Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Darwin Bicentenary Part 13: Is Evolution a History, a Mechanism, or a Conspiracy?

The paradoxes, ironies, and questions deepen at Uncommon Descent. Here on UD is a very interesting article revealing that social realities seldom fit a simple pattern. It tells us how Hegel, years before Darwin’s "Origin of Species", appeared to deny the existence of evolution. My understanding of Darwin’s contribution, however, was that he tendered a proposal which sketched out the mechanism of evolution in more detail, supplemented with a wealth of observational data. Hegel, presumably, was thinking of evolution in the sense of being a history of Common Descent. But hang on isn’t Common Descent what UD's DaveScot believes? So just what is UD's point here and what is their concept of evolution?; is it as a history or is it as a (“mindless”) mechanism?

The post I have linked to provides an insight into a complex blended world where the “goodies and baddies” model of reality breaks down. And a good thing too: if life was straight forward and simple it would be incredibly boring. In any case the goodies vs. baddies model of social reality is about as effective as conspiracy theory.

STOP PRESS 6/3/2009.
On the subject of evolution and conspiracies have a look at these two links: here and here. PZ Meyer’s enjoys his favourite pass-time of shooting fish in a barrel; in this case a creationist who thinks the sales of his book are being impeded by the evolutionist’s conspiracy against it. (Don’t such authors ever get attacks of self doubt, or are their egos really that big?) Larry Moran quotes the author of the book and is left uncharacteristically speechless; well, if the material he quoted is a fair sample, I am too.

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