Skip to comments.Church makes ‘ludicrous’ apology to Charles Darwin - 126 years after his death
Posted on 09/13/2008 3:24:36 PM PDT by gondramB
The Church of England will tomorrow officially apologise to Charles Darwin for misunderstanding his theory of evolution.
In a bizarre step, the Church will address its contrition directly to the Victorian scientist himself, even though he died 126 years ago.
But the move was greeted with derision last night, with Darwins great-great-grandson dismissing it as pointless and other critics branding it ludicrous.
Church officials compared the apology to the late Pope John Paul IIs decision to say sorry for the Vaticans 1633 trial of Galileo, the astronomer who appalled prelates by declaring that the earth revolved around the sun.
The officials said that senior bishops wanted to atone for the vilification their predecessors heaped on Darwin in the 1860s, when he put forward his theory that man was descended from apes.
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Since Science is the identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of the world as we observe it, except for specific miracles, the church needs to acknowledge and support the role of science.
Stupid Church of England.
What is the point in apologising to a corpse?
Can the Church of England not keep a shred of their former Dignity and Honor?
Even a scant hint of a retained reputation would be heartening.
For such a long time we thought your were a conflicted but dedicated scientist trying to make sense of the world.
We now realize that your were an epic super genius who has proven that God has never existed.
We are sorry for our misunderstanding and greatly appreicate our atheist brothers bringing us to a greater faith in You.
hmmm. interesting. Maybe I'm just cynical and jaded, but I don't think the "waring" between religion and science is going to stop with this.
>>What is the point in apologising to a corpse?<<
Yeah, this would have been better as a just a statement of belief in science and that science and religion are not incompatible.
Maybe they figure they get more press this way.
If Max Planck was correct then no one at the top of the hieracrchy of the Church of England has died for...quite some time.
>>hmmm. interesting. Maybe I’m just cynical and jaded, but I don’t think the “waring” between religion and science is going to stop with this. <<
No it won’t. There is too much hostility from some people on both sides.
This is one entity, the C of E, saying they are not in the fight because they (correctly in my opinion) see no need for the fight.
I retract any apology made on my behalf to Charles Darwin from any church I might have ever attended in the past. Darwinism is a theory. No apology needed.
Evolutionists Flock to Darwin-shaped Wall Stain
Evolutionists Flock to Darwin-shaped Wall Stain
>>If Max Planck was correct then no one at the top of the hieracrchy of the Church of England has died for...quite some time.<<
Gotta love Max
“He was by nature and by the tradition of his family conservative, averse to revolutionary novelties and skeptical towards speculations. But his belief in the imperative power of logical thinking based on facts was so strong that he did not hesitate to express a claim contradicting to all tradition, because he had convinced himself that no other resort was possible.”
The had to wait until the last giant tortoise of Darwin had died.
>>I retract any apology made on my behalf to Charles Darwin from any church I might have ever attended in the past. Darwinism is a theory. No apology needed.<<
That’s ok - the man himself isn’t the real object.
And there haven’t been any pure Darwinists for almost 100 years - modern developmental biology includes a synthesis of things Darwin never dreamed of. And all theories are subject to new evidence.
The main point is that religious people can and should accept studying the world with reason and logic. And that is not how the church responded in the 1800’s.
I enjoyed that greatly.
Actually, Galileo's mistake was that he portrayed the Pope as the Village Idiot.
Both Galileo and Pope Urban VIII shared St. Augustine's and the Catholic's Church present view that the Bible was written to guide man in regards to how to get to Heaven and not how the heavenly bodies go and was therefore not a literal scientific document. As you may note, the Catholic Church has no dog in the Darwinism vs. Creationism fight.
Pope Urban VIII specifically asked Galileo to write a book outlining the scientific pros and cons of the competing theories. If it had been a matter of pure religious dogma, the matter would simply have been settled by Papal decree.
Urban VIII had his personal opinion on the scientific controversy and asked Galileo to include it in the arguments of the book.
The book, however, was written, not as a straightforward and unbiased scientific treatise, but as a fictional dialog between proponents of each theory.
The Village Idiot in the dialog of the book was "Simplicius" which literally translates to "Simpleton".
Galileo screwed the pooch not so much by assigning Simplicius one side of the argument or the other but by putting Pope Urban VIII's personal opinion regarding the scientific controversy into the mouth of Simplicius.
Pope Urban VIII thus found himself publicly ridiculed and humiliated and Galileo found himself in deep kimchee.
Henry II knew how to handle meddlesome church officials. :)
Can Evolution Survive Without Darwin? August 29, 2008 Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution seem synonymous. Nevertheless, many evolutionary biologists have pointed out that a lot has happened in evolutionary biology since Darwin died. Some even criticize creationists for using the term Darwinism for evolution, though often it is just as much the habit of evolutionists (example: Genome Research: Genomics and Darwinism). These days, however, there is a movement to let old Darwin fade away and remove his name from evolutionary theory altogether. Some even see his main idea, natural selection, as an impediment to progress in the field.
In a letter to Science August 29, U. Kutschera of the University of Kassel in Germany suggested we replace Darwinism with evolutionary biology a term first coined by Julian Huxley. This is because evolutionary theory has expanded far beyond Darwins limited domain into other disciplines such as geology and computer science. He also pointed out, though, that we need another update of our concepts about the mechanisms of evolution a suggestion that natural selection is inadequate.
A distinct down-with-Darwin attitude was most clearly seen in an interview August 24 by Susan Mazur with Stuart Newman, published in The Scoop, an independent news service in New Zealand. Mazur was asking Newman about his recent involvement in a closed conference of 16 evolutionary biologists in Altenberg, Austria last July (see Revolt in the Darwin Camp from 03/07/2008 and Mazurs July 6 preview of controversial issues in The Scoop; for list of participants and their public statement on the outcome of the meeting, see the Rationally Speaking blog for July 17). Some of the participants wanted to formulate an extended evolutionary synthesis with less natural selection and more of the new perspectives that have recently taken hold, such as self-organization and epigenetics. Some of them see natural selection only as a culling filter after other mechanisms generated novelty that caused the origin of species and body plans. These ideas remain controversial.
Newman described why self-organization might lead to complex structures. To avoid misunderstanding, he prefers the term phenotypic plasticity
Plasticity is not only associated with self-organization. Molecular self-assembly can also be plastic. It is now recognized that many proteins have no intrinsic three-dimensional structure their forms and functions change depending on their microenvironment, including other proteins that may or may not be present. The structure and function of macromolecular complexes can therefore change dramatically over the course of evolution with minimal genetic change, or as a side-effect of other changes, not driven by adaptation. This is quite relevant to the evolution of highly complex structures like the bacterial flagellum, a problem constantly harped on by advocates of Intelligent Design.
Newman is saying that complex structures, composed of many parts that ID scientists would call irreducibly complex, might just happen spontaneously without any evolutionary force of adaptation or natural selection driving the process. Obviously such ideas are going to raise eyebrows among biologists trained in traditional Darwinism.
Newman and Mazur both complained that the establishment biologists are not welcoming the new ideas of self-organization. What is most interesting in Mazurs article is her vitriolic description of the Darwinian industry that remains sold out to traditional Darwinian adaptationism. They abhor the concept of self-organization, she said, because of fear those in the intelligent-design community will exploit it. She held out particular disdain for the NCSE, which advises schools in America on what textbooks are suitable.
The National Center for Science Education director Eugenie Scott told me that her organization does not support self-organization because it is confused with intelligent design, i.e., design-beyond-laws as Michael Behe, a biochemist at Lehigh University describes it. NCSE also pays lucrative fees to conference speakers who keep the lid on self-organization by beating the drum for Darwinian natural selection. NCSE and its cronies completely demonize the intelligent design community, even those who agree evolution happened. Religion is not the target since even the National Academy of Sciences embraces religion. So it seems the real target is those who fail to kneel before the Darwinian theory of natural selection and prevent the further fattening of the Darwinian industry tapeworm. NAS and NASA/NAI in their respective publications Science, Evolution and Creationism, and Astrobiology Primer have also kept out any discussion of self-organization. What is your response to this? Why do you think such organizations continue to feed unenlightened information to the public at public expense?Somewhat taken aback at the language, Newman agreed, but with the disclaimer that I may not use all the terms that you used. He pointed out that at the Dover trial, for instance, the idea was reinforced in the public mind that if you believe in evolution, you believe in Darwins theory of evolution because its supposedly the same thing. And if you dont believe in Darwins theory, you must believe in something supernatural. In bold print, Mazur quoted his next statement:
This is not at all valid and I think its a big mistake because we know there are non-linear and what I call saltational mechanisms of embryonic development that could have contributed -- and Im virtually certain they did -- to evolution. It was Darwin who said that if any organ is shown to have formed not by small increments but by jumps, his theory would therefore be wrong. [Emphasis in original].
Newman seems to be implying that, by Darwins own standard, natural selection theory has been falsified. He called it a Darwinian orthodoxy that everything has to be incremental, including something very complex like the bacterial flagellum or the segmented vertebral column, they say that it had to have arisen in an incremental fashion. Self-assembly and self-organization, Newman believes, can account for these things without natural selection. I think its an unfortunate error that some advocates of evolution are making by adhering so closely to this incrementalist Darwinian dogma, which he later attributed to implausible and incorrect mechanisms. Mazur reacted by calling this mediocre science being pushed on the public and wasting of public funds at a time of serious economic downturn in America.
Newman and Mazur discussed how funding can perpetuate a consensus, even when its wrong, and how the consensus controls communication with the public. It really undermines confidence in science if people are always being subjected to what we call handwaving arguments that all complexity had to have had an incremental origin. Nevertheless, Newman himself, when describing how self-organization might produce a flagellum, seemed also to be just waving his hands.
Wont it be fun if Darwinism collapses just in time for Darwin Day? There was going to be a big celebration in 1992, remember, for Columbus on the 500th anniversary of his voyage to the New World. The party fizzled, however, when activists got all untied about his supposed links to racism, exploitation, disease, and slavery. (Whether this was true to history or not is beside the point.) Maybe thats the secret. Hire a bunch of live-at-home dropouts and history professors who have nothing better to do than protest things. Convince them that Darwin brought racism, sexism, genocide and a host of other evils. (That this is true to history is the point.) Turn them loose, get the media focused on them, raise a ruckus and watch Darwin become very politically incorrect on campus. What a surprised look we will see on Eugenie Scotts face when the people chanting Down with Darwin! are not religious creationists, but a motley mix of radicals, liberals, progressives, diversity departments and evolutionary biologists like Stuart Newman. This is not the first time the saltationists have attacked the gradualists. Its part of a repeated tug-of-war that resurfaces every decade or two, because insiders bred on Darwinism know that gradualism via natural selection is implausible and incorrect. The Darwin Party hangs on for dear life because they know all is lost if gradualism goes. No matter what you call saltationism, whether punctuated equilibria or phenotypic plasticity or self-assembly, it is tantamount to naturalistic miracles. Can anyone really believe an outboard motor of 40 essential parts just self-assembled without design? Such faith conjures up visions of tornados in junkyards and explosions in print shops. The Darwinians know that intelligent design people and creationists love this stuff. It makes their job so easy. A dinosaur lays an egg and a bird hatches out. Yeee-haw! Join the resistance! Dont kneel before the Darwinian theory of natural selection. Prevent the further fattening of the Darwinian industry tapeworm! (Thank you, Susan, for that picturesque metaphor.) For those of us outside the Church of Darwin, who think with our brains instead of our imaginations, well get our miracles, thank you, from the intelligent Designer who has both the purpose and the power to execute them.
i'm sorry, charlie
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