Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Five Points of Darwinism

In my book, based on an essay by Alvin Plantinga, I indentify Five Points of Darwinism, though I was unable to come up with an acronym to go with it. The five points were.

1. Ancient earth thesis.
2. What Plantinga called the progress thesis. What it should be called, I think is the Gradual Appearance thesis. Life forms emerged gradually over geologic time.
3. Common ancestry thesis.
4. The Natural Emergence of Species thesis. Speciation, from amoebas to man, occured naturalistically, without intelligent design.
5. The naturalistic origin of life thesis. Life itself emerged though a purely natural process, again without intelligent design.

It turns out someone else came up with a different list.

Total Vulnerability – we’re at the mercy of nature
Humanism – we must strive to advance a master race
Oops – we’re the product of chance, not design
Resistance is Futile – you will be assimilated
Natural Selection – (although it IS unconditional)


havoc said...

That's an interesting list. The first two are also completely compatible with special creationism (old-earth creationists).

The problem with the "ancient age of the earth" of only ~4.5 billion years (~13ba for the universe) is that it's not nearly long enough for Darwinian evolution. They need more time.... LOTS more time.

Bill Snedden said...

Well, the second one is blatantly false. Humanism has nothing whatever to do with "advancing a master race", but hey, why let truth stand in the way of a good rhetorical point?

The fourth point is just loopy..what does "resistance" have to do with Darwinism? Survival perhaps? It sounds more like the creator just needed something that began with "R" and couldn't find anything else to fit.

Mike Darus said...

I agree with Platinga on #2. You need something that accounts for the increasing complexity. "Gradual Appearance" fails to describe the progress toward complexity. They also seem to be in reverse order.

How aout this:
Total naturalistic origin of life
Unlimited age of the universe and an ancient earth
Line of ancestry in common
Irresitable progress of speciation
Perseverence of the fittest

Anonymous said...

Life starts with the simplest organisms. The only direction to move from there is toward increasing complexity. Though I think it more accurate to charactize it as increasing variety.

How could it be otherwise?*

Come to think of it, it could be otherwise in a supernatural world where God simply poofed complex beings into existence.

Rayndeon said...

Can anyone say "creationist nonsense?"

Unsurprisingly, Plantinga gets it wrong too, although not as bad as blogger.

(4) is a metaphysical thesis, not a scientific one. There are theists who believe in evolution.

(5) is also a metaphysical thesis, not scientific one. It is also irrelevant to evolution since evolution is concerned with the development of life, speciation, common ancestry, diversity, and the like. It does *not* address the origins of life - that is abiogenesis. The two are distinct and too many non-scientists conflate the two.

Also, Darwinism is long out-date. We now have the Synthetic Neo-Darwinian Theory, since at least the 1940s, although a lot of modifications to that have been made too.

Rayndeon said...

LOL Mike. Nice double entendre. I just noticed that your five points spell out TULIP, which of course is also an acronym for the Calvnist fare of Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement, Irresistible grace, and Perseverance of the saints.

Your five points of Darwinism aren't entirely correct but very clever!