How Students Should Deal with Evolution Evangelists

Posted on May 9, 2013 in Darwin and Evolution, Education, Intelligent Design, Philosophy of Science

There are professors and leaders of special interest groups whose sole purpose is to draw students away from belief in a Designer and tempt them to embrace the aimless, purposeless, materialist processes of Darwinism.  How can students prepare for the challenge?

If evolution were true, well, then— who wouldn’t want to embrace the truth, even if it means a radical change to one’s beliefs?  Ay, there’s the rub.  Any aimless material process has no necessary connection to truth.  As Charles Darwin himself wrote to a friend the year before he died,

But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? (Letter to William Graham, 3 July 1881, posted at the Darwin Correspondence Project.)

What this implies is that the evolutionist, to be consistent, must abandon all reason.  Yet paradoxically, they specifically employ reason in their attempts to dislodge “faith” (which they mean as anything that questions the science of evolution).  Whether ignorant of or willfully ignoring this major self-contradiction, some of them charge forward anyway on their campaign to take students hostage for Darwin.  Two of them show how they do it.

Eugenie Scott and the NCSE

Retiring this year from her 26-year headship of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), an organization whose sole purpose is to prevent “anti-evolution” from gaining any headway in public schools, Eugenie Scott was honored by Science Magazine this week.  Jeffrey Mervis described the NCSE as a “U.S. Center That Fights Antievolution Forces.”  Whether that means creationism, intelligent design, or simply honest teaching of Darwinism with its pros and cons, Eugenie Scott has been a tireless advocate of Darwin-only in the schools, and a formidable opponent of even the academic freedom laws that attempt to prevent school boards from punishing teachers who teach evolution honestly.

Mervis’s article is filled with accolades for Dr. Scott from like-minded Darwin-only people.  She herself long ago decided not to pose as anti-religious (after all, there are liberal theologians who embrace evolution, and lately she has tried to make overtures even to evangelical Christian groups to agree on some of NCSE’s goals).  Aware of the political and cultural issues at hand, she relies on “powers of persuasion” to defend what Mervis calls “integrity in science education.”  Uh— what was that Darwin quote again?  It would seem hard to define “integrity” in Darwinian terms.  To a Darwinian game theorist, cooperation evolves by the same aimless processes of natural selection that changes a finch beak, and non-cooperation is just part of the game.  None of that appears dependent on truth.

Melvin Konner and Daniel Dennett

Melvin Konner is a self-proclaimed admirer of Daniel Dennett, a Darwinian philosopher (if that oxymoron can be resolved).  Konner loved Dennett’s earlier books, but in a review in Nature, had a few problems with his latest, titled Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking.  Konner usually appreciates Dennett’s dedication to “facts” and “clarification of discourse.”  Strangely, he never seems to insist Dennett define those terms from materialistic processes of aimless selection.  Maybe that’s because Konner disclaims any expertise in philosophy, which is obsessed with clarity.

In the course of his review, Konner described how he likes to disabuse his students of their doubts about Darwin.  He had just puzzled about the usefulness of Dennett’s categories of “skyhooks” (“thinking-tools that hang an explanation on nothing”) and “cranes” (“concepts built on a solid factual foundation”).  Predictably, Konner pigeonholed intelligent design as a “skyhook” for its “explaining too-intricate bits of biological machinery.”  Anyway, here’s what he said he does to his students in class:

But are skyhooks and cranes comparable kinds of ideas? Symbiosis and sex are evolved processes like respiration or photosynthesis; each began with random mutation and, by gradual natural selection, produced a ‘design’ that changed the history of life. But what do skyhooks and cranes add to the basic principles of how we think about evolution? The next time I comfort a student struggling between faith and Darwin, it will not help me to say, “What you learned in Sunday school about evolution needing a ‘big boost’? That’s just a skyhook.” Rather, I will do what I do now: help the student to zero in on variation, inheritance, selection and, crucially, how very many generations there have been since evolution began. As Dennett states elsewhere in this book, the word for this is not ‘crane’ but ‘algorithm’ — both more and better than a metaphor.

It’s nice that Konner wants to “comfort” his students instead of beat them over the head, but it appears he just helped himself to several immaterial, purposeful concepts that depend for their usefulness on truth and integrity: design, principles, thinking, comfort, learning, algorithm, and metaphor.  Can he derive those from natural selection?  He doesn’t feel he has to.  Dennett has done it for him:

I share many of Dennett’s views: a ‘designed’ nature without a designer; the mechanistic, emergent character of consciousness; the rejection of the homunculus argument, or the idea that an entity (often characterized in discussion as a little person) watches a theatre consisting of the rest of the brain; and the compatibility of free will with determinism.

It would be interesting to ask Konner if he really agrees Dennett’s views are true, or if he considers himself a “cooperator” in some kind of evolutionary game.  Incidentally, who is watching the watcher in the theater that doesn’t exist?

Students: understand what you are up against.  People like Eugenie Scott (and her squadron of attack forces) and Melvin Konner are on a mission: a mission to destroy “faith” and replace it with “Darwin.”  To them, “faith” means anything that doubts their own faith in Darwinism, which they consider to be “science” (in their thinking, synonymous with truth).  What are you going to do when the Professor Konner in your college comes alongside you to “comfort” you in (what he perceives as) your “struggle between faith and Darwin”?  Why, he just wants to ameliorate your worry about the conflict between what your Sunday School teacher said about evolution and the alleged “scientific” story of “variation, inheritance, selection” and long ages (“how very many generations there have been since evolution began”).  He just wants to help you.  What are you going to say to him?

The answer is so important that we want you to think about it for a day.  Come back tomorrow for the continuation of our commentary.  Write down some problems you see with the situation as described, and what some of your possible responses might be.  The article contains some clues.  If you don’t learn to think these issues through for yourself with clarity and conviction, reading our advice will not help that much.  We are here to help you think in more cogent, clear, convincing ways than many Sunday School teachers do (speaking of the ones who say, “just have faith” or “maybe you can have your faith and Darwin, too”).  Your convictions cannot survive Eugenie Scott or Professor Konner with that kind of pablum.  Think about your responses and check back with us tomorrow.  This is a good exercise for all readers, not just students.

How did you do?  Our suggested responses are part pragmatic and part logical.  First, the pragmatic part.  Recognize that in class, it’s an unequal contest.  The professor is in the power position, and has the power to make or break your grade, and possibly your career.  In such cases, discretion is usually the better part of valor.  You don’t have to agree with his views.  Be respectful, try to fulfill the class requirements and get a good grade.  Just make sure you know what you would say if it were an equal contest.

Logically, we hope you noticed that the Darwinian position is self-refuting.  Self-refuting positions are not just misguided, they are necessarily false.  They can never be true, now or ever.  This realization doesn’t dawn on most Darwinians, but it did on Darwin himself (read that quote from his letter to Graham again).  Darwin said that this “horrid doubt” always arises in his mind.  He worried about this right up to his death, long after he had become famous for his theory of natural selection.  How can the convictions of a man’s mind be reliable?  In the letter, he had no answer!  He never answered that doubt.  As far as we know, he died with that doubt in his mind, that everything he had propounded was no more reliable than whatever “convictions” exist in the mind of a monkey or one of the lower animals.

To be consistent, Darwin would have had to admit that his views are glorified monkey screeches.  They have no necessary connection to truth.  What is truth?  Ask the Konner-types if truth evolves.  Everything else in Darwin’s world changes.  If truth evolves, what is considered true today could be false tomorrow.  Evolutionary game theorists continually publish articles in leading journals that claim all that we consider good, true and beautiful is the result of behaviors that arise by natural selection, not by purpose or intent.  The aimless, mindless processes of selection produce “emergent properties” that only appear to be altruistic, truthful, and good.  They really aren’t!  They’re just arbitrary states of matter.  Even yeast colonies exhibit these behaviors, they claim, trying to assert that human behavior is no different.  So why should we view the NCSE as anything but an emergent property among human populations, that gains power for awhile, till the “religious” population grabs the ball?  Who is calling what religious, anyway?  In Darwin’s world, nothing has meaning.

This logical response is so crucial it is worth learning well.  C. S. Lewis used it.  G. K. Chesteron used it.  Now Alvin Plantinga and other modern philosophers are using it.  Understood and wielded well, this sword stops the Darwinist in his tracks.  We cannot allow a Darwinian to “help himself” to concepts of truth or beauty, because it’s a form of theft.  If we told them “get your own dirt” (see joke) they would be empty-handed.  If they try to argue that Darwinism is true, we must rap their knuckles and tell them to stop and define truth.  Does it evolve?  If so, game over.  A believer in God, by contrast, has the resources to justify belief in truth, because God, the eternal, unchanging One, is the source of Truth with a capital T.  As finite humans we may not always get our views right, but we have the one and only pole star to hitch our arguments to.  We can justify our belief in truth.  (Note: this is why belief in an impersonal designing “force” is inadequate.  A force like gravity does not deal in concepts, and concepts require personal communication.)

Some Darwinians try to wriggle out of the straitjacket by appeals to “evolutionary epistemology.”  This is the notion that natural selection, to work, required that animals “get the world right” to survive and reproduce.  That notion is easily dismissed by repeating the same point: survival has no necessary connection to truth.  Survival is pragmatic.  What helps an animal survive today might not tomorrow, so what a caveman thinks is true might be false in a million years.  At no time would an animal or human know what truth is.  Truth must be unchanging.

Once again we recommend the Discovery Institute’s recent book, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism and Society for an in-depth look at the “argument from reason” that defeats materialism.  But what about theistic evolution?  The argument works against that, too.  Almost all theistic evolutionists capitulate to the Darwinian notion that natural selection is aimless and unguided.  They refuse to think that God intervenes at any stage in the process, because they want to be accepted within the scientific community.  But any unguided, aimless, purposeless process has no necessary connection to truth, whether or not they believe in a God behind it.  What about those who think God set up natural selection as a “law of nature” that would fulfill His purposes?  Sorry, no dice there, either.  A law of nature that led inexorably to Adam and Eve would be a contradiction of natural selection’s aimlessness.  It would be tantamount to a miracle—indeed, a whole sequence of miracles—so nothing would be gained by theistic evolutionists who want to depend on “secondary causes” (natural laws), not miracles.

The logical argument explained above is crucial to your surviving evolutionary evangelists in college, the media, or elsewhere, but there’s also an abundance of empirical arguments against evolution.  In June, Stephen Meyer’s new book Darwin’s Doubt will discuss the problem of the Cambrian Explosion in detail.  Illustra’s excellent documentary Darwin’s Dilemma provides a one-hour presentation of this problem Darwin himself recognized as a valid argument against his theory.  Meyer’s earlier book Signature in the Cell, and our online book here, provide powerful, convincing arguments that work not only to refute evolution, but to provide positive evidence for intelligent design.  There are so many empirical arguments against evolution at creation sites and intelligent design sites that our problem is knowing where to stop.  Many good resources are available at a collection called True Origin, where you can find discussions about most issues in the creation vs. evolution debate.  Naturally we also recommend you avail yourself of our Search bar and categories here at Creation-Evolution Headlines.

A final (but important) piece of advice concerning debate strategy.  Don’t let the Darwinians define the issue or the terms.  They want to corner you into a supposed conflict between “faith” and “science,” but that is a false dichotomy.  If you accept their terms, the deck is stacked against you.  The truth is, everyone has faith!  The question is not faith vs. science, but their faith vs. your faith; their religion vs. your religion; their science vs. your science.  You could even demonstrate to the Darwinian, using the argument from reason, that they believe in miracles and the supernatural.  The key is to ask the right questions, as Phillip Johnson so ably argued in his book of that name.  The debate should be stated, Can you arrive at human reason, and all the beauty and complexity of the living world, by a material process that is fundamentally aimless, purposeless, and unguided?  Asked that way, the Darwinian is at the disadvantage.  His arguments collapse into monkey screeches.   Don’t let him say another word until he can justify the existence of truth, integrity, and morality.  As soon as he opens his mouth to argue a point, you have won.

If you have additional points you’d like to make about how to respond to evolution evangelists, add a comment.

23 Comments

Jon Saboe May 9, 2013

Excellent article!

In my debates with evolutionists/atheists I usually go for the scientific method – insisting that, since their view is not testable or repeatable, it isn’t really science.
My goal is to back them into a corner enough so that they finally say, in frustration, “Well, your Biblical creationist view isn’t science either!”

I am then very happy to agree.

Bottom line: Both sides BELIEVE that the universe sprang out of nothingness. WE just believe it had an intelligent cause. THEY believe it happened on it own.

BOTH are positions of pure faith.

DebunkingEvo May 9, 2013

Evolutionary evangelists always use micro-evolution (variation) to sell evolution theory. The easiest defense against that is to assert that macro-evolution (morphing) is beyond the limits of variation, and is physically impossible. Details are at http://www.newgeology.us/presentation32.html (or google: debunking evolution)

Editor May 9, 2013

Jon: OK if it works, but the response could easily degenerate into solipsism–nobody knows anything. Also, there is no scientific method! Descartes and Francis Bacon were consumed with method, but had different concepts of what it was. These days, the “scientific method” differs according to the field, the scientist and the project. The idea of a “scientific method” as most are taught it in middle school is simplistic. The concept of a uniform scientific method among philosophers became obsolete by the mid 20th century if not earlier.

The advantage of the argument from reason is that it pulls the ground out from beneath the evolutionist. They cannot even begin to argue a point if they begin with their own assumptions.

Editor May 9, 2013

DebunkingEvo: Your article has a lot of useful information, but arguing macro– vs micro-evolution is unlikely to convince an evolutionist. I refer you to our reply to Jon Saboe’s comment.

raisemeup May 9, 2013

Jon: There was a time when I also contended that “BOTH are positions of pure faith”. However, this is false. Evolution is based on pure faith because the foundation of it’s reasoning is based on a premise that arose from the imagination of men’s minds (as far back apparently as the ancient Greeks or older). However, according to the evolutionary worldview, imagination (along with truth, integrity and morality) cannot be relied upon just as Darwin recognized and the author reiterates.

However, Creation theory is based on accurate eye-witness accounts of what actually happened. Therefore it is far more scientific than evolutionary story telling and it is not self refuting as it is based on unchanging truth, not our own imagination. Note that there are many historical events that we could never have known except for eye-witness accounts (ie Washington crossing the Delaware).

socko May 9, 2013

Here’s a (slightly off topic) thought — it occurs to me that, to an atheist, the universe effectively ceases to exist when he dies. A corollary to that is this: in what sense can it be said that 10 billion years (whatever that is) of stellar and planetary evolution has occured, if no ‘mind’ was there to observe it? Think about it…

Thomas Cordell May 9, 2013

I have lately begun to wonder how any scientist could claim any scientific knowledge about the “Pre-historic” eras. With no observers to even give an historical account to support their beliefs and storymandering. So all so called “Pre-historic” info does not even qualify as reliable history, much less real science.

Thomas Jefferson May 9, 2013

Jon, since evolution is both testable and repeatable, I have no idea what point you think you are making. There is more supporting evidence for the theory of evolution than any other scientific theory.

Thomas Jefferson May 9, 2013

I am rather amused by the horrible quote mining this article employs.

You did provide a link to the entire letter, which is commendable, but since reading the letter negates your point, it seems odd.

Let us let Darwin express himself more clearly from the letter.

The chief one is that the existence of so-called natural laws implies purpose. I cannot see this. Not to mention that many expect that the several great laws will some day be found to follow inevitably from some one single law, yet taking the laws as we now know them, and look at the moon, what the law of gravitation — and no doubt of the conservation of energy — of the atomic theory, &c. &c. hold good, and I cannot see that there is then necessarily any purpose.”

Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance. But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind? Secondly I think that I could make somewhat of a case against the enormous importance which you attribute to our greatest men: I have been accustomed to think, 2nd, 3rd and 4th rate men of very high importance, at least in the case of Science.

Lastly I could show fight on natural selection having done and doing more for the progress of civilisation than you seem inclined to admit. ”

Editor May 9, 2013

Mr. Dixon, bald assertions and generalities are not an argument. As for evolution repeatability, please repeat the Cambrian explosion for us. As for supporting evidence, it depends on what you mean by evidence. Imagination is not evidence.

far2right May 9, 2013

” a mission to destroy “faith” and replace it with “Darwin.”

If speaking of godless origins, Darwinism IS a faith system.

Editor May 9, 2013

Mr. Dixon, this was not quote mining. As for Darwin’s beliefs about natural laws, purpose, and “one single law,” he is merely expressing his personal opinions. As for his “inward conviction,” we can take that sentence and all that precedes it and put it through the monkey-mind grinder in the subsequent sentence that we quoted, and find that it is self-refuting. From there, you see that he immediately changes the subject and leaves his doubt hanging. The self-refuting property of his comment about monkey minds affects everything else in the letter–it refutes his entire letter, as a matter of fact. Darwin gave us permission to ask: why should we trust the convictions of Darwin’s mind as of any value or at all trustworthy? So no quote mining was done, and the letter negates only Darwin, not CEH. The only horrible thing here is your accusation, which was not amusing.

radaractive May 9, 2013

Thomas Jefferson (the Founding Father) did not deserve to have his name so impugned! Natural selection was identified by a Creationist named Blythe whose work was used by Darwin, but it is actually the mechanism by which organisms speciate. Therefore natural selection is evidence for creation, not evolution, as it is a system by which pre-existing genetic information is selected.

Pompous declarations of the importance of evolution are generally not accompanied by evidence because there is no real evidence to present. So all hat, no cattle to Mr. TJ.

If all truth is relative, then how do we know that statement is true? If we had actually evolved, then we have evolved to think what we think. So why should a Darwinist care what a Creationist thinks and go to such great lengths to hide evidence from students and the public? A casual perusal of articles by Brian Thomas on ICR or Jonathan Sarfati at Creation.com, for instance, would reveal evidence that Darwinists hide evidence that would make a critical thinker stop and think…critically.

Is there one irrefutable example of “upwards” evolution accomplished by mutations in the history of observed science since Darwin first published? Not the “Nylonase bacteria” nor the “Arsenate bacteria” nor the crippled double-winged fruit flies. Hundreds of fruit fly generations, thousands of bacteria generations, scientists trying to force them to “evolve” and then..crickets? Yes, I would ask my prof what organism has evolved in the last 150 years and see if he actually knows his stuff.

Editor May 9, 2013

Radaractive: a casual perusal right here at CEH shows just as much, if not more.

radaractive May 9, 2013

Editor, yes, I point people to this site and the wonderful creation scientist history site also. Sure hope to take a trip to Grand Canyon as well. Your site does a tremendous job of giving people evidence and showcasing the real pertinence of said evidence. You do wonderful work!

Pikaia May 9, 2013

There is no reason to believe that efforts to reach the truth could not have evolved from the minds of monkeys, and that they would not be generally adaptive. How could this speculation be offered as proof that Darwinism is self-refuting? In many situations knowing the reality as closely as possible might be adaptive. Look what tools our ability to conceptualize has brought us. If our minds evolved from monkeys’ you might find some uncomfortable truths evaded by denial via a system of comforting myths and stories, aka religion and creationism.
How’s this for a self-refuting concept: an intelligent designer who creates blind cavefish that still grow purposeless eyes? Evolutionary theory explains it as due to inadequate time for the eye-growing genes to stop working or be thoroughly selected against. How does ID hypothesis explain it?

Editor May 9, 2013

Pikaia,
This comment was not as well thought out as some of your others. It’s creating straw men (the cave fish example) and begging serious questions, such as assuming that truth is timeless and universal, or that human ability to conceptualize is the result of unguided material processes. I suggest you read The Magician’s Twin for a thorough explication of the argument from reason against evolution, and also take to heart Darwin’s own “horrid doubt” about the reliability of convictions in a monkey’s mind. As for ignoring uncomfortable truths, and telling comforting myths and stories, your point is? This never happens among Darwinians? I think you need to read more of our reports.

Pikaia May 9, 2013

I was under the impression that creating a straw man was setting up a distorted example that is purposefully easy to knock down. So ID enthusiasts DON’T believe an intelligent designer designed cavefish? I could just as easily have mentioned the fact that sperm whales have useless tiny back leg bones embedded in their sides, or the existence of any other structures or behaviors called vestigial by evolutionary theory. All you seem to have done is avoided the issue by labeling it a straw man argument, yet it would seem to falsify the ID hypothesis. Science has as a core assumption that there are certain aspects of truth that are indeed timeless and universal, assuming objective reality exists, and its results seem to bear this out. If you believe in no such universality for truth, then Darwinism and ID must in some sense be on an equal footing for you, right? So why do you argue for ID? Because you deem it somehow more practical? If so, how would that be? Also, couldn’t Darwinism just be slightly modified to say that we evolved our brains from monkey brains to grapple with practicality instead of truth? I was also only asserting that the ability to conceptualize is useful, although I do in fact believe it to have evolved as well. A feeling of horrid doubt is hardly an argument at all. And no, despite your false accusations, scientists don’t avoid truths, they test for them, then modify their theories accordingly. When was the last time any new details of Intelligent Design were found through study or experiment?

Editor May 9, 2013

Pikaia, this is a typical evolutionary splattergun response: shoot a lot of things up in the air as a distraction. The article had nothing to do with blind cave fish and sperm whales. You’re also confusing ID with creationism, and a distorted view of creationism, “fixity of species.” We’re not going to follow your red herrings. There’s plenty of literature on those questions. The issue here is whether evolution is self-refuting, so I will respond to your response on that point alone.
“Science has as a core assumption that there are certain aspects of truth that are indeed timeless and universal, assuming objective reality exists…” Well, thank you for admitting you are a supernaturalist.
”…and its results seem to bear this out.” My, how would you ever know that without begging the question? You just assumed truth is timeless and universal. You can’t turn around now and say truth evolved.
” If you believe in no such universality for truth, then Darwinism and ID must in some sense be on an equal footing for you, right?” It’s not an equal footing, because Darwinism cannot justify its belief. A theist grounds objective truth in the eternal God.
“So why do you argue for ID? Because you deem it somehow more practical?” No, because it is the inference to the best explanation, while Darwinism is self-refuting.
“Also, couldn’t Darwinism just be slightly modified to say that we evolved our brains from monkey brains to grapple with practicality instead of truth?” Do that at your own peril. What’s practical today could be impractical tomorrow; same with any concept of truth riding on pragmatism.
“A feeling of horrid doubt is hardly an argument at all.” We quoted Darwin to show he, too, struggled with the issue.
“And no, despite your false accusations, scientists don’t avoid truths, they test for them, then modify their theories accordingly.” Question-begging response. Does truth evolve or not? Scientists do these things because they are supernaturalists in spite of themselves. Using their science to argue for unguided processes shoots themselves in the foot.
“When was the last time any new details of Intelligent Design were found through study or experiment?” That’s not a question of science, but a question of philosophy about science. Off topic, but I presume you are asking if ID produces scientific results. I presume you have heard of archaeology, cryptography, forensics, information theory, and every other science that infers intelligent causes from observable effects. But stick to the issue at hand.

Pikaia May 9, 2013

Seems a little extreme to call a belief in some aspect of the truth supernaturalism. Even if you’re a complete instrumentalist you have to admit that the instruments show some sort of pattern. Instrument readings could be thought of as evidence for aspects of truth. If you assume causality, then this follows. Ultimately, everyone who believes in objective reality is a supernaturalist because you can’t know that it exists, but science lives in a very close sphere of the supernatural that requires few assumptions. If there is a truth deeper than immediate instrument readings, it would evolve because deeper, more complicated aspects are discovered, and this seems to be what the evolution of theories shows. I’m confused about what you believe. Do you believe that intelligent design should be believed based on inference from evidence or on the fact that it’s grounded in eternal truth? You claim you only mentioned Darwin’s feeling of horrid self doubt to show that even he had doubts, yet this was the basis for your self-refuting claim. You claim this somehow means that human reason could not have evolved from that of monkeys, which does not logically follow.

Editor May 9, 2013

I don’t think you get the point yet. Who is noticing the pattern? Who is deciding “I take the instrumentalist view”? Who assumes causality? It’s your soul, which is immaterial. To a materialist, anything immaterial is beyond nature–supernatural. And any searching for truth has to be grounded in the assumption that truth cannot evolve. This is not an intelligent design issue; it’s a philosophical/theological issue.
Darwin’s doubt was deeper than a little mental discomfort. It was a recognition that he could not trust anything he believed or stated in his books.
No more on this till after June 21– CEH taking a hiatus.

Pikaia May 9, 2013

If your thoughts and perceptions (soul) are immaterial everything is supernatural, for all you know, if they’re material everything is material, for all you know. That’s semantics. What matters is the amount of assumptions made. Evolution is only self-refuting if Darwin’s doubts were right. It doesn’t follow that they were.

Editor May 9, 2013

Pikaia, it’s not just semantics. The late astronomer Robert Jastrow described his own materialism as particles and the forces by which they interact; he said when you’ve described those, you’ve done it all. But even he admitted that there seemed to be something missing. He tried to force reality into a materialistic box, but it would not fit.

I’m glad you agree that evolution would be self-refuting if Darwin’s doubts were right. To see that they were, ask whether it is particles and forces that were doing the doubting.

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