The above video, Mathematical Challenges to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution, is 57 minutes, and I therefore do not ask you to watch it, since most of you otherwise have better things to do. I have featured this video before, but as I recall, only in comments. I wanted to give it broader exposure. I found it worth my time, yesterday and the day before, for a second look.
In it, Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute does an excellent and inquisitive interview of three scholars, David Berlinski, author of The Deniable Darwin, David Galernter, Yale professor and author of The Tides of Mind: Uncovering the Spectrum of Consciousness and many other works, and Stephen Meyer, author of Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design. I have read none of these works, did not even know of them, but am chomping at the bit.
If you have read Origin of the Species, by Charles Darwin, you might note that he formed very large conclusions based on very little evidence. None of the men in the above video express any disrespect for him, as he was a man of his time and the science then, and was unable to embrace the immense improbability of gene mutation having any part in the making of species on our planet. Darwin noted that the beaks of birds would be reshaped due to isolation of various species in locations where an improvement in survival chances could be had by that change. But a bird was still a bird, and farm animals remained unchanged, sheep remaining sheep and cows cows. The idea of species becoming other species could only be embraced in terms of vast periods of time and slow changes due to mutations.
Darwin offered us nothing in terms of the origins of the vast array of species that have come and left his planet. The men in this video at the beginning speak of the “Cambrian explosion” wherein thousands of species appear in the fossil record with nothing before. The just arrive. They also speak in almost awe at the mathematics of mutation, and how it is for all practical purposes impossible for Darwin’s evolution to have taken place. Something else is in the works. (Immanuel Velikovsky speculated that radiation plays a large role, specifically when the planet is under assault by comets.)
There is talk in this video of intelligent design, but not from a religious perspective. It is just a grasping at trying to understand things that we do not understand, the most central of which is consciousness. No genius am I, and I walked away from it not understanding for a second how we came to be. I am not far behind the three real geniuses who participate in the interview.
(Neo-Darwinism has become a de facto religion now, and Gelernter speaks of it. He says his colleagues are respectful of him personally, but that scientifically they excoriate him and his views, and anyone like him.)
You will benefit far more by watching the video that from reading my thoughts about it. Of course, that is your choice. In watching it, I am reminded of my mother Mary Eileen, a simple woman and not well read, who would sit through William F. Buckley’s Firing Line every Sunday, saying only that she enjoyed watching good minds at work. She would have objected to this video, most likely, in that it does not pay enough homage to religion. But she would have watched it.
19 thoughts on “Charles Darwin could not have known …”
I have a copy of his book mentioned but I’ve not read it (and may never) but one thing I have heard… he tasted every animal he discovered.
I get the feeling that in order to really understand something, you have to get them inside.
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I may actually watch this whole video.
When I went back to school for my undergraduate degree, we presented arguments on various topics in my Metaphysics class. Then as now, I leaned toward consciousness as being foundational to the material world, though I am not a genius and cannot argue my case in a persuasive or even coherent way. One of my fellow students, though, was a big fan of Darwin and spoke approvingly of how Darwin warned his researchers that, in the course of their research, they may find the evidence leading them toward the possibility of intelligent design, or at least something mysterious that went beyond the scope of a materialist viewpoint. He told the researchers to ignore such thoughts or speculations. The student who told us this seemed to think the message was clear: If Darwin said don’t think about that, we shouldn’t be thinking about that, and anyone who does is scientifically ignorant. I suggested that telling researches to ignore evidence and close off lines of inquiry that might disprove a theory was exactly the opposite of science as I understood it. He just shook his head at me with condescending pity.
Ha, that’s too hilarious. It’s not as if the mainstream doesn’t have a ton of great quotes and icons championing free inquiry and all the individualistic Enlightenment ideals, but somehow people are hardwired to toss all that and just retain these saints on pedestals.
One of my cartoonist friends is a fairly big science buff, and whenever we discuss some topic his arguments often seem to boil down to “my authority figure is better than your authority figure” or “I bet there’s something wrong with the authority figure you cited.”
Darwin’s theory (underline theory) has a timeline problem. The evolutionary changes he suggests could not possibly have happened in a random fashion in the timeframe, which, I must admit, is unknown. The idea of synchronicity is not material or conscious, but would possibly help explain how mutation(s) could have formed new from old changes in the estimated time (millions of years) it allegedly happened. I’m no statistician, but is kind of makes some sense to me.
Interesting, Steve. I’ve never heard of synchronicity used conceptually that way. Thanks.
I now remember now that I stumbled onto this notion reading both (separate texts) Jung and Pauli. I have not read the article above, but it looks like it may be on a similar path.
I recently came across a wildly novel theory for the introduction of new species that is nevertheless (imo) quite compelling – hybridization.
As you say above, the case for incremental selection and mutations leading to new species is not very strong. It has long seemed to me that they play a sophistic trick of conflating microevolution with macroevolution. There is evidence of the former, in the variability of dog breeds for instance, but the latter is qualitatively different. The names imply they are the same in principle, just a matter of degree, which confuses the issue. For the sake of clarity, they ought to have more separate and distinct labels.
YES! I, too, landed on hybridization after discarding neo-darwinism. McCarthy makes an incredibly compelling case.
He ruined bacon for me though, the bastard.
Berlinski is fucking amazing and hilarious, he destroys Darwin so easily and so irrefutable, and with such razor wit, watch his interviews they’re fantastic. Kent Hovind is another good one to watch – lots of videos where he goes to universities and just utterly devastates the faculty (and stufents) and their “rebuttals” are pathetic and very telling.
Once one realizes Darwinism is crap just like everything else, one naturally searches for an alternative. My favorite, and current conclusion as to the origin of Humans and most other (but not all) species is the work of Eugene McCarthy (no not that one, the other one) and his theories around hybridization.
Thrilling stuff. I never would have thought I’d be telling people, and myself, that we’re all just chimp-pigs living in the concave earth, but well… here we are…
I came across his work on stolenhistory.net in usselo’s big thread on his IHASFEMR theory. You might be interested in the novel way usselo incorporates McCarthy’s ideas, he has his own spin on it.
I haven’t read McCarthy’s whole book unfortunately. He has a theory of human origins, as hybrid of two species – but does he view hybridization as the main mechanism of evolution in general? That’s how all species originate in his view, or just some?
Darwin called his magnum opus “On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection”.
I have two main logical problems with that.
By definition, selection is the act of choosing something among a certain supply of different things.
They say life life is based on (genetic) information.
According to Darwin’s theory, how did the original information to select from come about in the first place?
At each selecting step you’re left with less and less things to select from, ergo selection invariably causes a progressive reduction of the original stock, or, in other words, natural selection is basically an information’s terminator.
Given that turning an amoeba into an ape entails adding up a lot of information, how can an increase in information be the result of something that can only do exactly the opposite? (*) (**)
(*) The idea that random copying errors could be a source of new meaningful information is so ludicrous it’s not even worth of attention.
(**) Increasing information by mixing it up from different sources (hybridization, whatever it means, in any shape and form) doesn’t solve the problem of how the original parental information came about.
If I understand the official theory well enough, I believe they would say “mutations” account for the new information. Perhaps you mean the same thing by “copying errors,” although “mutation” suggests that there could be some more guiding force in play, such as an epigenetic effect of parental environment that is then “responded to” in the genes of their offspring. I agree that taken as simple spontaneous error, mutation is an absurd mechanism for creating new information/ species.
Your last point about hybridization is why I asked above if McCarthy’s book addressed that larger point. Even if some species, eg humans, arose from hybridization, what accounts for their parent species. It can’t be “hybridization all the way back” so to speak.. Usselo who I mentioned postulates a group of extra dimensional entities who can play in our level of reality, and are bio engineers of a sort (in my understanding of his views.) I guess this is a flavor of intelligent design, although to see how he’s elaborated it, it’s quite compelling to consider.
The notion of mutations being some sort of guided process (how? by what?) instead of random copying errors (or other random accidents) goes against one of the main darwinian dogmas, i.e. that evolution is prompted only by natural selection acting on pre existing random intraspecific variations.
It was soon painfully obvious that intraspecific variability could never account for macro evolution, so when neodarwinism came around adding genetics to the mess they tried to rescue the sinking boat by introducing mutations as the source of new information, but still having to stick to the original dogma, lest someone could read “guided mutations” as a notion dangerously akin to intelligent design.
Yes we have to distinguish between neo Darwinism – or perhaps they’re calling it the “modern synthesis” – and the original theory. I was thinking of the modern synthesis in my comment, although you’re probably right that they don’t subscribe to any form of guided mutation – except maybe around the margins, as I have heard of “new findings” in epigenetics fairly recently.
I’m guessing they just view mutations as introducing new information.. just sort of spontaneously vomiting up new “code,” which is then acted on by natural selection. If someone knows the official view better, please add it.
My own view is that there seems to be some limited epigenetic responsiveness to environment built into species. This accounts eg for bears taking on a white coat in polar environments and brown or black in temperate zones. They’re still “bears,” but nature has given the species some kind of genetic or innate flexibility to “adapt” to conditions.
The sophistry is to take this “microevolution” and claim it as evidence of macroevolution, saying that over time micro changes add up to macro. But as dog breeding shows, there are limits to selection. They can produce wild variability, but not break the species barrier. (Unless McCarthy is right about hybridization, and even then, as you say, new information would not really be introduced into the overall “gene pool.”)
Perhaps I’m wrong even to assert microevolution and “species flexibility” – this was my view prior to reading usselo and McCarthy, who have upended my views. I’m still making my own little synthesis at this point. But possibly, just as we breed dogs, some unknown entities have bred or bio-engineered us, and all life, and they artistically or humorously gave the polar bear his white fur.
The simple truth is that no one has the faintest idea how life came about.
But the same applies to the whole universe, isn’t it?
@ayokera kimura Yes! Exactly. Perfectly expressed.
I wrote a short paper back when I was around 19 in community college for an English Comp class titled “Intelligent Design In Schools” and brought up this exact point (re: evolution being the sloughing off of non-useful information, never the creation of new and novel information), among other points.
The purpose of my paper was simply to show that teaching alternative theories to the origins of life was not unconstitutional and not a violation of religion vs state. My teacher, like all teachers, was very liberal and I expected a big fat F simply for not liking my tone or subject matter, but she gave me an A and wrote “You seem to be very passionate about this subject” – haha! If I had written this for a biology class I’m sure I would have gotten that F.
This topic is near and dear to my heart and it’s funny it’s being brought up here now as this was one of my first “awakenings” at a young age into the fraud that is modern science and led me into questioning just about everything else I had been taught.
Mark, I even cited this article by the same Stephen Meyer you mentioned above in my paper: https://www.discovery.org/a/3059/
Here’s a relevant quote from that little paper I wrote- mind you, I was young and this was not a scientific paper by any means – it was for English Comp class, an opinion piece. The teacher just wanted to see that I could form a coherent sentence and reference my sources properly lol. The run on sentences are tiresome but it seems nothing much has changed in my writing since then 😛
It seems this reply has mysteriously disappeared after a short while, I’m posting it again.
Kudos to you Sarah, for having been so sharp at 19. For me, it took getting to a much older age to start seeing through their smoke and mirrors.
Luckily you didn’t get an F in that school, but sadly we all know how in real life a big fat F awaits anyone making troubles with the system.
Anyway, it never ceases to amaze me how easy is to see that the emperor is naked, once you look at it with new eyes.
Herbert Dingle bursted Einstein’s pompous Relativity balloon fifty years ago with just one logical question.
Even if there is some merit in Darwin’s theory, natural selection cannot happen without a natural intelligence/consciousness. An intelligence that must have identified benefit in a change and decided to run with it.
Whether such a change resulted in humans is speculative. What is not speculative is that at one point in our physical being we were a sperm fertilised egg. That fertilised egg split in two, then four etc. And while splitting and making eyes and ears, hair and toenails, polymorphic traits and so forth those increasing numbers of cells knew not to put a foot at the end of an arm etc – a penis on a woman no matter what the fashion.
As we know after the past two and a half years the cells in our bodies communicate with each other internally – disease/detox, and with bodies in close proximity – epidemics/group detox. And that kind of communication requires a shared intelligence.
An intelligence we would get to know more about if we ever stop wasting our brain cells on chicken and egg type debates about evolution versus an external God.