Re: Fwd: [breakpoint] Ditching Darwin , 8/5/1999

Stephen E. Jones (
Mon, 16 Aug 1999 05:45:07 +0800


On Thu, 12 Aug 1999 21:07:34 +0000, wrote:


>>GM>And the fact that you fell for it is truly sad.

>SJ>Let's face it-Glenn would be *overjoyed* if I fell for something!

GM>Stephen, I am hurt. I would not be overjoyed if you fell for something. I
>am not overjoyed when you believe something false....

If this were true:

a) Glenn would not have assumed in the first place that "I [and Colson] fell
for something" (when there was no evidence that we did); and

b) Glenn would have dealt with my explanation of why I [and Colson] did not
"fall for something".

Instead Glenn does what I have sometimes observed him doing. He seizes on one
line of a post, twists it around to suit himself, deletes all the rest that
counts against his argument, and then `plays to the gallery' for sympathy.

GM>I am a Christian and don't wish anyone ill. You are a very cyncical fellow.

OK. Just just in case I am being too "cynical" and this time it really was an
inadvertent oversight by Glenn in chopping off my explanation, I am here giving
him another opportunity to deal with the rest of my post, where I explain why I
[and Colson] did not "fall for something".

If Glenn again fails to deal with my explanation of why I [and Colson] did
not "fall for something", or does deal with it but fails to deal fairly with
it, then I will regard myself as justified in my original claim that "Glenn
would be *overjoyed* if I [and Colson] fell for something".


Here is the rest of my post which Glenn chopped off:



But in this case neither Colson or I have fallen for anything.

GM>Lest anyone think that Schwartz no longer
>believes in evolution (as this commentary and Stephens interpetation of it
>implies) then think again.

Who said anything about "Schwartz no longer believes in evolution"?
Colson's Breakpoint article actually says that Schwartz is proposing a
"substitute theory of evolution":

"Schwartz does do us a favor by pointing out the failure of Darwinism,
but his substitute theory of evolution is no better. Living things exhibit
levels of engineering and design that scientists are only beginning to grasp-
-which logically suggests that they are the creation of a great Engineer, a
Divine Designer."GM>Schwartz is Ditching Darwin's way of doing things
That's what the title of Colson's article is: "Ditching Darwin"! So where has
Colson or I got it wrong?

GM>(most evolutionists have).

This is a common ploy that most evolutionists don't believe in Darwin's
theory anymore. But as Johnson points out, this is just "Manipulation of the

"Manipulation of the terminology also allows natural selection to appear
and disappear on command. When unfriendly critics are absent, Darwinists
can just assume the creative power of natural selection and employ it to
explain whatever change or lack of change has been observed. When critics
appear and demand empirical confirmation, Darwinists can avoid the test
by responding that scientists are discovering alternative mechanisms,
particularly at the molecular level, which relegate selection to a less
important role. The fact of evolution therefore remains unquestioned, even
if there is a certain amount of healthy debate about the theory. Once the
critics have been distracted, the Blind Watchmaker can re-enter by the back
door. Darwinists will explain that no biologist doubts the importance of
Darwinian selection, because nothing else was available to shape the
adaptive features of the phenotypes." (Johnson P.E., "Darwin on Trial",
1993, pp153-154)

The fact is that even Gould, for all his hype, has to admit when pressed that
*in the production of new designs* he still believed in "Darwin's way of
doing things", ie. natural selection:

"...may I state for the record that I (along with all other Darwinian
pluralists) do not deny either the existence and central importance of
adaptation, or the production of adaptation by natural selection. Yes, eyes
are for seeing and feet are for moving. And, yes again, I know of no
scientific mechanism other than natural selection with the proven power to
build structures of such eminently workable design." (Gould S.J.,
"Darwinian Fundamentalism", New York Review of Books, June 12, 1997.

GM>Darwin's view of evolution is now 130
>years old and was based upon 19th century science.

I would agree with that! But that "19th century science" of Darwin's is
*still* the basis for modern theory of evolution. Dawkins (who after all
is the Oxford Professor for the Public Understanding of Science), says
that the modern theory of evolution is simply continuing "to add footnotes
to their [Darwin and Wallace's] solution":

"This book is written in the conviction that our own existence once
presented the greatest of all mysteries, but that it is a mystery no longer
because it is solved. Darwin and Wallace solved it, though we shall
continue to add footnotes to their solution for a while yet. (Dawkins R.,
"The Blind Watchmaker," 1991, p.xiii)

GM>His view that life has evolved has survived.
The "view that life has evolved" was not Darwin's discovery. As Burrows
points out "The theory of evolution in biology was already...old" by
Darwin's time and in fact Darwin in his Origin of Species, "listed over
thirty predecessors":

"The theory of evolution in biology was already an old, even a discredited
one. Darwin, in later editions of The Origin, listed over thirty predecessors
and was still accused of lack of generosity. Greek thinkers had held the
view that life had developed gradually out of a primeval slime. Diderot,
Buffon and Maupertuis in the eighteenth century had held evolutionary
views, as had Darwin's own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, whose
evolutionary ideas were expressed partly in verse" (Burrow J.W., "Editor's
Introduction", to Darwin C., "The Origin of Species", [1859], First
Edition, 1985 reprint, p27)GM>His mechanism of evolution hasn't.

I agree with Glenn that Darwin's "mechanism of evolution
hasn't...survived" but someone better tell the Darwinists!

GM>So when
>christians, like Stephen, tell you scientists are leaving evolution because
>they are Ditching Darwin, it shows that they have no understanding of what
>is going on.

Neither Colson or I said that "scientists are leaving evolution because they
are Ditching Darwin". What Colson and I said is that they *are* "ditching

GM>They have not left the evolutionary fold as those, whose views
>require endless hope and imaginary visions of evolution defectors, want you
>to believe.

See above. It is sufficient for Colson and I that there *are* evolutionists
"ditching Darwin".

And it is *Glenn* who has "endless hope" that something vague called
"evolution" that will remain unscathed if scientists are "ditching Darwin"!

GM>To me, the failure to properly distinguish and communicate what is
>happening with Schwartz is a failure on the part of commentators like
>Colson to do their homework.

Actually what Colson said in "Ditching Darwin" *did* "properly
distinguish and communicate what is happening with Schwartz", namely
that he is "ditching Darwin".

So it is *Glenn* who in this case has failed to do his homework!

"If I were a creationist, I would cease attacking the theory of evolution-
which is so well supported by the fossil record-and focus instead on the
origin of life. This is by far the weakest strut of the chassis of modern
biology. The origin of life is a science writer's dream. It abounds with
exotic scientists and exotic theories, which are never entirely abandoned or
accepted, but merely go in and out of fashion." (Horgan J., "The End of
Science: Facing the Limits of Knowledge in the Twilight of the Scientific
Age," [1996], Little, Brown & Co: London UK, 1997, p138).