In The Kingdom of Speech, Tom Wolfe Tells the Story of Evolution’s Epic Tumble
Darwinian evolution explains biological trivia — variable finch beaks and the like — but stumbles when it comes to the major innovations in the long history of life. No innovation could be more revolutionary than how homo sapiens, as Discovery Institute biologist Michael Denton puts it, “slipped suddenly into being on the rich, game-laden African grasslands of the late Pleistocene.”
The Kingdom of Speech.jpgThe most distinctive thing about man is of course his gift for language. On that, the great Tom Wolfe masterfully explains in a new book out today, Darwinism takes an epic tumble. Evolution cannot explain the very thing that preeminently makes us human. “To say that animals evolved into man,” writes Wolfe on the last page of The Kingdom of Speech, “is like saying that Carrara marble evolved into Michelangelo’s David.”
Barbara Kay: 160 years into Darwinism, there's one mystery we still can't explain
Darwinism’s puzzling Achilles’ heel is its utter failure to account for, alone amongst the species, humans’ large brains and capacity for both abstract thought and speech.
Back when the world was young, I was taught that four visionaries’ theories shaped modernity: Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein. Of them, only Einstein’s could be subjected to scientific scrutiny. The rest remained hypotheses, resistant to such standard scientific tests as falsifiability, replicability and predictability, but so beautiful in their comprehensiveness that the intelligentsia accepted them for what they were not: settled science.
Time has proven unkind to Freud’s and Marx’s theories, but very kind to Darwinism. Why? Shhh. If you dare to ask, you invite ridicule. Because the minute one expresses doubt about Darwin’s basic premise that all life-forms, including humans, descend from a common ancestor through the simple processes of random, heritable variation and natural selection, one admits the possibility of a counter-theory — Intelligent Design — that is considered anathema to the intelligentsia, since it implies, you know, the G-word.
David Gelernter, a conservative Yale professor of computer science, is suffering extreme ridicule and worse from colleagues for having just published an article in the Claremont Review, “Giving up Darwin.” The title is misleading, because Gelernter does not reject Darwin completely. He says there is no doubt that Darwin “successfully explained the small adjustments by which an organism adapts to local circumstances” through fur density or beak shape or wing style changes. It’s the big thing Gelernter now believes Darwin got wrong: humans.
There are intractable problems with Darwin’s “beautiful” theory. The most obvious is the “Cambrian explosion” of about a billion years ago wherein, during 70-odd million years, a startling variety of new organisms, and for the first time actual animals, appear in the fossil record. Where were their pre-Cambrian closely related ancestors? Nobody knows, and it isn’t the fault of fossil science, which is sophisticated and objective.
With Three Nobel Endorsements, Chemist Marcos Eberlin Advances Case for Intelligent Design
The case for intelligent design begins with biology and paleontology, pushes onward to cosmology, physics — and now chemistry. Marcos Eberlin is the superstar Brazilian chemist and member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences who founded and for a quarter century headed the Thomson Mass Spectrometry Laboratory. His new book, Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose, is out now from Discovery Institute Press.
Foresight carries endorsements not just from one Nobel Prize-winning scientist. No, not just two either. But three. They are Sir John B. Gurdon (Physiology or Medicine, 2012), Gerhard Ertl (Chemistry, 2007), and Brian D. Josephson (Physics, 1973). Of course, accolades from famous people don’t guarantee that the conclusion of the book is right. But at some point the critics need to admit that the accumulating strength of the argument demands, at last, an adequate response.
As Dr. Ertl writes, “Regardless of whether one shares Eberlin’s approach, it is definitely becoming clear that nature is still full of secrets which are beyond our rational understanding and force us to humility.” Yes, indeed.
Do you want to help celebrate the launch of this latest leading scientific voice in the discussion about design in nature? Join us in Seattle on Tuesday, May 7, at the Woodland Park Zoo, at 7:30 pm. More information is here. Meet and hear from Dr. Eberlin, a dynamic speaker will also be touring the United States in coming weeks with speaking events in Irvine, California (May 2), Dallas, Texas (May 5), and Littleton, Colorado (May 6).
The Imperative of “Foresight”
We’ll be sharing more here in coming days about the book, which both recounts Dr. Eberlin’s personal experiences and gives his own perspective on the evidence for design in life. He surveys powerful indications at the micro and macro levels — bacteria, plants, birds, and more — that life’s evolution demonstrates not blind groping but intelligent “foresight,” looking from simpler beginnings to the complex biological wonders we know today.
In case after case, he argues that life purposefully devised “solutions that anticipated problems before they arose,” a sure “hallmark of mind.” The unintelligent Darwinian process lacks the capacity for such engineering but so do other “alternative evolutionary proposals” (neutral evolution, evolutionary developmental biology, natural genetic engineering, a hypothetical multiverse, and other popular proposals).
New PragerU Video on Evolution = Stephen Meyer at Yankee Stadium x 20
It’s just 5 minutes in length and it summarizes two very telling problems with Darwinism, respectively the focuses of Meyer’s first two books, Signature in the Cell and Darwin’s Doubt. You can watch it on YouTube, Facebook, or PragerU’s own site. Just on YouTube, it’s racked up 5,000 comments and climbing. That’s an enormous conversation going on, about just that subject which the Darwin enforcers are most anxious that thoughtful adults and young people should not be discussing: whether the evidence for Darwinian evolution is genuinely persuasive.
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Tod Butterfield reads from the beginning of Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design, by Jonathan Witt and Matti Leisola. It’s an exciting book that tells the story of how one major European scientist who applied the maxim, “Scientists are supposed to investigate mysteries with an open mind; not assume an explanation from the outset.” He came to see that arguments insisting on purely material causes in nature are based on assumptions, not evidence. He noted how history shows that scientific consensus doesn’t always mean scientific truth. And ultimately — in spite of serious opposition from mainstream science — he came to see that the evidence in nature really points to intelligent design.
Your Witness, Mr. Johnson: A Retrospective Review of Darwin on Trial
In Darwin on Trial (Regnery, 1991, 188 pages) Johnson argued that evolutionary biologists remain confident about neo-Darwinism, not because empirical evidence generally supports the theory, but instead, because their perception of the rules of scientific procedure virtually prevent them from considering any alternative view. Johnson cited, among other things, a communiqué from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued to the Supreme Court during the Louisiana “creation science” trial. The NAS insisted that “the most basic characteristic of science” is a “reliance upon naturalistic explanations.”
While Johnson accepted “methodological naturalism” as an accurate description of method in much of science, he argued that treating it as a normative rule when seeking to establish that natural processes alone produced life, assumes the very point that Darwinists (and neo-Darwinists) are trying to establish. Johnson reminded readers that Darwinism does not just claim that evolution (in the sense of change) has occurred. Instead, it purports to establish that the major innovations in the history of life arose by purely natural mechanism — that is, without intelligent direction or design. He thus distinguished the various meanings of the term “evolution” from the central claim of Darwinism, which he identifies as “the Blind Watchmaker thesis,” following Richards Dawkins the staunch modern defender of Darwinism.
Forty Parameters of The Designed Body: Laufmann Reflects on the Complexity of Life
Posted on December 21, 2019
On this episode of ID the Future from the vault, Tod Butterfield interviews Steve Laufmann on Dr. Howard Glicksman’s 81-part EN series, The Designed Body. Listen in as Laufmann reflects on the body’s fight against equilibrium, the Goldilocks principal, and more!
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