The Dogma of Evolution: natural selection
‘The doctrine (of evolution) has been presented to us under four different aspects.
The first of these is the general statement of scientific evolution. From the facts which have been accumulated by biologists relative to organic species and heredity, a general law of evolution has been accepted as part of biological science. According to this law, species are mutually related in such a way that those forms now in existence are modified forms of previous species. Since this law is capable of statement as a scientific generalization which can be supported by observation and experimentation it is a thoroughly justifiable assumption and one with which we have no quarrel.
Secondly, the attempt has been made to determine the cause of evolution and the method by which species vary. From this attempt have risen the hypotheses of natural selection, inheritance of acquired traits, mutations, etc. I have contended that these hypotheses are not proved and are really metaphysical and unverifiable in character.
Thirdly, the hypotheses of the cause and method of evolution inevitable lead to a mechanistic philosophy in which the phenomena of live are to be explained by physical and chemical processes. Biology is thus linked with physics. The facts are against this mechanistic view of life and the hypotheses are unjustifiable assumptions.
Fourthly, the hypotheses of biological evolution have been expanded to include psychological realm of consciousness and the social and ethical life of man. This aspect of evolution is based, not on the scientific foundations of biology, but on the metaphysical attempts included in the second and third categories. It is this phase of evolution which has created confusion and disaster.’ (L. More, p. 303f)
Midgley, Mary: Evolution as a Religion: Strange hopes and strange fears: London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1985
More, Louis T.: The Dogma of Evolution, Princeton University Press, 1925
Plantinga, Alvin: An Evolutionary argument against Naturalism: LOGOS, Philosophic Issues in Christian Perspective, Philosophic Studies from Santa Clara University,Volume 12,1991: Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA 95053, USA
Schoffeniels, Ernest: Anti-Chance: A Reply to Monods Chance and Necessitiy: Pergamon Press Ltd., 1976
An Evolutionary argument against Naturalism: atheist
‘Richard Dawkins once leaned over and remarked ... he couldn’t imagine being an atheist before 1859 (the year Darwin’s Origin of Species was published); ... “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”’(A. Plantinga p. 28)
Origin of Species
‘It is almost unaccountable that his contemporaries regarded his Origin of Species as a model of scientific accuracy and thought and passed this estimate on to us, when a careful analysis of his contents shows that his argument for natural selection is based on the vague confirmation from geology that species have in some way changed and on the analogy of changes in domesticated animals and plants by man’s selective breeding. Only a few in England, notably Sedgwick, realized at once and wrote to Darwin, that he had taken the generally known law of change and had narrowed it down to a specific method of variation unsupported by any adequate body of facts, and had written of natural selection as if it were done consciously by a selecting agent; in Germany, Darwinism made progress; only the French were clear-sighted enough to see the insufficient character of the proofs’
‘Darwin was not elected a member of the French Academy until 1878 (remark: 4 years before he died and 16 years after ‘Origin of Species’; was frist published) and then in the Botanical Section. He writes to Dr. Gray that it was something of a joke as his knowledge of botany was rudimentary. It appears that an eminent member of the Academy wrote to Les Mondes to the following effect: ‘What closed the doors of the Academy to Mr. Darwin is that the science of those in his books which have made his chief title to fame - the Origin of species and still more the Descent of man - is not science but a mass of assertions and absolutely gratuitous hypotheses, often evidently fallacious.’ (L. More, p. 195f)
‘Darwin’s reputation was made into a sort of mythical cult; every weakness of character was transferred to the credit side of the ledger. He was said to be a second Newton, to have done for biology what his predecessor had accomplished for mechanics.’ (L. More, p.189)
Cell types of the brain: neurons, astrocytes, microglia, etc. are here briefly described and their function and morphology explained.