Re: [asa] Theist Evolutionists - Write your own theory and textbooks [Re: Ditch Darwin...]

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Sat Mar 03 2007 - 14:11:22 EST

It strikes me that pushing Darwinism is intended to be pejorative. I
recall that Darwin was essentially Lamarkian, and that what passes for
the Darwinian view is what was retailored by Spencer, to which was added
the conflict "history." We should have come a long way from that stuff,
both the properly Darwinian and the pseudo-Darwinian additives. But
propaganda tends to avoid truth.

On Sat, 3 Mar 2007 10:41:09 -0500 "Jack" <> writes:
It seems to me you are conflating two aspects of "Darwinism".

In terms of Darwinism being a philosophy/ideology, TE's never accepted
that aspect of Darwinism. We have never thought that there is no supreme
being that controlled evolution in some sense. And please, here I am
just addressing the aspect of Darwinism that some evolutionists,
especially the vocal ones like Dennet, and Dawkins propose which is that
Darwinism supports atheism.

The other aspect of Darwinism, the mechanism of biological change, is a
scientific question. TE's as a group would not be opposed to some other
mechanism if the evidence supported it, (such as no single ancestor tree
of life.) I dont think the TE's need to "think outside the box," it is
the evidence that will speak for itself.
----- Original Message -----
From: (Matthew) Yew Hock Tan
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 10:26 AM
Subject: [Norton AntiSpam] [asa] Theist Evolutionists - Write your own
theory and textbooks [Re: Ditch Darwin...]


Thanks for your response.

I understood what you mean, and I also knew from your website that you
are a physicist.

I suppose the use of the words "ditch" and "ideology" makes it sound
"quite emotive". But I am simply using the same words the Chronicle uses,
which I thought might stimulate brilliant minds here. And the bacteria
"not stupid" is from the title of a cool-headed scientific article which
is certainly not emotive.

I was just thinking how far Theist Evolutionists here are prepared to go
to drop these aspects of Darwinism (the ideology/philosophy) - not Darwin
himself. This was prompted by the Chronicle's report that "scholars from
both sides of the Atlantic agreed that scientists should change the way
they present their views" and "Terms like Darwinism can make evolutionary
biology seem like an ideology".

Don't you agree that to change the way to present the evolution theory so
that it does not seem like an ideology and to "win the argument" on
evolution might require revamping or reformulate the theory -- make it
more scientific and evidence-based and drop those aspects of Darwinism
that seem like "ideology" (actually I mean philosophy).

If the Theist Evolutionists would think out-of-the-box, many of the
philosophical assumptions I mentioned are not really necessary for the
theory. If evolution really happened, it might not happen in the way the
textbooks presented it; there might not be a single-ancestor tree of
life, evolution of novel structures and organs might not have come about
through "random" mutations. Why put in all these unscientific stuffs
which are really philosophical worldviews - making the theory seems like
a dogmatic (and in extreme cases even anti-God) ideology?

No wonder Theist Evolutionists here have admitted (in another thread)
that the creationists see you as "lapdogs" of the atheists to serve as
"one night stand" for their apologetic purposes. I am not being emotive
here. These were actually written by the Theist Evolutionists here.

Is it not high time Theist Evolutionists write your own textbooks and
theory of evolution?
-- Given the recent articles by evolutionist biologists Doolittle and
James Shapiro, the URL I repeat here:

(1) "Uprooting the Tree of Life" by Doolittle
(2) Bacteria are small but not stupid:
Cognition, natural genetic engineering, and sociobacteriology
by James A. Shapiro

George Murphy <> wrote:
I should make it clear that when I approved of "ditching Darwin" I was
speaking about de-emphasizing (not eliminating) Darwin as an individual
in arguing for evolution.
(When I speak about relativity I of course may refer to Einstein but
don't spend time eulogizing him or refer to "Einsteinism.")

I am not a biologist & so won't comment on the proposals below except to
say that they're stated in quite emotive ways that are not really
appropriate for scientific proposals.

----- Original Message -----
From: (Matthew) Yew Hock Tan
Sent: Saturday, March 03, 2007 3:02 AM
Subject: Re: [asa] Ditch Darwin To Advance Theory of Evolution, says
Professor of Evolutionary Biology

To what extent are Christian scientists willing to ditch Darwin -
supposing that there is a general agreement that the theory of biological
evolution as presented today (Darwinism) is "dogmatic ideology"?

1. Ditch the principle of blind, undirected/direction-less, purposeless
operating forces?
2. Ditch "random" mutations as a mechanism? Maybe intelligent nonrandom
correlated mutations? Or simply, unknown mutations? Or, better still,
just say "changes in the genome".
James Shapiro suggests that bacteria are sentient intelligent ("not
stupid") beings capable of re-engineering themselves intelligently (with
computational and information processing capabilities). (Read the

3. Ditch "natural" selection? That will mean ditching "dogmatic ideology"
of materialistic naturalism to allow for unknown forces operating the

(With respect to macro-evolution)

4. Ditch the assumption that micro-evolution can be extrapolated to
5. Ditch the dogmatism of single-ancestor tree of life?
After all, there is already an article by Doolittle titled "Uprooting the
Tree of Life" -
If we go far enough, that will allow for creationist notion of "limited
evolution" within "kinds" of creatures.

6. Redefine evolution to mean simply the change over time in the
morphology and/or genome of living organism? (without the assumption of
the tree of life)

I believe all these ditching will satisfy the Intelligent Design
proponents and Old Earth Creationists, but not the Young Earth

George Murphy <> wrote:
He's right. Emphasis on Darwin as an individual, the use of the term
"Darwinism" and (what was discussed at one AAAS session) the coupling of
"Evolution Sunday" with Darwin's birthday serve to antagonize
conservative Christians and keep them from giving evolution a fair
hearing. Of course Darwin's name needn't be avoided studiously, but
there's no need to inflate his role either. Evolution can be discussed
without talking about the histopry of the subject, just as classical
mechanics can be presented without talking about Newton. & to the extent
that the history is discussed, giving Wallace partial credit can help.

----- Original Message -----
From: (Matthew) Yew Hock Tan
Sent: Thursday, March 01, 2007 12:16 PM
Subject: [asa] Ditch Darwin To Advance Theory of Evolution, says
Professor of Evolutionary Biology

The theory of biological evolution as it is presented today is dogmatic
ideology? This professor has called for scientists to de-emphasize
Darwin. It is significant that he made this call at the annual meeting of
the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in San
This news article is for subscriber. But you can read it from the
"cache" of Google search result.
The Chronicle of Higher EducationMonday, February 19, 2007

De-emphasizing Darwin Might Advance the Argument for Evolution, Biologist
Says at Scientists' Meeting
In his controversial book, The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins insisted
that scientists should work to dispel the idea that God exists. Without
religion, Mr. Dawkins has said, the conflict between scientists' beliefs
about evolution and the fundamentalist religious belief that a
supernatural intelligence created all life would vanish. Now an
evolutionary biologist has proposed a different tack. In a meeting last
weekend in San Francisco, he suggested scientists might win the argument
by ditching Darwin.


Mr. Kutschera, a professor of plant physiology and evolutionary biology
at the University of Kassel in Germany, said scientists should emphasize
that evolution is a fully formed field of biological study "built up by
generations of non-dogmatic scientists." Terms like Darwinism can make
evolutionary biology seem like an ideology, rather than a focus of
empirical work, he said.
Few think that Darwin himself is such a divisive figure. But at a session
on growing anti-evolutionary sentiment in Europe, scholars from both
sides of the Atlantic agreed that scientists should change the way they
present their views.
Pressure from religious groups to teach alternatives to evolution, such
as intelligent design, in science classes once seemed mostly an American
problem, but that is no longer true.

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Received on Sat Mar 3 14:18:10 2007

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