Friday, May 22, 2015

Evolutionary Thought in Action: There is No Law

The Storyteller is in Control

In evolutionary thought there is no law. Consider for example the string of cosmological theories that emerged in the eighteenth century. Bernoulli, Buffon, Kant and Laplace presented various, and mostly contradictory, ideas for the origins of the solar system. The common thread was that in all cases the idea was presented as true, and the idea relied on so many contingencies rather than on the necessary consequences of natural law. Newton’s laws of physics dictated the flight of a cannon ball, but these theories of cosmological evolution were driven by unique, happenstance events amongst the heavenly bodies. And after Laplace the march of uncooperative astronomical observations made for even more contingencies. It was not the application of natural law but of ingenious narratives that told the story. By the twentieth century the competing theories resembled something like cosmic pinball games, with all manner of just-so collisions and events leading to the eventual formation of our solar system. Similarly, the new theories of biological evolution, begun in earnest by Charles Darwin, were also driven by what evolutionists believed were reasonable and good explanations rather than what little the unforgiving laws of science could render. This dismissal of natural law in favor of common sense narrative is important because, given the immense influence of evolutionary thought, it has gone far beyond the mere scientific world.

Evolution has introduced into science the art of story-telling where the story tellers, rather than the rules of science, are in control. Evolution is a narrative, not an appeal to scientific principles and laws. Evolutionary events are “unique, unrepeatable, and irreversible” in the words of famous evolutionist Theodosius Dobzhansky. Or as Harvard’s Ernst Mayr wrote, “Laws and experiments are inappropriate techniques” for explaining evolutionary events and processes.

Evolution’s rejection of law seems to have translated to, more generally, a loss of principle. Evolutionists, for example, think nothing of tarnishing the good name of all who disagree with them. After all, they are a threat to science and the truth. No matter how accomplished, skeptics can expect discrimination. Blackballing, secret lists and delegitimization are all used to deny academic and professional benefits enjoyed by evolutionists.

Given the immense influence of evolutionary thought, it may not be surprising that this rejection of law goes beyond scientific squabbles. After all, evolution is the most influential theory in areas outside of science, in the history of science. Evolutionary science, whether cosmological or biological, resists the constraints of law, and for centuries we have likewise resisted the laws and principles of the land when inconvenient.

This week presidential hopeful Rick Perry gave an excellent example of this pervasive mode of thought. Commenting favorably on the on-going unlawful surveillance associated with controversial legislation, Perry explained that the law needs to be compromised:

we’ve been a country that always balanced our civil liberties against protecting our citizens. And that’s what this debate is about. But I will always, I will always err on the side of defending our citizens’ safety, but again being very mindful that our civil liberties don’t need to be trampled on. And if there are agencies or people that are abusing that, they need to be held accountable, and use every bit of the power of this country to punish anyone who is using the Patriot Act in a way that is not appropriate. And when I talk about appropriate, we all, I think, understand what I’m talking about here.

Perry, who if elected presumably would take an oath to uphold the law, explains that lawfully protected freedoms must be “balanced” with protections and that he will always make the law subservient to his common sense concerns. For Perry citizens are not guaranteed legal protections and that is appropriate because, after all, we all understand “what I’m talking about here.” Well at least we know that unlawful surveillance isn’t what he is talking about. As with evolution, the narrative trumps the law.

The fact that a presidential candidate would promote this ends-justifies-the-means view illustrates how pervasive it is. For centuries lawfully protected rights and freedoms have been “balanced” for those whom such protections didn’t seem appropriate. With evolutionary thought there is no law.


  1. Linking a Rick Perry speech and a pseudo history of cosmological theory to the theory of evolution makes no sense at all.
    I mean, Rick Perry can't be categorized as a "neo darwinian", but still he would be inluenced by the pervasive mode of though of the evolutionnary story-telling ?

    It's not clear at all.

    1. Rick Perry can't be categorized as a "neo darwinian"

      The OP said no such thing.

  2. There are far better examples of the influence of evolutionary thought on the law.
    Start with the "legalization" of abortion. The evolutionary view is that man is just an ape, a collection of tissues and cells, with really no inherent rights. Indeed, men have no rights because the evolutionary view is that there is no "morality" except for the "strongest's" claim to survival and reproduction. "Unwanted" children aren't even "children" and have no right to life in this view.
    I could go on. There are too many examples to enumerate!
    Perry's ruminations are a stretch...

  3. I don't think there are civil liberties. I think there are in a nation liberties and there are not liberties. The civil thing was invented to bring liberities to where it was not agreed there was liberties. Mostly segregationist stuff. Its a fraud of law in america.
    AMEN> Absolutely right about how evolutionism did not/does not use the laws of science. Not by ill intent but by the passion to prove their case and intellectual incompetence.
    If evolution is not true it couldn't possibly of passed scientific methodology laws to clsim its a theory or a working hypothesis.
    Therefore every point they bring up must NOT be biological scientific evidence.
    I always satisfy myself at this result by asking them to name their top thrre, or one, bio sci reasons for the great conclusions of evolutionary biology. Not mere selectionism within kinds/types.
    They never can do it. !! NEVER!!
    iD people also fail in these matters however.

  4. You seem to start at the conclusion (evolution is wrong) than give an explanation should look at this:

    1. Jacob:

      You seem to start at the conclusion (evolution is wrong)

      No I don't do that. I allow evolution to be true, false, or anything in between. I look at the evidence.

      you should look at this:

      That's ironic, because that page starts with the assumption evolution is true:

      "We will take the fact of evolution and the general efficacy of Darwinian natural selection for granted here."

      That is in opposition to substantial scientific evidence.

    2. Jacob:

      That web site is driven by some strong religious beliefs.