Friday, July 08, 2005

Evolution and silliness on the right

I had meant to blog about Christoph Schönborn's uninformed attack on evolution from the NY Times yesterday, but was busy.

He prattles dogma without understanding stochastic phenomena:

Evolution in the sense of common ancestry might be true, but evolution in the neo-Darwinian sense - an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection - is not. Any system of thought that denies or seeks to explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology is ideology, not science.

We can ignore the "evidence" for "bad design" (the birth canal of the human compared to a newborn baby's head size, the blindspot, etc.) because the real issue is the terms "neo-Darwinian" (straw man), and "unguided, unplanned process of random variations."

I've said numerous times that "random" doesn't imply or rule out being guided or planned- it merely rules out being completely determined based on prior history; any possible transition mechanism is not fully describable.

Schönborn's anti-scientific thinking (read the whole article for its fuzziness and sloppy thinking) is repeated in a TNR article referenced by Digby; who notes it's one of those rare times that you can praise Charles Krauthammer and Richard Brookheiser with an "almost" for Tucker Carlson.

The rest of the folks' quotes cited by Digby are quite shocking in their lack of integrity or knowledge.

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