Re: On Gray, "Darwinism," and "design"

From: Gregory Arago <gregoryarago@yahoo.ca>
Date: Sun Feb 12 2006 - 21:19:33 EST

"[W]hy that specific name [Darwinism] being used for evolution"? is a great question! But what other names would the IDM isolate and attack if not Darwin's? Alternate views suggest that evolution cannot be 'reduced' to a single scientific figure (or discipline), even if a specific ideology of evolution is being called into question.
   
  "[F]or Hodge *as also for Gray*, the denial of design is atheism." - Ted Davis
   
  Is it as simple as to say that 'social (scientific) Darwinism' got a bad name and that 'natural (scientific) Darwinism' carried on un-phased? Darwin was not an atheist, though his non-teleological, deny special creation, apurposeful approach to evolution was a significant addition/alteration to the previous natural scientific tradition. The ID focus on 'design' at the cost of other relevant concepts still seems myopic to me, but then again even Darwin felt he got somewhat trapped into certain metaphors.
   
  "[T]he real reason I am convinced is historical--namely, that Hodge had called it that [Darwinism] and identified it by that name as a theologically dangerous view of the world, equivalent to denying divine purpose in the creation." - Ted Davis
  
From another tradition than Hodge's Darwinism, N. Danilevsky wrote Darwinism: Critical Investigation in 1885, which took quite a different approach to 'anti-design,' even questioning whether or not Darwin denied 'divine purpose in creation.' The subtleties, I agree with Ted, do seem sometimes lost in current-day polemics. Darwin's dependence on T. Malthus seems a significant issue, one that micro-biologists don't seem to want to remember or even to learn about for the first time.
   
  "It is the ID proponents who insist on labelling evolutionary theory as 'Darwinism' and on defining it as implying a purposeless and meaningless process that denies God." - Keith Miller
   
  Yes, and if so then why can this not be revealed to the American public? Is there no public relations vehicle capable of countering the IDM's rhetoric/propaganda? I ask this not to be pretentious, but to seek real possibilities and answers. Is it because the IDM promises sensationalist consequences in science (e.g. Dembski's 'revolution' chants) that ID dominates the news columns? Or perhaps a process has yet to be put in motion that would satisfactorily curtail such false labelling of evolution by God seekers who are concerned that evolution obscures their search?
   
  Darwin doesn't seem to be the one ready to stop anybody from putting a process in motion.
   
   
  G. Arago
   
   
  p.s. just now thought of a perhaps-useful modifier for critics of ID who speak about the negative argument and gaps topic - why not call it the 'Don't Deny Design Movement' instead of the ID movement? This connects to Ted's contention: "[F]or Hodge *as also for Gray*, the denial of design is atheism."
  
Ted Davis <tdavis@messiah.edu> wrote:
    Another point on "Darwinism." During the trial last fall, as is well
known, one of Darwin's descendents was assigned to cover it for a
magazine--I think it was Harper's, and I think the story is now out though I haven't seen it. After Behe's first day in court, as the reporters were all gathered together around him and around the lead defense attorney (Mr Thompson), and as my visage was being captured by photographers as I stood in the only open space available (directly behind Behe), Darwin's descendent asked Behe why "Darwinism" was always being attacked--that is, why that specific name being used for evolution. Mike gave a reasonable answer in terms of modern scientific references to it, but the real reason I am convinced is historical--namely, that Hodge had called it that and identified it by that name as a theologically dangerous view of the world, equivalent to denying divine purpose in the creation. I mentioned this point privately to Darwin's descendent, and he contacted me later to say that this was a very helpful point.

Ted

                
---------------------------------
Find your next car at Yahoo! Canada Autos
Received on Sun, 12 Feb 2006 21:19:33 -0500 (EST)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Feb 12 2006 - 21:27:50 EST