Thursday, April 23, 2009

Darwin's Rottweiler

Scott LaFee of the San Diego Union Tribune has an interview with Richard Dawkins in which Dawkins waxes about Charles Darwin. Of evolutionary theory, Dawkins says this:
The power of a theory can be measured by the amount it explains divided by the amount that must be assumed for that explanation. A theory that needs to make hundreds of assumptions is not much better than a description of what you observe. A powerful theory is one that can explain lots and lots of observations while hardly making any assumptions to do so.

Darwin's theory is huge because it explains everything about life but needs to assume only the extremely simple idea of heredity, competition between hereditary elements, variation. And really, all of those things follow naturally. If you have heredity, you can't help but have errors in copying – mutations – which means you can't help getting competition. The assumptions Darwin needs to make are almost negligible.

Remember what the ICR said about evolutionary theory:
"Notion" is an appropriate description; "theory" is too generous. For the philosophy of science called "evolution" is just that--a philosophical system of belief that cannot be substantiated by any observable evidence, either in action today or through nature's record of the past. Even Darwin admitted that certain evidence might later be uncovered that would contradict his conclusions.
And none has. Oops. Onward. Along the way, without naming names, he takes a pot shot at creationism:
I'm usually very patient and kind to anybody who genuinely doesn't know something and wants to be taught. I enjoy explaining things, and I will put myself out to explain something if somebody doesn't know and would like to know.

But people who use devious tricks to win arguments, who are not actually concerned with facts and the truth, if I meet somebody with a closed mind or who knows the truth and is using dishonest tactics to avoid it, then perhaps I could be accused of a scorched-earth approach.

I have to confess the dishonesty is starting to get to me, also.

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