In a post on July 7th I suggested that Darwinian evolution was a “scientific pip-squeak and a suit of cultural armor”. Here I would like to examine exactly how that cultural armor was historically constructed. In so doing we will see the stuff of which Darwinism is truly made.
Purveyors of the reigning journalistic paradigm have taken trouble to marginalize the co-discoverer of evolution by natural selection — missing the true picture of the consummate empiricist.
Alfred Russel Wallace Issues Fighting Words to Materialists in 1910: “Nothing in evolution can account for the soul [or mind] of man. The difference between man and the other animals is unbridgeable.” Steven Pinker to the Rescue?
Despite repeated explanations that intelligent design is not creationism, Lauri Lebo at Religion Dispatches and others persist in equating the two. There’s a lot of bandying about of terms without defining them. One possible definition of “creationism” is the attempt to make scientific assertions regarding the natural world and/or the origin of life based upon a literal reading of Genesis. Yet with intelligent design, as David Klinghoffer points out, even if the source of the intelligence were identified as a deity, that wouldn’t make it creationism in this sense of Genesis literalism. In short, when it comes to speaking of “creationism,” there is a need for much greater clarity of thought and expression. I can think of no better illustration of Read More ›
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 ›