From Uncommon Descent, A humanities scholar gets a clue about what Darwinism IS
So what should be said about Darwinism’s implications? Here are some options.
1. It can only describe the natural world, so keep it separate from human concerns, which you learn about in civics class or Sunday school. (Gould’s view.)
2. It explains everything in nature and rules out God, but we can make our own purposes because we evolved to do so. Phew. (Dawkins’ view.)
3. If Darwinism were true it certainly would destroy all human purpose and meaning, and we’d be left with nihilism. Luckily it isn’t true and the irreducible complexity of living things is evidence of a designer. Phew. (Intelligent design.)
4. The neo-Darwinian orthodoxy is too harsh. We need to promote a non-supernatural but still more expansive version of Darwinism that allows for life’s creativity and agency. (Some advocates of a scientifically respectable version of vitalism and some people’s take on the extended evolutionary synthesis.)
5. Darwinism appears to be nihilistic because it is. Its baleful implications for politics and morality are an important part of the theory and the sooner we take the bitter pill the better. (Rosenberg’s view.)
Most science communicators would defend a version of 1 or 2. A lot of science communication is underwritten by a democratic ethos. The public ought to be informed about science so that they can have more agency in their lives and participate in a scientifically advanced democracy. Admirable. But this is exactly the kind of ought statement that science is supposed to be silent about and also the kind that Darwinism—if the hard cases are right—eliminates.Jamie Milton Freestone, “Does Darwinism Conflict with Religion?” at Areo
Hey, here, we were all waiting for Freestone to try out the CLUNK!! on us: “If you believe in God, well, rejoice! God can use Darwinism too!”
Luckily, we didn’t hear it. We are sick of certifying idiots. For one thing, we’ve run out of certificates. And anyhow, Freestone doesn’t sound like an idiot.
He indicates that he is writing a book on “non-supernatural meaning.” It might be worth looking at if he has got so far as to understand that there is a real conflict between Darwinism and any traditional idea of meaning or morality. Lots of Christian evolutionists have yet to figure that out.
Christian evolutionists always stay at the back of the secular bus, with their “me too!” chanting.
But I’m not too worried: they will be increasingly forced to decide between their Christianity and Darwinism, and I’m confident that they will pick the side that they see puts food on their table, and pays for the mortgage.
It is the truth – and the future – that interests me. Not safety and conformity and enjoying the crumbs that fall of the table of the Darwinian – and, thus, pointedly humanistic/secularist – establishment.
(I was going to say “atheistic.” But when the solid majority of Darwinians agree that men can be women if the State says so, then it is obvious that Darwinians do believe in a deity that changes reality merely by saying so.
Just a naturalistic deity, not a supernaturalistic one.)
From the comments:
Freestone writes with a truly objective and neutral viewpoint that has RARELY been seen in “science” writing since 1946. Bravo.
However: I doubt that other science communicators are aiming to improve the public’s ‘participation’ and ‘agency’. They are aiming to imprison and kill heretics.
I know that they would love to do so, and would do so… if there wasn’t a Great Default and an increasing level of tech-driven decentralization bearing down on us.
Two Great Defaults, actually:
- the financial one that destroys the budget of the government (first the local government, and then the national one).
- the demographic one that ages and destroys the economy: at first slowly, then slowly, then *poof* all gone. I like to point to Japan for this, but all of East Asia fits (except North Korea). The Ukraine and Eastern Europe are going down this road as well.
The dreams of eternal power, centralized in the right hands, dies before out eyes.
And I am confident that the vast majority of Christians, lacking eyes of faith, don’t see the doom and impending failure of their enemies. They just see how much power their enemies have today, and fear their Betters a lot more than they fear God.