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"I wrote a short article contending that classical Darwinism was dead. This was almost entirely based on the verbatim statements of eminent biologists, my part being to select and arrange.... My thesis was simply that the professionals had moved away from classical Darwinism, but that no one had informed the public of what had happened. This, I believed, was important news for the American public." --Norman Macbeth
For the early Darwinists, the great appeal of the Natural Selection doctrine lay in its replacement of the Divine Hand hypothesis. "Newton banished God from nature," writes Gerald Heard, "Darwin banished him from life."  Darwin discovered, so the legend goes, the true, "natural" explanation for life on Earth. In reality, one anthropomorphic theory was replaced by another, the Divine Hand by the hand of nature. At the turn of the century, Natural Selection was no longer regarded as a valid concept in (cognoscente) scientific circles. "Forty years ago," writes Henry Adams in 1903, "our friends always explained things and had the cosmos down to a point, teste [by witness of] Darwin and Charles Lyell. Now they say they don't believe there is an explanation [for existence], or that you can choose between half a dozen, all correct. The Germans are all balled up. Every generalization that we settled forty years ago is abandoned. The one most completely thrown over is our gentle Darwin's Survival [survival of the fittest], which no longer has a leg to stand on."  One of the first critics of the Natural Selection theory was Darwin himself. "I suppose natural selection was a bad term," he wrote, "but to change it now, I think, would make confusion worse confounded, nor can I think of a better. 'Natural preservation' would not -1-
Darwinism is lacking in scientific merit. "fitness")." Contemporary Western civilization may be said to begin in 1859 with the publication of the Origin. Not long after the publication of the Origin. "Natural Selection" is. However.. open your Darwin. Darwinism became. The Descent of Man. as we know. To answer the question of whether classical Darwinism is dead or alive: Classical Darwinism was never "alive" in the sense of being a living. in the basal paradigm. Thus it can be said to bring "man and nature's selection under one point of view. This book and its sequel."  "Natural preservation" would have been simply a label for something that anyone can see. in other words.imply a preservation of particular varieties and would seem a truism.e. it was (and is) very much alive at the level of the basal paradigm. Thus the Darwinization of the paradigm resulted inevitably in a splitting of the realm of science. Scientists who honored the tradition of "hypotheses non fingo" -2- . nothing but an empty generalization. (It "would seem a truism. It amounts to little more than the proposition that since some organisms survive and others don't. encoded in the new. science-as-religion.  The hypothesis of Natural Selection filled the God spot. Darwin indicated that he preferred the term "survival of the fittest" to Natural Selection.") "Natural Selection" implies an agency underlying the fact of natural preservation." What about God? "'God' is an anthropomorphic fiction. the greater the likelihood of survival. so to speak. there must be a process of selection going on. What is the source of order in the world? "Natural Selection." How do we find out the truth of existence?--the real lowdown on life? "Close your Bible. as indicated previously. It became a chief component of what we call Scientism .. Survival of the fittest at least suggests a principle of evolution: The greater the degree of versatility in adapting to the environment (i." All implied parallels aside. and would not bring man and nature's selection under one point of view. demonstrable theory. became the Gospel of Science--science's equivalent of the New Testament. working. emerging basal paradigm.
the honor once accorded to the priests was transferred to the scientists." On a far more serious level. we a see a fish with little legs." Built upon the highly questionable Darwinian premise that life is a fearsome dog-eat-dog struggle. In ways great and small. a fish containing the name "Jesus. Scientism holds that the only hope for peace is in turning the planet into a kind of super-kennel. How do we fix behavioral disorders? How do we fix diseases? We summon the genetic engineers.(no hypotheses without proof) continued the useful work of "pure science. then perhaps the work of genetically engineering the perfect world and perfect people can begin in earnest. We find and correct the genetic defects that are the source of the problem. On the back windows or bumpers of autos owned by old paradigmers.. to the point where groups of citizens are forming self-defense organizations. and from our current orthodoxy." Scientists willing to put their hearts. The "genetic engineers" are the priests. Most celebrated among the scientists today are the geneticists. Once humankind has been properly kenneled. Today. i. With the full emergence of the new paradigm. "militias.. At the heart of it is a number of doctrines (the equivalents of church canons) stemming from the original Darwinism. minds and mouths in the service of unprovable doctrines formed the priesthood of the new religion of science . so-called Neo-Darwinism. Scientism is today the West's current dominant religion. certain of the agendas and objectives of Scientism have polarized our society. of our time..e. we see the logo of Christianity. we still see a kind of "battle of the paradigms" being waged in these latter days." On the vehicles of new paradigmers. virtually all "dysfunctional behavior" and all disease is viewed as having a genetic origin. the exorcists. The victory of Darwinism is far from complete. Materialistic Scientism. from Social Darwinism (the evangelical application of Darwinism to social theory). -3- . The name inside the fish is "Darwin. Scientism. of course.
Most would-be topplers of Darwinism are pretty naive. and for this reason. They have no idea that "scientically valid refutation" is not sufficent. What is required to kill Darwinism is something like a silver stake." It is paradigmatic. -4- . a large hammer. it has resisted refutation time and again.Darwinism now exists at the level of "most basic assumptions about the nature of existence. and the right opportunity.
." "To me. In late nineteenth century England.. there was one voice of real genius raised against Darwinism.. the physical action of living beings is the -5- . What puzzled Butler's contemporaries. and none of these had much impact. In other words. Butler believed.. not defined by Darwin. who is remembered now (when remembered at all) as the author of a utopian fiction called Erewon. the process of species A becoming species B and species C. Butler's principal objection to Darwinism was that the hypothesis of Natural Selection cannot possibly be an adequate explanation of evolution. is that he ]Butler] "seemed to be striking out on a new line [of speculation] instead of choosing. Natural Selection had to be part of much larger process. Barzun writes.. or key components of Darwinism. A biological organism. have been offered to the public. like everybody else. that of Samuel Butler. is the only true Origin of Species. It was Lamarckian. Butler was not new. It was not. but it cannot explain the existence of A.TWO NINETEENTH CENTURY CRITICS OF DARWINISM In this century and the last."  In other words.' whatever it is. Butler saw that there was a Something. "Butler found that small random variations were taken for granted or occasionally ascribed to a metaphysical agent called Variation. in itself. Natural Selection might tell us a little something about the process of speciation. that was generating the organismal variations that Natural Selection then operated upon.. "It wants to do certain things and not to do others. is not simply a machine built and operated by Natural Selection. "it seems that the 'Origin of Variations. B or C. It has an "interest" in evolutionary process. In examining Darwin's text."  The line of thought of Mr." Butler wrote. more than a few good critiques of Darwinism. between theology and materialistic science. so as to provide Natural Selection with something to work on. Barzun writes. a sufficient explanation of the origin of anything.
Hobbes took the position. we -6- . the fittest under certain circumstances.'"  Political difficulties prevented "Prince Kropotkin" from publishing his refutation of the Hobbesian-Malthusian-Darwinian hypothesis (evolution from struggle) until 1902."  However superior to Darwinism. Huxley. not conflict. and in a paper written in 1888 he represented primitive men as a sort of tigers or lions. fighting out the struggle for existence to its bitter end. and even succeeded in giving them a scientific appearance." mental referring here to "consciousness. has plenty of admirers still.." The case of T. however limited. Butler-style Lamarckism didn't stand the chance of a snowball in Hades in an historical period describable as "The Triumph of Materialism. took the lead of that school." is cited: "Huxley.." The Hobbesian philosophy.H. "Darwin's bulldog.. deprived of all ethical conceptions. and living a life of 'continual free fight'. In his own words: "While fully admitting that force. to quote his own words--'beyond the limited and temporary relations of the family.. cunningness. protective colours. well-documented argument for the thesis that sociability.expression of a mental action.. accidentally huddled together by the mere caprice of their bestial existence. Kropotkin continues.. swiftness. is the key to evolutionary progress." Petr Kropotkin has been cited earlier as an important early critic of the Darwinian hypothesis that evolution is a product of bitter struggle of each against all. the Hobbesian war of each against all was the normal state of existence. Kropotkin correctly places Darwin in the tradition of the eighteenth century pessimist Thomas Hobbes. as is known. and we have had of late quite a school of writers who. or the species. made of it an argument in favour of Hobbes's views upon primitive man. Kropotkin writes. Mutual Aid--A Factor in Evolution is still an impressive. and endurance to hunger and cold. taking possession of Darwin's terminology rather than of his leading ideas. which are mentioned by Darwin and Wallace. that the state of nature is "nothing but a permanent fight between individuals. are so many qualities making the individual.
Huxley. An "anarchist. In 1883. Huxley declined to add his name. Many notable Britons signed the petition. while those animals which know best how to combine. The highest vertebrates. In England a petition for his release was drawn up. In all. Later. Kropotkin was imprisoned in France for political reasons."  Kropotkin was a member of the highest Russian aristocracy. however. Those species which willingly or unwillingly abandon it are doomed to decay." In the years following. On the basis of his wide experience. Consequently. stressing the importance of Kropotkin's many contributions to science. are the best proof of this assertion. Petr Kropotkin published many articles which were directly critical of Huxley's Hobbesian Darwinism.maintain that under any circumstances sociability is the greatest advantage in the struggle for life. is war and destruction. Huxley failed to respond to any of the criticisms. his family descended from the Princes of Smolensk and Kieff. regarded as an "anarchist.H. "Prince" Kropotkin.. who was in 1883 president of the Royal Society. The legacy of ruling classes. was the nineteenth century scientist best qualified to be designated the successor of Lamarck. Kropotkin came to the understanding that the highest and most enduring achievements of mankind come from the masses. and especially mankind. explained his refusal to offer aid to a fellow scientist in this way: "So long as I am President of the Royal Society.. T." it should be noted. is not someone who is "opposed to all order" (the common definition). as he was known by many. although they may be inferior to others in each of the faculties enumerated by Darwin and Wallace. save the intellectual faculty. -7- . but someone opposed to the various "-archies. he believed. I shall feel bound to abstain from from taking any prominent part of public movements as to the propriety of which the opinions of the Fellows of the Society differ." he was in and out of prisons during the last decades of the nineteenth century. he was in the tradition of egalitarian republicanism.." including monarchy and oligarchy. Politically. have the greatest chances of survival and of further evolution.
... Darwin regards the hypothesis as preposterous. Given the backwardness of biology in the middle nineteenth century. there was really not much that Darwin or anyone else could have said. regarding the mechanism of evolution. Darwin reads the "Gaia hypothesis" of Lovelock. At the same time.. in fairness to Darwin. "Ah!--nature is homeostatic.. He opens it and finds a manuscript. he is intrigued by the wealth of data Lovelock brings to bear on his thesis.. and especially by the fact that "The climate and the chemical properties of the Earth now and throughout its history seems always to have been optimal for life. and from oaks to algae. from whales to viruses. Astonishing. It refers (in the words of Lovelock) to "that remarkable state of constancy in which living things hold themselves when their environment is changing. the hypothesis that "the entire range of living matter on Earth. Now. With great wonderment. capable of manipulating the Earth's atmosphere to suit its overall needs and endowed with faculties and powers far beyond those of its constituent parts. There waiting for him is a large package. The Earth. The manuscipt is not from his brilliant junior colleague."  The fact of homeostasis would have given Darwin the reference he was looking for.. and thus what we mean by 'Natural Selection' is homeostatic -8- .INTO THE TWENTIETH . Lovelock demonstrates amply. Alfred Wallace. leaves his study and enters the parlor. "Homeostasis" is a word invented by the American psychologist Walter Cannon. the co-discoverer of Natural Selection. let us give him another chance. Charles Darwin."  "Astonishing!" Darwin remarks to himself. indeed."  No view could be more different from that of Darwin. having worked up quite a headache trying to figure out evolution.. rather. it is from the future. with certainty. is a "homeostatic" phenomenon. it is a book by James Lovelock called Gaia--A New Look at Life on Earth. It is June 1859. could be regarded as constituting a single living entity.
" or. As formulated by Darwin.. So. Philosophy was not equipped to say Darwinism was dead because philosophy itself was dead. are most likely to survive and reproduce. Lamarckism was "heresy. -9- . Further. (Methodological aside: Only hypotheses that can be tested can be considered "scientific. "Look. classical Darwinism didn't have a leg to stand on. Okay. this famous theory that all the world now believes in is nothing but a load of rubbish. Let me explain just why. philosophy was (and is) not doing its job. cannot be validated. is "most aware and appropriately responsive. it had become part and parcel of the modern basal paradigm. Natural Selection cannot be tested. and in our own.. It was taken over. philosophy in our civilization has been compromised out of existence. "science of science. Darwin simply did not have the data or the necessary technical means to establish a scientifically viable hypothesis regarding the mechanisms of biological evolution. if it was dead." In Darwin's time. who or what is responsible for quality control? The ultimate quality control is the job of philosophy.") Natural Selection might have been defined as "homeostasis-producing selection.." Let us regard scientific enterprise in general as a factory--a factory that produces "true knowledge" about the way things are. for whatever reason. It was dead. but for Darwin and his colleagues... Generally speaking. for short. It can only be assumed.." All organisms are under pressure to "balance" with environment. Lamarck had been on the right track. "homeostatic selection.." In 1903. organisms most effective at balancing. What "fittest" would mean. first by the churches and then by academe.selection!" The Lovelock data would have provided Darwin with a valid scientific framework and enabled him to define Natural Selection is a testable way. why didn't it fall? It didn't fall for the reason discussed above . there was apparently no one around with the competency and will to say." Unfortunately. as Adams points out. in a Lovelock context..
"  Where is the evidence that anything comes into existence "by chance"? There is none. in beetles and bugs. Just more conjectures.. which are the "eyes" and "mouths" of the cell. of course. exactly. The work of contemporary Darwinist Richard Dawkins is a case in point. conjectures on top of conjectures. of the supposed "gradual step-by-step transformations" of primordial "simple" biological receptor mechanisms into organs such as eyes? No details provided. Scientists are "workers" in the knowledge factory and ordinarily are not "objective" enough to run good quality control.. They evolve. The basic cell membrane is formed by organic compounds called phospholipids. he writes. Scientists are invariably specialists. our orthodox theory of evolution is still. relative to its predecessors. such as eyes.. What is the nature.10 - . are degreed in scientific method. there is little (if any) attention given to the philosophy and practice of scientific methodology. as we stand ready to step into the twenty-first century. the proponents of Darwinism and Neo-Darwinism have been able to say whatever they like without being challenged. Here is a picture of one type of IMP: . As a result. Darwinism.It is a sad commentary on the quality of the Western knowledge factory that today. Few. The first organism to arise is. the single cell. "by gradual. evolve. In his defense of Darwinism titled The Blind Watchmaker. its philosophy and practice. which self-assemble into spherical form. after all these years and refutations. The earliest "eye" we know of is a frequency receiver-transducer known as an "integral membrane protein. step-by-step transformations from simple beginnings. They have degrees in nuclear physics. Each successive change in the gradual evolutionary process was simple enough. from primordial entities sufficiently simple to have come into existence by chance. Between the layers of the membrane are situated the IMPs. in a thousand and one specific fields of interest." or IMP. Dawkins addresses the question of how it is that intricate organs. if any. to have arisen by chance. In the typical education of a scientist.
.11 - .
isn't at home.12 - . Do you know where your science of science is? . His premise is sheer conjecture.The IMP is a stimulus-response mechanism. Mr. and then to "capture" that item. and there has been no one to stop them. of course. is your "primordial eye. Dawkins--the whole raft of Darwinists--have from time to time passed off nonsense and gibberish as true scientific understanding. Mayr. as indicated elsewhere. Here. for instance) important to the cell. and philosophy. Even this simple eye is wonderfully complex. Dawkins. Darwin." Dawkins cannot do this. The quality control function belongs to philosophy." Now please explain how it arose "by chance. When the receptor detects the item it seeks. Western Civilization. This signals the "effector" component (B) to prepare to receive and transduce ("carry through" the cellular barrier) the target item. it reconfigures itself so as to capture the item. It is the function of the receptor to identify a specific item (a certain chemical. (A) This is the "receptor" component of the mechanism. Where is it? It is the eleventh hour. And it isn't at work. The IMP is the very simplest "eye" we know of.
Reject Darwinism and there is. in effect."  In fact. from the point of view of methology. a "scientific alternative" was available--the Transformism of Lamarck. As Macbeth indicates. would have been something more than a myth. A theory must stand on its own merits." This is not a valid defense."  Philosophy has failed us.. no one is offering a better idea. "The proponents of a theory.." "One might have expected. no scientific theory of evolution. It is only an illusion that there was and is no alternative to Darwinism. This is one important reason why classical Darwinism is still with us today. are obligated to support every link or chain of reasoning."  In practically the same breath. In fact. Another important reason is that classical Darwinism underwent. This book." Denton writes. an illusion created and perpetrated by the Darwinists. testing it for flaws.. Michael Denton is a case in point. comes to the conclusion that Darwinism is "the great cosmogenic myth of the twentieth century.13 - .. the only truly scientific theory of evolution" (!) Compounding the confusion. For a long time. "that a theory of such cardinal importance. In 1986. a highly interesting critique. an Australian scientist. and this school of thought persists into our own time. . Denton writes. "It was the lack of any obvious scientific alternative which was its [Darwinism's] great attraction in the nineteenth century and has remained one of its enduring strengths ever since 1859. whereas a critic or skeptic may peck at any aspect of the theory. "Darwinism remains.Scientists opposed to Darwinism are often as lacking in methological competency as the pro-Darwinism scientists. Denton remarks. Further. a theory that literally changed the world. Denton.. not on an "absence" of other theories. in science or elsewhere. a principal "defense" of the Darwinists has been "Well.. published Evolution: A Theory In Crisis. it is not a "strength" of any particular theory that there is no alternative to the theory. there was a Lamarckian school of thought in the last century. Denton "bought into" the illusion.
It became "Neo-Darwinism. ≈ . in the nick of time. Its rescuer was a scientist by the name of August Weismann.14 - .after the turn of the century. How it was that Weismann accomplished this remarkable rescue is a subject of our next chapter." so to speak."  It "evolved. some major changes.
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