance than that. That is why people of all religious persuasions can do science.
    Because all theories are equally valid if one can invoke miracles, science is too weak a method to investigate the supernatural. For that, you have to look elsewhere.

    This is a stunning admission!
    This understanding of science is about 300 years old. No scientist finds it surprising. Nor does it keep us from being theists in spite of the fact that science can't answer questions about God.

    The authority of science rests primarily on its public image – on the impression that its theories rest firmly on a foundation of empirical facts.
    Well, that and the fact that it has been stunningly successful in explaining the physical universe. Very little that humans do works as well as science - in its proper place. Try to derive ethics, or morals, or religion from science, and the wheels come off. That's why science leaves these questions to other ways of knowing.

    But Lewontin has pulled back the curtains in Oz to reveal the wizard’s strings and levers. The truth is that much of Darwinism is not science but naturalistic philosophy masquerading as science. So an honest debate between Darwinism (evolution) and Christianity (creationism) is not fact versus faith, but philosophy versus philosophy, worldview versus worldview.
    Nope. Evolutionary theory is based on evidence. Creationism is a religion, based on faith. Two entirely different things.


    KATHY

    I heard from someone that Darwin got saved before he died...is this true?


    HELEN

    The Lady Hope story is widely argued. Here is a pretty good link that I had put up at CARM: http://www.carm.org/evo_questions/deathbed.htm


    HAL PARKER

    I would hesitate to use the Darwin conversion story. The link Helen pointed out is pretty good. Even if he did get saved near his death, that doesn't have an impact on the Creation/evolution debate. The man who figured out the structural formula for benzene got the idea in a dream. The source of the idea doesn't invalidate the idea. And neither does Darwin's possible conversion invalidate evolution. That needs to be shown from Scripture and the evidence. Some aspects of the Darwin's deathbed conversion sound like an urban legend. I recommend that my students not use it.


    KATHY

    Thanks Hal! But I was just curious cuz of what I heard...I don't intend to use the information in a debate.
     

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