Descent Of Man Revisited

Book Blog

Descent Of Man Revisited header image 2

Round hole, square peg: why evolution doesn’t fit ‘science’ (scientism)

February 24th, 2013 · No Comments

The confusion over evoluton persists because of the way that definitions of science color judments of what a ‘science’ of evolution should be like. The result distorts the whole question because the category won’t fit into current views of science.

The controversy over evolution endures as one of the most intractable of modern civilization. Fueled by the agendas of those ambitious to control the defining ideology of human origins, the debate has obfuscated the real meaning of evolution, and created a set of competing propagandas, religious and scientific. The fact of evolution is clear empirically as a set of facts about the fossil record, but becomes entangled in the confusion of theories ambitious to explain those facts. Darwin’s Origin of Species induced the sudden public realization of the fact of evolution and ignited the revolution of thought we associate with the idea of human emergence from nature. But the theory of natural selection that came on the back of that breakthrough was problematical and ignited a controversy, ‘one long argument’, in Darwin’s phrase, that continues to this day. The subtitle alone is a provocative ideological confusion with dangerous implications.
The debate has produced a deadlock that cannot be resolved by appeals to science, if the canon of science is flawed. The confusion is compounded by religious ideologies determined to foist a theistic or creationist perspective on the data. More recently the so-called Intelligent Design movement has braided a sophisticated new brand of the old design argument onto a conservative anti-modernist religious agenda. It was the theory of natural selection, hence of random evolution, that caused many, even of those who embraced the factual discovery of evolution, to challenge Darwin’s claims. The problem here is not religion but bad science, the metaphysical character of the theory, and the difficulty of observing its action in practice.

Tags: Uncategorized