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  Topic: George Gilder, Metaphysic, NRO's John Derbyshire responds to Gilder< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Jason Spaceman

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Joined: Nov. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2006,01:08   

On evolution.

By John Derbyshire

I seem to have got myself elected to the post of NRís designated point man against Creationists.* Indignant anti-Creationist readers have urged me to make a response to George Gilderís long essay ďEvolution and MeĒ in the current (7/17/06) National Review.

Well, Iíll give it a shot. I had better say up front that I am only familiar with Georgeís work ó he has written several books, none of which I have read, I am ashamed to say, since I know he has read one of mine ó in a sketchy and secondhand way, so what follows is only a response to the aforementioned article ďEvolution and Me.Ē It is possible that George has already dealt with my points in some other of his writings. If so, I hope readers will direct me to the right place.

Iíll also say that I write the following with some reluctance. Itís a wearying business, arguing with Creationists. Basically, it is a game of Whack-a-Mole. They make an argument, you whack it down. They make a second, you whack it down. They make a third, you whack it down. So they make the first argument again. This is why most biologists just canít be bothered with Creationism at all, even for the fun of it. It isnít actually any fun. Creationists just chase you round in circles. Itís boring.

It would be less boring if theyíd come up with a new argument once in a while, but they never do. Iíve been engaging with Creationists for a couple of years now, and I have yet to hear an argument younger than I am. (I am not young.) All Creationist arguments have been whacked down a thousand times, but they keep popping up again. Nowadays I just refer argumentative e-mailers to the TalkOrigins website, where any argument you are ever going to hear from a Creationist is whacked down several times over. Donít think itíll stop íem, though.**

Read it here.


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(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2006,01:36   

I'm afraid I got kind of stuck at this assertion:
Materialism fails to convince because it implies that mind is an illusion.

Really?  I'm just a common or garden agnostic, and cannot quite see where he gets this implication.  

Actually, I persevered during lunch break, and found an entertaining exposition.  I doubt it will win any "converts" for evolution, but its ok.


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(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2006,06:14   

Great article. He really kicks the crap out of Gilder.

There are two reasons why Georgeís ideas, as presented in this essay, are a tough sell. First, he loses biologists right away with his Creationist patter. Second, Georgeís Discovery Institute and his Center for Science and Culture donít discover things and donít do any science.

Arden Chatfield

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Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2006,06:25   

Darbyshire has said some unspeakably foul things in the past (like a famous quote about Chelsea Clinton "having the taint" or sth. like that), but it is gratifying when Republicans break ranks on ID/C. It's very damaging to have large numbers of idiots thinking that only liberal Democrats 'believe in' evolution, and that all Republicans reject it.

Nevertheless pretty much all political attacks on evolution DO come from Republicans, and it'd be nice if saner Republicans took responsibility for that.

"Rich is just mad because he thought all titties had fur on them until last week when a shorn transvestite ruined his childhood dreams by jumping out of a spider man cake and man boobing him in the face lips." - Erasmus


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(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2006,11:13   

Really?  I'm just a common or garden agnostic, and cannot quite see where he gets this implication.

I think he has made a category error here. Kind of like saying that in recognizing only physical vehicles but not travel, materialism has "failed to convince" that material things are all that exist. After all, travel isn't a material thing anymore than the mind is. Travel is what vehicles do, and the mind is what the brain does.

But of course materialism recognizes that processes exist. The mind is a process; it's not a magical thing like a soul. The error lies in the claim that the mind somehow exists independent of the body. IF brainless people could have minds, THEN materialism would have to consider such minds illusory.


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(Permalink) Posted: July 13 2006,12:20   

OK, that sounds about right.  

Being in the UK, I dont know much about this Derbyshire bloke- I assume that as a Conservative, he is also religious, hence his point about minds and suchlike.

Nevertheless, the way he lays into ID is good.

  5 replies since July 13 2006,01:08 < Next Oldest | Next Newest >  


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