Of Darwinism and Islamism

This is not a blog about foreign affairs, but I came across a refreshing and illuminating piece on the New Republic website that, in the context of talking about Islam and terrorism, suggested to me a reason for hope in the Darwin debate. In the current culture of science, where the 19th-century materialist Church of Science rules and the congregation bows obediently, what’s needed is a modernizing reformation. Doubts about Darwinism are part of that. We can draw a parallel to past reformations in the religious sphere, and future ones. Most of us in the West agree, for example, that Islam urgently requires a reformation. Some observers see radical Islamism not as the leading edge in Muslim life — that Read More ›

No Peer-Reviewed Support for ID? Darwinists Talk to the Hand

Reading the prominent Darwin boosters puts me in mind of Se�or Wences. He was the Spanish-born ventriloquist who won international affection for conducting conversations with his own hand. On his thumb and index finger, Wences used lipstick to paint a pair of lips, stuck on a couple of button eyes and a tiny wig and called the interlocutor, who spoke in a falsetto, “Johnny.” To the delight of audiences on the Ed Sullivan Show, Johnny could speak even as Wences drank a glass of water or smoked a cigarette. In their books and blogs, the Dawkins-Myers crew acidly dismiss the scientific case against Darwin, all echoing the same putdowns about “creationists” and “IDiots” with no record of peer-reviewed research, desperately Read More ›

Praised be Darwin! Do Fruit Flies Bust Behe?

Jerry Coyne is leading the Darwin Tabernacle Choir in expressions of gratitude and relief for a new article in Science that supposedly knocks down the implications of Michael Behe’s current review essay in Quarterly Review of Biology. The Science article seeks to show with what amazing rapidity scads of new genes may arise and become essential to an organism (“New genes in Drosophila quickly become essential“). The evidence is from fruit flies. Two species, D. willistoni and D. melanogaster, diverged starting about 35 million years ago. By comparing genomes, Coyne summarizes exultantly, researchers Manyuan Long et al. showed how “new genetic information can arise quickly, at least on an evolutionary timescale.” Fruit flies are a cherished subject of such investigations Read More ›

The Church of Science: Losing Our Religion?

Slate startled us the other day by publishing an insightful essay asking whether political and worldview presuppositions drive the debate over climate change on both sides — not only for those on the Right, but for combatants on the Left too, including scientists (who are mostly on the Left). It’s an elementary observation that should be evident to anyone who follows the evolution debate, but of course a welcome surprise coming from a venue like Slate. Author Dr. Daniel Sarewitz worries that because the ranks of scientists are so politically skewed, that threatens the trust that scientists currently enjoy among the public: This exceptional status could well be forfeit in the escalating fervor of national politics, given that most scientists Read More ›

Martin Gaskell and the Argument From Scientific “Consensus”

One needs to hammer and hammer away at the simple but crucial lesson of the scandalous Martin Gaskell case out of the University of Kentucky. A superbly qualified astronomer was rejected for a job because he expressed very modest Darwin doubts. Darwinists and their useful idiots are full of reminders to us to recall that a “consensus” of scientists compels our assent to Darwinian evolution. Yet with the Gaskell story being merely the latest instance, we see again and again how Darwin-doubting scientists are punished for speaking up in even the mildest way. A fortune in research money is at stake, as well as institutional reputations. Anyone who’s had the experience of being penalized by an employer for saying something Read More ›