Derbyshire Attacks Gilder Part III: Praising Judge Jones while Pretending To Not Praise George Gilder

Maybe the most fascinating part of Derbyshire’s article is the candor with which he evaluates the strength of Gilder’s arguments. Derbyshire states clearly that “[Gilder’s metaphysic] refutes evolution, which has high-information-bearing substrates arising out of low-information-bearing ones… [and] As metaphysics go, [Gilder’s is] a pretty good schema… a good metaphysic for our age…” Thus it seems that Derbyshire affirms one of Gilder’s central points! In an attempt to not sell the entire farm, Derbyshire assures his fellow naturalists that we are “getting along just fine… discovering new things about the world, pushing the wheel of knowledge forward a few inches every year.” But Darwinist biologist Franklin M. Harold wrote that while “[w]e should reject, as a matter of principle, the Read More ›

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 ›

Derbyshire Attacks Gilder, Part I: John Derbyshire, Meet Quentin Smith

By Joe Manzari and Casey Luskin In 2001, the distinguished philosopher and naturalist Quentin Smith wrote a famous article entitled “The Metaphilosophy of Naturalism” for the prestigious philosophy journal Philo, of which he is the editor-in-chief. In his article, Smith lays out the scholastic climate of contemporary university philosophy departments. Smith explains that by the second half of the twentieth century, universities and colleges had become in the main secularized. This secularization, however, began to quickly unravel upon the publication of Alvin Plantinga’s influential book on realist theism, God and Other Minds, in 1967, and The Nature of Necessity seven years later. Smith reluctantly admits that almost overnight it became “academically respectable” to argue for theism as an influx of Read More ›

Peer-Review, Intelligent Design, and John Derbyshire’s New Bumper Sticker (Part III)

Previously I wrote about problems with John Derbyshire’s TalkOrigins webpage, which I discussed here (Part I) and here (Part II). Where’s the Citation? The TalkOrigins webpate asserts that The Design Inference doesn’t count because it was reviewed by “philosophers, not biologists.” Even if correct, why should that matter? The book was reviewed by the relevant experts in the field which relates to theoretical design-detection, the subject of the book. Moreover, where is the citation on the TalkOrigins page so we can verify their claim? And why should one assume that The Design Inference, published as a part of “Cambridge Studies in Probability, Induction, and Decision Theory” and containing many technical mathematical arguments, was not reviewed by mathematicians? Obfuscating the Facts Read More ›