Monday, January 28, 2008

What's your opinion of the Darwin Discussion?

I'm speaking, of course, of the Darwin discussion over at VFR. As many of you already know, this discussion, like many other VFR discussions, is an ongoing discussion which goes through intermittent phases of pulse and pause.

Generally speaking, since I'm not that "scientifically minded" and certainly not well educated or particularly adept in the various branches of science, I'm nonetheless very interested in these sorts of discussions, primarily for their educational and mental exercise values, and because I think that whatever the general consensus tends to be has profound implications for our survival as a distinct nation with a distinct culture and heritage of liberty and virtue and Christian Self-Government. As I've said countless times before, "worldview is everything."

The discussion seems to be in a state of "pause" at the moment, so let me take the opportunity to point you in the direction of the relevant entries on the most recent installment of this wonderfully enlightening, ongoing discussion, just in case you've missed it, or part of it:

The current pulse of the discussion was established here, I think, where Mr. Auster responds to his critics at the Inverted World blog. The discussion then moves here, where a reader challenges Auster's statement that Darwin provided biology with a non-teleological explanation of adaptation. Then, literally hours after the foregoing article was posted, the discussion moves to a new entry here, as VFR reader Sage McLaughlin, commenting on the other article, strikes a chord with Mr. Auster. Here the discussion continues yet is temporarily interrupted by accusations against Mr. Auster which he and Ben W. speak to.

Moving on, the discussion gets new impetus here, as Auster takes on yet further challenges to his positions at the Inverted World. And finally, the discussion culminates here with Auster maintaining his original position that Darwinian Evolutionism requires vastly too many simultaneous coordinated "chance" occurances and random mutations within species, between the sexes, within a very tightly confined geographical area, in order to be even remotely possible.

With regard to that last "culminating" article, I had a short discussion with Mr. Auster on one of his points which I had thought of while contemplating the points in one of the earlier articles in the discussion. I'll conclude this post with that short discussion between myself and Mr. Auster:

TM writes to Auster:

You write [in The Evolution of internal fertilization of vertebrates, cont.]:

"Moreover, not only must these perfectly mutually complementary mutations occur in a male and female member of the same species at the same time, but they must occur in the same place."

Yes, I thought of this the other day while reading the other article; that this would have to occur within a very small geographical area. While contemplating how the Darwinists might answer this, I concluded that they might say something along the lines that the species in question, through evolutionary processes, of course, adapted itself to a small confined geographical area where certain conditions (heat, light, food supply, etc...) favored its adaptation, its ability to "survive", and so on and so forth, so it makes sense that this all happened in the same area. Either that, or, we have internet dating now, so it seems plausible enough. ;-)

By the way, did I say earlier that this is "a bit over my head?" Let me rephrase: this is WAY over my head!

LA replies to me:

For someone whose head it's way over, you just went to the correct point: they will say that according to allopatric speciation (speciation in another, isolated place away from the main population of the species), a small group of the species is in a different niche where evolution takes place more rapidly.

Ok, but here we're talking about literally the same pond. :-)

Two points on Mr. Auster's reply to me: First, had he not defined the term for me in parenthesis, I wouldn't have known what the hell he meant by "allopatric speciation." Second, though I freely admit that I'm not nearly as knowledgable of Darwinism and its teachings as I'd like to be, I'm not completely ignorant about Darwinism and what it teaches fundamentally. I'm sure I've read about allopatric speciation before, though I don't recall the precise terminology. In other words, I highly doubt that it was just blind luck that I hit on the right point, and I know for certain that it wasn't due to an over-abundance of mental aptitude. I was just making a point that, more than likely, I've seen someone else make before. I simply don't recall having ever had an original thought. That I've ever had one, to my mind, is about as likely as the "truth" of Darwinism.

Notwithstanding all of that, let me conclude by thanking Mr. Auster for a very interesting lively discussion on the difficulties of Darwinian Evolutionism. I look forward to the next round of discussions on this important topic.


TGGP said...

I saw your message in Auster's "Miscellany". The idea you are speaking of is known as "The God of the Gaps"