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Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Philosophical Assessment Of Darwinism

At First Things, Columnist Stephen Webb Gives Intelligent-Design Critic Stephen Meredith an Education


“Darwin, like all moderns, believed that matter was something particular, that matter is composed of small bits of stuff called atoms, and thus it can be pushed from behind, as it were, without being pulled from beyond, by form. His theory of the struggle for survival is a direct result of this isolation of secondary causation. Nature is all pushing and shoving, with no direction or goal. Causation for Darwin becomes a perverse kind of vitalism where violence and chance are the chief manifestations of life.” 

Hence the assertion of Thomas Huxley in Darwin’s day that there is no such thing as sin; there is only nature’s blind struggle for survival.  Hence Karl Marx’s contemporaneous embrace of Darwinism as supporting the inevitable workers’ revolutionary overthrow of individualistic society and its replacement by the collectivistic, communistic political state.

While the referenced article does not mention it, as even Darwinian microbiologists admit, almost all random mutations in DNA or RNA produce harmful effects rather than beneficial improvements.  Thus the likelihood of random mutations cumulatively, over millions of years, producing all observed phyla, genera, and species from a single original living cell is on the order the ratio of the number one to the estimated number of atoms in the entire universe.

The problem for Darwinians is that the odds are vanishingly small for purposeful, directed information with the complexity of DNA and RNA to have arisen by chance.

What seems to be the reality is that purposeful, directed information in the form of DNA, RNA and other cellular components is the real driver of the forms and characteristics of living organisms.  Random mutations are not purposeful, directed information that could control the maturation of a cell or of the organism in which it resides.  To understand the difference, think of a computer’s operating system, a complex system, but nowhere near as complex as ordinary chains of DNA and RNA in a living cell.  Randomly introducing bits of computer code into a computer operating system will not then, or over time, improve the operating system; doing so will most likely stop the operating system from functioning.