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Philosophy, Not Evidence, Drove Darwin and Huxley

Image: Thomas Henry Huxley, via Wikimedia Commons.

On an episode of ID the Future, host Andrew McDiarmid continues his series with scholar Nancy Pearcey discussing the arguments of her 2018 article “You Guys Lost! Is Design a Closed Issue?” Here, Pearcey explains what historians know, but few of the rest of us do: If anything, Charles Darwin’s science grew out of his naturalistic philosophy, not the other way around. “He started with a philosophical conviction,” says Pearcey, “and then started looking for a theory to validate it.” Pearcey also discusses one of Darwin’s fiercest defenders, his “bulldog” T. H. Huxley, who liked Darwinism more for its philosophy than its science. And even Darwin admitted the evidence wasn’t all it could or should be. A closer examination of Darwin’s ideas, and his frank and honest acknowledgements about his own theory, shows he wasn’t nearly as dogmatic as many of his followers. This is an important thing to remember as we continue to evaluate the legacy of Darwin’s arguments today. Download the podcast or listen to it here. And listen to Part 1 of the discussion here.

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Andrew McDiarmidCharles DarwinDarwin's bulldogDarwinismevolutionhistoryID the FutureNancy PearceyphilosophypodcastT.H. Huxley