Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Cautionary Tales

Here is more from David L. Hull's book, Darwin and His Critics: The Reception of Darwin's Theory of Evolution by the Scientific Community (Oh, get used to it! The man 's work is that good!) from p. 451:

One of the most fundamental principles of both deductive and inductive logic is that the goodness of a line of reasoning is independent of the truth of the resulting conclusion. It is possible for a logically impeccable argument to lead to a false conclusion and an incredibly bad argument to lead to a true conclusion. The premises supporting evolutionary theory in Darwin's day were riddled with errors. Many of those errors have since been corrected. Similarly, most of the factual objections have since been met and the theological objections discounted. Nevertheless, it does not follow that those men who opposed evolutionary theory on mistaken factual grounds were narrow-minded bigots. One should also be cautious in condemning those who opposed evolutionary theory for extra-scientific reasons. Although the scientific community is now in general agreement that theological considerations are irrelevant to the acceptance of a scientific theory, other extra-scientific considerations still do enter into science.
Cardboard history lacks all nourishment, no matter which side it is made to serve.


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