Charles Darwin ‘s philosophical Trojan Horse
The Trojan Horse is a story from the Trojan War about the subterfuge that the Greeks used to enter the independent city of Troy and win the war. After a fruitless 10-year siege, the Greeks constructed a huge wooden horse, and hid a select force of men inside including Odysseus. The Greeks pretended to sail away, and the Trojans pulled the horse into their city as a victory trophy. That night the Greek force crept out of the horse and opened the gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had sailed back under cover of night. The Greeks entered and destroyed the city of Troy, ending the war.
Metaphorically, a “Trojan Horse” has come to mean any trick or stratagem that causes a target to invite a foe into a securely protected bastion or place. A malicious computer program that tricks users into willingly running it is also called a Trojan Horse or simply a “Trojan”.
Do not allow atheists to sneak shoddy philosophy past your defenses under the guise of “evolutionary science.”
The term “evolution” merely means change over time. Therefore, to deny evolution (in the correct sense of the term), one would need to deny that living things have changed since the time of the dinosaurs. Since virtually nobody of any religion or belief system does this, virtually nobody denies evolution…even the most staunch creationist. (Please readby philosopher Alvin Plantinga for a more thorough exploration of this subject).
In point of fact, the REAL conflict is NOT between creationism and evolution. Rather, the real conflict is between creationism and the philosophical add-on to evolution (the Trojan Horse) which says that this change over time (from dinosaurs to humans, etc.) is the result of random and unintelligent processes. This philosophical add-on is known as Darwinism.
Startlingly, CHARLES DARWIN HIMSELF admitted that he did not have any direct evidence that the change over time of evolution was the result of random and unintelligent processes. He ADMITTED that this was a mere belief. As Darwin complained to Joseph Hooker in a letter included in his autobiography:
“I am actually weary of telling people that I do not pretend to adduce direct evidence of one species changing into another, but that I believe that this view in the main is correct because so many phenomena can be thus grouped together and explained.” (emphasis added)
See below image of this letter included in Darwin’s autobiography:
The so-called “scientific consensus” regarding Charles Darwin ‘s theory is really a philosophical (better yet, ideological) consensus among scientists.
The easiest way to see that the so-called “scientific consensus” behind Darwinism is really an ideological consensus among scientists is to recognize that scientists studying evolution do not even agree on what unintelligent mechanism is allegedly behind the change of living things over time. Darwin alleged that the change over time of living things is the result of the very, very gradual process of the random mutation of genes, and the natural selection of reproductive offspring. But scientists have divided into two main camps in order to explain why the fossil record does not support this gradualistic account of evolution. Even Charles Darwin himself acknowledged that the fossil record does not support his theory. Anotes:
Charles Darwin believed that evolution was a slow and gradual process. He did not believe this process to be “perfectly smooth,” but rather, “stepwise,” with a species evolving and accumulating small variations over long periods of time. Darwin assumed that if evolution is gradual then there should be a record in fossils of small incremental change within a species. But in many cases, Darwin, and scientists today, are unable to find most of these intermediate forms. Darwin blamed lack of transitional forms on gaps in the fossil record, a good assertion, because the chances of each of those critical changing forms having been preserved as fossils are very small. However in 1972, evolutionary scientists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge proposed another explanation for the numerous gaps in the fossil record. They suggested that the “gaps” were real, representing periods of stasis in morphology. They termed this mode of evolution “punctuated equilibrium.”
It is noteworthy that the punctuated equilibrium model proposed by Gould and Eldredge does not even propose a mechanism by which evolution occurs. The very gradual process of random mutation of genes and natural selection of reproductive offspring cannot be cited as an explanation for why the change over time of evolution occurs in a notably not gradual manner.
The fossil record clearly does not support Darwinism.
Harvard University evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (one of the two founders of punctuated equilibrium, cited above) refers to the fact that the fossil record does not support gradualistic accounts of evolution as “the trade secret of paleontology” in a 1977 issue of Natural History:
“The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology…Paleontologists have paid an exorbitant price for Darwin’s argument. We fancy ourselves as the only true students of life’s history, yet to preserve our favored account of evolution by natural selection we view our data as so bad that we never see the very process we profess to study.”
Gould also wrote,
“The absence of fossil evidence for intermediary stages between major transitions in organic design, indeed our inability, even in our imagination, to construct functional intermediates in many cases, has been a persistent and nagging problem for gradualistic accounts of evolution.”
Similarly, Ernst Mayr (one of the leading evolutionary biologists of the last 50 years) writes:
“Paleontologists had long been aware of a seeming contradiction between Darwin’s postulate of gradualism … and the actual findings of paleontology. Following phyletic lines through time seemed to reveal only minimal gradual changes but no clear evidence for any change of a species into a different genus or for the gradual origin of an evolutionary novelty. Anything truly novel always seemed to appear quite abruptly in the fossil record.”
Evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Henry Gee (senior editor of Nature, the most prestigious science journal) said it best in 1999:
“No fossil is buried with its birth certificate. That, and the scarcity of fossils, means that it is effectively impossible to link fossils into chains of cause and effect in any valid way…To take a line of fossils and claim that they represent a lineage is not a scientific hypothesis that can be tested, but an assertion that carries the same validity as a bedtime story—amusing, perhaps even instructive, but not scientific.”
The Curator of the invertebrates department at the American Museum of Natural History, biologist and paleontologist Niles Eldredge, who was also the adjunct professor at the City University of New York, is a non-theist. But Dr. Eldredge openly admits that the traditional evolutionary view is not supported by the fossil record, which is why he and Gould created the concept of punctuated equilibrium. He writes:
“No wonder paleontologists shied away from evolution for so long. It seems never to happen. Fastidious collecting of fossils, from the bottom upward, up sheer cliff faces, zigzags, minor oscillations…all showing the same results. That life forms all appear, fully formed, complete in body parts, at their first discovery. When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the organisms did not evolve elsewhere! Evolution cannot forever be going on someplace else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn paleontologist looking to learn something about evolution.“
In The Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry, biologist Lynn Margulis (winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science) discusses the persistence of neo-Darwinian theory, despite its deteriorating scientific basis, with journalist Susan Mazur. Margulis suggests that this persistence is due to scientists’ loyalty to their “tribal group” (or those who share a like-minded philosophical or religious orientation), and not for reasons which can be deemed scientific:
Margulis: “If enough favorable mutations occur, was the erroneous extrapolation, a change from one species to another would concurrently occur.”
Mazur: “So a certain dishonesty set in?”
Margulis: “No. It was not dishonesty. I think it was wish-fulfillment and social momentum. Assumptions, made but not verified, were taught as fact.”
Mazur: “But a whole industry grew up.”
Margulis: “Yes, but people are always more loyal to their tribal group than to any abstract notion of ‘truth’ – scientists especially. If not they are unemployable. It is professional suicide to continually contradict one’s teachers or social leaders.”
Atheistic conclusions which purportedly arise from scientific research, such as neo-Darwinism, can hardly be characterized as the logical result of an objective examination of facts. Rather, they precede the examination of facts and reflect the religious beliefs of a scientist’s “tribal group.” This can be the case even when such theories have a basis which has been eroded by advances in scientific understanding. The late great Harvard University paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science Stephen J. Gould echoed Margulis’ above comments when he wrote:
“Unconscious or dimly perceived finagling is probably endemic in science, since scientists are human beings rooted in cultural contexts, not automatons directed toward external truth.”
The real consensus behind Charles Darwin ‘s theory is religious or philosophical in nature.
In what “cultural contexts” are atheist biologists rooted, causing them to perpetrate “unconscious or dimly perceived finagling?” For one, in the cultural context that the material world is the most basic, fundamental plane of existence (a worldview known as “materialism” or “naturalism”). The Harvard University geneticist Richard C. Lewontin commented in 1997 that, in reference to defending Darwinism in a debate:
“We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”
Similarly, in her essay How Darwinism Dumbs Us Down, Nancy Pearcey notes how some scientists have actually admitted that atheistic/naturalistic philosophy guides their reasoning processes. This is a violation of the spirit of scientific inquiry, which states that one should follow the facts wherever they lead:
“The media paints the evolution controversy in terms of science versus religion. But it is much more accurate to say it is worldview versus worldview, philosophy versus philosophy…”
“Interestingly, a few evolutionists do acknowledge the point. Michael Ruse made a famous admission at the 1993 symposium of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. ‘Evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism,’ he said—that is, it is a philosophy, not just facts. He went on: ‘Evolution, akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically.’ Ruse’s colleagues responded with shocked silence and afterward one of them, Arthur Shapiro, wrote a commentary titled, ‘Did Michael Ruse Give Away the Store?’”
“But, ironically, in the process, Shapiro himself conceded that ‘there is an irreducible core of ideological assumptions underlying science,’ He went on: ‘Darwinism is a philosophical preference, if by that we mean we choose to discuss the material universe in terms of material processes accessible by material operations.’”
So how do we know that the change over time of evolution is really the result of an INTELLIGENT cause (read: God)? Please FOLLOW THE FACTS WHERE THEY LEAD by reading my posts titled The Case for God is Not a Case of the God of the Gaps and Darwinist Detective Work, and Why Life Could Not Have Emerged Without God.