Re: Evolution's Imperative (was Def'n of Science)

Kevin O'Brien (
Thu, 11 Mar 1999 06:12:22 -0700

Brian wrote:

>> Again, I invite you to re-read the quote from Popper. No where
>> does he suggest that evolution be accepted because of consensus.
>> He says instead that it is well tested. Thus he did not, as
>> matter of fact, seek an alternative criteria for evolution.

Vernon responded:

>I accept what you say, of course, but wouldn't you have supposed that
>peer pressure had a hand in it somewhere?

You've mentioned this twice now. In point of fact, you are "suggesting"
(implying really) that atheist evolutionists extorted Popper into altering
his views by threatening to harm or ruin his professional career. Such a
"suggestion" is ridiculous for a number of reasons.

1. Popper was a philosopher, not a scientist, so there would be very little
any group of scientists could do that would hurt his career, much less ruin

2. Even if the threat was credible, my reading of Popper is that his
response would have been defiance, not capitulation.

3. In my experience, scientists as a group simply do not extort other
scholars. Individual scientists might try, but as a whole science works by
persuasion through evidence, not by intimidation through force. Popper
changed his views because he was persuaded by the evidence, not because he
was intimidated by force. If you have evidence that demonstrates otherwise
I for one would like to see it, but in the absence of such evidence any
"suggestion" of this type is simply indulging in paranoid conspiracy theory
speculation, a passtime that is unworthy of a Christian.

Kevin L. O'Brien