Science challenges consciousness. Is it time to fight back?
If you savor personal abuse, from my own experience I can recommend speaking out against Darwinism. There is little to match either the venom or the volume of the abuse that the supposedly-scientifically literate will heap on you. It takes a strong stomach indeed to endure it.
How did science come to such a gross violation of its traditions and principles? Why is Darwin alone among great scientists burdened with being attended by packs of savage “bulldogs”? And why does the number and savagery of their attacks appear to be growing?
What is being defended, surely, is neither science nor Darwin. From bearing the brunt of it I can testify that the attack has the intensity of a last-ditch defense of the person. I am being told “Don’t threaten me or I’ll kill you.”
Who is being threatened? In my experience, atheists. In the atheist circles I move in “Darwin” serves as a shiboleth. It’s how you tell who’s an atheist and who isn’t, who’s instead one of those Christian zealots conspiring to re-impose a theocratic state. In the humanist group I belong to, people are wary of me. What kind of person comes to humanist (hence atheist) meetings but doesn’t believe in natural selection? The contradiction makes them uneasy. Chumminess in atheist circles has probably always taken the form of skepticism, but skepticism now means knee-jerk mockery of criticism of natural selection.
More than any other scientific theory, Darwinism has been adopted as the philosophical basis for atheism, as if atheism depended on it. That puts atheism in the same uncomfortable position as the Catholic Church in the face of Galileo’s telescope. Disproof of one critical doctrine threatens the basis of an entire creed. Atheism is unnecessarily predicating itself on a single unprovable theory.
And, as the upcoming movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed” demonstrates, to a great degree that’s becoming true of science itself. As I know from scientists I’ve spoken to as well as from my own experience, Science does suppress criticism of natural selection. Both inside the academy and out, critics of Darwinism are attacked. Yes, creationists criticize natural selection. But from that it doesn’t necessarily follow that all critics are creationists. Such false logic is acting as a barrier to the tire-kicking any theory should undergo. Ronald Fisher, whose work is the basis of modern evolutionary theory, was a statistician not a biologist; he was probably mistaken in building his statistics on point mutations corresponding to single-gene characteristics, yet the modern system based on his work may not, it seems, be questioned.
I’ve focused on Darwinism because it’s more in the public eye, but Darwinism is like the lure of an angler fish. Swallow that, and you find yourself in the grip of something much more challenging, in this case physicalism or, as it used to be called, scientific reductionism. Adoption of Darwinism threatens to draw atheism into a denial of the ability of the self to arrive at and carry out its own decisions. Through Darwinism, atheism and the Left are binding themselves to the ultimate in determinism and rejection of the self. The unraveling of that connection lies in a reconsideration of natural selection. Unlike evolution, natural selection cannot be proved, it is a hypothetical mechanism. It cannot account for the evolution of the self.
The activity of science demands freedom from determinism to be meaningful. By merely questioning our thories we prove the falseness of physicalism. The next step is to question any mechanism proposed for evolution that's incapable of generating a conscious self .