- "..We are told dogmatically that Evolution is an established fact; but we are never told who has established it, and by what means. We are told, often enough, that the doctrine is founded upon evidence, and that indeed this evidence 'is henceforward above all verification, as well as being immune from any subsequent contradiction by experience;' but we are left entirely in the dark on the crucial question wherein, precisely, this evidence consists....." - Smith, Wolfgang (1988) Teilhardism and the New Religion: A Thorough Analysis of The Teachings of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books & Publishers Inc., p.2..
The idea Darwin symbolically represented with Theory of evolution was a reformulation of MalThus:
- "....This difficulty, as in the case of unconscious selection by man, is avoided on the theory of gradual evolution, through the preservation of a large number of individuals, which varied more or less in any favourable direction, and of the destruction of a large number which varied in an opposite manner. That many species have been evolved in an extremely gradual manner, there can hardly be a doubt...."
(Prof. Owen had the same idea it was called - Doctrine of Derivation. And before Owen we had James Hutton all the way back to Gandalf the tribal wizard 3000BC, bootstrapping the Enuma Elish)
rephrase: "...the preservation of ... of individuals, which varied .... in any favourable direction, and of the destruction of those which varied in an opposite manner.....". 'preservation' and 'favourable direction' alludes to the same fact, it says the same thing twice, but it doesn't explain why something was preserved. From this rhetorical tautology now follows Darwin's non-sequitur - "...That many species have been evolved in an extremely gradual manner, there can hardly be a doubt...."
Theories which aren't in doubt aren't falsifiable, a scientific theory2 is always in doubt. Because Darwin's proposition can't be disputed it lead the Victorian reader to think that his conclusion was therefore ironclad. Popper pointed out that theories which are ironclad aren't really theories but logical fallacies, they masquerade as explanations.
Species might have descended from a Common Ancestor but not because of the argumentation scheme used by Darwin. Darwin plagiarized Malthus idea and labeled it Theory of gradual evolution. Note that Gould also spoke of the Theory of Evolution, he didn't have the 'gradual' idea but the Punk-eek idea. Same term different concepts. The idea is that we descended from a Common Ancestor but an actual theory as to how this could have happened doesn't exist. Using the term Theory of Evolution doesn't mean one has an actual theory. Calling yourself superman doesn't mean you are superman.
Did the pink Unicorn on Proxima Centauri reveal his inner thetan to Roger Rabbit - True or False? The question is a false dichotomy, there is no pink unicorn on Proxima Centauri. What http://www.icr.org, http://www.uncommondescent.com and http://www.talkorigins.org are doing is the same thing: Setting up a false dichotomy with either rebutting or defending the Theory of Evolution. Did it ever occur to them there might not even exist such a thing?. [Note that Dembski probably wasn't referring to the specific passage by Darwin with his idea with the symbol string ToE. We don't know which individual Dembski is interpreting. ToE means nothing it was a symbol representing an idea ,which a reader in 1865 interpreted in terms of Vestiges and Fletcher's rudiments of physiology, books that today nobody even bothers with. They contained fanciful notions about spiders spontaneously forming on battery terminals. The http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution are the arbitrary ideas of arbitrary authors not a historical accurate analysis of the context of the word and the ideas associated with it.]
Darwin used the symbol ToE, but on closer inspection it is a rhetorical tautological reformulation of MalThus , the same tautology he associated with the term Theory of natural selection. ToE and ToNS are different symbols for the same Sumerian and Babillonian Paganism, Malthusian, Empedoclian, Aristotelian rhetorical tautology: The good(atom,allele,Zeus , Thor, seemonster) lived, the bad(seemonster, allele, dinosaur) died and therefore we are result of accident or there is no God or there is a God: Whatever the conclusion it would be a non-sequitur, which doesn't mean the conclusion is false, just that the argumentation scheme is fallacious. The conclusion Aristotle wanted to come to was "result of accident" or as CharlesKingsley put it "...absolute empire of accident...".
In the book publishing business the book has to sell and the public is under the impression that there is such a thing as a ToE, thus the book has to rally the base by refuting the non-existent ToE. In the same way that a book couldn't tell them pink unicorns don't exist if they had believed in such. Selling a book, it is easier to appeal to the biases, stupidity, prejudices and assumptions of the readers, rather than trying to convince them that they are hopelessly deceived to such an extent that like many Scientologists they won't recover their mental equilibrium.
The concept Darwin symbolically represented with ToE and ToNS was Aristotle's rhetorical tautology, something which in principle can't be falsified, all attempts at disproving it are doomed. A theory is something which can be tested or falsified. One can call any concept anything one wishes such as ToE or ToNS, but this doesn't mean there is an actual theory. Darwin arbitrarily used the symbol ToE. The idea he had with this was influenced by Dr.Fletcher's rudiments of physiology and Vestiges where an experiment to create small insect life from the terminals of a battery was reported(Either of the two books,can't remember which one exactly now). This was the idea understood with OoS in 1865.
Dembski, Ken Ham, JohnWilkins and RichardDawkins never define what exactly the idea or concept is that the term Theory of Evolution is supposed to be a proxy for. Are they referring to Darwin and the only passages where he symbolically represented a specific idea with the symbol ToE ? Like "quark" the symbol ToE has no meaning, it can only symbolically represent an idea.
One of the greatest evidences there is no such thing as a http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Evolution is that http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_Evolution redirects to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution. Neither will the Wikipedia Aristotelians allows the page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwins_theory_of_evolution ,so that Darwin's ideas that he symbolically represented with the term ToE can documented within his context , reference frame and background knowledge.
From Darwin onwards we have many different ideas as new knowledge and insight surfaced, the authors such as Fisher then arbitrarily associated their new idea with the terms natural selection. But the idea Darwin had differed from the idea Fisher had, since Darwin couldn't do math. How could Darwin have solved a problem he couldn't define. We aren't dealing with some single universal ToE or ToNS but thousands of different ideas all trying to herd themselves under the rubric or "natural selection".
JerryFodor asked on LRB: "....What then is the intended meaning of natural selection..?..." And the answer is whatever the user of the symbol NS intends it to intend by intending it within his reference frame and possible tautological induced thinking from Aristotle, Empedocles and Democritus. Natural selection like the word "quark" has no meaning, it can only be used to symbolically represent an idea: What idea and by whom, with what mathematical background and metaphysical assumptions such as the multi-universe theory?
On the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gravitation page it lists over ten different theories of gravity such as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotelian_theory_of_gravity and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitehead%27s_theory_of_gravitation where Aristotle and Whitehead had different ideas within their reference frames and background knowledge. The idea Darwin symbolically represented with the symbol ToE was yet another reformulation of Aristotle, Democritus and Empedocles tautological banality: What happens, happens.
Darwin's idea that he represented with NS was the same idea that Aristotle had, just reformulated in different symbols: Evolution, selection, natural etc. As Darwin stated after quoting Aristotle: "..... we can see here the principle of natural selection shadowed forth ...."
Darwin had an idea, Whitehead and Aristotle had an idea. To which idea is http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution referring to, what is the theory and who formulated this theory in terms of the question of What is Life? The gatekeepers of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_Selection are infusing their ideas and concepts that they symbolically represent with natural selection such as non-random natural selection into the articles creating a sort of Dummies guide to the universe, instead of documenting the historical context and reference frame , with the ideas that was symbolically represented by ToE and natural selection in the time era of 1859 and how these ideas were interpreted by CharlesKingsley, JohnBurroughs , JohnTyndall, Waagen , Osborn etc. Osborn for example differed from Darwin that Evolution happened by chance, being influenced by Waagen, but he seems to have only came to this conclusion after writing his book "From the Greeks to Darwin" 1898.(this needs further research and citations). He therefore seemed to have avoided the term NaturalSelection in his New York times article 1922 5Aug because of the idea of 'chance' being associated with it by JohnBurroughs who used 'natural selection' as a synonym for chance in his interpretation of Darwin and had a wide influence on the culture of that time, having written many articles in The Atlantic for example. The Atlantic also seems to be censoring JohnBurroughs criticism of the idea with NaturalSelection because they refuse to provide a full index of his articles, only selectively listing them. Had it not been for the Nytimes article 1922, 5Aug we might never have known about JohnBurroughs unhappyness with the 'chance' idea Darwin used to symbolically represent with NaturalSelection.
In short they are engaging in history revisionism. A history of Napoleon should be exactly that a history, not a running commentry on how wrong he was and what he should have done or should have written, to such an extent that the history writer completely misrepresents what Napoleon actually intended with his words. For example the Wikpedia Aristotelians are very unhappy that Darwin wrote "...survival of the fittest is a better expression than natural selection..." - it doesn't exactly jell with clarity of thought because the idea with SoF was an outright rhetorical tautology. The term was widely used by John Tyndall, Osborn and others as a formidable example of intellectual acumen.
Today it is recognized as an example of supreme stupidity by atheists, YEC and ID, thus the attempt to massage the idea the authors had with SoF in the time era and context of 1870/80 out of Wikipedia by telling us for example that ".... Dawkins avoided the term completely in his latest work etc....." Which is just irrelevant as telling as that Dawkins avoided invading Egypt like Napoleon and shooting at the sphinx with his canon. Dawkins has his ideas and Darwin, John Tyndall had theirs. What Napoleon did is history, what he should have done is an arbitrary view, why are the arbitrary views of Dawkins being infused into http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution? Rather create the following entries:
There seems to be the view that Darwin could only finally have been falsified after the discovery of the complex interactions in the cell. Darwin reformulated Aristotle's tautology and a tautology can by definition not be falsified in past, present or future(information theory).
Aristotle's tautology:"....the good live ,the bad die...." can't be falsified. How did the abstract algorithm map polypeptide space into frog space? Using Aristotles logic the good or constituted algorithm was preserved and bad or non-constituted algorithm perished. The good forex trader profited , the bad one didn't. The good idea flourished , the bad idea didn't, which doesn't explain why the Forex trader actually generated profits, it just says the same thing twice. Aristotle and Democritus fallacious reasoning runs like a fissure through our collective thought, culture,engineering, journals, patents, religions and politics, wrecking havoc with societies ability to evaluate complex ideas.