Saturday, March 18, 2006

Evolution for everyone

Evolution for everyone: For biologist David Sloan Wilson, evolution is the core curriculum for all academic disciplines, Science & Theology News, Liz Kemmerer , March 17, 2006 . In Wilson's Evolution Studies track, evolution is the "common language" that unites all areas of academic inquiry. Evolution is famously controversial, despite being an established scientific theory. Many who accept the theory of evolution don't relate it to matters of importance in their own lives. There appears to be two walls of resistance, one denying the theory altogether and the other denying its relevance to human affairs. But according to David Sloan Wilson, an evolutionary biologist at Binghamton University in New York, everyone can be a good evolutionist - at least if you take Wilson's interdisciplinary classes in evolution. Wilson initiated, developed and directs the university's new Evolutionary Studies track, or "EvoS" for short, which seeks to explore all of creation with the basic principles of evolution. According to Wilson, it is "perhaps the first program that attempts to make evolution a common language for the study of all human-related subjects, in addition to the natural world, at a campuswide scale." EvoS, which began in 2002, includes more than 50 faculty members representing 15 departments. Wilson hopes that the program becomes a model for evolution education that can be copied at other colleges and universities. Wilson, who is jointly appointed in the biology and anthropology departments at Binghamton, describes himself as "an evolutionary biologist who studies humans as part of the rest of life." He designed his program based upon the discussions and publications of his fellow evolutionary-minded colleagues. He hopes to teach students the basics and implications of evolution so that they can continue to develop their interests throughout their college career. In doing so, students will learn how to study every subject, no matter their major or profession, "through the lens of evolution," he said. ... [Here is a good (bad?) example of an evolutionist committing the Fallacy of Equivocation (i.e. using "the same word in different meanings in an argument, implying that the word means the same each time round") by playing on that most flexible word, "evolution". In one breath "evolution" it is just "an established scientific theory" and in the next breath "evolution" is "the `common language' that unites all areas of academic inquiry", the "lens" through which "students will learn how to study every subject, no matter their major or profession" (my emphasis)! But I can think of at least one "subject" that cannot be studied "through the lens of evolution," if by "evolution" is meant:

"the standard scientific theory that `human beings have developed over millions of years from less advanced forms of life, but God had no part in this process.'" (Shermer M.B., "The Gradual Illumination of the Mind," Scientific American, February 2002. My emphasis)

It is obvious that that is the "evolution" Wilson has in mind, because he describes the course as "explain[ing] the incredible diversity and functionality of life without invoking a deity" and "Virtually every discipline in the human sciences ... and the humanities" including "religion ... can be approached from an evolutionary perspective" making "Evolution ... truly a passport for the study of ... all things human" (my emphasis):

INTRODUCTION TO THE EVOS PROGRAM Evolution is increasingly being used to explain the pageant of human life in addition to the rest of life on earth. BU's Evolutionary Studies Program is the first of its kind to teach evolution in a truly integrated fashion, beginning with core principles and extending in all directions, from molecular biology to art and religion. The program is available to all undergraduate and graduate students and is designed to be taken in parallel with one's existing major. Discover how evolutionary theory provides a way to think about such a broad range of subjects, including what already interests you. Before Darwin, there was no way to explain the incredible diversity and functionality of life without invoking a deity. Darwin showed how a diversity of forms well adapted to their environments could evolve by a natural process. The elements of his theory--variation, heritability, and selection--are so simple that anyone can understand them, yet their consequences are so profound that they are still being worked out today. Evolution can be used to understand the human condition in addition to the rest of life on earth. Virtually every discipline in the human sciences (e.g., psychology, anthropology, sociology, economics, political science, the health sciences) and the humanities (e.g., philosophy, history, religion, art, literature) can be approached from an evolutionary perspective. Even more important, evolutionary theory is dissolving the traditional disciplinary boundaries, for example, by making knowledge of humans in relation to their ancestral environments (anthropology, archaeology) essential for understanding the nature of the human mind (psychology) or modern health problems (medicine). Evolution is truly a passport for the study of all things animate and their productions, therefore all things human, in addition to other organisms. (my emphasis)

Indeed, this opposing and exalting evolution over everything that is called God, so that evolutionists set themselves up in God's place, effectively proclaiming themselves to be God, is more evidence that we are well into the Great Apostasy predicted by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thess. 2:1-4, which will culminate in the coming of Antichrist, before Jesus returns:

"1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come. 3Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion [Gk. apostasia] occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God." (my emphasis)

But that one subject is Christianity, which if it is true (and it is), then the two main supporting metaphysical pillars of evolution, Materialism (i.e. matter is all there is = there is no God) and Naturalism (i.e. nature is all there is = there is no supernatural), are false!

I have added the above item to my "Problems of Evolution" book outline, PE 2. 8.1. "Fallacies used to support evolution ... Equivocation"]

Stephen E. Jones, BSc (Biol).
"Problems of Evolution"

"This technique for the conversion of possibilities into probabilities and liabilities into assets was the more effective the longer the process went on. In the chapter entitled `Difficulties on Theory' the solution of each difficulty in turn came more easily to Darwin as he triumphed over-not simply disposed of-the preceding one. The reader was put under a constantly mounting obligation; if he accepted one explanation, he was committed to accept the next. Having first agreed to the theory in cases where only some of the transitional stages were missing, the reader was expected to acquiesce in those cases where most of the stages were missing, and finally in those where there was no evidence of stages at all. Thus, by the time the problem of the eye was under consideration, Darwin was insisting that anyone who had come with him so far could not rightly hesitate to go further. In the same spirit, he rebuked those naturalists who held that while some reputed species were varieties rather than real species, other species were real. Only the blindness of preconceived opinion," [Origin, 1st edition, p.409] he held, could make them balk at going the whole way-as if it was not precisely the propriety of going the whole way that was at issue." (Himmelfarb G., "Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution," [1959], Elephant Paperbacks: Chicago IL, 1996, reprint, pp.334-335)

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