Is “Evolution” a “Theory” or “Fact,” or Is This Just a Trivial Game of Semantics? (Part 1)

[Editor’s Note: This is a Part 1 of a 5 part series on whether evolution should be called a “theory” or a “fact.” See: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. The full article can be found here.] Many members of the general public who are skeptics of Darwinian evolution are intelligent people with a decent understanding of some of the scientific weaknesses with neo-Darwinian evolution. In fact, a recent article in The Scientist suggests that, “public discontent with classical evolution as an inclusive theory stems partly from an intuitive appreciation of its limits.” (Eric Smith, “Before Darwin,” The Scientist, June 2008:32-38.) But in this highly nuanced debate, such Darwin-skeptics must avoid semantic land mines if they Read More ›

Vladimir Nabokov, “Furious” Darwin Doubter

So was Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977) secretly a fundamentalist Christian, a mad man, or just plain ignorant? The great novelist (Lolita, Pale Fire, Pnin) was, in his own telling, a “furious” critic of Darwinian theory. He based the judgment not on religion, to which biographer Brian Boyd writes that he was “profoundly indifferent,” but on decades of his scientific study of butterflies, including at Harvard and the American Museum of Natural History. Of course, this was all before the culture-wide sclerosis of Darwinian orthodoxy set in.

Starting to Explain the Mysterious “Altenberg 16” (Updated)

Update: Since this article was first published in 2008, Susan Mazur’s articles, which are referenced below, have been removed from the internet. For ENV readers who would still like to see her writings, the best option is to pick up a copy of Mazur’s book The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry, available on Amazon. Mazur’s book contains most of the same information and material cited from her articles below. Recently, Rob Crowther reported on the “Altenberg 16” conference that was planned for Altenberg, Austria. Sixteen leading leading evolutionary scientists — who do not support intelligent design but do have doubts about Darwinism — were to re-evaluate the core claims of neo-Darwinism. The conference apparently did happen, as Read More ›

A Case Study in Darwinian Ethics: The Ballad of Roy and Silo

So far as I know, there is no name for a particular kind of science article in which an observation is offered of some sort of animal behavior, and then, under the Darwinian assumption that humans are simply advanced animals, concludes that the behavior is somehow indicative of how humans too should be able to act. This week’s model for human behavior comes, via Scientific American, from the Central Park Zoo, and involves two male penguins named Roy and Silo. The first order of business in such an article is to make the behavioral observation. In this case, we find animals engaged in deviant behavior. We go now to the action in Central Park: “Two penguins,” says writer Emily V. Read More ›

Billions of Missing Links: Upright Plants

Note: This is part of a series of posts excerpted from my book, Billions of Missing Links: A Rational Look at the Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain. The upright posture of plants is a striking design that falls short of a clear explanation. The pat answer is that prehistoric flat plants decided to go vertical to compete for more sun. But where did this need to compete arise? And how could a limp ground hugger accidentally develop systems to support excessive weight — maybe tons of wood — root systems to support the weight, transport systems to move the water and nutrients up, and defense mechanisms against weather and pests? Much of it had to be there at the same time. Read More ›