Friday, June 23, 2006

Evolution – a pseudoscience of genocide

“The great break in the organic chain between man and his nearest allies, which cannot be bridged over by any extinct or living species, has often been advanced as a grave objection to the belief that man is descended from some lower form; but this objection will not appear of much weight to those who, from general reasons, believe in the general principle of evolution. Breaks often occur in all parts of the series, some being wide, sharp and defined, others less so in various degrees; as between the orang and its nearest allies--between the Tarsius and the other Lemuridae--between the elephant, and in a more striking manner between the Ornithorhynchus or Echidna, and all other mammals. But these breaks depend merely on the number of related forms which have become extinct. At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked (18. 'Anthropological Review,' April 1867, p. 236.), will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.”

From THE DESCENT OF MAN AND SELECTION IN RELATION TO SEX by Charles Darwin Chapter VI. On the Affinities and Genealogy of Man; on the birthplace and antiquity of man; second edition September, 1874

I think the above paragraph, written by the founder of the pseudoscience of evolution and based on that theory, should be sufficient proof that scientists should never be relied upon as authorities on spiritual matters.

Scientists are technicians, essentially no different than mechanics or plumbers. They may create marvelous new inventions and for that we may be grateful. Science is man made wisdom, which naturally advances as each generation builds upon the discoveries of the ones before it.

However in matters of theology, ethics and morality scientists know nothing. For that wisdom, we must look to Orthodox rabbis who are links in a tradition which reaches back unbroken to the divine revelation at Mount Sinai.

(For more details about the moral implications of evolution, I recommend “From Darwin to Hitler” by Richard Weikart.)

It’s also interesting to note that in perhaps the only case where Darwin made a prediction about the future based on his theory, he was wrong. The “savage races” have grown exponentially since 1874 while the Caucasian race is shrinking. Bangladesh today has a larger population than Russia. So much for Darwinism.

34 comments:

Choshuve Yid said...

You're insane.

jewish philosopher said...

Can't think of something smarter to say?

Joseph said...

If the Holocaust was caused by Charles Darwin, the 911 attack was caused by Isaac Newton. After all, if you can go from “the unfit won't survive” to “we must make sure the unfit won't survive” (without analyzing what is meant by unfit), you can go from “things fall down” to “we must make sure things fall down” (without analyzing which things fall down).

asher said...

Evolution is the alchemy of the 21st century It might be based in some sort of "science" but it ends there.

Anonymous said...

i am sorry you had such a poor education. i hope you do better by your children.

Cameron said...

After reading many of your prior postings (I especially adore 'Dinosaurs and Pornography'), I wanted to offer the following general criticism;

You are far too enamoured of the teleogical argument for your own good. The struggle you evidence every time you post relates to the fact that you cling to notions that God is revealed in the design of the world and cannot reconcile this with the lack of evidence presented by science that this is the case.

Rather than abandon the teleological argument for what it is; a bad argument, you instead look to smear what you consider the 'icons' of the scientific movement in the hope that by doing so it will make religion (and your religion in particular) look better, when on the contrary, it merely makes you look foolish and scientifically illiterate.

There are many ways to approach a reconciliation between reason and faith, but it is a non-starter to being with a teleological argument to do so. There are far too many problems for the design argument to survive scrutiny. Here's just a few philosophical objections;

- Who is the designer? Who designed the designer?
- Vestigial organs. Use your appendix much? Or your coccyx? They are leftovers from our common evolutionary past.
- How can you tell if something was designed? Are there tool marks?
- How do you explain the evidence for evolution? That is, for the fact that science has progressed nicely while building on Darwin's theories - to the point we now have the human genome project completed (and several other genomes sequenced as well, including our closest cousins the Chimpanzee and Orangutan)?
- Why did the designer use apes as his prototype for humans? He can do anything, so why repeat himself?
- Why do you assume that the designer of the universe doesn't use evolution as her preferred method of creation?

etc. etc. The design argument is ultimately just a sad relic from the bad philosophy bin that gets ressurected periodically to protect the sensibilities of home-schooled young earth creationists whose religious beliefs simply don't square with reality. So they attempt to reinvent science as if it were theology as they flee from the real world. It isn't.

Science works precisely because it avoids supernatural explanations and only looks for natural ones.

The result is you get to wear eye glasses that improve your sight for reading the morality tales of long dead dessert dwellers that haven't been relevant for a thousand years. You are welcome.

It is possible to embrace science and faith, but the first intellectual move has to be to 'render unto Caesar what is Caesar's', that is, evacuate your religion from the domain of science, and retreat back to the realm of faith where you are safe. If it can't be proved one way or another, then it is a fitting object of 'Faith', but the moment you favour what you wish to be true, over what is true - you have reached the intellectual dead end point of faith. The world is what it is and no matter how much you wish it were different will not make it so.

I would also be remiss if I didn't at least take some open offense to your linkage of genocide and Darwin. It is specious, noxious and repugnant that you would make such a flimsy connection. That you don't see the moral bankruptcy of doing so is even more disturbing, especially since you consider yourself to be Jewish. These aspersions are so baseless as to be sickening, but moreso because you trivialize the holocaust by your callous abuse of it as part of an argument.

Last but not least, I noted with enthusiasm that you had a conversation of sorts with an expert in biology and evolution. Nice stuff, I encourage you to reach out to the reality based community more often. Perhaps next time you can ask them to help you out with the difference between 'pseudo-science' and 'science'.

Here's a handy primer if you do;

Holocaust deniers, ID theorists, Velikovsky, flat earthers, young earth creationists = pseudo-science

Evolutionary theory = science

Antiphon

jewish philosopher said...

"Who is the designer? Who designed the designer?"
He identified himself when he gave the 10 commandments. No one designed him. He is eternal.

"Use your appendix much? Or your coccyx?"
Yes. My appendix confers immunities. My coccyx helps me sit.

"How can you tell if something was designed?"
How can you tell a monkey is not typing this?

"How do you explain the evidence for evolution?"
The only evidence could be the fossils, which prove that life did not evolve. It changed suddenly several times.

"Why did the designer use apes as his prototype for humans?"
Please speak for yourself.

"Why do you assume that the designer of the universe doesn't use evolution as her preferred method of creation?"
Because the fossils prove he didn't.

“Science works precisely because it avoids supernatural explanations and only looks for natural ones.”
Science works precisely like automobile mechanics works. Scientists are technicians, nothing more or less.

"I would also be remiss if I didn't at least take some open offense to your linkage of genocide and Darwin."
Eminent historians have made that linkage. Darwin was unquestionably a scientific racist and Hitler was a Social Darwinist.

Cameron said...

"Who is the designer? Who designed the designer?"

He identified himself when he gave the 10 commandments. No one designed him. He is eternal.

AR: The first part presumes that the designer is the Jewish God, and not the Mormon, Zoroastrian, Celtic, Greek, Roman, or other Gods - why? What makes your particular invisible-designer-eternal-omnipotent-omniprescient deity, the correct one? When your first commandment is 'ignore the other gods, I'm the right one, trust me', is that really the best you can do for presuming that the Jewish God is the Designer? Because a Jewish guy with stone tablets says that a Jewish God says so?

"Use your appendix much? Or your coccyx?"

Yes. My appendix confers immunities. My coccyx helps me sit.

AR: Your appendix doesn't even do that anymore, its chief role is as vestigial organ of a species that used to spend a lot more time trying to eat roughage like bark for nutrition, it's a hanger on now, no longer useful, genetic dead wood. Mostly it just collects infections, not unlike your tonsils. Granted your coccyx will be present in the act of sitting, but it's not required for it, and certainly wasn't designed for it. It too is a leftover from our deep ancestral past, the presence of a tail.

Fallen arches? The result of poorly 'designed' feet. They do the job, but its not one designed for them. Bad back? Again, the result of evolutionary drawbacks from taking a creature that origninated on four feet hugging trees and propping it up on two. Or how about the basic design of our eyes, which contains a built in flaw (the nerves are all routed in a way that creats a blind spot), that is the result of repeatedly building upon a design that while effective, was not perfect. Or the fact we don't metabloize Vitamin A well because of a common genetic defect that humanity shares? Or the junk DNA that litters our genome that is the result of copying scrambled instructions from one generation to the next, not coding for anything?

Do you own a cat? Did you know it can't taste sweets because of a scambling of the genes that code for those taste buds? Thats not exactly good design is it? Bungling taste receptor genes that were otherwise ok?

The classic example of 'design' is Paley's watch. We know looking at the watch that it is 'designed' - made by human hands for human ends and needs, and we can distinguish this design from something we 'know' is undesigned like a rock that we find on the beach.

Yet we have not one example of something so obviously 'designed' as Paley's watch in nature. Nothing that doesn't have a better explanation for occurring by testable natural processes. Not one. Not the flagellum, not blood clotting, nothing to show that natural processes alone can't do the job.

Given the overwhelming evidence for the existence of these natural processes versus the thoroughly empty promises of locating designed features in the natural world, why cling to the teleological argument?

"How can you tell if something was designed?"

How can you tell a monkey is not typing this?

AR: We are all monkeys of a sort. As a general rule of thumb (speaking of thumbs compare yours to a Chimpanzees sometime - no accident that they look VERY similar, such a good design and yet the opposable thumb is only found in the Great Apes, hmmmm), 'Human beings type, and monkey's don't' works as way of deciding which one is sending me an e-mail.

Doesn't answer my question to you though, how can you tell the difference between something that evolved through natural processes and something that was 'designed' into existence? What should scientists look for when seeking your design?

"How do you explain the evidence for evolution?"

The only evidence could be the fossils, which prove that life did not evolve. It changed suddenly several times.

AR: Why do you say 'the only evidence'? What do you think the Human Genome Project is? When people look back on our century of accomplishment, two things and only two will stand above the rest; it was our generation that walked on the moon, and it was our generation that systematically decoded our genetic make up. It will rival any single human accomplisment that came before and will certainly outlive the consideration of the teleological argument as being at all 'scientific'.

But not just biological science backs evolution. All science does. The only people who criticize the science of evolution are crackpots like the Discovery Institute, an organization that issues hundreds of press releases per actual peer reviewed report actually produced. They are a PR machine, not a scientific institute.

"Why did the designer use apes as his prototype for humans?"

Please speak for yourself.

AR: I speak for all of humanity. While you weren't paying attention we discovered that the very alphabet of instructions for making people (and bananas. I love bananas) is something we can crack and manipulate. It shows us clearly that evolution from common ancestry with apes is a fact.

Why does this offend you? They are noble creatures, smart, tool using, bipedal, community and territory minded, and they give every indication of presenting similar emotional make-up to us (they can be hungry, angry, sad, confused, etc. - insects, not so much). The way their bodies are constructed is similar to ours. The share 99% of their genome with ours, indicating that they are evolutionary speaking only distant cousins to us. What is the surprise that we are related to the apes more than we are to the whopping crane?

Now you can believe the truth if you wish, or deny it to yourself and use the teleological argument as your shield against uncomfortable reality. If that's the use you wish to put your faith to, be my guest, but its a waste of energy on behalf of your faith to quixotically argue the world is flat when any fool can get in a plane and notice that it is round.

"Why do you assume that the designer of the universe doesn't use evolution as her preferred method of creation?"

Because the fossils prove he didn't.

AR: Hunh?

“Science works precisely because it avoids supernatural explanations and only looks for natural ones.”

Science works precisely like automobile mechanics works. Scientists are technicians, nothing more or less.

AR: I'll grant your point and add that science works precisely the way that religion doesn't. Science concerns itself only with what can be proven, and repeatedly so. Gradually knowledge accrues. Religion presumes to know the truth and denies that it can be proven (it must be taken on Faith), and hence retreats from reality ever further as science advances, never to change, or adapt and eventually to render itself intellecually impotent by virtue of being fatally anachronistic.

(Heliocentrism ring a bell?)

Scientists may be mere technicians, but theologians are theives, preying upon the unwary for a buck, offering only platitudes and palliatives wrapped in god-talk.

At least the mechanics in my car work. I can't say the same for any theological or teleological arguments of the last few thousand years.

"I would also be remiss if I didn't at least take some open offense to your linkage of genocide and Darwin."

Eminent historians have made that linkage. Darwin was unquestionably a scientific racist and Hitler was a Social Darwinist.

AR: You clearly have a different definition of 'eminent historian' than I do. I'll grant that Darwin's views on race weren't exactly enlightenment quality (there are not many by our recent calculation of what consititues 'racist' who weren't in his day and age), but Origin of the Species is not a racial purity manifesto. It's about the evidence for natural processes in the evolution of species over time. He wasn't writing a racial polemic, a theological blockbuster, or a socialist handbook.

He was writing about finches.

Rather than wallowing in the moral tar of Hitler with an argument that is so stupid and shameless I am left breathless by its ignorance, I plead with you to actually read the book instead of mining it for quotes that you hope will damage Darwin's reputation.

Antiphon

jewish philosopher said...

“The first part presumes that the designer is the Jewish God, and not the Mormon, Zoroastrian, Celtic, Greek, Roman, or other Gods - why?”

The Kuzari Principle explains that.

“Fallen arches? The result of poorly 'designed' feet.”

I think all these arguments are basically a variation on the Argument from Evil. You are asking, “Why do bad organs happen to good species?” The answer is: We don’t always understand what God does, because he is smarter than we are. Do you small children always understand their parents? Do insects understand humans?

“how can you tell the difference between something that evolved through natural processes and something that was 'designed' into existence?”

A device containing many moving parts, all working together efficiently to accomplish a certain purpose, is always created by an intelligent designer. It never forms spontaneously. Intelligent Design Theory explains this in more detail.

“What do you think the Human Genome Project is?”

Genetic similarities between different species prove the existence of one common designer, not one common ancestor.

“He was writing about finches.”

Wrong. Darwin doesn’t mention finch evolution in “Origin of Species”. He wrote about domestic pigeons.

His book unfortunately taught that conflict, struggle and extermination are not problems, which should be averted but rather are positive forces, which have brought about the development of life on earth. When applied in practice by 20th century politicians, these concepts had tragic results. To put it another way, if you do not support racism and genocide, then you are not really a Darwinist.

“I plead with you to actually read the book” I have, you haven’t.

Anonymous said...

Antiphon:
Your efforts are valiant, indeed. However, Jewish "Philosopher" is an ideologue who has no sincere interest in scientific (or historical, or anthropological, for that matter) knowledge or inquiry. He harasses people who don't share his beliefs, bombarding them with offensive emails. As disturding as his ideas are, there is no sense in trying to change them. Believe me, you won't.

Anonymous said...

And one more thing: please know that he does not represent anything near the mainstream of Jewish thought, even Orthodox Jewish thought. His views are an insult to Judaism and religious Jews.

jewish philosopher said...

If anyone who believes in a Creator and who believes that He takes an active interest in the lives of men is a fundamentalist fanatic, then I am guilty as charged.

Juggling Mother said...

Ok, 2 little points:

You do realise that the science of evolution has moved on a little bit since Darwin wrote "origin"? As has society in general.

In the 19th century scientists had worked out that the brain was the thing that made decisions about actions/emotions and therefore concluded that chopping lumps out of it would solve any inappropriate actions/emotions. We have since discovered that they were wrong to do this. Is doesn't change the basic fact that the brain is the place where actions/emotions are made!

2. Using the argument that "we're badly designed because we can't tell why God did it that way" is the same as saying "I believe because I believe". It's your opinion, which, of course you are entitled to, but it is not a reasoned debate, argument or rationale. You specifically asked for people to come here and debate with you, but don't actually want to allow them that option.

Either an all powerful, all knowing, omnipotent God designed us badly, or we weren't designed. Which makes more scientific sense?

jewish philosopher said...

Dear JM,

Thanks for your comments.

Yes, I am aware that other theories of evolution have existed before, during and after Darwin's time. However Darwin is still regarded by atheists with awe as an intellectual giant.

I'm saying that it's impossible for us to judge God's design as good, bad or mediocre because obviously He is much smarter than we are. Exactly what criteria would you use to judge God's handiwork?

Everyone who wants to has the option to leave comments. And I have the option to disagree. I hope that's OK with you.

Juggling Mother said...

Darwin is still considered a giant because he made that original leap (actually he didn't, a number of people were working on the same theory around the world at the same time. He was published first & became a best seller. he was a bit embarrassed about stealing all the glory, especially since much of it was based on others work - and he did mention them frequently, but never mind all that truth rubbish eh?).

The same as Newton is considered a giant for making that connection about things falling down & gravity.

Newton also passionately believd in alchemy & spent decades trying to turn lead into gold.

His belief in the culture of his time doesn't change the fact that the scientific discovery he is famous for is still correct.

ditto for Darwin. His belief in the culture of his time (that black men are savages, that women are inferior, that Englishmen are the peak of humnaity), does not change the fact that his scientific discovery was correct.

jewish philosopher said...

My point is that Darwin's racism DID NOT stem from mere cultural influences. He didn't make some casual comment to his wife at dinner about "those niggers". That would be forgivable. Rather, he was a SCIENTIFIC racist. His racism was a direct product of his "scientific" beliefs. When politicians in Germany and elsewhere based policies on these concepts, the results are well known.

Juggling Mother said...

And Newtons belief in alchemy was a scientific belief. It doesn't mean the context of the times had nothing to do it. If an exact clone of Newton was born today & grew up in today's world, he would still be a great scientist, but I rather doubt he would spend half his life trying to change lead into gold!

thanbo said...

If anyone who believes in a Creator and who believes that He takes an active interest in the lives of men is a fundamentalist fanatic, then I am guilty as charged.

Ah, you're a Lubav. That's exactly their style of argumentation. Changing the argument.

Belief in a Creator who interacts with the Universe does not necessitate belief in a Christian-originated literal reading of Genesis. It does not necessitate regarding human observation as necessarily false.

Bring us a halachic ruling from before Darwin that necessitates belief in a narrow literal reading of Genesis. Bring us Torah sources that believe in that in the face of contemporary scientific evidence.

Even Chazal held that secular science was better than Jewish science, e.g. regarding the path of the sun around the earth.

jewish philosopher said...

JM, if any more reasonable theory could be dreamt up which did not involve God, no scientists would believe in Darwinian evolution either.

Thanbo, have you seen my article on fossils?

Juggling Mother said...

Science works by new scientists constantly trying to disprove their predecessors theories. as no-one has managed it yet, I'd say it's a pretty sound theory.

jewish philosopher said...

I’d say it’s an entirely worthless theory created by atheists in order to deny God’s existence. See Evolution: my dialogue with a scientist.

A lot of smart people believing it doesn’t make it true. A few hundred years ago, all European intellectuals believed wholehearted in the divinity of Jesus. Except for Jews.

Juggling Mother said...

They don't "believe" it. They haven't been able to disprove it, or prove any other theories.

jewish philosopher said...

Christians claim to have tons of proof too. Call a missionary.

Juggling Mother said...

ah yes, but scientists can repeat their proof & show it to anyone who asks. Missionaries say "I can feel him in my heart"

Now I'm sure the issionary can feel him in their heart, but I can't, and I can see the empirical scientific evidence, so that's the one that I'll believe atm thanks.

jewish philosopher said...

Show me an ape which has a human baby and I might convert. Can scientists repeat this proof?

Juggling Mother said...

No scientist has ever claimed that an ape has borne a human baby!

Do try to understand what you're talking about.

jewish philosopher said...

You said "scientists can repeat their proof & show it to anyone who asks"

So I'm asking.

Juggling Mother said...

They can happily & repeatedly show you the evolution of life-forms with very short life spans (bacteria are very good for this, as are a number of single cell and simple multi-cell organisms).

Alternatively, you couold pray to God to give you a long enough life to view it for yourself in more complex creatures - less than a million years shouold do the trick nicely, no problem at all for an omnipotent being! Assuming you can not manage to get your miricle, why not actually research the evidence, write your own theory that a)uses all the known evidence, b)can predict what new eveidence may be found in the future and subject it to peer (other scientific0 review. then go looking where you predicted the new evidence will be found & find it!

That's what "darwinists" (read "scientists") do.

jewish philosopher said...

And the scientists will show me what - bacteria evolving into fish? Or remaining bacteria?

So actually, they cannot repeat or prove anything.

Juggling Mother said...

And you can get God to produce a totally new species in front of me? In fact you can't prove anything.

thanbo said...

OK, I've seen your fossil article, and it's a bunch of self-serving hooey.

1) The midrash about being built on a pile of garbage is extrapolating from the fact that most cities are built on piles of garbage. Here in the States it's not so obvious, but when you have small towns built on a tumulus (tel) of thousands of years of garbage, it's a natural extrapolation. And if someone saw a fossil sticking out of a rock wall, as are visible in the Negev, again it supports that idea.

2) The 974 generations support many old-earth ideas. One that I like is 974 generations times 40 years (length of Dor Hamidbar, the archetypal generation in the Torah) times 365 days times 1000 years (ki elef shanim keyom etmol - one of God's days is as a thousand years) yields about 15 billion years, the age of the universe.

3) I don't see the necessity for non-evolutionary creation in your story. It seems to pop out of nowhere, rather like Velikovsky's sudden switch from hydrocarbons to carbohydrates.

jewish philosopher said...

If you’re not an atheist, I don’t see any reason to believe in evolution. It’s like if you’re not a Christian, why believe in the Virgin Birth or the Resurrection? Why not just say he was a bastard and he was killed and that’s that?

So if you believe in God, why believe in Darwin? God did it; that’s that.

jewish philosopher said...

Dear Juggling,

It’s obvious to any thinking person that a machine cannot form spontaneously however it must be designed by an intelligent being.

This can be proven by the fact that you cannot find any device consisting of many moving parts functioning together to accomplish a certain purpose which was witnessed to have come into existence without a designer.

Juggling Mother said...

Only theists suggest complex organisms formed spontaneously, so your argument is fatally flawed.