Let’s watch this:
Berlinski showed up with a nice walking stick.
Gelernter writes Meyer’s “Darwin’s Doubt is one of the most important books in a generation. Few open-minded people will finish it with their faith in Darwin intact.”
To finish it requires starting it, which most won’t do. To question Darwinian evolution, even to the small extent of acknowledging substantial arguments against it, is to commit egregious unforgivable intellectual sin.
Science is becoming what Gelernter fears: a political ideology subject to the same rules and strictures strangling the academy outside of science. On second thought, strangling is too soft a word. Mercilessly throttling is much more accurate.
Science is now almost a set of beliefs to which one must swear. Beliefs associated with evolution are protected with the same assiduity and martial vigor as one’s younger virgin sister used to be in Sixteenth Century Spain. Or maybe this conversation indicates this is changing?
It has always been obvious why Darwinian theory (in any of its guises) is sacred. It’s holders believe it does away with God.
Which it doesn’t.
Even if evolution works in the exact way specified by (any version of) neo-Darwinian theory, it is still the case, and must be the case, that the rules of the theory had to come from somewhere else. If those rules, such as “random mutation”, are said to rely on deeper down physics, it must be that those deeper down physics have a reason they are the way they are. They cannot explain themselves. And so on down to whatever bottom you like.
That bottom is always and must be God. There is no other explanation. Try it and see. If you find yourself saying (as we saw one physicist doing yesterday), “Quantum fluctuations account for the universe and its rules, including the rules of math, logic, good and evil, and so on”, then you have not understood the problem.
But never mind that. Disbelieve in God if you like. Still, even accepting, for the sake of argument, that God does not exist, it does not follow that Darwinian theories of evolution are true.
Now all these Darwinians blame evolution on “random mutations” carried out over great stretches of time. But there just is no such thing as “random mutations” in this sense. Here we have a string of amino acids to which we’ll either add to, subtract from, or swap one out of the existing chain.
All of those operations are caused. Causes have reasons they happen.
If we knew the causes for mutations—why this amino acid swap here, and there, and also over there at this particular moment given these circumstances—we would not need probability to talk about mutations. We would just state the cause.
You can use probabilities to talk about how a blind man would make, say, swaps, using balls-in-bags models. But there is zero evidence such a model has anything to do with the real world. If you say it does, you claim too much. Gelernter (in his article) gives an example of some chain of some small length. A blind man reaches into his inexhaustible supply of amino acids and pulls out 1 of 20. That’s the start of the chain. He reaches in again and pulls out another 1 of 20. And so on to 150. The probability of seeing that exact chain can be calculated given this mechanism. It’s low. Real low.
So low that if you saw it you’d say it can’t have happened. But then you recall it did happen, and here’s the mechanism.
Then you realize that not any chain will do. It has to be a chain of a very certain sort. So the blind man is out. We need him to at least peek. Most changes are detrimental, many are lethal. Son’t miss Meyer’s comment on speciation, about how changes need to take place at beginning of life, a point often missed. Speaking of species, in another interview, Berlinski rightly points Darwin’s nominalism, a failed philosophy which appears to be a requirement for neo-Darwinian evolution.
Anyway, there go the probability models. Useless. There is no indication animals are testing out all possible combinations in a blind way.
I think evolution is instead something like a pachinko game: designed but with causes which are difficult to follow. This explains how changes happen suddenly. Berlinski (in the first video) appears to doubt such a pachinko theory could be formulated mathematically (he might be right).
Even if you’ve haven’t swallowed any of this, there exists no answer to CS Lewis (quoted about two-thirds through)—except the answer Darwinists are loathe to admit.
Lewis said that (I paraphrase the quote from the interview) that if our minds are the products are blind forces, there is no reason at all—none—to trust our thoughts.
Yet we do trust them.
If you agree, you agree. If you disagree, you agree.
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