In the first part of this series, we examined how evolutionists have migrated away from an evidence-based argument and a willingness to debate the issue publicly in favor of mockery, insulted dogma and personality cults.
:: Read Part 1: Darwin’s Glass Chin
The second part of this series discussed why NeoDarwinism was necessary to save Darwin’s original theory and surveyed some of the fatal problems of NeoDarwinism. We noted that the Modern Synthesis’ artfully erected house of cards becomes more imperiled the more they try to stack things in their favor.
:: Read Part 2: Climbing Mount Absurdity
In this final part of the series, we’ll take a look at how evolution must change in order to avoid falsification. You see, there’s a reason why evolution is being coddled behind Big Science’s High Wall of Protection. They realize that a critical examination of evolutionary theory in its present state would not go well for them. You see, they never taught our schoolchildren to think critically when it came to evolution. Only believe, child. Only believe. Perhaps that’s their truest problem: they had a monopoly on the public school science education; since they had our children, they figured the fight would be over by attrition. They got sloppy. They got lazy.
Then the Big Bad Wolf of Intelligent Design caused them quite a bit of trouble. Blew ’em right out of their cozy beds. Now the Neo-darwin house of cards is threatening to come down. They may have gotten a clearly biased activist judge to block ID from being presented in classrooms, but the challenges ID presents to evolutionism remain whether a judge decreed it unscientific or not. Is science defined in courtrooms or laboratories? Is it refined via peer-review or judicial review? Don’t be fooled. Evolutionists know better; they just wanted to keep that High Wall of Protection around their fragile House of cards.
There are some within the evolutionist camp who have come to the same conclusions we have about NeoDarwinism. Once again, they propose that the theory of evolution itself must evolve. Some suggest it must be modified, like Gould when he suggests we tack on punctuated equilibrium, or at least extended. An Extended Evolutionary Synthesis [EES] (aka Post-darwinism or the PostModern Synthesis [PMS]) has been proposed by Massimo Pigliucci and his Altenberg 16 (“The Altenberg 16,” a name coined by Susan Mazur, was compromised of 16 biologists and theoreticians invited to a meeting at the Konrad Lorenz Institute [Altenberg, Austria] by Pigliucci for the purpose of discussing the future of evolutionary theory) to replace the Modern Synthesis [MS] aka NeoDarwinism. A lot of what they proposed as part of EES has already been on the table for decades. EES has met with resistance and criticism from old school MS proponents, mostly because Creationists have recognized that EES is, in part, an admission that the grand theory of microbes-to-man evolution via common descent needs extensive modifications. Here’s how I see it: They’ve finally realized that the Emperor’s New Clothes are VERY much less than advertised; but rather than admit the old bird’s naked and risk possible hostility, they’ve suggested that his new clothes are some five minutes out-of-fashion. (Pity they keep hiring the same tailors!)
So what will evolutionary theory look like in the future?
Just as intangible, I’m afraid. In keeping with our theme, perhaps I ought to have asked how will it be (reverently and imaginatively) described?
I propose that in order to avoid falsification, the New Evolution must include the following:
- Self-ordering principle
- Multiverse Theory
- Gaia Ecology, or Organism Earth
- Evolution as Progress
The first three components are what we might call foundational elements; they’re not part of the grand theory of evolution per se, but the New Evolution can’t even be considered without them. So they’re essential to the Post-darwin evolution even if not part of the theory itself.
The next component, Evolution as Progress, is a philosophical aspect of evolution.
The last two elements deal with of evolutionary theory itself.
Let me comment briefly on each:
- It will almost certainly include some magical, fortuitous and utterly undefined element of self-organization, what we might call an inherent self-organizing principle. *Something* in nature, the very fabric of our universe, simply organizes itself and has no choice but to organize itself as we see it, because the particular universe we inhabit happens to have these self-ordering properties. Since I wrote the draft of this post several months ago, Stephen Hawking’s new book has dramatically confirmed my “notebook prophecies.” (I wish I had published this earlier!) I believe that post-Darwinists will invoke as evidence for this principle such patterns in nature that follow mathematical precision (viz. the Fibonacci sequence) like the recurrent spiral patterns found in ferns, conch and ammonite shells, galaxies and twinned in sunflowers. Rather than giving credit to their Creator, they’ll be willfully ignorant of the intelligent fingerprint evidenced by such phenomena and instead propose that such things are efficiencies necessitated and recycled by this self-ordering principle. Gould and Eldredge proposed self-organized criticality (a self-ordering principle married to chaos theory) as possible mechanism for punctuated equilibrium.
- The multiverse mythos will be particularly important to the credibility of this new evolution. One might even call it foundational. Of course, multiverse theory has been around long before Stephen Hawking endorsed it, but his use of it to arbitrarily justify the existence of this universe’s fine-tuned laws of physics without the need for a Designer is stated in such a way as evolutionists’ collective itching ears have longed to hear for some time. With infinite universes [aka an eternal multiverse], causality is a non-issue and the naturalist is free to state that the properties of the universe are not improbable if this just happens to be the one universe with these properties out of infinite possibilities. This is a shoulder-shrugging dismissal of important scientific questions built on the foundation of science fiction, but expect to see it more or less assumed in future discourse.
- The third foundational feature of the New Evolution is Gaia ecology. I say “is” instead of “will be” because this element of Post-darwin evolution is pretty much already in place. A self-ordering principle will make Gaia ecology all the more significant; Earth will be viewed as something of a super-organism, rather like Marvel’s Ego the Living Planet or james Cameron’s Pandora without the bother and inconvenience of Earth being sentient or self-aware. The entire planet will be viewed as something akin to a living cell on a monstrous scale. Like an organism, it possesses some sort of self-preservation mechnism, an intimately interconnected system of naturally occuring checks and balances, but humans have upset the balance. The living planet and the dying or ill planet motif will go hand-in-hand. I believe that post-Darwin evolution will have us go from encouraging people to Go Green to mandating it. Pro-evo media like the Discovery Channel and Natural Geographic are already pushing this sort of Green propaganda. Our schools also push the Green agenda to a level that makes one wonder if we’re not headed for a generation of religious humanism wedded to pantheistic neomysticism. The evos correctly note that man is the problem – the reason the Earth suffers [ever since Adam], but they also claim we are of no more importance than an endangered fungus, which is hubris. Already alluded to by some evolutionists, man will be cast in a light of having transcended evolution, therefore representing Earth’s greatest danger as well as it’s greatest hope.
- The philosophical emphasis, if you will, of the Modern Synthesis is nihilistic at best. The vogue of evolution proposes that all life came about by blind, chance common descent via natural selection, as popularized by Richard Dawkins. This was not always the case. Evolution was once viewed as progress with mankind representing the pinnacle of the process. If the ramifications of a self-ordering principle are critically explored, the pendulum will swing away from purposeless, directionless evolution back to evo as progress. Month’s ago when I penned the draft of this article, I wrote, “This, they’ll say, negates the Creationist charge of evolution’s free lunches. It didn’t happen by chance. No, it happened by necessity, because of the universe’s inherent self-ordering principle.” In Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design, he affirms the strong anthropic principle, but not a Creator. One reviewer commented that “the strong anthropic principle suggests, according to Hawking and Mlodinow, ‘that the fact that we exist imposes constraints not just on our environment but on the possible form and content of the laws of nature themselves.’ In other words, our very existence is proof that the laws of nature must behave in an extremely narrowly tailored way, which must allow for the development of intelligent life.” But then Hawking and Mlodinow turn around and state that God simply isn’t necessary given the properties of the universe. I suggest that the strong anthropic principle flows much better with a progressivist evo than a nihilistic evo. After all, if a self-ordering principle exists, the universe could not be said to have developed by purposeless, pitiless, directionless processes. Rather, a self-ordering principle evidenced by mathemetical precision, fixed laws and a strong anthropic principle suggests progressivist evo. Again, progressivist evo suggests that man is more or less the pinnacle of evolution. While nihilistic evo commented on the transcendence of man, this transcendence takes on new significance in a progressivist paradigm. Nihilism has no nonarbitrary reason to assert that man ought to be responsible for the planet, though nihilistic evos often insist we Go green anyhow. The idea of evolution as progress suggests that man is here on purpose; it seems rude to leave the world that made us what we are to its ruin. One further note: It seems inevitable that evo as progress will pave the way for a new wave of religious humanism.
- Saltations will undoubtedly be a part of the new evolution. Gradualism, the mainstay of both Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism is going by the wayside for the most part. Why? Because we observe speciation, but we also observe these huge geological periods of stasis. Theories very much like Goldsmidt’s “hopeful monsters” or Gould’s punctuated equilibrium will be proposed as solutions to the problem of the lack of abundant, uncontested transitional forms in the fossil record. Gould has famously noted that the fossil record evidences stasis [a dog is still a dog and recognizably so, be it a wolf, English bulldog or a weiner dog] and sudden appearance [a creature appears “all at once and fully formed” with no evidence of encestral forms], so saltations [sudden evo leaps] are required to explain the LACK of predicted numerous transitional forms, not to explain the evidence as it exists [that microbes-to-man evo simply doesn’t happen]. It’s an example of the faith evos put in their theory despite the evidence rather than because of it. As mentioned, Gould and Eldredge proposed self-organized criticality as a possible mechanism for punctuated equilibrium, so it’s possible that some type of chaos theory of evolution might become popularized, particularly to overcome the problem of chemical evolution and abiogenesis. A brief note: modular evolution is a type of saltation event.
Of course, I could be wrong about the shape of things to come. Neodarwinism might prove too militant to allow change, for example. Since the evos have an unConstitutional monopoly in our schools to teach a central tenet of religious humanism, they might very well decide they can rely on media propaganda [eg. the Discovery Channel, PBS, et al], activist judges, evolution enforcement groups like the NCSE and institutionalized indoctrinationation. It’s worked pretty well so far. But it’s not science.
I think this is the shape of things to come. The Emperor’s New Evolution will be just as thread-bare as the last outfit, of course, but this is likely how they’ll describe it.
A few closing thoughts:
What does it say when they will not debate their critics but suggest to one another that the theory must be modified or extended somehow? It says they’re full well committed to this charade. Making alterations on a garment made of nonsense and air still won’t give it any substance.
And what does this war chest of propaganda, indoctrination, intimidation tactics, mockery and that ever-present High Wall of Protection around evolution say about the strength and viability of the theory? It says the emperor hasn’t any clothes on no many how many people hold it so.