Thursday, September 01, 2005

Darwinism Undressed

Physician David Cook (who also has a degree in biology) takes on the entrenched scientific establishment in an op-ed piece entitled Evidence for human evolution scant. Cook’s article comes in light of the current debate over teaching the theory of Intelligent Design (ID) in schools.

Incidentally, recent polls show (see here) that most Americans, even staunch secularists, favor the teaching of creationism in the classroom. Although this is maddening to the science and education establishments, it seems to be the old fashioned American ethic of allowing competition. Let the ideas compete for themselves. Trust the students to sort it out.

Here are some interesting links related to the debate about teaching ID in schools: John Derbyshire – don’t teach ID in science classes, David Klinghoffer – Smithsonian harasses scientist over ID, National Review Editors – Supreme Court errors brought us the ID debate, Peter Wood – the ID debate is a power struggle over the left’s monopoly on education, Isaac Constantine – why is Darwinism tied to atheism and why can’t we discuss it critically in schools?, Deseret News – schools don’t want to teach ID, President Bush Endorses Teaching ID, ACLU opposes freedom to teach ID, Intelligent Design Network resources, Paul McHugh – the problem with laws regulating the teaching of science.

While Cook does not advocate the teaching ID in schools, he articulately pokes holes in the “science” behind the theories of human evolution that are presented as fact in our classrooms. He essentially undresses the theory and points out that the emperor has no clothes. Any time someone does this there are angry cries from those reciting the catechisms of Darwinism. I suspect we will see such replies to Cook’s article.

Cook notes that Nature’s chief scientist Henry Gee, who is a staunch evolutionist, “admits that the whole picture of human evolution presented so convincingly in textbooks is ‘a completely human invention created after the fact, shaped to accord with human prejudices.’”

Cook points out that the theory predates any fossil finds that are thought to corroborate it. The result is that “Any time a fossil is discovered, it's plugged into the existing framework…. This is tautological interpretation, or circular reasoning; fossils are found and immediately placed where the finders "know" they go. Then they're pointed to as primary evidence of the finder's presuppositions.”

Some of Cook’s barbs are quite pointed.
There is no unified, scientific, universally agreed-on model or theory of human evolution. Only the concept that humans must have evolved from lower forms. Take away this concept and all you have for actual evidence is a small collection of fossil bones from ape-like creatures. The pictures and movies you see of pre-historic humans or human-like creatures wandering the plains are just that: pictures drawn from someone's imagination.
Cook concludes that the theories of human evolution taught in schools today fail to rise to Governor Huntsman’s standard of being “based on thorough and rigorous empirical research.”

Again, Cook does not advocate teaching ID in the classroom. Rather, he calls for objective teaching of any theory being taught. “Teaching in school should at least include presentation and discussion of the actual evidence -- and legitimate criticisms of the theory.” Is that too much to ask?


Anonymous said...

You know, there are people who think that the Holocaust never happened. Should we teach "both sides of the controversy" in high school history classes?

Reach Upward said...

No. The point is not to teach every theory including ID and the Flying Spaghetti Monster theory. The point is that what we teach should be taught objectively and critically. The problems with the theory should be exposed and discussed. We don't do that today. We teach Darwinism devoid of objectivity or the ability to address it critically. That is called dogma.