Consensus Science Bunk
Posted by Sal on February 14, 2008
I am an avid reader of National Review Online’s The Corner. I typically find it a source of good intellectual discussion based in conservative principles, respectful dialog, and good common-sense. Even when I disagree with what some of the posters of The Corner say, I still find the arguments interesting and well thought-out.
Two days ago, however, I read a post by John Derbyshire that seemed the antithesis of what the Corner is usually about. A few days ago, Ben Stein posted an entry on his blog entitled Darwinism: The Imperialism of Biology? In it, he points out how the theory of Darwinian Evolution is steeped just as much in culture and momentum as it is in science. Derbyshire in his response, falls prey to conventional wisdom that all science is empirically based, and that Evolution is supported by the vast body of biological and scientific knowledge. But Derbyshire goes beyond that, and accuses Stein, by all accounts a rather brilliant man, of losing his marbles. Derbyshire argues that only the “consensus” of scientists should be taught in schools, not other, alternative theories. Truth be told, Darwinism is the “consensus” much in the same way as is the “consensus” of scientists.
I attended Providence College in . One of the hallmarks of that school is its 2-year, 5 credit per semester Development of Western Civilizations Program. In it, students are emersed in the philosophy, theology, literature and history from the dawn of civilization through the present.
One of the things that struck me while taking that course is how much of science is really based on a philosophy rather than empirical data. Of course, things that Derbyshire points out in his post, such as Newtonian Mechanics, Plate Tectonics, and Blood Circulation are based on empirical evidence, and they have a reasonable claim to scientific fact. Other scientific theories are based just as much on a philosophy of materialism as true scientific evidence — in fact, there was a major correlation between Darwinism, Freud’s psychology theories, and Marxism in how all of those ideas evolved and played off of each other.
Darwin’s theory on the Origin of Species was that random mutations of species caused a process of evolution from simple microbes to complex human beings. The problem with Darwinism was that the idea of natural selection is itself scientifically unprovable on its face — it asserts a randomness that is philosophically-based on a materialistic-worldview espoused by Marx and others, rather than any empirical evidence or any use of the scientific method. If Darwinism were simply a scientific theory, it would assert “Creatures evolve over time by change”. The theory would then be tested by looking at the fossil record, experiments in mutation, etc. Darwinism, however, asserts that creatures evolve over time by random changes (i.e. no Divine intervention or genetic code). Additionally, the lack of evidence found since Origin of Speciesis staggering. There is very little in the fossil record to support transient species, there is nothing to explain the Cambien explosion, and the mutations he spoke of have not been found to occur naturally in nature.
I’m not advocating a preaching of a theistic creationism in public schools, but Darwinism is rooted in just as much faith as the creationist beliefs. It is a philosophical quasi-scientific “truth” that has permeated our culture so far as to take on an almost religious context in and of itself. Like , scientists who do offer up alternative scientific theories to evolution (backed by evidence, no less), are ridiculed, ostracised from the scientific community, and their work is not even examined. The consensus of scientists cannot be changed if the body of scientists is unwilling to consider alternative theories. today
Like, the evidence vastly shows that Darwinism is a scientific fraud, a philosophy passed off as science, yet so many people, including Derbyshire, take it as Gospel because of some idea of scientific “consensus”. That was the point that Ben Stein was trying to make, and I think he made it effectively. In a Western Culture where Marxist ideas have permeated our education system to such a degree, it is no wonder that Stein’s going against the tide was met with such resistance.