Precisely thirty years ago this month the late Stephen Jay Gould published an article in volume 89 of Natural History purporting to demonstrate Alfred Russel Wallace’s “fatal flaw.” Wallace, who co-discovered natural selection in his now-famous Ternate Letter of 1858, first startled Charles Darwin and then prompted him after years of ponderous delay to finally complete his Origin of Species and rush it to press. By November of the following year his magnum opus was in the hands of the English public. But Wallace would break with Darwin over the source of the human intellect. While Darwin thought man and animal different in degree not kind, Wallace felt that the special attributes of the human mind, its facility for abstract Read More ›
The parallels between the CRU email scandal (aka “Climategate”) and the abuse of science perpetrated by those who want to keep Darwin-skeptics out of their universities, journals, and way, are clear to those closely involved in the debate over evolution. Today Stephen Meyer explains in an article at Human Events how familiar it is to have “scientists from various academic institutions hard at work suppressing dissent from other scientists who have doubts on global warming, massaging research data to fit preconceived ideas, and seeking to manipulate the gold standard ‘peer review’ process to keep skeptical views from being heard.” Does this sound familiar at all? To me, as a prominent skeptic of modern Darwinian theory, it sure does. For years, Read More ›
Quick question: What upcoming holiday would have priests in white vestments admonishing you to turn off your TV and take comfort in hearing an old story? If you’re tired of watching It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Carol yet again, perhaps Darwin can occupy your cold winter nights. As a holiday treat, Origins would like to point out that this summer’s Darwin Festival in Cambridge, U.K., has compiled videos of many of its sessions, which typically start with a reading from Darwin’s correspondence. “If you’re tired of watching It’s a Wonderful Life yet again”?! Clearly these people are barbarians.
In nine highly readable chapters The Darwin Myth takes its reader from Darwin’s boyhood of wealth and privilege, to his brief stint in theology school, his quest for adventure, and the development of his “one long argument” that would form the remainder of his life’s work. This bold and uncompromising biography exposes Darwin “warts and all,” the flaws of Darwinian evolution, and the dark and disturbing consequences of a theory that easily lent itself to social Darwinism, the eugenics movement, and even Hitler’s völkisch racism.
Does science have a magisterium? That’s the question Jay Richards puts to NRO’s John Derbyshire today at The American, where he aptly notes: Derbyshire appeals to a scientific magisterium: “Science contains a core magisterium, which we can and do trust.” This should give anyone who has followed the climate change debate the creeps–a reaction Derbyshire anticipates in the column. But he seems blind to why talk of a scientific magisterium is creepy; so let me spell it out. Other than listing the things Derbyshire thinks are settled and “without serious competitors,” he doesn’t really even identify what the magisterium is. This gives the impression that the magisterium is the subjectively determined list of things that people with power claim are Read More ›