July 23, 2017 | David F. Coppedge

Elitist Darwinists Poised to Destroy Civilization

Unaware of their logical fallacies, evolutionists could pull society down with them into a morass of contradictions.

Sunday Editorial by David F. Coppedge

Kick the commies out of the academy

A paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences illustrates the deep problem among Darwin-inebrieted psychologists: they don’t see their own fallacies. In this paper, nine secular psychologists, including Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, whom we saw promoting deadly sins (2/12/17) and scratching their heads trying to evolve generosity by natural selection (7/27/11), are confused about why ordinary people (unlike the elitists they are), don’t favor the redistribution of wealth. They decided to survey the lab rats (i.e., the public) and find out why. So in “Support for redistribution is shaped by compassion, envy, and self-interest, but not a taste for fairness,” they explain the factors they judge to be most significant for affecting public attitudes for or against redistribution of wealth (a politically-correct term for communism). A subtext of the paper is that people should favor redistribution because it is more fair. That’s all we need in 2017: more communism.

So what’s the logical fallacy here? To find out, have these well-paid scientists go live in a communist country, like Cuba or Venezuela, and see if they could protect their own money from redistribution, or have the freedom to speak their minds in print. In Nature, Asif Siddiqi reviews a new book about the travails of a meteorologist trying to survive in Stalinist Russia. Between imprisonments in the Gulag and suspicions of being an enemy of the state, this poor scientist, Alexey Wangenheim, struggled desperately to keep his spirits up and do scientific work until he, too, was murdered like millions of others. The book is a collection of his letters and sketches that show the optimism of the human spirit suffering under an intense evil regime. It’s nice for Nature to give voice to “Science lessons from the Gulag” today, but back then, most scientific institutions lionized Stalin as a great leader, and were vocal critics of the free countries that allowed them to voice their opinions.

Stop stifling scientific debate

Does anybody not know yet that Darwinists are the worst bigots in the world when it comes to scientific debates about evolution? Just look at them fly off the handle when a country like Turkey tries to take evolution off the curriculum for their high schools. Phys.org calls the reaction an “outcry” with accusations of “brainwashing” students in a country they cannot control (America and the UK have Darwin-bigot judges who can keep creationists silent). Brainwashing. That’s rich. Communists never do that, do they?

Let’s see the logical fallacy here. In two other papers about evolution in education, students are treated like lab rats who need some nudging (6/11/17). A paper in a journal called Evolution: Education and Outreach (odd name for a “science” journal, is it not?), a team considers “A multifactorial analysis of acceptance of evolution.” Lack of acceptance of evolution is a serious problem, in their view. Maybe with a little scientific manipulation, elitists can find ways to overcome the reluctance of the lab rats to run the maze properly:

Despite decades of education reform efforts, the percent of the general US population accepting biological evolution as the explanation for the diversity of life has remained relatively unchanged over the past 35 years. Previous work has shown the importance of both educational and non-educational (sociodemographic and psychological) factors on acceptance of evolution, but has often looked at such factors in isolation. Our study is among the first attempts to model quantitatively how the unique influences of evolutionary content knowledge, religiosity, epistemological sophistication, and an understanding of the nature of science collectively predict an individual’s acceptance or rejection of evolution.

The fallacy should be obvious now. Natural selection produces the rejectors of evolution as the fittest! The psychologists should join them, not fight them. That logical conclusion seems lost on these Darwinians.

In another paper in Evolution: Education and Outreach, Bertha Vasquez publishes “A state-by-state comparison of middle school science standards on evolution in the United States.” Surely she would favor what Charles Darwin advised, wouldn’t she? “A fair result can only come,” he said in The Origin of Species, “from fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of every question” (Academic Freedom Day). Anyone who thinks she should hasn’t smelled the mind-numbing power of Darwin DOPE. Like Stalinist-Leninists, the Darwin Party faithful only support academic freedom until they gain power. After that, all must follow the Party Line (5/21/17). “We propose that early evolutionary education will be an excellent indicator of future acceptance of evolution across the United States and strongly encourage that evolution be introduced as the underlying theme of biology early in a student’s academic career.” Yes, start indoctrinating the lab rats earlier!

Realize that morality is not material

Another fallacy common in secular science is viewing every human behavior as a matter of cultural conditioning, ultimately as a consequence of natural selection. If that were ‘true’, then there would be no basis for publishing a scientific paper promoting that idea, because it means the authors are motivated by sex to ensure more offspring, not a search for truth about the world. The thesis undermines itself (hear Nancy Pearcey explain this at ID the Future). Very often, secular psychologists look to Darwinian game theory to explain why people do what they do. An example is this paper in PLoS One that investigates “How public scrutiny influences ethical behavior.” If one were to accept the authors’ premise that honesty is just a game, and that lying “is considered unethical in most cultures,” then lying is just a behavior, not a matter of ethics at all. So why should readers think the authors themselves are being honest? Why assume they are not playing games?

We’ve reported frequently in recent years about the lack of ethics in institutional science: fraud, conflict of interest, and the reproducibility crisis have been big news. Yet it should be obvious that without ethics, one cannot have science. If peer review is to catch fraud, what if the reviewers are dishonest? Who watches the watchers? The need for real, reliable ethics is self-evident. Darwinians know this deep down; when discussing three-parent babies through genetic engineering, for instance, New Scientist preached a sermonette, “Nice science, but don’t forget about the ethics.” These are staunch Darwinians, mind you. On the one hand, the editors speak of “the state of scientific knowledge and society’s ethical priorities” as if the latter are malleable. But on the other hand, they conclude that certain policies “would be both unwise and unethical,” as if their opinions are based on absolutes that can be established with certainty.

It’s possible to research fellow humans without the Yoda Complex that often comes with the Darwinian elitist mindset. Another paper in PLoS One discusses gratitude and its positive effects on people. There’s no mention of evolution, Darwin, selection, game theory or any other materialist, secularist buzzwords. The authors simply try to measure emotions of participants in ‘gratitude exercises.’ The question here should be, what does science have to do with gratefulness? Doesn’t gratitude belong in the purview of religious leaders, teachers and parents? And even if the data show some positive effects of gratitude, does that make it scientific? Is it genuine gratitude if it elicits warm feelings? The fallacy here is to assume the legitimacy of a character quality can be measured by its outcomes. Sometimes the outcomes of true gratitude are ugly. Sometimes ungrateful people are rewarded with great emotions, like pride, selfishness and arrogance.

Who is the fittest of them all?

One more non-Darwinian paper commands attention: In PNAS, it’s titled, “On the promotion of human flourishing.”  Without any appeals to game theory, evolution or selection, Tyler J. VanderWeele, a Harvard social scientist, analyzes the evidence-based factors that produce robust societies of individuals able to pursue happiness. Here’s his approach:

Many empirical studies throughout the social and biomedical sciences focus only on very narrow outcomes such as income, or a single specific disease state, or a measure of positive affect. Human well-being or flourishing, however, consists in a much broader range of states and outcomes, certainly including mental and physical health, but also encompassing happiness and life satisfaction, meaning and purpose, character and virtue, and close social relationships. The empirical literature from longitudinal, experimental, and quasiexperimental studies is reviewed in attempt to identify major determinants of human flourishing, broadly conceived. Measures of human flourishing are proposed. Discussion is given to the implications of a broader conception of human flourishing, and of the research reviewed, for policy, and for future research in the biomedical and social sciences.

What a radical idea: people can be happy without high incomes! Virtue and character can matter more than money. Meaning and purpose in life can promote human fulfillment. So taking a broader approach for his empirical study, what does he find as the greatest factors contributing to human flourishing?

If it is the case that the family, work, education, and religious community are important determinants of various aspects of human flourishing, as indeed they seem to be, then this has profound implications for societal organization and resource allocation. If we desire societal good, broadly construed as human flourishing, and crudely represented by the measures described above, then the structures, policies, laws, and incentives, financial or otherwise, that contribute to family, work, education, and religious community will likely be important ways in which society itself can better flourish.

Quiz question: who in society are the most pro-family, pro-work people in favor of character and virtue? Darwinists? Ha! There isn’t a perversion known that they don’t justify (see our book review of How Darwinism Corrodes Morality). It’s the churches who build constructive, virtuous families—specifically the religious groups who aren’t taught that blowing up buses and buildings will earn sex favors in the afterlife. It’s the churches who believe in a holy God who demands holy behavior. It’s the organizations like Family Research Council and the American Family Association that promote traditional marriage, church attendance, and community involvement in altruistic good deeds. It’s parents who train up a child in the way he or she should go, and to avoid temptations to self-gratification for higher purposes and goals. VanderWeele admits, “there is now fairly good evidence that participation in religious community is longitudinally associated with the various domains of flourishing,” including better health, lower rates of depression and suicide, more happiness and life satisfaction, more virtuous living and prosocial behavior.

So if Darwinians believe fitness drives evolution, let them consider which humans are the most fit. If they are really in favor of human flourishing (a synonym for fitness), let them abandon the worldview that corrodes morality and embrace the one that promotes it. Let them become ex-Darwinists! Let them bow before their Maker and say, like Paul when he was caught on the wrong path, “Who are you, Lord?” followed by, “Lord, what will you have me to do?” (Acts 9).

 

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