The last five years for ID: All renovation projects start as teardowns
September 2, 2011 Posted by O'Leary under Darwinism, Intelligent Design
In “The last five years: Darwin’s failures are positive sources of information for ID,” I noted
Failures of Darwinism are not merely a negative. They are a positive. The growing number of stress points at which Darwinism fails can, taken together, form a picture, one that points to general laws that govern how high levels of information are produced in life forms. Obviously, as with dpi, the more such points, the clearer the picture. We can’t have too many of them, though eventually, there will be enough to work productively with.
Throwing out assorted Darwinisms is like renovating a shamefully treated century home. The first thing we do is rent a dumpster. Because we must clear away the rubbish to rescue the core value.
One outcome is that 99% of the initial work is, unavoidably, teardown.
In the case of evolution, as Mike Behe realizes, we must compute the edge of natural selection’s ability to create new information: Just beyond that edge – or further – lie the principal sources of new information.
Computing the edge alone involves a number of questions: Is it the same for all life forms? If not, which ones differ and what characteristics might they have in common? Can a general law be derived?
Of course, sidelining the usual, tiresome, untethered “Darwin dunit” accounts would be a plus, but it is certainly not the motive for the project. The motive is to understand what really happened, not to demolish a crumbling elite piety.
Denyse makes an excellent point. The demolition of the Darwinist hoax is by its nature destructive. It is a heavily defended citadel, and we have just landed on the beach, climbed the bluffs, and set up the siege cannon. The defenders are rattled. Their long term prospects are bleak. They are surrounded by countless countryfolk who know the truth, and Darwinists depend on the people they lie to and scorn for all of their supplies.
This fight has a long way to go. ID has to develop a scientific program to apply its profound insight that design principles permeate nature. It will, in my view, involve a collaboration between engineering science and basic biological science. In my own field of research (cerebral blood flow), engineering principles are opening a fascination new window into understanding how the heart perfuses the brain.
What will the fall of Darwinism be like? My suspicion is that it will be a slow teetering, and a sudden collapse. The collapse probably won't be a unanimous repudiation of Darwinist banality, but a bypass. Science will simply move on around it, with elderly pony-tailed Darwinites isolated as real scientists get on with the fascinating task of understanding life.
The collapse of Darwinism will come, I suspect, in a manner analogous in one respect to the collapse of the Romanian regime of Nicolae Ceausescu. Ceausescu was a communist (atheist) thug who ruled Romania for decades by fear and corruption. He was giving a speech to a huge crowd in Bucharest. He expected acquiescence and silence. A few minutes into the speech, the crowd began to laugh and boo and chant. He was stunned and inarticulate. He was used to deference. Before him was defiance. He fled the capital the next day. He was dead four days later.
Obviously the fall of Darwinism will not be violent. But it may be abrupt. I suspect that there will be scientific meetings, normally sedate affairs, when presenters of Darwinian explanations will be greeted, to their shock, by laughter and scorn.
I was at a pediatric neurosurgical conference 20 years ago in which a surgeon from a foreign country presented a series of cruel operations done on institutionalized children for psychiatric indications. Members of the audience stood up during the presentation, challenged the speaker, and he was not able to finish the presentation. He was fortunate to get out of the room without a physical incident.
Darwinist 'explanations' in biology will collapse, and some of that collapse will be public. Population biology, genetics, taxonomy, so long infested with Darwinist ideology, will of course go on unimpeded, as they are good science.
Before 1950, eugenics was a flourishing science. After 1970, no one was a eugenicist, and no one had ever been a eugenicist. Scientific fraud can vanish surprisingly suddenly. Darwinism itself will fade, even as its claque sings paeans and demands deference, and then it will implode rather suddenly, with a few last guffaws and challenges, and leave not a wrack behind.