Against Darwinism

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    Bracht, John

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    Natural Selection as an Algorithm: Why Darwinian Processes Lack the Information Necessary to Evolve Complex Life

    "...[T]he central claim of Darwinism is that we do not need them—that we can explain the complexity of life in terms of the simple fitness function of natural selection. But computer simulations of evolution have shown the inadequacies of such a simplistic model. There is no universal problem-solver, and each fitness function must be carefully tuned to select for the desired outcome. The complex design produced by the algorithm must be programmed into the fitness function from the outset. In defiance of Darwin’s vision of a bottom- up, step-by-step route to complex life forms, genetic algorithms are demonstrating that the complexity and order inherent in life is not reducible to simpler components. The complexity and design of life is holistic; it is top-down, not bottom-up. And that concept is profoundly non-Darwinian."
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    Clark, Stephen R.L.

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    Deconstructing Darwin

    "It is not irrational to criticize Darwinian theory, as being, in its developed form, an incitement to crime. The message of Darwinism in the abstract is that species are not natural kinds, and that there is no reason to expect ‘evolutionary progress’. In its concrete manifestations, in Darwin’s writings as well as in his followers’, it is more usually assumed that the poor, sick, savage - and Irish - are ‘unfit’, and will be eliminated soon...Even a more sociable Darwinism...insists that we can only ‘really’ mind about our kin and those few others who might do us good, and should for that reason act to prevent the poor or sick or ‘savage’ from breeding...These ethical effects do not flow from the bare bones of Darwinian theory..., but they are so entangled with Darwinism as this is popularly presented that we have good reason to complain when our children are taught such ‘Darwinism’ as the only rational theory."
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    Hirsch, Roland F.

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    Darwinian Evolutionary Theory and the Life Sciences in the 21st Century

    "Evolutionary theory has had a major impact on the development of biology since the appearance of On the Origin of the Species in 1859. Over the century following publication of that book, experiments and field observations led to successive refinements of the Darwinian theory of evolution, and it was confidently proclaimed as the foundation of biology in the Darwin Centennial year of 1959. Such confidence is not warranted today. New technologies developed in the past four decades have revealed to us the chemistry underlying biological processes. These technologies have revealed that life is far more complicated than was imagined in 1959, and that much of its complexity cannot easily be addressed by existing evolutionary theory. Indeed some of the major discoveries in the life sciences presented in this article were hardly anticipated by evolutionary theory, but instead came out of advances in experimental technologies."
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    Nelson, Paul A.

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    Jettison the Arguments, or the Rule? The Place of Darwinian Theological Themata in Evolutionary Reasoning

    "It is generally held that evolutionary theory, like other natural sciences, employs necessarily a methodology according to which one cannot in scientific reasoning refer to 'God,' 'the Creator,' 'creation' (understood as the act of a divine intelligence), or other theological concepts. Evolutionary biologists cite a variety of arguments in support of this view, or argue that in all events methodological naturalism (as the view has come to be known) stands very much at the foundation of the modern scientific outlook. Thus it is a point of considerable interest that, while presenting the 'fact' of evolution (in writing introductory textbooks or encyclopedia articles, for instance), or in reasoning about organisms generally, many evolutionary biologists appeal to theology, or to aesthetic and teleological judgments (e.g., 'optimal design,' where the designing cause is an optimally acting and all-knowing intelligence) functionally indistinguishable from theology."
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    Plantinga, Alvin

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    Evolution, Neutrality, and Antecedent Probability: A Reply to Van Till and McMullen

    "...I'd like to thank Professors Van Till, Pun, and McMullin for their careful and thoughtful replies. There is a deep level of agreement among all four of us; as is customary with replies and replies to replies, however, I shall concentrate on our areas of disagreement. In the cases of Van Till and McMullin, this may give an impression of deeper disagreement than actually exists. In the case of Pun it leaves me with little to say except Yea and Amen; I find no serious disagreement between us."
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    Plantinga, Alvin

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    On Rejecting the Theory of Common Ancestry: A Reply to Hasker

    "I wish to respond to William Hasker's 'Evolution and Alvin Plantinga' (Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, Sept. 1992, pp. 150 ff.). Hasker takes issue with several things I said; I am tempted to engage in lengthy point-by-point self-exculpation, but I shall resist, confining myself to a couple of points of general interest. Some of the issues involved seem to me to be extremely important with respect to the health and welfare of the Christian intellectual community."
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    Plantinga, Alvin

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    When Faith and Reason Clash: Evolution and the Bible

    "My question is simple: how shall we Christians deal with apparent conflicts between faith and reason, between what we know as Christians and what we know in other ways, between teaching of the Bible and the teachings of science? As a special case, how shall we deal with apparent conflicts between what the Bible initially seems to tell us about the origin and development of life, and what contemporary science seems to tell us about it?"
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    Stark, Rodney

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    Fact or Fable?: Digging up the Truth in the Evolution Debate

    "I write as neither a creationist nor a Darwinist, but as one who knows what is probably the most disreputable scientific secret of the past century: There is no plausible scientific theory of the origin of species! Darwin himself was not sure he had produced one, and for many decades every competent evolutionary biologist has known that he did not. Although the experts have kept quiet when true believers have sworn in court and before legislative bodies that Darwin's theory is proven beyond any possible doubt, that's not what reputable biologists, including committed Darwinians, have been saying to one another."
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    Stove, David

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    So You Think You Are a Darwinian?

    "What is needed to make someone an adherent of a certain school of thought is belief in all or most of the propositions which are peculiar to that school, and are believed either by all of its adherents, or at least by the more thoroughgoing ones. In any large school of thought, there is always a minority who adhere more exclusively than most to the characteristic beliefs of the school: they are the ‘purists’ or ‘ultras’ of that school. What is needed and sufficient, then, to make a person a Darwinian, is belief in all or most of the propositions which are peculiar to Darwinians, and believed either by all of them, or at least by ultra-Darwinians. I give below ten propositions which are all Darwinian beliefs in the sense just specified. Each of them is obviously false: either a direct falsity about our species or, where the proposition is a general one, obviously false in the case of our species, at least."
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    Wells, Jonathan

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    Homology in Biology: A Problem for Naturalistic Science

    "Before Darwin, homology was defined morphologically and explained by reference to ideal archetypes, - that is, to supernatural design. Darwin re-formulated biology in naturalistic rather than idealistic terms, and explained homology as the result of descent with modification from a common an-cestor. Descent with modification, however, renders design unnecessary only if it is due entirely to naturalistic mechanisms. Two such mechanisms have been proposed, genetic programs and developmental pathways, but neither one fits the evidence. Without an empirically demonstrated naturalistic mechanism to account for homology, design remains a possibility which can only be excluded on the basis of questionable philosophical assumptions."
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    Wells, Jonathan

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    Survival of the Fakest

    "Most of us assume that what we hear from scientists is comparatively trustworthy. Politicians might distort or shave the truth to support a preconceived agenda, but scientists, we are told, deal with facts. Sure they might sometimes get it wrong, but the beauty of science is that it’s empirically testable. If a theory is wrong, this will be discovered by other scientists performing independent experiments either to replicate or disprove their results. In this way the data are constantly reviewed and hypotheses become widely accepted theories. So how do we explain such a pervasive and long-standing distortion of the specific facts used to support evolutionary theory? Perhaps Darwinian evolution has taken on a significance in our culture that has little to do with its scientific value, whatever that may be."