Newton and Darwin and Wallace and "false analogies"

I do claim that Darwin's lies and dishonest in order to get his theory accepted, is part of the "evidence against`the theory of evolution'".


ED: It would be more to the point to discuss a wide variety of lines of evidence concerning Natural Selection, both pro and con (from Darwin's day to our own). But if you really think you can bring down "Darwinism" simply by citing old "cases in which _Darwin_ was dishonest," go right ahead. (Of course why focus on Darwin alone when "natural selection" had two authors, not just one. There was Wallace too. And by the way, Darwin was not an atheist but an agnostic, and Wallace was a theist. If I recall correctly, Wallace believed that the evolution of man's mind involved a designing influence rather than a purely naturally selective one. But for most evolutionary processes in nature, Wallace remained pro-natural selection.)


And if you want to discuss cases in which Darwin was dishonest, why not also discuss the cases in which Darwin was honest? One thing's for sure, Darwin held his temper to a relatively greater extent than many who slandered him in the press of his day.


Besides, if you want to debate a hypothesis on the basis of the "honesty or dishonesty" of its leaders then let's discuss two thousand years of Christian history with its slanderings of Christian against Christian, and of dishonest tactics like burning opponents books and even burning opponents -- including fellow Christians. You can even compare young-earth "Flood geology" Christians and their "honesty" and "honest" portrayals of old-earth and theistic evolutionary arguments, and vice versa. Or better yet, study the way that the Gospel of Matthew cites verses from the Old Testament and applies them to Jesus, to see how "honestly" the original contexts of each of those verses is represented. [A good place to begin such a study is with a book titled, THE JEW AND THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY.]




Apart from the word "science" there is no meaningful comparison between "Darwin's ... theory of evolution" and "Newton's ... theory of gravity". Newton had to invent a whole new branch of mathematics, calculus, in order to develop his "theory of gravity", which is expressed with mathematical objectivity and precision.


ED: Gravity is indeed mathematically precise. Though I have read that even today the calculation of how THREE objects in three-dimensional space interact gravitationally on one another remains an extraordinarily difficult problem. And there are plenty of advanced physics problems and astronomical questions today for which science has no definitve answers, but some of which are being fleshed out in hypotheses and semi-verified theories. Though as of yet, I haven't seen any physicists resorting to simply invoking "I.D." as an "answer." No, I'm afraid they are going to continue to seek mathematical ways to model the regularities of nature, including the evolution of galaxies, stars, planets, and the development of all the other elements from simple hydrogen atoms.


Speaking of Darwinism, there is observation and mathematics involved in determining mutation ratios, and genetics is opening further observational doors to inner genetic changes, and making it possible to read the differences between genomes like geologists read the fossil evidence in the stratigraphic record. And biological science like physical science, will probably continue to seek mathematical ways to model changes in natures, and will continue to do so, rather than resort to the explanation that "God did it that way." By the way, even some young-earth creationists agree that "micro-evolutionary" changes occur, which I suppose means that they also agree that mutations and natural selection also may play a part, at least in cases of "microevolution."


So if you want to discuss Natural Selection, then just continue to read about experiments related to it, and continue to discuss it. And visit the website, "Was Darwin Wrong?" that contains some in-depth reviews of anti-Darwinian books by a university biologist.




Darwin himself admitted in his Origin of Species, that his "theory of evolution", was not a "fair" and "balanced" presentation of the "facts and arguments": "For I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this is here impossible." (Darwin C.R., "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection," [1872], Everyman's Library, J.M. Dent & Sons: London, 6th Edition, 1928, reprint, p.18)


ED: I sent an email to the group regarding a few quotations from Darwin including the one you have cited above. That email contains my reaction to your citation above. (But please continue reading my further replies below.)




So your argument is an example of "the fallacy of false analogy": "THE FALLACY OF FALSE ANALOGY. Few techniques of reasoning are so potentially useful-or so potentially dangerous-as analogy. When we reason by analogy we attempt to advance our position by likening an obscure or difficult set of facts to one that is already known and understood and to which it bears a significant resemblance. The fallacy of false analogy arises when the comparison is an erroneous one that distorts the facts in the case being argued. Drawing attention to likenesses can be extremely useful so long as the two things being compared resemble each other in important respects and differ only in trifling ways. If, on the contrary, they are alike in unimportant ways and different in important ways, then there is no valid analogy between them and a fallacy of false analogy results. Merely to seize upon some slight similarity as a basis for concluding that what is true of one is also true of the other will usually lead one astray. ... To expose a false analogy-or an imperfect analogy, as it is sometimes called-it is necessary to establish that the two things being compared resemble each other in insignificant ways, while they differ in significant ways." (Engel S.M., "With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies," St. Martin's Press: New York NY, Fourth Edition, 1990, Pp.150-151)


ED: Before you _quid pro quo_ me, please read what I wrote above in response to your attempts to defend your own fallacious argument, viz., citing Darwin's "dishonesty" as being equal in all ways to "evidence against the theory of evolution."




"According to anthropologist Loren Eiseley, Darwin appropriated the work of Edward Blyth, a little-known British zoologist who wrote on natural selection and evolution in two papers published in 1835 and 1837. Eiseley points to similarities in phrasing, the use of rare words, and the choice of examples. While Darwin in his opus quotes Blyth on a few points, notes Eiseley, he does not cite the papers that deal directly with natural selection, even though it is clear he read them. The thesis has been disputed by paleontologist Stephen J. Gould."


ED: I'm familiar with that. But even if Gould's dispute of it is incorrect, and Darwin did employ words and ideas and examples from Blyth, plagiarism is hardly reason to doubt anyone's hypothesis, only the name of its originator. So if we called it "Blythinism" instead of "Darwinism" would that suit you?


(This also reminds me of how both the Hebrew account of creation and the Flood story do not list any of the original sources which inspired them or from which they were plagiarized to various degrees. The proverbs of Solomon have even turned up in ancient Near Eastern literature that pre-dates the days of Solomon. Many ancient Near Eastern sayings had earlier origins in various collections of wise sayings amongst the Egyptians and Babylonians. Solomon, or later editors of Solomon's wise sayings, probably had a lot to choose from, again, without listing the proper references as to each saying's prior origin.)




But Eiseley is not the only critic of Darwin's acknowledgment practices. He was accused by a contemporary, the acerbic man of letters Samuel Butler, of passing over in silence those who had developed similar ideas. Indeed, when Darwin's On the Origin of Species first appeared in 1859, he made little mention of predecessors. Later, in an 1861 `historical sketch' added to the third edition of the Origin, he delineated some of the previous work, but still gave few details. Under continued attack, he added to the historical sketch in three subsequent editions. It was still not enough to satisfy all his critics. In 1879, Butler published a book entitled Evolution Old and New in which he accused Darwin of slighting the evolutionary speculations of Buffon, Lamarck, and Darwin's own grandfather Erasmus." (Broad, William J. & Wade, Nicholas [science writers, The New York Times], "Betrayers of the Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science," Simon and Schuster: New York NY, 1982, pp.30-31). [...]


ED: Today we have historians of evolution that have helped fill in the gap, i.e., and who have written far more than mere "historical sketches" as to the many influences that engaged Darwin's mind prior to writing "The Origin of Species." Probably more influences than Darwin himself can recall.




As can be seen, this is actually one of my Darwin's dishonesty items, and was in fact one of the quotes that got me started on this Darwin's dishonesty issue.


ED: It would be more to the point to discuss a wide variety of lines of evidence concerning Natural Selection, both pro and con (from Darwin's day to our own). But if you really think you can bring down "Darwinism" simply by citing old "cases in which _Darwin_ was dishonest," go right ahead.


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