Darwinism is wrong.
Darwinism is wrong. A little story helps to put Darwinism into the broader context of the history of science:
Your neighbor Steve receives a knock on the door one day, and two police officers inform him that they are taking him down to station to answer some questions about a recent murder. He is brought to the station and seated in an interrogation room. A detective enters and proceeds to question him:
Detective: “We obtained a pistol at the murder scene which is registered to you, and was recently fired.”
Steve: “My pistol discharged inadvertently. In my opinion, it was probably due to a flaw in the trigger mechanism, resulting from a manufacturing error. I lost it that day when it fell out of my holster. Thanks for finding it for me.”
Detective: “But we have one of your shirts in our possession, and it has the victim’s blood on it.”
Steve: “The victim sneezed that blood on my shirt. He was standing in line next to me at the coffee shop that day, and he sneezed on me. I noticed that he had a nosebleed.”
Detective: “But several witnesses said that they saw you shoot the murder victim.”
Steve: “Well, detective, I have reason to believe that these witnesses were suffering from a sort of group hallucination, possibly induced by water contamination in the local area.”
At this point, the detective explains that he has a much more simple explanation which does away with the need for all of Steve’s complex theories: He is guilty of murder. Steve is placed under arrest and booked on murder charges.
Ad hoc explanations are a red flag that a scientific paradigm is falling apart.
Ad hoc is a Latin term which means “created or done for a particular purpose as necessary.” In the above interrogation, Steve pulls various ad hoc explanations out of his hat for the purpose of leading the detective away from a conclusion which he does not want him to reach (guilt). Put another way, Steve tries to cook up counter explanations on demand, in order to keep his preferred narrative (innocence of murder) from falling apart.
The history of science demonstrates that the use of ad hoc explanations by scientists is a crucial red flag which indicates that a scientific theory (or paradigm) such as Darwinian evolution is in crisis and is falling apart. In his famous work on the history, philosophy, and sociology of science titled The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, physicist Thomas Kuhn notes that, in responding to a crisis for a scientific paradigm, a scientific community will be very, very slow to reject that paradigm. Rather than reject it, in Kuhn’s words,
“They will devise numerous articulations and ad hoc modifications of their theory in order to eliminate any apparent conflict.”
This is not exclusively because a particular scientist or group of scientists is dishonest or stubborn (although these factors often come into play). Much as a carpenter needs tools, scientists need the tools of paradigms such as Darwinism, because they provide theoretical frameworks necessary for the conduct science. Science cannot be conducted without the tool of an underlying theoretical framework (paradigm). When one tool is breaking apart, participants in a scientific community continue to use it until a better tool (paradigm) comes along to replace it. Better to use a tool in a state of falling apart than no tool at all. As Kuhn puts it in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions:
“Once a first paradigm through which to view nature has been found, there is no such thing as research in the absence of any paradigm. To reject one paradigm without simultaneously substituting another is to reject science itself. That act reflects not on the paradigm but on the man. Inevitably he will be seen as ‘the carpenter who blames his tools.'”
And, as Kuhn further discusses, the history of science is absolutely replete with examples of scientific paradigms which fell apart after initially showing cracks in their foundations, but which scientists tried to repair with the cement of ad hoc explanations…for decades. These paradigms were the science of yesterday, but are the superstition or myth of today. And, as Kuhn asks, if the science of yesterday is the myth or superstition of today, why should we not assume that the science of today will become the myth or superstition of tomorrow? This poses an insurmountable problem for those who think that bare science provides a pathway to ultimate truth.
Darwinism is wrong like many, many previous scientific paradigms or theories.
Kuhn cites the examples of Aristotelian dynamics (which was superseded by Newtonian physics), phlogistic chemistry (which said that a fire-like element called phlogiston is contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion), and caloric thermodynamics (which said that heat is really a self-repellent fluid called caloric that flows from hotter bodies to colder bodies).for several dozen more examples of scientific theories which were the science of their day, but are the myth or superstition of today. With this trend in the history of science, asks Kuhn, how can we reasonably believe that science provides an “ever growing stockpile of knowledge” or a “process of accretion” (growth) of knowledge?:
Historians confront growing difficulties in distinguishing the “scientific” component of past observation and belief from what their predecessors had readily labeled “error” and “superstition.” The more carefully they study, say, Aristotelian dynamics, phlogistic chemistry, or caloric thermodynamics, the more certain they feel that those once current views of nature were, as a whole, neither less scientific nor more the product of human idiosyncrasy than those current today. If these out-of-date beliefs are to be called myths, then myths can be produced by the same sorts of methods and held for the same sorts of reasons that now lead to scientific knowledge. If, on the other hand, they are to be called science, then science has included bodies of belief quite incompatible with the ones we hold today. Given these alternatives, the historian must choose the latter. Out-of-date theories are not in principle unscientific because they have been discarded. That choice, however, makes it difficult to see scientific development as a process of accretion.
The science of today usually becomes the superstition of tomorrow.
If you were alive during the Victorian era, you would likely have had to undergo a phrenology test as part of a job interview, as this post discusses. Phrenology (which was the science of its day, but is regarded as superstition today) was a scientific paradigm which believed that the shape and features of a person’s skull revealed that person’s personality traits:
“Hmmm, Joe seemed like a great candidate for this job, but his skull features indicate a tendency towards dishonesty and theft. We’d better not hire him.”
Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” The rhyme of history can already be heard when one considers that Darwinism alleges gene mutations can cause beneficial adaptions to an environment, despite the fact that the vast majority of mutations are harmful. Just as a column of negative numbers cannot add up to a positive sum, a collection of almost exclusively harmful mutations cannot produce beneficial adaptations. Cambridge University physicist and mathematician Fred Hoyle, despite being atheist, admits in his book Mathematics of Evolution:
“The reason why most mutations must be bad is of course that random changes made to any complex structure lead to many more downward steps in the operating efficiency of the structure than to upward steps. How the occasional lucky improvement is to lead to positive evolution is a puzzle that has disturbed many mathematicians.”
Today, the scientific community regards Darwinism as science, but the cracks in its foundation are readily apparent, and it is well on its way to becoming the superstition or mythology of tomorrow, just as with phrenology. Biologist Lynn Margulis, winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science, put it best in her book What Is Life?:
“…Science is asymptotic. [“asymptote” is derived from a Greek word meaning “not falling together.”] It never arrives at but only approaches the tantalizing goal of final knowledge. Astrology gives way to astronomy; alchemy evolves into chemistry. The science of one age becomes the mythology of the next.”
It is not difficult to observe scientists who support Darwinian evolution trying to cement the cracks in its foundation with ad hoc explanations. One MASSIVE crack in the foundation of Darwinian evolution is that the fossil record very clearly and unequivocally does not support it.
I challenge any reader to furnish even a single example of a paleontologist who believes that the fossil record supports Darwinism.
I challenge any reader to furnish even a single example of a paleontologist who thinks that the fossil record supports Darwinism. Anyone undertaking this search is encouraged to take regular breaks from their feverish googling, so as to not wear themselves out. Harvard University evolutionary biologist and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould 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. 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.“
Scientists have divided into two main camps in order to explain why the fossil record does not support Darwin’s gradual 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.”
The punctuated equilibrium model proposed by Gould and Eldredge is an ad hoc explanation for the extremely sudden, NOT gradual changes of living things evidenced by the fossil record. Worse still, punctuated equilibrium does not even propose a mechanism by which evolution occurs. The very gradual process of the 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.
Another ad hoc explanation (frequently cited by atheists) for the absolutely undeniable discrepancy between Darwinism and the fossil record is that the mutations which allegedly cause evolution build up over millions of years. Only after these millions of years of accumulation do the results of the mutations manifest themselves. Any supporter of Darwinism reading this is encouraged to furnish any evidence to support this or any other ad hoc explanation, plus the logical reason why we should not just accept a more simple explanation: Darwinism is FALSE.
Astute readers must realize that the term evolution merely means change over time. Since virtually nobody of any religion or belief system denies that living things have changed over time, virtually nobody of any religion or belief system denies evolution in the correct sense of the term. Darwinism attaches the atheistic philosophical add-on to evolution which says that this change over time is the result of unintelligent mechanisms. This is best described as a philosophical Trojan Horse, since it stealthily sneaks atheistic philosophy into the change over time of evolution, as I discuss in Charles Darwin’s Philosophical Trojan Horse. The conflict is not between theism and evolution. Rather, the conflict is between theism and this aforementioned atheistic philosophical add-on to evolution. Please read by philosopher Alvin Plantinga for a more thorough exploration of this subject.
Those inclined to doubt that Darwinism is well on its way to becoming the mythology of tomorrow are encouraged to read The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry. This book details the discussions of a secretive meeting (the public and media were barred) in Altenburg, Austria, in 2008, at which sixteen elite scientists met to discuss laying the foundation for “post-Darwinian research.” Sam Smith, Editor of Progressive Review, accurately summarizes the reason for the secrecy of this meeting in his commentary which is featured on the back cover:
“The scientific establishment has been somewhat scared of dealing rationally and openly with new evolutionary ideas because of its fear of the powerful creationist movement.”
Biologist Lynn Margulis (winner of the U.S. Presidential Medal for Science, cited above) discusses the persistence of Darwinism, despite its deteriorating scientific basis, with journalist Susan Mazur in The Altenburg 16. 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.”
To sum up, Margulis believes that history will ultimately judge neo-Darwinism as, “A minor twentieth-century religious sect within the sprawling religious persuasion of Anglo-Saxon biology.”
The tendency of scientific communities to tenaciously cling to paradigms which have unrepairable cracks in their foundations (such as Darwinism or phrenology) was also noted by Max Planck, the Nobel-Prize winning physicist credited with founding quantum physics. This caused him to coin what is known as “Planck’s principle,” paraphrased as: