defining Neo Darwinism
Sun, 10 Oct 1999 13:28:22 EDT

Hi all Neo Darwinists,

I agree with Phillip Johnson that Neo Darwinism seems to be a shifting
target, impossible to pin down. Should Neo Darwinism be taught in schools as
"scientific fact", even if everyone has a different definition of the term?

Atheism and materialism propose that organisms consist of a collection of
genes, each single-mindedly striving to perpetuate themself. Altruism is
seen by some Neo Darwinists as a complex result, achieved by RM&NS, of this
basic self interest instinct. Is this a part of Neo Darwinism? Most
religions, be they Christians, Hari Krishnas, Indian medicine men, or
animal-rights advocates, assume the existence of "something more" as part of
nature -certainly as part of the human spirit-something beyond mere self
interest. Do Neo Darwinists claim such a "something more" does not exist?
Or that it can exert no effect upon the real world of molecules? That it is
not the concern of science? That only those things "really exist" which
science can measure?

Is the concept of free-will consistent with Neo Darwinism? Does free will
ever exert an effect upon the real world of molecules? Since science
obviously could never measure free will, should science ignore it? If free
will exists, did it evolve by RM&NS? Medical science acknowledges the
effect of "mind" upon molecules, as in the "placebo effect". If the
"placebo effect" cannot be measured and predicted by science, would it fall
into the category of "miraculous"? If "free will", or the spontaneous,
creative "human spirit" does sometimes exert an effect upon the real world of
molecules, would that be regarded as "miraculous" by science and neo

If you Neo Darwinists all give different answers to these questions, how can
neo Darwinism be promoted as "scientific fact".

If, as Chris suggests, Neo Darwinism is basically the belief that nature is
devoid of purpose or design, that is a minority view. I am a staunch
defender of the right of people to express minority views. However such a
theory, so frankly expressed, would be difficult to impose upon society as
"scientific fact" without great loss of respect for science.

Respectfully awaiting your answers,