Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Darwin Day

So do we exchange gifts or get the day off for Darwin Day at UGA? All kidding aside, the irony of having a "celebration" of Darwin's birth is too rich to pass without comment. The seeming deification of Darwin, on what would be his 200th birthday (163 in pic, left), resembles the very beef which most Darwinists deride and criticize religious holidays for.

That's why Carl Safina's take in the NYT today is so refreshing: in order for Evolution to continue, Darwinism must Die:

Equating evolution with Charles Darwin ignores 150 years of discoveries, including most of what scientists understand about evolution...By propounding “Darwinism,” even scientists and science writers perpetuate an impression that evolution is about one man, one book, one “theory.”

Credit Darwin’s towering genius. No mind ran so freely, so widely or so freshly over the hills and vales of existence. But there’s a limit to how much credit is reasonable. Parking evolution with Charles Darwin overlooks the limits of his time and all subsequent progress.
Not to mention, the contributions which preceded and influenced Darwin, namely sociology's own Herbert Spencer, who was publishing and writing on the evolution of society years before Darwin came to international prominence. In fact, though Spencer would coin the phrase "survival of the fittest" in reaction to Darwin's "On the Origin of Species," Spencer's work on the evolution of complexity rejects the "randomness" of natural selection and many of its tenets.

Can I get an "Amen!" or would that be a "Go Beagle!"

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