Discussion of Darwinism at 4W

At the thread at What’s Wrong with the World, “The Barrenness of Anti-Darwinism,” many commenters are putting down Steve Burton’s put-down of the VFR discussion, “The barrenness of Darwinism.” (As seen in Burton’s title, so often my critics are capable only of mechanically reversing something I’ve said, rather than mounting an original argument of their own.)

For example, in his initial entry Burton explains how Darwinism explains the evolution of human traits such as those that led Thomas Edison to invent the light bulb:

Because, up to a point, intelligence, determination, creativity, and the desire for wealth, fame & power were qualitites that tended to result, in the circumstances of human evolution, in greater inclusive fitness - I.e., genes that contributed to intelligence, determination, creativity, and the desire for wealth, fame & power tended to spread, while genes that detracted from same tended to die out.

It’s a great puzzle to me why sharp gals & guys like Carol & Larry seem to find this rather obvious point so difficult to grasp.

To which William Luse replies:

Maybe it’s for the obvious reason that the obvious point is an obvious example of circular reasoning?

Even the commenter Ilion, who previously at 4W has repeatedly called me a deliberate liar, and who in the current threat describes me as “frequently petty, prickly and egotistical; an inventor and holder of grudges; quick to give insult where none is needed; quick to take insult where none is given [such as repeatedly calling me a liar, not to mention this new round of adjectives? whoops, there I go again]; unforgiving of the false insult he has taken; uncomprehending that others remember his pointless insults,” defends me from a commenter who said:

Auster’s problem is that he continually lumps several distinct claims together under the amorphous heading of “Darwinism.”

To which Ilion replies:
Dude, the DarwinDefenders themselves do that.

Also, Lydia McGrew writes this funny and accurate characterization of the true Darwinian and Theo-Darwinian positions, as distinct from the false and inflated way they present themselves (edited slightly for formatting and punctuation):

After all, it wouldn’t sound really interesting to call “Darwin’s theory of the origin of species and the descent of man” something else like “the theory of how some traits of some already established populations who got here we-don’t-know-how got accentuated and fixed in place,” or (as I’m afraid some wishful thinking theistic evolutionists want to believe it could be) “a scientific theory of how things trundled along for a few eons, not necessarily wholly by naturally law, God could have been ‘guiding the process’, but mostly by secondary causes, developing many different species, after which God could have worked a helluva big miracle and made the enormous changes required to make a previously non-human predecessor into man in His own image. And that would be totally compatible with the core essence of the theory of evolution.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 02, 2011 07:55 AM | Send

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