Darwin’s Dyke: So much depends on Evolution: On Philadelphia’s Year of Evolution, Darwin Day & the New Desperation of Darwinism


“So much depends on evolution,” claims yearofevolution.org, a website showcasing the University of Pennsylvania and the Penn Museum’s intent to make a year-long celebration of Darwinism. The claim is common to Darwinist polemics, so it’ll be useful to critique the claims of the site.

First, we should ask, What actually depends on evolution?

Well, that depends on what we mean by evolution, doesn’t it? Do we mean small-scale changes within existing species [microevolution], the observable kind of evolution which no one, including Creationists and Intelligent Designists, disputes? Or do we mean large-scale changes of the proposed “molecules to man” sort [macroevolution or Darwinism] which Darwin speculated might occur, but is not demonstrable?

You see, there is a distinction, despite militant Darwinist Eugenie Scott’s purposely deceptive blanket definition of “change through time,” an equivocation tactic typical of those who feelthey must ardently defend macroevolution to prevent “a Divine Foot” from entering the realm of science, even if they have to lie for Darwin. [1] Though some have been suckered in by Gary Hurd’s 2005 assertion that the macro versus micro distinction is merely a Creationist fabrication [2], it was actually first recognised by Darwinists. For example, in 1937 Theodosius Dobzahanshy wrote in Genetics and the Origin of Species: “There is no way toward an understanding of the mechanism of macroevolutionary changes, which require time on a geological scale, other than through a full comprehension of the microevolutionary processes observable within the human  lifetime. For this reason we are compelled at the present level of knowledge reluctantly to put a sign of equality between the mechanisms of micro- and macroevolution, and proceeding on this assumption, to push our investigations as far ahead as this working hypothesis will permit.” So much for the “that crazy Creation macro versus micro canard again” straw man.

So what depends on macroevolution or Darwinism?

Well, not the sciences as we know them. Most of the pioneers of modern biology either preceded Darwin or, like Gregor Mendel, Richard Owen or Louis Agassiz, rejected his theory. These include:

  • Andreas Vesalius – Anatomy, 1514-1564
  • William Harvey – Physiology, 1578-1657
  • Francesco Redi – Microbiology, 1626-1697
  • John Ray – Botany, 1627-1705
  • Anton van Leeuwenhoek – Microbiology, 1632-1705
  • Robert Hooke – Microbiology, 1635-1703
  • Carolus Linnaeus – systematics, 1707-1778
  • Lazzaro Spallanzani – Reproductive Biology, 1729-1799
  • Caspar Friedrich Wolff – Embyology, 1734-1794
  • Georges Cuvier – Paleontology, 1769-1832
  • Karl Ernst von Baer – Embryology, 1792-1876
  • Richard owen – Comparative Biology, 1804-1892
  • Louis Agassiz – Zoology, 1807-1873
  • Gregor Mendel – Genetics, 1822-1884 [3]

While Dobzhansky claimed that “nothing makes sense except in the light of evolution,” [a claim echoed by yearofevolution.org], it seems that much made sense before the advent of Darwinism and much makes sense if we omit it from the discussion. In fact, a belief in Darwinism actually hampered science, as Mendel’s work was ignored for decades simply because scientists thought they’d found the answer in Darwinism and had no further need to look!

But to be fair, let’s look at the supporting claims made by yearofevolution.org on their Why Evolution? page.

The reasons given are:

  1. Darwin’s 200th birthday [He’s DEAD, guys. So is Elvis] and the 150th anniversary of his theological treatise, Origins.
  2. Evolution is the driving force in biology.
  3. The alleged evolution of viruses.
  4. Evolution helps to explain your pet cat
  5. The existence of bread
  6. Genetically engineered food

Pretty weak, huh?

Let’s be honest, the first one doesn’t mean squat. A commemorative birthday celebration and a book anniversary have nothing to do with whether anything depends on evolution or not.

The second claim I’ve addressed above. Macroevolution [darwinism] isn’t the driving force in biology, although one could make a case for observable and testable microevolution in that regard. This another macro=micro bait and switch. 

The last three all mention things like “artificial selection,” “domestication,” “human intervention” and “genetic engineering.” They relate to short-scale, observable microevolution, at best, not “molecules to man” macroevolution [darwinism]. Most of these processes also speak of intelligent [human] design, not any natural mechanism of evolution. As such, they are rabbit trails and have nothing to do with the topic.

The third claim needs addressing. Do viruses evolve? And does an understanding of evolutionary biology help us combat mutating microbes? The claim that viruses are evolving on a macroevolutionary scale must be assumed, as Dobzhansky pointed out. That viruses are mutating but still remaining viruses [only more resistant to vaccines] is demonstrably microevolution. Like much of biology, virology, immunology and biochemistry all came about before Darwin’s theory AND the established methods for preparing and administering vaccines are completely unaffected by macroevolutionary suppositions – or even suppositions to the contrary. Once again, Darwinists have taken credit where none is due. Noting this trend amongst Darwinists, Jonathan Wells suggests: “Even though Darwin himself was not the culprit, when Darwinists steal credit for scientific breakthroughs to which they contributed nothing, the verb “to darwin” might be appropriate. Generations of breeders have been darwined. Mendel has been darwined. Jenner and Semmelweis have been darwined. Fleming, Florey, Chain and Waksman have been darwined. So have the real pioneers of biology. they’ve all been darwined.” [4]

“So much depends on evolution,” they claim, but what?

The careers and reputations of the scientific status quo.

The exclusion of God from the realm of science.

But little else of consequence.

–Sirius Knott

Notes.

  1. For more on how she wants to dupe folks into Darwinism, without actually appealing to evidence, see http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/fosrec/Scott2.html
  2. He wrote to the Kansas State Board of Education: I am confident that there are other qualified commentators who will have pointed out the absurdity of differentiating ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ evolution – terms which have no meaning outside of creationist polemics.” See http://www.ksde.org/outcomes/sciencereviewhurd.pdf
  3. Jonathan Wells, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design, 2006. pg 77.
  4. Ibid, pp. 80-81.
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4 Comments Add yours

  1. This is a well-written post. Thanks for your insight. I’m still waiting for someone to explain to me how notions of macroevolution have ever produced any real-world benefits.

    As you note, we have seen real-world benefits from those pre-Darwin scientific pioneers. Darwinists seem to think that all science would come to a screeching halt if notions of intelligent design were ever seriously considered. But history is not on their side in that argument.

    http://www.intelldesign.com

  2. Karl says:

    Evolutionists are bluffing when they say their beliefs are scientific. Be sure to look at the list of evolutionists who refuse the debate challenge from Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo. See the list at http://www.lifescienceprize.org/

  3. Mike says:

    Regarding Scott’s “Dealing With Antievolutionism” essay, that you cited:

    Her opening statement says it all: “People don’t oppose evolution because they disagree with the science but because it offends their religious sensibilities.”

    Wow, what a great way to dismiss dissenting views or criticism! Just blame it all on that silly “religion thing”, that people just have to have, you know. I hate to burst the bubble, but there are plenty of people who disagree because the “evidence” offends their logical and rational sensibilities. Leave religion out of it. Leave creationism out of it too. Make it clear that evolution (neither biological nor cosmic) cannot answer the existential questions. “All it is students, really, is a way we imagine this blob of goo here left unnatended for a few billion years, can turn into Joey there sitting in the back of the room. Stick around after class and lets watch!”

    And I’m sorry, but the heliocentrism and flat-earth analogies are just old and stupid. Those things can be observed in real time. I want to observe a rat turning into a man! Can you show me that, please??? Or, can you find one person on this earth who by testing his DNA, it can be determined that he will grow wings, feathers, a beak and talons in a million years from now? I’m mean, people should be able to fly! In the future, our survival might depend on it! I’m sure that great god we worship, “Natural Selection”, will see to it that we get airborne someday. Because our great god, Natural Selection Loves us! It wants us to have life, and have it abundantly! That’s why it created us in the first place! So we can all evolve into that perfect being – that ultimate piece of self-aware meatloaf!

  4. SeatBeltLiberty says:

    Good site. I like this guy and what he says. Thanks.

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