Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Anika Smith, the tankwoman in pink of the Discovery Institute is all excited that a Harvard professor has criticized evolutionary theory.
The fact that it is a professor of government, Harvey Mansfield, who has his own little problems with reality (having greeted Sarah Palin's choice as the anchor tied around John McCain's neck with "modified rapture" and having argued for a "mild affirmative action" for conservative professors at Harvard) doesn't bother her one bit. After all, he's from Haaarvaard!
Mansfield's criticism of evolutionary theory is a little strange. It comes in a "review" in Forbes (rapidly becoming the outlet of choice for evolution kooks) of a book by Richard Bribiescas, entitled Men, Science And Evolutionary Theory. I put "review" in quotes because Mansfield barely mentions the book, instead going off on tangents, apparently of his own devising. As far as can be gathered from Mansfield, the book's central theme (which may mark it as a work of evolutionary psychology and, therefore, not necessarily in the mainstream of evolutionary theory) is that:
... since the dominant function of life is to reproduce, one must, in the case of human life focus on the difference between men and women. The difference most impressive to Bribiescas is the one that is old as the hills and was known prior to all evolutionary science, namely that women know for sure that their child is theirs and men do not.
He should hire eunuchs to guard her and behave like a sultan with his harem, giving full vent to his jealousy of her and his hostility to all other males who might be rivals as well as to all females who might be bribed by his rivals.
But Mansfield then goes on to insist that scientists have a different imperative:
[A]s a scientist, a human male would have quite an opposite duty. A man of science does not take the view of his own sex but rises above it to consider the views of both sexes. He would be devoted to science, not to his own private genes. He would not favor his own child at any cost but would support other children if they showed better promise of becoming future scientists--future Darwinians.
Evolutionary theory is at odds with itself: It cannot accept that man is a special being, raised above all others in evolutionary history, and it cannot deny that only man is capable of science, which allows him to transcend his animal selfishness. In closing, I note that I have made no reference to religion but only brought out the inner contradiction of Darwinism.
Unless and until Mansfield or the Discovery Institute can point out a reason, other than a foolish egocentrism, why we should not award the whale the title of having been "raised above all others in evolutionary history" because of its "special" abilities, they are just navel-gazing and mistaking it for the universe.
This means that a a being which would otherwise be a candidate for humanity who is not able to do such-and-such is not really human.
We can wonder what the moral consequences of such a "theory of humanity" might be. Rather than doing that, let me just say that it makes me glad that creationists don't value consistency, and shun theories.
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