JaysAnalysis: Darwinism Deconstructed, Pt 1

In this discussion, I approach Darwinism in terms of its philosophical presuppositions. The focus of my critique is in terms of the Darwinian worldview and its origins. I will not be giving cheesy creationist arguments here: this is a historic, epistemic and metaphysical critique. Does Darwinism provide “explanatory power” for such issues as the origins of life, biological science, and man’s so-called future progress (or lack thereof)? Is it “scientific”? Why is it so widely held? What are the strongest presuppositional arguments against it?

Part Two is Here.

For further reading, see Dr. Philip Sherrard’s analysis and critique of Teilhard de Chardin here.

The Collins brothers’ analysis of Darwinism as gnostic mythos here.

2 Comments on JaysAnalysis: Darwinism Deconstructed, Pt 1

  1. [Thanks for responding to my response in your most recent article. I will be centering arguments to their locations when applicable. This may take some days to get to them all. I have much reading to do.]

    I think you are trying to fit a square peg into a circular hole here, in demanding answers which the theory of evolution by natural selection does not purport to contain.

    The question of the origin of life has various competing hypotheses: “panspermia” (Life came from elsewhere), “abiogenesis” (life, being chemical in nature, transitioned from replicating molecules into things we would call organisms), “creation” (a supernatural entity creates Life intentionally).

    Evolution addresses and relies on none of these. Evolution is the explanation for what happened after, and how we got there from here. It is the best explanation for the origin of the diversity of life on Earth due to multiple, independent lines of empirical evidence pointing to the same conclusion.

    Genetics, the fossil record, comparative anatomy, biogeography, geology, etc.
    All empiricism/positivist based disciplines and thus quite scientific.

    Genes build proteins, proteins build creatures, natural forces kill creatures asymmetrically, preserving genes which produce situationally useful organismal traits, and so on. Variation emerges due to spontaneous mutation (an observed phenomenon) and these variances in gene expression impact the survivability of the host. Competition is a selective pressure that drives evolution as much as environmental conditions.

    The ideas of Thomas Malthus influenced Darwin, and evolution’s notions seem far more congruent with capitalism than Marxism (as you say) because of the summation borrowed from Spencer: “survival of the fittest”.

    As for its on implications on biological science, it is the unifying theory of the discipline. Without natural selection, there is no explanation for persistence versus extinction, change versus permanence, the geographic distribution of species, ecological relationships, organismal biochemical and biomechanical inefficiencies, the kludge-like appearance of biological structures, and other observed phenomena.

    Darwinism descendant, the Modern Biological Synthesis, is descriptive and like most science, not prescriptive. It does however offer predictive power. The difference of toxicity in Vibrio cholera by nation is evidence for pathogenic adaptation to water treatment strategies. Antibiotic resistant strains thrive in our hospitals.This data informs us that by harshly curtailing the populations we select for less virulent, slower-reproducing bacteria.

    Evolution does not concern itself with notions of “progress”; those are subjective claims made about what evolution describes only in terms like selection, speciation, adaptation, extinction, etc. The destiny of humans ultimately rests on whether or not our species is affected by cataclysm or not. We are close to eliminating genetic drift as globalization edges our species close to Hardy-Weinberg conditions so, if all things hold stable evolution may cease in our species at some point.

    We cannot predict with specificity what humans will become, but trends in the evolution of our family tree seem to indicate reinforced bipedalism, increased cranial capacity and brain size, reduced jaw size and tooth count, reduced body hair, and greater sexual dimorphism would emerge if the historical conditions of our ancestors were to be replicated. That humans have largely overcome their environment as they redefine it via technology means that those conditions that created us are forever gone. Perhaps we will become more like Dougal Dixon’s Hitek people as written in Man After Man. “Oughts” are not a biological concern

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