Thursday, February 24, 2011
Oh looky here.
John G. West has whipped out his fun house mirror history of science and is trying to blind the faithful with it. Apparently, it has only been in the last ten years and only at the behest of "New Atheists" that Darwinian evolution has come to the conclusion that evolution, including that of human beings, "is the product of a blind and unguided evolutionary process."
Having set up the "New Atheists" as the bogeymen, he laments the fact that thousands of students at University of Oklahoma "flocked to a lecture by leading new atheist Richard Dawkins," who received cheers and applause. Why does Caiaphas' song from Jesus Christ Superstar keep echoing through my head?
And lest you think atheists are still a pretty despised group in America with relatively insignificant influence compared to Christians, West gives his mirror another powerful twist and the image becomes almost unrecognizable:
The Darwinian view of nature has had a powerful impact on nearly every area of our culture. In public policy, it has encouraged the devaluation of human life. Among Christians, it has led some leading theologians and scientists to argue that God Himself doesn't know how the history of life will turn out. And in science, Darwinian theory has encouraged the censorship of new scientific data as well as discrimination against scientists and students who think nature supplies evidence of intelligent design.
But here is West's funhouse mirror at its craziest:
The good news is that the new atheists are wrong. Far from establishing a blind and purposeless universe, the findings of science increasingly provide powerful evidence that we live in a purpose-driven universe of incredible beauty and design.
If West keep running in such tight circles, he's likely to disappear up his own ass.
Now, that would be fun!
Is that why the DI's "journals" are always feeble, pathetic things? Brave new data are being suppressed, they really can't put it out in their own "journals" and website? That sounds like a good reason for no one to send them any money, even if it's not their fault, rather the fault of the ones holding the pliers to their fingernails and toenails.
You'd think they could actually tell us about some "new data" being censored. Or have the Darwinists managed to enter their heads so that they can't, for instance, do research, nor do anything but lob baseless charges at people?
Wow, that must be some great new data. Even so, the more impressive data have to be the ones that give Darwinists absolute and total power over the IDiots, so that although Muslims in dicatorial regimes can often write whatever they please over the internet, nothing intelligent from the IDiots can ever be found flowing from the DI.
And still they're free to tell endless untruths. The oppression caused by Darwinists must be unique in the history of the world, as rancid ancient lies come unimpeded from the DI, while all intelligent commentary is blocked. Which suggests that there must be something incredibly powerful in Darwinism, if perhaps not the actual biology.
Trust the force, Luke. Trust the force ...
Even the most stalwart of anti-teleologists will still countenance talk of "functions", so I don't think that West is running in the tight circle you take him to be. Rather, the (implicit) argument is that it is vastly more probable that functions of _______ type are the result of purpose than they are of accumulations of contingencies.
The problem for design theory is that they haven't yet been able to specify the relevant probability and the exact nature of the _____ type of function in a non-question-begging way, so that "functions of _____ kind" (irreducible complexity or whatever) just get cashed out as "extremely improbable." So the design argument tells us only that very unlikely events are very unlikely. That's a somewhat different error than saying that they identity functions with purposes are the outset.
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