So is it Darwinism or isn’t it?
I read the Discovery Institute’s brain-dead blog, Evolution News & Views, every day. You remember those stories of the highly-devout who will self-flagellate? It’s some sort of twisted penance for thinking impure thoughts or something. Well I punish myself every day, too. I read Evolution News & Views.
I usually see at least one outrageous statement in every article that I just have to write a post about. I usually skip it, because that blog has a high profile. Somebody on Panda’s Thumb usually will do a much better job skewering it than I would, so I leave it to the masters.
Every so often, though, I feel the need to jump in. Today’s article is titled “How Evolution’s Co-Discoverer Discovered Intelligent Design”.
That’s funny. Just a couple of days ago, they were breathlessly telling us that Darwin didn’t discover evolution. Now they’re telling us he did. How do they think they’ll ever pull off selling us the giant lie of Intelligent Design creationism if they can’t even get their little lies straight?
I actually couldn’t read their article beyond the first paragraph. I vomited in my throat just reading that far. Maybe somebody on Pepcid can get through it and tell me if I missed anything.
Anyway, I assume they go on to make the case that Alfred Russel Wallace viewed evolution as God’s process for creating species. That’s an irrelevant argument. Back then, most scientists were theists and were studying the world in an attempt to understand how God put it together. Many scientists in those days were able to do good science despite their preconceptions. In fact, many of the good scientists managed to see beyond their biases and began to realize what the data were telling them: You don’t actually need a god to explain this stuff.
Even if they couldn’t see beyond their blinders but they managed to do good science, here’s the important point: It doesn’t matter what the scientist personally believes. The data speaks for itself. Other scientists are free to take that data and see if they can produce a better explanation. The data doesn’t have a religion! Eventually, combined with enough other data, a clear picture of what is probably going on in the universe emerges. That picture may be very different from what any of its original discoverers set out to find.
One last thing. How can the Discovery Institute call evolution “Darwinism” if they insist on telling us that Darwin didn’t discover it, and he had help not doing so?