A New Approach to the Darwin Debate                                                                            Did Darwinists blow it? Secularists losing Darwin debate                                   At a time when theories of evolution are under renewed controversy, discussion is hampered by the remoteness of the phenomenon of evolution, and the use of indirect inference to speculate about deep time. Adherents of Darwinism often defend dogmatic versions of the theory that have been questioned since the first reviewers of Origin of Species. Now Darwinism is under siege from the Intelligent Design movement, threatening the school system. This debate is deadlocked by the rigidity of both parties, evidence of fixed agendas, and metaphysical presumptions. This 'debate' is a propaganda war for social market share, notably short of intelligent discourse on both sides. The refusal by Darwinists to allow any criticism of an obviously flawed theory has backfired and given the Bible Belt a golden opportunity to make themselves seem the only alternative.

 The central issue was always the status of Darwin's theory of natural selection, not the fact of evolution, or the issue of design. It is time to be finished with this tired issue and move on. But the attempt to hijack the debate by proponents of Intelligent Design tends to make Darwinists close ranks around their flawed science. By promoting such an unreasonably narrow theory of evolution, Darwinism has put its proponents in a no-win situation, and harmed the reputation of science. The public has been held hostage to this theism/atheism dialectic for too long. Darwinists have become a laughingstock, 'experts' blind to their own indoctrination, and unable to grasp what hit them. We need to rescue the idea of evolution from its friends and foes alike. 

In the age of Big Science the public is unable to challenge the claims of experts, but it is actually very easy to find the flaws in Darwin’s theory. Academic scholars and many scientists are too intimidated to speak out. Current theories of evolution suffer from inadequate scientific methodology and the difficulty of observing evolution. The fact/value distinction, questions of evolutionary progress, teleology, and of ethical freedom, and much else, are completely mishandled by current research assumptions. 

Our final recourse is the study of history itself. There we can find the evidence of non-random evolution, and can break the deadlock of the Darwin debate by demonstrating the fallacy of natural selection. It should be obvious from the study of history that Darwinism flunks a photo finish test, yet we apply Darwinian speculations about ancient epochs we cannot observe to the history we can observe, and which doesn't square with Darwin.

Armed with the data of world history itself we can infer what the descent of man must have been like, at least enough to see the flaws in the speculative excesses of Darwinists. Behind its scientific facade Darwinism is frozen nineteenth century thinking, a positivistic fantasy unworthy of the great achievements of modern science. We need more sophisticated ideas to do a theory of naturalistic evolution, and to bypass the stubborn clumsiness and ideologically motivated theory-junk of the Darwinists. The world is entering the age of Postdarwinism, with or without the scientific community. 

The twentieth century has seen an archaeological revolution. We live in the first generations with enough data to be able to resolve this issue of history and evolution. The results don't square with Darwinian speculations and the crypto-metaphysics packaged with them. We need to rescue historical perceptions from the current fallacies now foisted on us by indoctrinated cadres, and create a firewall against Social Darwinism unconsciously applied to the study of human culture. We can resolve the long-debated issue of natural selection once and for all without becoming entangled in the issue of design.  


John Landon
Information, and related materials online:
Darwiniana: Evolution Blog