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Darwin's House of Cards: A Journalist's Odyssey Through the Darwin Debates Paperback – December 21, 2016
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In House of Cards, Bethell expands far beyond the confines of that article in giving a carefully considered critique of evolutionary premises. I am struck by how gracefully this book is written. It might well be a long after dinner conversation with a cultured and obliging host who marshals many personal experiences in his journey to deciphering the problems with evolution. The chapters transition smoothly from one significant objection to the next. But the tone is never strident, never angry. It is one of surprise that so many intelligent biologists would have been taken in by a theory so lacking in scientific support. As Tom explains, evolution as promoted by Darwin and his followers, functions as a materialistic religion. Its scientific credentials are limited to unsound extrapolations from a few instances of micro evolution (moths, finches, and bacteria).
We expect a book such as this to be mocked and condemned by Darwinists as inaccurate, ignorant, and filled with misunderstanding. We expect Tom Bethell to be condemned as lacking proper credentials for writing about a "scientific" theme. It is hopeless to engage with such critics. They know they can never be wrong and no amount of explanation can shake them from their pedestals of certainty. But they are not the intended audience. Bethell actually writes for those who have simply accepted evolution without having looked deeply into it. His argumentation is accessible to thoughtful readers who value clarity and are willing to examine the facts for themselves.
Science depends on evidence/conclusions. What does all the current evidence - fossils, cells, DNA, information theory, atomic forces - drive us to conclude?
''But, as I hope to show in the following chapters, the science of neo-Darwinism was poor all along, and supported by very few facts. I have become ever more convinced that, although Darwinism has been promoted as science, its unstated role has been to prop up a philosophy—the philosophy of materialism—and atheism along with it.''
Why then were Darwin and Wallace so convinced?
''Darwin found that Malthus (free market economist) had given him a theory “with which to work.” The doctrine of Malthus equally applied “to the animal and vegetable kingdoms,” where there could be “no artificial increase of food, and no prudential restraint from marriage,” Darwin wrote.''
What! Darwin found inspiration from a ''free market economist''???
''The philosopher Bertrand Russell was a little more careful: “Darwin’s theory was essentially an extension to the animal and vegetable world of laissez-faire economics.”
1 DARWINISM IN OUR TIME
2 DARWIN’S MISTAKE
3 DARWIN’S CURIA AT THE CENTENARY
4 COMMON DESCENT: FACT OR THEORY?
5 NATURAL SELECTION: A CLOSER LOOK
6 WHAT IS THE EVIDENCE FOR NATURAL SELECTION?
7 ON EXTINCTION
8 IS VARIATION INDEFINITE OR LIMITED?
9 HOMOLOGY AND ITS POSSIBLE CAUSES
10 THE CONUNDRUM OF CONVERGENCE
11 THE FOSSIL RECORD
12 EVOLUTION AND SYSTEMATICS AT THE AMERICAN MUSEUM
13 INTELLIGENT DESIGN AND INFORMATION THEORY
14 DARWIN AND THE PHILOSOPHY OF MATERIALISM
15 DNA: GOD IS IN THE DETAILS
16 LENSKI’S EVOLVING BACTERIA
17 THE SOCIOBIOLOGY WARS
18 HUMAN EXCEPTIONALISM AND ITS ENEMIES
19 THE SEARCH FOR ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
20 BIOGEOGRAPHY AND DARWIN’S THEOLOGY
21 THE RISE AND FALL OF PROGRESS
''In his correspondence—often less inhibited than his books—Darwin was disposed to give theological reasons for rejecting the evidence of design. “There seems to me too much misery in the world,” he wrote to Asa Gray in 1860. “I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created the [digger wasps] with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of caterpillars, or that a cat should play with mice.”
Karl Popper was a giant of twentieth century scientific proof. Popper made (in)famous condemnation of Darwinism as science. . .
''In his autobiography, Karl Popper said he had come to the conclusion that “Darwinism is not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research program.”
''To say that a species now living is adapted to its environment “is almost tautological,” he wrote. “Adaptation or fitness is defined by modern evolutionists as survival value, and can be measured by actual success in survival. There is hardly any possibility of testing a theory as feeble as this.”
A ''feeble theory''!
''Further controversy ensued, for Popper—apparently under pressure in England—partially recanted in 1978. Later, in 1988, I had a chance to interview Popper myself, when he spent a week at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. I immediately brought up the issue of natural selection. He told me that his opinion had not changed.''
''He also said he thought that natural selection had in fact been falsified “by Darwin’s own theory.” Distortions introduced by sexual selection sometimes meant that offspring were not better adapted than their parents, he said.''
''When I mentioned that Darwinism had evidently benefited from the idea of Progress, widely accepted in the mid-nineteenth century but widely rejected in the late twentieth, Popper said that “I have been one of the people who have destroyed it.” He said he had “preached” along those lines in his book The Poverty of Historicism.''
This ''faith'' in progress is repeatedly presented as key reason for the speed of Darwin's acceptance.
For another analysis of evolution, the book (from 1925) is worth the time - ''The dogma of Evolution'', by Louis Trenchard More. He was a professor of physics, who also wrote biographies of Newton and Boyle. Outstanding!
(See - ''From Aristotle to Darwin & Back Again: A Journey in Final Causality, Species and Evolution'' by Etienne Gilson; this is an analysis by a leading scholar on the philosophical history of evolution from Aristotle to Darwin. Also, ''The Death of Humanity: and the Case for Life'' by Richard Weikart; both add to this presentation.)