The Ongoing Battle Against Darwinism — Moving Towards a New Biology

This is the introduction to a series which will hopefully expose the flaws in Darwinian evolutionary theory, and work towards a new theory to replace it.

It is my firm belief that Darwinism in its various forms is not science in the true sense of the word; it is rather atheism — thus a philosophical belief — posing as science. This is occasionally clearly revealed in unguarded statements by biologists and geneticists. Perhaps the most famous example is this one by Richard Dawkins: “Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist”¹. It comes as no surprise therefore that Dawkins accepts Darwinism uncritically, since it satisfies his atheistic desires.

In the same book he calls Darwin’s theory “established truth” (page xv), which it clearly isn’t. Although it may be the dominant theory in biology, it is nevertheless strongly criticised by many scientists and philosophers, I would say convincingly. Other revealing statements by Dawkins are:

  • “I want to persuade the reader, not just that the Darwinian world-view happens to be true, but that it is the only known theory that could, in principle, solve the mystery of our existence”. This is certainly not true, although it could be true, and probably would be true, if one has already assumed the truth of materialist atheism.
  • “This book is not a dispassionate scientific treatise… Far from being dispassionate, it has to be confessed that in parts this book is written with a passion, which, in a professional scientific journal, might excite comment… (It) seeks to persuade and even… to inspire”. Spoken like a truly passionate atheist! (Both quotes Pxiv.)

Another equally committed atheist is Richard Lewontin, former Professor of Genetics at Harvard, who once wrote: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door”².

If I understand Lewontin correctly, he is saying that he would prefer to cheat and fix the results of experiments, rather than allow any supernatural elements into science. I do not know the context of this statement, whether he was attempting to be humorous or facetious in some way. If we take it at face value, however, it is extraordinary that he should commit this to print. Even if he thought this privately, why on earth would he reveal openly to the public, in such graphic detail, the ridiculous foundations upon which his ‘science’ is built?

Here is a more recent example. In his book On Purpose, Michael Ruse says that for him, Darwin is like Moses, who led his children to the Promised Land of “a purely naturalistic understanding of purpose” driven by natural selection that powerfully explains purpose at individual and historical levels³. (Note the religious language, strange for a scientist.)

Purpose, otherwise known as teleology, is a key word in the evolutionary debate; it is tantamount to a religious heresy for Darwinians. They concede, however, that living organisms do display teleological behaviour — they would be foolish not to, since it is so blindingly obvious. They are forced to argue, however, that such purposiveness is merely an illusion, due to the efficiency of natural selection. Here are some examples:

  • Richard Dawkins himself: “So overwhelming is the appearance of purposeful design that, even in this Darwinian era when we know ‘better’, we still find it difficult, indeed boringly pedantic, to refrain from teleological language when discussing adaptation”. However, “the theory of natural selection provides a mechanistic, causal account of how living things came to look as if they had been designed for a purpose”⁴. He argues along similar lines in The Blind Watchmaker, the source of the quotes above. The clue is in the title, which refers to William Paley’s argument about a watch being the result of Intelligent Design. Dawkins thinks that the apparent design in nature is not the consequence of intelligence, rather blind natural selection.
  • Julian Huxley, one of the co-founders of the neo-Darwinian Synthesis: “It was one of the great merits of Darwin himself to show that the purposiveness of organic structure and function was apparent only. The teleology of adaptation is a pseudo-teleology, capable of being accounted for on good mechanistic principles, without the intervention of purpose, conscious or subconscious, either on the part of the organism or of any outside power”⁵.
  • Theodosius Dobzhansky, another prominent figure from the neo-Darwinian Synthesis: “It would make no sense to talk of the purposiveness or adaptation of stars, mountains, or the laws of physics”, but “adaptedness of living beings is too obvious to be overlooked… Living beings have an internal, or natural, teleology”⁶.

When anyone comes up with any ideas or evidence which challenge the materialist paradigm, a frequent response is to resort to the principle of Occam’s Razor, that we should accept the simplest explanation which, in the view of materialist atheists, is always a materialist one. What a surprise!

Now, if something looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, then the simplest explanation is that it is a duck. Along similar lines, if an organism shows, in Dawkins’ words, the overwhelming appearance of purposeful design, then I submit that the simplest explanation is that the design is indeed purposeful. (Darwinians do not rush to cite Occam’s Razor in this instance.) In that case, all the attempts to explain this teleology away by positing natural selection fall by the wayside. Why should we not accept the judgment of our own eyes? This happens, as explained above, also to be the judgment of Darwinians, the difference being that they obstinately refuse to believe what they see. In any case, how could we possibly distinguish between an organism displaying actual intelligent, purposive behaviour, and an organism capable of creating the powerful illusion of intelligent, purposive behaviour? What scientific experiment could possibly be devised to achieve this?

My conclusion is that the resort to natural selection is a ruse by atheistic scientists to avoid having to contemplate the possibility, in Huxley’s words, of teleology on the part of the organism or of any outside power. Either of these would be a more likely explanation, and one or both of them must be the correct one.

Much more to follow on these themes.

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In the past, I’ve written several articles critical of Darwinism. They can be found on this page of my website, about two-thirds of the way down. This new series will provide different material and go into more detail.

Gerald R. Baron, an excellent writer on Medium, has also recently been writing a series of articles on the same theme (click here, here, and here). Hopefully the two series can be read in parallel, and will support each other.

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I hope you have enjoyed this article. I have written in the past about other topics, including spirituality, metaphysics, psychology, science, Christianity, politics and astrology. All these articles are on Medium, but the simplest way to see a guide to them is to visit my website (click here and here).

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Footnotes:

1. The Blind Watchmaker, Penguin, 1988, p 6

2. ‘Billions and Billions of Demons’, New York Review of Books 64/1, 1997: 28–32

3. as reported by Michael Flannery

4. ‘Replicators and Vehicles’, in Current Problems in Sociobiology, Cambridge University Press, 1982, pp 45–64.

5. Evolution: The Modern Synthesis, Allen and Unwin, 1942, p 412

6. quoted in Peter Corning, ‘Evolution “On Purpose”: How Behaviour Has Shaped the Evolutionary Process’, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, vol. 112, June 2014, pp 247–8.

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I am a singer/songwriter interested in spirituality, politics, psychology, science, and their interrelationships. grahampemberton.com spiritualityinpolitics.com

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Graham Pemberton

Graham Pemberton

I am a singer/songwriter interested in spirituality, politics, psychology, science, and their interrelationships. grahampemberton.com spiritualityinpolitics.com

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