Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Is It Stupid? Then It's Not Darwinism!

From What's Wrong With The World:

Steve Burton quotes Lawrence Auster on Darwinism: How do the Darwinians explain the prevalence of male baldness in much of the white race (the Irish being the big exception)? That a man 50,000 years ago had an accidental genetic mutation which caused him to lose his hair, and the women in his tribe were more attracted to him with his bald head than to all the other hairy men, and so he had more offspring than the hairy ones, and so the genetic mutation for baldness spread through the population?

Burton assures readers: Well, ummm, no, Larry - I don't think that's how "Darwinians" would try to explain male pattern baldness.

My question: Why not? It's an example of sexual selection. Granted, one pulled straight out of the ass. But how many Darwinian explanations are like that anyway?

However, Burton goes on: Heck if I know - but, knowing evolutionary theorists as I do, I'd be willing to bet that they can come up with a dozen or so reasonably plausible hypotheses in about as many minutes.

I'm not sure what Burton's standards for 'reasonable' are. But apparently, his problem with Auster is that he pulled out an example which just sounded silly. And no Darwinian explanation can sound silly. Right?

He then goes on to mention: Apparently, our Larry thinks that the existence of male pattern baldness is simply inexplicable, absent the intervention of the God of the Gaps.

To which I wonder... has it really come to this for so many people? Either 'Darwinism' is true, or it's 'the God of the gaps'? Or perhaps it's something close to the opposite: If God isn't called upon as an explanation, then any other explanation must be Darwinism? Does the word 'Darwinism' really have meaning anymore?

I say this as someone not all that opposed to evolution, even macroevolution. But I've long shaken off the need to feel as if I have to give far too much credence to Darwinian explanations, or even Darwinism as a theory, to prove my willingness to accept those things. The fact that some flat-out YECs think this or that (say, evolutionary psychology) is a load of bull doesn't mean it must be true, or that I'll become a YEC for agreeing with them. I hope others learn the same lesson.

5 comments:

Ilíon said...

Somewhat related:

Back when I was active on ARN, the Darwinists there likes to parrot Dawkins' "argument from personal incredulity" line. Finallly, I pointed out (mocked them, to be blunt) that they were effectively asserting the credulity is a virtue in science. They piped down on that one for quite a while.

Crude said...

You were on Arn? Neat.

But yeah, I've wondered the same about the 'argument from incredulity' charge against Darwinian criticisms, for exactly that reason.

One thing I often see now is the insistence that it's unfair to criticize Darwinism unless someone is offering a competing explanation - which seems just as inane.

Ilíon said...

Yeah, for a number of years. But then, between internet issues (for some reason I don't understand, the combination of my computer and my then dial-up service made it increasingly difficult for me even to access the site) and my growing disgust/dissatisfaton with ARN's policy of bending over backwards to ignore the shenanigans of the Darwinists and atheists (and calling the resulting dishonesty “ministry”), I just lost interest.

Intellectual dishonesty is the surest way to cause me to lose interest in a person or site.

===
One thing I often see now is the insistence that it's unfair to criticize Darwinism unless someone is offering a competing explanation - which seems just as inane.

Of course it’s inane. The object isn’t to get at truth, it’s to protect Darwinism, the Origins Myth of atheism, from critical evaluation.

When this particular line of “argument” is translated into English, it becomes: “Unless you can give me a replacement for Darwinism which is consistent with Darwinism, you have no right or standing to point out the flaws of Darwinism.

cl said...

"To which I wonder... has it really come to this for so many people? Either 'Darwinism' is true, or it's 'the God of the gaps'?"

Yeah, pretty sad, this apparent resurgence of inability to think in nuance. False dichotomies are the devil's primary weapon, with strawmen coming in close second. Let the light shine.

Ilíon said...

Too much light might set the strawmen on fire!