Just a Coincidence?

I admit to a fond wish to impute significance to coincidences. Cynics such as Matthew Cobb writing at Jerry Coyne’s blog, Why Evolution Is True, explain away such things, like they do absolutely everything, as a function of survival value tucked into our genome from ancient days. In some recent posts, Cobb was full of mockery for people like me:

“Design”? Don’t Panic, It’s Only a Metaphor!

In the Darwinist community there’s a general acceptance, however uneasy, of the necessity of speaking in design-related metaphors to describe features of organisms. Such language may be regrettable since it attracts the attention of the bogeyman, “creationism,” but really it’s kind of unavoidable. In Darwin and Design, Michael Ruse sought to offer solace to fellow Darwinians. He asked, We still talk in terms appropriate to conscious intention….In biology, we still use forward-looking language of a kind that would not be deemed appropriate in physics or chemistry. Why is this? His answer: Organisms, produced by natural selection, have adaptations, and these give the appearance of being designed….If organisms did not seem to be designed, they would not work and hence would Read More ›

Wikipedia and the Myth of Falsifiability

Incomparably more influential than any science textbook, Wikipedia with its seen-as-if-through-a-funhouse-mirror rendering of intelligent design passes along with its distortions directly into the bloodstream of popular consciousness. If you’re ever looking for a way to kill time, counting errors per sentence in any Wikipedia article that touches on ID will soak up plenty. This of course is a way to really kill time — not to use it effectively by somehow correcting the errors. No class of people on the planet has more time on their hands than the guys who edit Wikipedia articles. As part of what seems to be a 24/7 unpaid job, they stand ready at a moment’s notice to change any attempted correction back to its Read More ›

Dr. Josef Mengele, Angel of Death and “Devotee of Darwin”

Try to imagine being operated on without anesthesia. A kidney is removed and then, while you are still fully awake, the surgeon displays it to you for your consideration in his hand. Sounds like a very bad nightmare but this is the kind of thing Dr. Josef Mengele did routinely with patients at Auschwitz. What would inspire a human being to such devilry? What influence, perhaps early in life, might have nudged him off the course of what could have otherwise been a conventional medical career?

Darwin and Mao

A reader of my blog, Paul Burnett taunts me: Go ahead, David, say it: “Darwin taught Hitler (and Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot) how to kill millions of people.” That is of course a ridiculous parody of what I’ve written on Darwinism and its historical consequences, and I’ve never written a word about Darwin-Mao, but…now that you mention it, Paul, I just so happen to have before me on my desk China and Charles Darwin, by China scholar James Reeve Pusey of Bucknell University, published in 1983 by Harvard University Press. Pusey is a son of the illustrious late Harvard president Nathan Pusey. (They don’t give people names like that anymore, do they? Too bad.) Let’s just look up Read More ›