Re: Robert Wright on Steve Gould

From: Stephen E. Jones (
Date: Sun Jan 23 2000 - 09:57:59 EST

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    Check out Robert Wright's critique of Steve Gould as "The Accidental
    Creationist" in December 13, 1999's New Yorker at: My favorite quote:

    My favourite quote is:

    "Over the past three decades, in essays, books, and technical papers, Gould
    has advanced a distinctive view of evolution. He stresses its flukier aspects-
    freak environmental catastrophes and the like- and downplays natural
    selection's power to design complex life forms. In fact, if you really pay
    attention to what he is saying, and accept it, you might start to wonder
    how evolution could have created anything as intricate as a human being."

    Indeed. You *might* start to wonder! :-)

    Mind you, this quote comes a close second:

    "Consider the bombardier beetle. In one compartment, the beetle carries a
    harmless chemical mix. In another compartment resides a catalyst. The
    beetle adds the catalyst to the mix to create a scalding substance that he
    can then spray, through a pliable rear-end nozzle, on tormentors. (This
    basic idea-making chemicals safe to transport but deadly when deployed-
    would, long after natural selection invented it, be reinvented by human
    beings, in the form of binary chemical weapons.) Clearly, a beetle equipped
    with two munitions tanks and a spray nozzle is more complex than a beetle
    lacking such accoutrements. And this isn't just any old kind of biological
    complexity. The beetle's arsenal involves behavioral complexity: aiming and
    squirting a toxic nozzle. Aiming and squirting-like any impressive behavior-
    involves information processing, a command-and-control system. In some
    small measure, then, evolution's promotion of the beetle to bombardier
    rank involved a growth in intelligence."

    This shows the fundamental contradiction of the Darwinist `blind
    watchmaker' theory. It's adherents cannot avoid noticing the "intelligence" in
    living things, but they posit an *un*-intelligent source for it.

    If Darwinism followed it's rule of prefixing "apparent" before "intelligence", as
    it does with "design", it would presumably have to admit that *human*
    "intelligence" is only "apparent" "intelligence"?

    In that case, this Webster's online dictionary entry seems apt:

    "reductio ad absurdum" "1 : disproof of a proposition by showing an
    absurdity to which it leads when carried to its logical conclusion"


    "The criticism of the Darwinian theory given in this book arises
    straightforwardly from my belief that the theory is wrong, and that
    continued adherence to it is an impediment to discovering the correct
    evolutionary theory." (Hoyle F., "Mathematics of Evolution", [1987],
    Acorn Enterprises: Memphis TN, 1999, pp.xv)
    Stephen E. Jones | |

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