Post-Darwinist: Who Invented the term “Darwinist?”

Last December I addressed the point that “Darwinists” are wrong to allege that ID-proponents invented terms such as “Darwinist” or “Darwinism.” (See Busting Another Darwinist Myth: We’d love to take credit for “Darwinism,” but we can’t.) This post was prompted after E.O. Wilson said in Newsweek that “[s]cientists … don’t call it Darwinism,” implying that if you use the term “Darwinism” then you aren’t a scientist. But on Sunday, Denyse O’Leary posted an excellent article documenting multiple usages of the term “Darwinist” or “Darwinism” by, well, leading Darwinist scientists like Richard Dawkins, Ernst Mayr, and H. Allen Orr. See Darwinism/Darwinist: Now a term of reproach? at Post-Darwinist blog for the full article!

Derbyshire Attacks Gilder Part II: Overblown Claims for Evolution

By Joe Manzari and Casey Luskin John Derbyshire claims that modern biology is built on evolution. He says that “Creationists seem not to be aware of how central evolution is to modern biology. Without it, nothing makes sense… Speciation via evolution underpins all of modern biology, both pure and applied.” However, in 2001, A.S. Wilkins, editor of the journal BioEssays, made it clear that “evolution would appear to be the indispensable unifying idea and, at the same time, a highly superfluous one.” Apparently Derbyshire sees things differently from Wilkins, claiming that evolution is vital for “such things as new cures for diseases and genetic defects, new crops.” Yet Wilkins’ sentiment was re-affirmed in 2005 by Philip Skell, a member of Read More ›

“Anticipatory Erudition” – A Further Comment from Bruce Gordon and David Berlinski in Response to James Downard

Bruce Gordon and David Berlinski asked me to post this second brief response to James Downard. It is regarding James Downard’s response to Ann Coulter (Mr. Downard’s current 3 responses to Coulter can be found here, here, and here). Gordon and Berlinski’s response is posted here in full. It can also be read as a PDF. Anticipatory Erudition Contra James Downard at Talk Reason A further comment on Downard’s diatribes from Bruce Gordon & David Berlinski Of James Downard’s recent essays on Talk Reason, one can only paraphrase Dr. Johnson’s comment about Milton’s Paradise Lost: None would wish them longer. David Berlinski has posted one response to Downard’s critique (“The Vampire’s Heart”). In prescient fashion, Jonathan Wells treated Downard’s complaints Read More ›

When the Mona Lisa appears on a hillside, do you infer intelligent design?

(Photo by Barton Grover Howe) Before you infer intelligent design, keep in mind that grass-cutting shears share an extremely high similarity with scissors which are used to cut paper. Since a paper stencil was apparently used in the origination of the grass-pattern, it’s likely that a pair of scissors was used to cut the stencil. This makes it plausible to assume that the grass-cutting shears were co-opted from scissors, because both are clearly homologous structures based upon their similarity. Moreover, paper is made of plant material, and grass a plant. This could account for the origin of the stencil itself. Finally, Virginia has metal resources which could account for the origin of the original scissors. Don’t use a science-stopping explanation Read More ›

“The Vampire’s Heart” – A Response by David Berlinski to James Downard

Has a pathway been demonstrated for the evolution of the eye? Today David Berlinski asked me to post his first response to James Downard. It is regarding Mr. Downard’s response to Ann Coulter (the first 3 of which are found here, here, and here). Berlinski’s response to Mr. Downard is a fascinating read, and I wholeheartedly agree with Berlinski when he reminds everyone that “evidence, like courtesy, must be displayed if it is to be believed.” Be sure to read the full response as well (the full version of The Vampire’s Heart has a technical response to Mr. Downard regarding the evolution of the eye). The Vampire’s Heart David Berlinski 1) James Downard has recently posted a critique of Ann Read More ›