Nietzsche’s Rejection of Darwinian Evolution

Nietzsche Wikipedia

“The error of the Darwinist school has become a problem for me: ” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche, “how can one be so blind as to fail to see clearly here? … That the species represent progress is the most unreasonable assertion in the world:” (Nietzsche 2003, 258)

In a period of ten years, Nietzsche drifted from admiring Darwin and his company as “great names of England” to discourteously mocking and ridiculing them as “English psychologists” and “our ape-genealogists”. This article concisely introduced only two, among many, of Nietzsche’s cases against the theory of Darwinian evolution mostly when associated with Homo sapiens.

Case Against Darwinian Progressivity

Natural selection works, according to Charles Darwin, “solely by and for the good of each being, all corporeal and mental endowments will tend to progress towards perfection.”(Darwin 1909, 528) This idea of progressivity in Darwinian evolution did not only astounded Nietzsche but also its opposite seemed, according to Nietzsche’s survey of “great destinies of man”, to be true. He wrote,

What surprises me most when surveying the great destinies of man is always seeing before me the opposite of what Darwin and his school see or want to see today: selection in favor of the stronger, in favor of those who have come off better, the progress of the species. The very opposite is quite palpably the case: the elimination of the strokes of luck, the uselessness of the better-constituted types, the inevitable domination achieved by the average, even below-average types.(Nietzsche 2003, 258)

Unless our-ape-genealogists gave him reasons why Homo sapiens were an exception to Darwinian evolution, Nietzsche was persuaded that “the school of Darwin has everywhere deceived itself ”(2003, 259) In struggle for man’s existence, it is not the highest, the strongest, the fittest and the fortunate that survive but the lower and the weaker who “predominate through numbers, through prudence, [and] through cunning”.

Nietzsche argued that chance variation, contrary to Darwinian’s survival for the fittest, does not yield any benefit to the fittest. He observed that “nature is cruel towards its favourites, it spares and protects and loves les humbles ”(2003, 260)

Thus it is not the case that in struggle for existence the weak organism perishes while the strong survive. Chance seems to serve both the weak and the strong. Nietzsche asserted that, “one nowhere finds any example of unconscious selection (absolutely not). The most disparate individuals unite with one another, the extremes are submerged in the mass. Everything competes to preserve its type; creatures with exterior markings to protect them from danger do not lose them when they encounter conditions in which they live without danger” (Nietzsche 1968, 362)

Case Against Macroevolution of Creatures

“There are no transitional forms.-” contended Nietzsche. Darwinist asserts modification of organism as they struggle to adapt into their environment, food and climate. Nietzsche argued that this is not what we see in reality. “Every type has its limits;” he explained, “beyond these there is no evolution. Up to this point, absolute regularity”(1968, 363)

Nietzsche accepted a microevolution of creatures theory, but argued that one cannot move from microevolution to macroevolution. Example we can, by unnatural selection, breed dogs to form different breeds, but there is a limit and beyond these there is no evolution. Dogs after all remain dogs. It is for this reason we have no transitional forms.

Concisely, Nietzsche’s general view could be captured as: “man as a species is not progressing. Higher types are indeed attained, but they do not last. The level of the species is not raised […] man as a species does not represent any progress compared with any other animal. The whole animal and vegetable kingdom does not evolve from the lower to the higher – but all at the same time, in utter disorder, over and against each other”(ibid)

The two Nietzschean doubts I presented, as some of reasons Nietzsche rejected Darwinian evolution, mostly when applied to Homo sapiens, are (1) the falsehood of survival for the fittest and (2) the limits of evolution.

Previous: Nietzsche and Two Unpleasant Implications of Darwinism

Bibliography:

Darwin, Charles (1909). The Harvard Classics 11: Origin of the Species by Charles Darwin. (C. W. Eliot, Ed.) . New York: P.F. Collier & Son.

Nietzsche, Friedrich (1968) The Will to Power. A New Translation by Water Kaufmann and R. J. Hollingdale. Vintage Books. New York.

_________________________ (2003) Writings from the Late Notebooks. Translated by Kate Sturge. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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77 thoughts on “Nietzsche’s Rejection of Darwinian Evolution

  1. Pingback: Nietzsche on Science Today | Anacephalaeosis

  2. I’m going to go out on a limb here…Nietzsche probably didn’t care all that much about the nuts and bolts of scientific theory, but what we make of it – the “superfluous teleological principles” that we derive from it and subsequently instill into it. His basic epistemological position was that all we can really know are our own motivations, which color and dominate all our other potential knowledge. Sometimes, in the sleepy hours of the morning or in moments of life or death action, I think I see how he was wrong and my motivations, and everyone else’s, are made of other things which I can know. Then I read something like this exchange, and change my mind.

    • You are not alone Keith. Many think Nietzsche was only against social Darwinism or simply ignore him as an individual against a watered down popular German’s Darwinism.

      Nietzsche probably did not read Darwin’s original works but his insight and understanding of Darwinian theory, was from the best in his period. It would be like reading Richard Dawkins’ awesome master pieces; The Selfish Gene(1990), The Blind Watchmaker(1996) and Climbing Mount Improbable(1997).

      The more I read Nietzsche’s critiques the more I admire his brilliancy. Though he rejected orthodox gradualism of Darwinism, I think he would probably have accepted punctuated equilibria (but I am not sure).

  3. John, when I look at the natural world, I see order, patterns – things that suggest to me deliberate causation. Prior to all of this order wasn’t disorder. What existed in the natural realm (the Earth, the universe) prior to all of this order was nothing. There was no existence, no natural realm, before God caused it to exist – no universe, no stars, no planets, no life, nothing. Order exists because God caused it to exist and did so because it serves His purpose (I would suggest the purpose of pointing to His existence, as suggested in Romans 1).

    • When I look at the flocks of birds or schools of fish in the natural world, I see order, patterns, discreteness – things that suggest to me deliberate creative agency. Prior to all of this order wasn’t disorder of random birds and fish. What existed in the sky and water prior to all of this order was nothing. There was no existence, no natural realm, before Wotan caused flocks and schools to exist – no universe, no stars, no planets, no life, nothing. Order exists because Wotan caused it to exist and did so because it serves His purpose.

      Now what could possibly be challenged about this argument for the creative powers of Wotan?

  4. Reblogged this on Intelligence is not a Sin! and commented:
    Interestingly, as Christians started acknowledging “microevolution,” the evolutionists changed the terminology and insisted that there is only “evolution” – that it’s an all-or-nothing proposition – and that if you can’t accept change/adaptation over time within a species without accepting change/adaptation over time (conveniently, an insanely long period of time that cannot be observed) eventually resulting in a new species.

  5. The statement, “In [the] struggle for man’s existence, it is not the highest, the strongest, the fittest and the fortunate that survive[,] but the lower and the weaker who ‘predominate through numbers, through prudence, [and] through cunning'” reminds me of the movie Idiocracy, where something very much like this actually happened.

    Interestingly, as Christians started acknowledging “microevolution,” the evolutionists changed the terminology and insisted that there is only “evolution” – that it’s an all-or-nothing proposition – and that if you can’t accept change/adaptation over time within a species without accepting change/adaptation over time (conveniently, an insanely long period of time that cannot be observed) eventually resulting in a new species.

    • It wasn’t those who understand why evolution is true who ‘changed’ terminology; it was those who didn’t, who decided the unguided, undirected natural mechanism called ‘evolution’ was permitted here but not there, who arbitrarily laid down an invisible line and claimed ‘micro’ on this side and ‘macro’ on that, who finally admitted that, yes, the overwhelming evidence for this mechanism should be recognized in some way that didn’t undermine the belief in creationism and the best way to do that was put artificial borders around it and pretend the new synthesis didn’t utterly destroy the false sense of security proponents of ‘micro’ and ‘macro’ had so carefully promulgated.

    • Chancellor, you just reminded me of this brilliant paper presented by Robert A. Maundy, College of the Holy Cross, Reno, Nevada: “The Paradoxes of Darwinian Disorder.” I’d be keen to hear your thoughts on it.

      Towards an Ontological Reaffirmation of Order and Transcendence.

      In the Darwinian perspective, order is not immanent in reality, but it is a self-affirming aspect of reality in so far as it is experienced by situated subjects. However, it is not so much reality that is self-affirming, but the creative order structuring reality which manifests itself to us. Being-whole, as opposed to being-one, underwrites our fundamental sense of locatedness and particularity in the universe. The valuation of order qua meaningful order, rather than order-in-itself, has been thoroughly objectified in the Darwinian worldview. This process of de-contextualization and reification of meaning has ultimately led to the establishment of ‘dis-order’ rather than ‘this-order’. As a result, Darwinian materialism confronts us with an eradication of meaning from the phenomenological experience of reality. Negative theology however suggests a revaluation of disorder as a necessary precondition of order, as that without which order could not be thought of in an orderly fashion. In that sense, dis-order dissolves into the manifestations of order transcending the materialist realm. Indeed, order becomes only transparent qua order in so far as it is situated against a background of chaos and meaninglessness. This binary opposition between order and dis-order, or between order and that which disrupts order, embodies a central paradox of Darwinian thinking. As Whitehead suggests, reality is not composed of disordered material substances, but as serially-ordered events that are experienced in a subjectively meaningful way. The question is not what structures order, but what structure is imposed on our transcendent conception of order. By narrowly focusing on the disorderly state of present-being, or the “incoherence of a primordial multiplicity”, as John Haught put it, Darwinian materialists lose sense of the ultimate order unfolding in the not-yet-being. Contrary to what Dawkins asserts, if we reframe our sense of locatedness of existence within a the space of radical contingency of spiritual destiny, then absolute order reemerges as an ontological possibility. The discourse of dis-order always already incorporates a creative moment that allows the self to transcend the context in which it finds itself, but also to find solace and responsiveness in an absolute Order which both engenders and withholds meaning. Creation is the condition of possibility of discourse which, in turn, evokes itself as presenting creation itself. Darwinian discourse is therefore just an emanation of the absolute discourse of dis-order, and not the other way around, as crude materialists such as Dawkins suggest.

  6. Reblogged this on Unapologetics | aint nothing sacred and commented:
    Excellent post here. I’d not known that the great atheist philosopher Nietzsche was so against Darwinism. Fascinating.

    I think Nietzsche takes particular issue with Darwin because Nietzsche believes in the self-evolvement of man into the ubermensch (as C. S. Lewis so eloquently refutes in Abolition of Man).

  7. Oooh, I see from previous comments that you are actually taking a literal tack. I’m sorry. Tell me, if there are literal physical types, what is, precisely, the boundary condition between them? If they really are necessary forms, the boundaries ought to be discernible shouldn’t they, genetically, or phenotypically? Shouldn’t we see a disjointed or flat homology rather than a graduated one genetically? You would appear to be operating under the illusion that our current panoply of species was complied by Aristotle rather than, as it was, by evolutionary biology.

  8. Clearly, Nietzsche did not understand what Darwin meant by ‘fitness.’ And it seems this misunderstanding has been inherited (figuratively, so to speak) by those bound and determined to continue this misunderstanding. This understanding is important to appreciate what Darwin means by ‘less-improved forms’ and ‘progress towards perfection’. It has everything to do with reaching maturity and engaging in sexual reproduction. That’s what being ‘fit’ means, and on page 576 of the 1859 edition, Darwin goes out of his way to explain the ongoing replacement of previous generations into the distant future is most likely to produce not replicas but significantly different critters because of this fitness. And he shows why Nietzsche is absolutely wrong to deduce that Darwin suggests the strong replace the weak when he patiently explains that, “We can so far take a prophetic glance into futurity as to foretel that it will be the common and widely-spread species, belonging to the larger and dominant groups, which will ultimately prevail and procreate new and dominant species. And this matches up with Nietzsche’s observation he misuses as a criticism of Darwin regarding “the inevitable domination achieved by the average, even below-average types.” It is exactly the ‘average’ that Darwin thinks will gain prominence. So you can see why Nietzsche’s opinion is based on a misunderstanding of Darwin’s thesis.

    And this misunderstanding continues to be promoted not by scientists and biologists who understand biology’s fundamental theory and see it in operation every day (producing applications, therapies, and technologies that work for everyone everywhere all the time) but by determined creationists who don’t, who insist ad nauseam that Darwin promoted what he didn’t, namely the bizarre notion of eugenics, of selective breeding of humans, under the umbrella of some mean-spirited Nazi notion of survival of the fittest without bothering to understand what the Darwinian term ‘fit’ means. It’s just tedious to have to correct creationists time and again who just don’t want to let this imaginary bone go… not because it’s possesses any truth value but because it’s handy way to continue to smear Darwin and, by extension, anyone who understands what the man proposed: natural selection to explain changes to life over time (and not UNnatural selection as so many creationists and other misguided critics try to suggest).

  9. I think I see where you are going with this. Best of luck.
    Of course, these are still Nietzsche’s objections to the philosophical conclusions drawn by others in response to mechanisms posited in a biological theory. Not surprising, since he wasn’t big on substantive change in principle.

  10. “What surprises me most when surveying the great destinies of man is always seeing before me the opposite of what Darwin and his school see or want to see today: selection in favor of the stronger, in favor of those who have come off better, the progress of the species. The very opposite is quite palpably the case: the elimination of the strokes of luck, the uselessness of the better-constituted types, the inevitable domination achieved by the average, even below-average types.”

    It is precisely b/c Darwin also believed this to be self evident that he also supported eugenics. He said,

    “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilised men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws; and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment. There is reason to believe that vaccination has preserved thousands, who from a weak constitution would formerly have succumbed to small-pox. Thus the weak members of civilised societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.”

    Ergo, Darwin agreed with Nietzche’s summary and therefore thought it best that we “help” nature do what he elsewhere said it did all on its own. Hmmmm.

  11. Once again, Prayson, you chose a 19th Century philosopher in a vain attempt to discredit science. This is not only disingenuous but incredibly deceptive. “There are no transitional forms” contended Nietzsche. Well, OF COURSE, as he was commenting only years after Darwin’s 1859 treatise. The science had hardly even begun. In fact, his allusion to transitional “forms” displays a gross misunderstanding of the theory… which is to be expected, considering the idea had only been in the public domain for a matter of years and wasn’t even a scientific discipline at the time

    Please show me a single reputable mind today who claims there are no transitional fossils. Of course, you won’t be able to, rendering this post utterly ludicrous and underhanded.

    “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”
    -Richard Dawkins (an actual scientist)

    • John, hold your guns. I did not present Nietzsche’s cases to (dis)credit Darwinian evolution but to introduce his thoughts to why he rejected Darwinism. 😉

      • And that is precisely where you are being monstrously deceptive. He was utterly ignorant of evolution and to try to portray him in some other credible, authoritative light is fraudulent beyond measure.

        Again, to redeem yourself and your disingenuous argument, show me a single reputable mind today who claims there are no transitional fossils.

          • Why is that? What if they discovered the position you currently hold? Or, perhaps, discover something you had not heretofore considered? Doesn’t hurt to check out the competition as it were to continually evaluate your hypothesis, does it?

          • Does it really? B/c they begin with their own presuppositions as they begin their science does that truly, de facto, invalidate all of their research? Are you prepared to claim that evolutionary science does not do the exact same thing? Should we invalidate and disregard their research b/c the begin their science with the presupposition of a closed, natural system?

          • No, because ID is creationist religion, pure and simple. That means it has no need to link supposed cause with effect but asserted as a matter of faith. This is not the case with a mountain of evidence from many avenues of distinct and discrete inquiry that unquestionably supports evolutionary theory. The new synthesis with genetics seals the deal and shows common ancestry. If evolution by natural selection were not true but cretaed by a magical POOF! event, we would not see the genetic evidence we do fully supported by many other avenues of scientific inquiry. If compatibility problems arose because ID were true, then ID as a science would produce new scientific knowledge. It doesn’t. Not. One. Drop. Even after celebrating 25 years of the five year Wedge document plan, all that these Fellows can do outside of obfuscating good science and interfering with the politics of trying to institutionalize good science education in our schools is to point to some unknown complex evidence of little or no knowledge to link it to something understandable and immediately claim evidence for ‘intelligence’ (blessed be His name). Of course, when knowledge is produced from inquiring into this knowledge gap, the explanation is always in one direction: away from ID POOF!ism and towards a demonstrable link between cause and the selected effect in the natural world where we all seem to live but in which some of us continue to deny… because of a matter of conflicting faith with this reality.

          • Do you separate creationists from Christians or do you conflate the two?
            Also, answer me this:evolutionary scientists always seem to disdain the word faith, particularly when it comes to science. My question is, is not the word hypothesis the same thing as the word faith, when defined as, “a formulation based on available evidence at the time”?

          • I conflate anyone who believes in any kind of creationism to be a creationist. Go figure. The definition for evolution is unguided change over time… including humans, for which there is (again) overwhelming evidence of common ancestry with great apes. The catholics like to throw in a magical ‘spirit’ imbedded into humans at some unknown time by their god, but this is still a form of nebulous creationism.

            There is no such thing as an ‘evolutionary’ scientist and more than there are ‘gravitational’ scientists. Either one is a scientist or one is not, meaning that one either follows the methodology of science and respects its products or one does not. You can’t dismiss evolution and then expect your cell phone to work; both are products of exactly the same methodology into how reality operates. Either they work or they do not. You can’t cherry pick which bits of science are theologically acceptable without undermining all of science. And this is what you’re trying to do. I think we should allow reality and not the beliefs of men in dress and funny hats to arbitrate our beliefs about it. And reality comes down entirely on the side of evolutionary theory because it works all the time everywhere for everyone. Religion doesn’t produce anything similar but incompatible beliefs about some indefinable, unknowable, unrecognizable peek-a-boo divine agency.

            Evolution is a scientific theory and one of humanity’s finest knowledge achievements. This means it has already passed all these silly arguments put forth by creationists many times over by mutually supportive evidence. It is an explanation that works. It is an explanation upon which you depend for your medication, for you disease prevention, for your life-saving drugs, for your food supply and its safety. It works to produce applications, therapies, and technologies that work. No Oogity Boogity is required and belief in such woo fails to account for why evolution seems to work all the time for all people everywhere. It is against this monumental achievement that you throw your silly darts, like the question, “Isn’t hypothesis the same thing as the word faith?” A scientific hypothesis looks to reality to inform its truth value; faith of the religious kind doesn’t. In fact, faith often stands contrary to overwhelming scientific evidence… such as creationism versus evolution. But rather than use this obvious discrepancy to question one’s misguided faith (of the religious kind), far too many sheeple assume the problem must lie with those who help reveal how reality works. It’s not the fault of scientists that belief in creationism runs contrary to knowledge accessible to everyone who has the desire to learn; creationism comes not from reality that scientists study but from religion alone. You can have religion without creationism but you never can have creationism without religion. And that’s a clue you should pay attention to, by the way… because that approach has nothing whatsoever to do with reality.

          • What i find most interesting about this dialogue is how we are both utterly convinced that our own position is the “truth” and the other’s is completely false. I see that your gravatar is of the “uber mench” breaking the chains (i can only assume of silly religious baggage and oppressive ideologies). Your entire worldview (including your scientific outlook) begins with man and works out from there, and so your conclusion appear logical and clear. My worldview begins with God and moves outward from there, and because i begin there, my conclusions also appear logical and clear coming from that beginning point.
            You find the mere mention of ID intellectually insulting. I find your seeming disregard for the scientific process – which MUST at least be open to considering all possibilities however foolish, or it is denying its own standard for arriving at truth.
            Surely, science in the days of Galileo (a Christian scientist) must have thought some of his conclusions that we easily accept today as ludicrous. And yet it was – in part – his openness to ask questions and investigate seemingly ridiculous hypotheses that we know what we know from him today.
            Evolution, at its core, is man’s attempt to explain the universe and all the metaphysical questions that come along with such questions, without God. And, in so doing, i believe it shows a presuppositional bent that, therefore skews every good and right discovery it makes – many of which you mentioned in your reply.
            I don;t think science and religion are enemies. I think the purpose of science is to discover God’s design in the universe. and, yes, i know that also skews my findings as well.

          • Upon serious investigation, one cannot help but find the methodologies of science and religious faith are incompatible. Whereas science relies upon reality to arbitrate and adjudicate claims made about it, theists allow their beliefs to be imposed on it and confuse confirmation bias to be used as ‘clues’ to support their beliefs. This why the god hypothesis as an interactive creative interventionist agency is not rejected out of hand by science as is often portrayed by apologetic theists of every stripe and sect but found wanting in reality. For example, there has been ample opportunity for creationist claims (regardless of which religion claims it to be so) to be supported by science; however, not one single piece of evidence has been forthcoming. There could have been compelling evidence for a founding couple in genetics, but it’s absent. There could have been compelling evidence for a global flood in geography, but it’s absent. There could have been compelling evidence for a young earth in geology, but it’s absent. There could have been compelling evidence for efficacy in prayer to a particular god of a particular religion, but it’s absent. There could have been compelling evidence for discrete species, but its absent. And the long, long list of what isn’t there in reality but should be if creationist claims were true matters… not because of bias against the claim but because the claim is without support from reality.

            It is deeply ironic that you introduce Galileo as an example of contrary opinion for it is this man upon whose shoulders later scientific greats like Newton have stood. And Galileo was a giant because he did not accept faith-based beliefs to be a sufficient stand in for what reality showed him to be the case. He dismantled Aristotelian metaphysics by allowing reality and not logical form to arbitrate claims made about it and demonstrated that things in motion did not require agency. They required impersonal unguided forces of physics rather than intention and purpose and intervention by any divine agency. This is what got him into so much trouble because it undermined catholic authority in what was then called the natural philosophy… based entirely on the assumed superiority of Aristotelian metaphysics and Ptolemy astronomy… both of which Galileo proved to be false not by a similar faith as the religious infused into their scripture but by how reality actually worked. And it remains this principle today that demands we link cause with effect by an understandable mechanism. And the crowning achievement of this method is an explanation about life itself and how it changes over time not by fiat, not by proclamation, not by assertion, not by faith, not by woo, but by a mechanism that can be demonstrated and applied to see if it works. And it does. In every way, every time. Scriptural claims about how the world operates has been shown to be incorrect time and again. If a scientific hypothesis was similarly showed to be false time and again, it would be discarded for lack of compelling evidence. But note that this is not the case with religious belief. It remains impervious to self-correction not because of any outside influence but because it does not allow reality – or anything – to adjudicate its claims. You claim to derive knowledge about the world from god, but this is an empty assertion because your starting position is already fixed and immutable to any equivalent corrections that science allows. And that’s why religious belief does not produce knowledge. Ever. It produces dogma that may or may not accurately reflect reality. The problem is that there is no way to differentiate which claims are accurate and which one are not. For that we require a different method altogether, one that does allow independent adjudication. And that’s why the two methods are in direct competition and produce incompatible results. If your religious beliefs had enough political power, we know you would support the imposition of dogma in place of knowledge, and this is exactly what you’ve done in the case of abortion: impose your dogma in place of knowledge. You follow a script ordained by your religion to be sufficient grounds for the morality you try to impose on others. You do not have any means at your disposal to correct your position, and this is the age-old battle still being fought today between religious dogma and knowledge. You are clearly fixated on the side of dogma regardless of the human cost whereas I recognize the difference between act and intention and modify my moral preferences in favour of equality rights and freedoms for individual autonomy where religious preferences can be used by those so inclined as long as their moral fist doesn’t meet my secular nose, or the womb owned by the woman who possesses it. I may not agree with her choices, but I recognize that she as an autonomous individual, not I as a moral tyrant, has the right to determine its use. Someday, I sincerely hope you will throw off the shackles of your dogma, free your mind, accept personal responsibility for your autonomy and respect the same in the Other, learn to allow reality and not your beliefs to define it, and join us in promoting enlightenment values with those disinclined to recognize their importance to our collective, peaceful, and prosperous future.

          • First off, i want to thank you for your well reasoned and thought out responses. It’s clear you are not simply about brushing people off but truly about imparting your knowledge with others. Admirable truly.
            As to the Galileo point i will concede to point that he ignored what the church was commanding him to say and put forth what he saw to be the truth, viz. the earth is round and is not the centre of the universe. This however does not jump him into the atheist camp b/c he was still a devout Christian. He simply saw the error of the Papists (RC church) and saw it as his scientific and Christian duty to oppose religion in the name of God. He said, “God is known by nature in his works, and by doctrine in his revealed word.” But he also said, “the Bible teaches men how to go to heaven, not how the heavens go,” and that it would be “a terrible detriment for the souls if people found themselves convinced by proof of something that it was made then a sin to believe.” So what he was resisting was not Theism but the abuse of religious authority in the face of observable truth.
            I find it equally interesting that you raise the subject of abortion. The issue has surely been taken up by the religious right and for good reason, viz. the rights of both the woman AND the child go hand in hand with what Christians believe about the value and dignity of all human life. But the issue, in and of itself, is not religious primarily but scientific/biological. Science is increasingly proving – by demonstrable fact – what Planned Parenthood and the ProChoice movement had been denying for decades. It was only in light of this tidal wave of evidence that PP and the ProChoice movement began to frame abortion as a human rights issue, but even then they couldn’t agree b/c 1: if science has proven the “lump of tissue” is actually a living/growing baby then what about its human rights and 2: the gender-cide issue split the camp who all of a sudden didn’t like the fact that female “lumps of tissue” were being killed/aborted simply because they were human. Beyond this, science has also proven that the implanted embryo is not, actually, “part” of the woman’s body at all but merely hosted by it (fed, cared for – the same thing she’ll be doing in 9 months.) All this, of course, unless you say (and it is finally being said) that even if it IS a baby (a truth that is now finally being conceded) it is still the woman’s right to kill that baby if she wants to. It is absolutely about autonomy but not the type that supports any type of human flourishing nor the type of autonomous society anyone would want to live in if they thought through the implications of it.

            Many of the examples you offer that faith or religion cannot prove are, truly, maters of metaphysics and philosophy. I could say for instance, science has proven that love is actually just a series of chemicals that are released in the brian and trigger emotions, but you won’t see that on any Valentines Day cards and it’s doubtful you’d say to your wife on your wedding day, “The chemicals that make me feel like i love you are being released by my brain right now … so, ‘I do.'” Many of these other things are not scientific experiments you can set up in your lab and examine. Psychological sciences have come the closest to understanding some of these things, but they are always seen through the eyes of their own religious predisposition = naturalism.

            It’s hard b/c your wish for me is the same that i have for you – the enlightenment of one’s heart and mind. I guess time will tell who truly needs to be enlightened.

          • Does that apply to any groups that consider ID at least a POSSIBLE hypothesis? I do wish to be taken seriously, of course, but i was not aware that even considering ID made that impossible.

          • 😉 Yes. I think i do. But answer me this then:evolutionary scientists always seem to disdain the word faith, particularly when it comes to science. My question is, is not the word hypothesis the same thing as the word faith, when defined as, “a formulation based on available evidence at the time”?

          • To be taken seriously one must act seriously. As for your Discovery Institute their so-called peer-reviewed articles have been published in their own captive “peer reviewed” journal (BIO-Complexity), based on “research” from their own creation science lab (Biologic Institute), and then promoted by their own “peer reviewed” vanity press operation (Discovery Institute Press). Their imitation of the accouterments of science makes them look like a cargo cult.

          • But anyone concerned in the least with finding out what’s true rather than what they would prefer to believe is true would quickly and easily find out this information about the Discovery Institute. And when one must go to the extreme that the employees of the Discovery Institute have gone to produce only the appearance of legitimacy for ideas widely discredited by the overwhelming majority of people who actually do scientific work in the area of inquiry, then this is a pretty solid clue that what is produced from it is to be highly suspect and obviously heavily biased… not because of the idea itself (creationism) that if true should produce tangible results accessible to any reasonable scientific inquiry (and it should yet doesn’t) but because everyone knows that appearances alone can be deceiving. And those who utilize materials from the Discovery Institute and its host of Fellows to support their creationist claims reveal themselves to have been easily deceived not because the material is compelling (it isn’t) but because of their willingness to allow confirmation bias to play the fundamental role in their finding out what they hope and wish to believe is true. And this is the method that guarantees one’s self to be fooled.

      • I do not think so John. What Nietzsche pointed out as problem of Darwinian evolution are still not solved. The transitional fossils problem is still there according to paleontologists David Raup,Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould.

        Raup in Conflicts Between Darwin and Palaeontology, Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin of January 1979 page 25, wrote: “We are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species, but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time.”

        Eldredge in ‘ Princeton University Press published work: Time Frames: The Evolution of Punctuated Equilibria, wrote: “When we do see the introduction of evolutionary novelty, it usually shows up with a bang, and often with no firm evidence that the fossils did not evolve elsewhere. Evolution cannot forever be going on somewhere else. Yet that’s how the fossil record has struck many a forlorn palaeontologist looking to learn something about evolution.”(1985,144) and “We palaeontologists have said that the history of life supports knowing all the while it does not.”(145)

        Gould also in Princeton published work, Evolution’s Erratic Pace, Natural History, wrote: “The extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of palaeontology.”(1977, 86)

        Nietzsche’s observation of limits of evolution is also still a problem today according to S.F. Gibbert, J.M. Opitz and R.A. Raff; Resynthesizing Evolutionary and Developmental Biology, Developmental Biology, 1996 work. They wrote that: “Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern only the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest. As Goodwin (1995) points out, “the origin of species – Darwin’s problem – remains unsolved”(361.)

        In a 1940 Yale University Press published work of Richard Goldschmidt,The Material Basis of Evolution, he made the same conclusion as Nietzsche: “the facts of microevolution do not suffice for an understanding of macroevolution”.’( 8.)

        John Maynard Smith and E. Szathmary, in 1995’s Nature Volumen 374:227-32, echoes Goldschmidt conclusion: “There is no theoretical reason that would permit us to expect that evolutionary lines would increase in complexity with time; there is also no empirical evidence that this happens.”

        Would you like me, John, to direct you to more contemporary works to show you that Nietzsche’s position is still alive today?

        • Ah, the standard creationist quotes. Where did you get them from? AIG or did you go to the absolute best nonsense around: the Discovery Institute?
          I must say, I’m honestly surprised, Prayson. I didn’t take you for a young earth creationist. You are aware that this places you in the laughing stock of the world category… as exampled by your disingenuous and silly creationist quote mining.
          I shouldn’t even bother addressing it, but I will take the time to simply paste a single page which actually places these “quotes” in their actual context. Gould and Eldredge are also mentioned toward the end.
          “Taken from the site http://commondescent.net/articles/Raup_quote.htm)
          “Yes, Raup did say this (in “Conflicts between Darwin and Paleontology”, Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin Jan. 1979, Vol. 50 No. 1 p. 22-29). Here is the quote in the immediate context (the quoted portions in boldface):
          Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn’t changed much. The record of evolution is still surprisingly jerky and, ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transitions than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information — what appeared to be a nice simple progression when relatively few data were available now appear to be much more complex and much less gradualistic. So Darwin’s problem has not been alleviated in the last 120 years and we still have a record which does show change but one that can hardly be looked upon as the most reasonable consequence of natural selection. (p. 25, emphasis mine)
          Note that while Raup says that some of the examples have been “discarded” he also says that others have only been “modified”. For example the classic horse series Raup mentions is one of those that has been modified, but it is far from discarded. Also note that Raup clearly states that the pattern of the fossil record is one of change in living things over geologic time, something that young earth creationists deny.
          And yes it has been taken out of context. The paper is about Darwin’s mechanism of natural selection and whether this mechanism is reflected in pattern of the fossil record, not whether there is a lack of evidence for common descent. From the beginning of the article:
          Part of our conventional wisdom about evolution is that the fossil record of past life is an important cornerstone of evolutionary theory. In some ways, this is true — but the situation is much more complicated. I will explore here a few of the complex interrelationships between fossils and darwinian theory. . . Darwin’s theory of natural selection has always been closely linked to evidence form fossils, and probably most people assume that fossils provide a very important part of the general argument that is made in favor of darwinian interpretations of the history of life. Unfortunately, this is not strictly true. We must distinguish between the fact of evolution — defined as change in organisms over time — and the explanation of this change. Darwin’s contribution, through his theory of natural selection, was to suggest how the evolutionary change took place. The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be. (p. 22)
          The transitions Raup seems to be talking about, in the quote creationists use, are mostly at the level of species or genera (like between a horse and a zebra or between a fox and a wolf). Not intermediates between higher classifications like between classes, orders, or families (between reptiles and mammals etc.), which are the ones creationists most object to. However it is these “missing” species level transitions that creationists (in ignorance?) often quote paleontologists talking about. This seems to be the case here as well:
          There were several problems, but the principle one was that the geologic record did not then and still does not yield a finely graduated chain of slow and progressive evolution. In other words, there are not enough intermediates. There are very few cases where one can find a gradual transition from one species to another. . . (p. 23, emphasis mine)
          Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge are favorite targets for this creationist tactic because their hypothesis of punctuated equilibria is intended to explain why, from a biological point of view, we should expect species level transitions to be rare in the fossil record. Thus in their writings they frequently state the problem(s) they are attempting to solve. Creationists quote them stating the problems but not the solutions they propose. This seems to be the nature of the quote they have taken from Raup. The beginning of the very next paragraph after the one they quote tends to confirm this:
          Now let me take a step back from the problem and very generally discuss natural selection and what we know about it. I think it is safe to say that we know for sure that natural selection, as a process, does work. There is a mountain of experimental and observational evidence, much of it predating genetics, which shows that natural selection as a biological process works. (p. 25)
          He then moves on to the fossil record:
          Now with regard to the fossil record, we certainly see change. If any of us were to be put down in the Cretaceous landscape we would immediately recognize the difference. Some of the plants and animals would be familiar but most would have changed and some of the types would be totally different from those living today. . . This record of change pretty clearly demonstrates that evolution has occurred if we define evolution simply as change; but it does not tell us how this change too place, and that is really the question. If we allow that natural selection works, as we almost have to do, the fossil record doesn’t tell us whether it was responsible for 90 percent of the change we see or 9 percent, or .9 percent. (p. 26)
          He then goes on to discuss natural selection versus other possible explanatory mechanisms and how they might relate to the fossil record. He also discusses the effects of historical contingency as it relates to extinction pointing out that sometimes species may become extinct due more to “bad luck” than bad genes (this by the way is the basis for Raup’s 1991 book Extinction – Bad Genes or Bad Luck?). Raup concludes this article stating:
          The ideas I have discussed here are rather new and have not been completely tested. No matter how they come out, however, they are having a ventilating effect on thinking in evolution and the conventional dogma is being challenged. If the ideas turn out to be valid, it will mean that Darwin was correct in what he said but that he was explaining only a part of the total evolutionary picture. The part he missed was the simple element of chance! (p. 29)
          Not particularly damning. Perhaps the more interesting question is where do creationists get the idea that lists of such (out of context) quotations are a valid form of scientific argument?
          For Raup’s views on creationist arguments I suggest you look up one or both of the following:
          “Geology and Creationism”, Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin Mar. 1983, Vol. 54 No. 3 pp. 16-25)
          “The Geological and Paleontological Arguments of Creationism” in Scientists Confront Creationism (1983), Laurie R. Godfrey (Editor), pp. 147-162

          • A final note… you can go off on your anti-science young earth creationist ride, knock yourself out if you want to be that ignorant, but this doesn’t alter the fact that you have been incredibly deceptive and misleading in using Nietzsche’s ignorance of evolution to try and make your point. It is deceitful.

          • John, how many times do I have to say that I did not present Nietzsche’s cases to discredit Darwinian theory of evolution but to present his thoughts on this is.

            I for one do care little if Darwinian theory is true or not. I will follow where the evidence would led. My view is close to old earth creationism and intelligent design as defended by the atheist philosopher Brandley Monton. I am also surveying the possibility of theistic evolution as presented by Charles Darwin.

            Thanks for this exchange John.

          • What you did was use the words of someone who did not even understand evolution (to present them in some bogus authoritative setting) to cast doubt on science… and that was being deceptive.

            Context, Prayson… it’s something you theists just love to ignore. Just as i showed you in debunking your string of silly little out-of-context quotes you so clearly copied and pasted from some absurd creationist website.

            Context. Next time try not being so dishonest to yourself or your readers. Deception is cheap.

          • John, I am not sure why you are so worked-out. Is the truth of Darwinian evolution so dear to you? I presented Nietzsche’s thoughts, and you asked if their are contemporary scientists holding such a view and yes they are. Even if you deny them, and dismiss them as things out of context, which I think they are not, it does not matter. I did not claim to agree nor disagree with them. Darwinism is not my field, but philosophy.

            So hold your guns. I simply presented Nietzsche’s thoughts. If you wish to know how I got to read contemporary works, why don’t you simply ask dear John than falsely accuse me of mining quotes from young earth creationist?

            John, I would be thankful if you share your thoughts with gentleness. Name calling, and poisoning the well are simply to be left to those who cannot reason and think clear.

            Next time try to be gentle and direct you critics not on the source nor person, but the case presented. Simply point out in gentleness, “Prayson, you are misinformed, X said Y”. Let’s act John, not react.

          • You got my hairs up on this because you were so dishonest in your approach… and no, Prayson, you did not present any contemporary scientists. You used creationist tactics and quote mined a number of scientists and presented their words OUT OF CONTEXT, which i demonstrated. Those quotes are so well known there are websites set up by “real” scientists just to debunk the dishonesty performed by creationists.

            Such dishonesty infuriates me.

          • Good on them John. I do not think creationist are dishonest, if they quoted what I quote, on these quotes because I got to read these works when John Lennox pointed them in his lecture on God and Scientists.

            Remember John, my point was not to show that what Nietzsche said nor contemporary scholar say is true, but to introduce Nietzsche’s rejection of Darwinian evolution. My field is philosophy, not biology. I have no skills to judge who is right and wrong, and it does not matter in my worldview. I read Nietzsche because he is a philosopher.

            Hold your horses John. Just to know and learn more from you, is Darwinism one of many reasons you are an atheist?
            John Lennox and I

          • Why even bother with Nietzsche’s thoughts on evolution? First he was a philosopher, a wordsmith, a social commentator, not a scientist. Second, he CLEARLY didn’t even understand the theory. He had no idea, which (as I pointed out) isn’t too surprising considering he was commenting just years after the publishing of the treatise…. Before even the science had begun in earnest. You have been disingenuous trying to spin his words into some poorly-devised plot to discredit science; an old trick used by theists. You are mad at me for calling you out for it. You are doubly embarrassed because I caught you in a Creationists lie using the quotes you did.

            Seriously, if you have to lie or deliberately (sneakily) use words out of context (hoping no one notices) to support your position (any position) then your position is fundamentally flawed. It’s as simple as that.

          • John, I am not mad at you nor embarrassed because I presented to you contemporary work which touches what Nietzsche long time pointed out. 😉

            Call them words-out-of-context or creationist quote-mining as much as you like John, it does not matter. 🙂 I have read their works and I don’t think they are out-of-context. If “creationists” use them, then I think they are on the right track capturing what Nietzsche and some contemporary scholars captured.

            I don’t care nor mind being called names, because as atheist Bradley Monton explain, I care only about truth. What group I am associated with is simply irrelevant.

          • So you’re trying to say it’s a compete accident that you just happened to pull out the most widely used (most debunked) creationist quotes in an attempt to back up your erroneous position regarding supposed scientific “doubt” as to evolution? Really?

            Now, John Lennox is mathematician and Christian apologist. Hardly someone involved in the biological sciences. Again, a disingenuous appeal to authority. Even the clinically insane creationist, Ken Ham, wrote “Dr. Lennox is highly respected as an evangelical in the United Kingdom. There is no doubt he preaches the gospel and also is orthodox in his teaching of the Word of God.”

            (1,000 points if you correctly nail me here) 😉

          • Your comment John is so loaded. You assume that they have being debunked, I think not. You think they are erroneous position, I do not. I am not in a position to affirm nor deny.

            I told you that I discovered their works from John Lennox’s lecture. If it is the same quotes that are most widely used, I care-less. It simply show that the creationist you are against are correct in representing what some contemporary scholars think about the issue.

            So you quote mined Ken Ham 😉 I am kidding.

          • Wrong… I took him out of context. That is exactly what he said, but in the very next sentence Ham goes on to criticise Lennox for rejecting Genesis. You wouldn’t however know that as i presented it, would you?

            See, I demonstrated EXACTLY what you (and every other creationist) did by quoting those paleontologists. Context is everything, and quote mining like you did was fundamentally dishonest. It’s also exactly what you did with Nietzsche. If you were being true you’d say “of course, Nietzsche clearly didn’t understand the theory and therefore we cannot accept his commentary as any way reflective on the science of evolution, which is accepted by “99.9% of scientists” (Professor Brian Alters).

            But you didn’t put in that disclaimer, did you? You tried to mask the truth so your piece fitted in with your own world view.

          • I know you were teasing… i wanted, though, to make my point perfectly clear through demonstration. I have an extremely low tolerance threshold regarding anti-science nonsense. Teaching creationism is child abuse, pure and simple, and i will fight it with everything i have.

          • Standing firm against irrational claims is not zealousness, Prayson, but intellectual integrity. This is admirable even though discomforting to some, confusing to others, and threatening to the pious.

            Your confusion about which might be which – zealousness or integrity – is understandable when you have no equivalent point of reference. Unlike John’s methodology, and because the methodology of faith is based not on reality but belief that may or may not be true (often scriptural), the difference is that you have no means to distinguish which is which, whereas John does. His foundation for knowledge claims remains rooted to reality that arbitrates them and thus affords him the foundation for this integrity to stand firm against claims untethered to the reality we share, whereas your faith claims are not perceived by you to be equivalent in all ways to wishful thinking and delusion. This is why you fail to understand why entrusting faith-based beliefs to be equivalent to evidence-based knowledge is a surefire method to fooling one’s self… assuming as you demonstrate adhering without cause to some kind of creationist beliefs… and that such foolishness is synonymous with an equivalent kind of knowledge.

            It’s not.

            Fortunately, this claim about the importance of methodology to establishing the difference between zealousness and integrity , too, is testable by the reality we share so all we need to do is look to see which method produces applications, therapies, and technologies that work in the reality we share. Faith produces no knowledge and so it is unremarkable that it produces no applications that work, no therapies that work, no technologies that work, but regularly produces claims of causal efficacy that remain unsupported by the reality we share. (Please stop blaming others for this lack and start appreciating that reality has ruled against your faith-based beliefs.) That’s why it is essential that the causal agency you believe exists be somewhere other than in the reality we share, hidden from examination within the reality we share, exempt from the ways we know reality we share operates.

            If you could produce evidence from reality to support your faith-based beliefs about this reality, you would do so immediately because you know it’s a powerful argument. But because reality refuses to cooperate, you don’t alter your faith-based beliefs. This is why holding such beliefs is not intellectual integrity but its absence. I guarantee that John would alter his beliefs if reality gave him cause to do so because his methodology depends on the reality we share to justify them.

            Instead, you try – like creationists the world over – the next best thing to admitting your faith is a failure aligning with reality: to stir up distrust in the method that respects reality using archaic sources, ancient metaphysics, discredited science, confused scientists, relying on epistemic confusion through misrepresentation and sewing discord among critics of your failure to try to slip your faith-based beliefs into the mix as a reasonable alternative once properly camouflaged (like Intelligent Design rather than religious creationism). That’s why so many people of integrity get what appears to be zealous in defense of the method we know works that is under constant attack by those who wish to promote their delusions even at the expense of what’s true, what’s knowable, what’s reasonable, what’s practical.

            Your efforts to be pious cause a regression in those you convince against the acquisition and respect for knowledge about the reality we share and supports a shift towards a greater respect for superstition and belief in woo. This shift causes real harm to real people in real life and requires a response you may categorize as ‘zealous’. The mistake is yours.

            Eventually, more and more people (and we see this shift clearly in the younger generation that is connected to the internet) will understand why faith-based beliefs are empty of knowledge value, grow weary of paying any serious attention to any of these kinds of empty but harmful claims, and grow disgusted at the intellectual duplicity exercised to the cheers of their supporters by so many of the pious.

          • John you did copy and pasted the whole article from “http://commondescent.net/articles/Raup_quote.htm” but have you read the articles he used yourself? 😉 Moreover Nietzsche would agree with Raup, since it is not common descent that he rejected but pattern of the fossil record. If you had read carefully your own source John, you would have discover that.

            I am going to write a post summarizing the articles and the books to which I quoted. My aim is to survey the charge that they are out of context as I align them with Nietzsche’s critique- I will begin with David M. Raup, whose full article can be found here.

          • Do yourself a favour and clearly identify the overwhelming scientific support of evolution. Clearly show there is NO doubt among the scientific community. Show the percentages. Then demonstrate how proponents of ID have failed to produce a single item of scientific worth. Explain the wedge document and why the scientific community flatly rejects the Discovery Institute.

            In other words, be honest about the subject. This is not a philosophical arena. It is science. Pure and simple.

          • On second thought, just leave the subject alone, Prayson. It’s science. Nietzsche didn’t understand it, so there’s no reason at all to try and shoehorn his erroneous thoughts into it. Its a pointless exercise as it means nothing. I’m not even sure where you’re hoping to go with it. Are you trying to disprove evolution?

            If you want to do something on ID (and you should), then detail the creationists theory and play philosophy with that. I’d certainly be interested in reading such a work, and i wouldn’t be so critical. Explain the reasons why ID makes more theological sense to you.

          • No John I will not drop it. I am going to address it from a philosophical point of view, namely philosophy of science. I am inspired by Thomas Nagel and Bradley Monton to explore not the truth of Darwinism but the arguments presented to support their claim.

            The charge I want to explore is is Nietzsche’s critique old refuted case, and are the quotes, you claimed widely used, taken out of context.

            I discovered that you simply copy-pasted the whole article and had probably not read the source. I have the sources and would like to present them. Remember I, as Raup (and Nietzsche would), reject creation science.

            My aim is not to show creation science is true, I think it is false, but to show whether Nietzschean case is still alive.

            As a secondary aim, I want to show that your accusation of my dishonest is not true.

          • Read my comment carefully… i said quite clearly that i was just pasting it directly from the site as i couldn’t be bothered wasting my time debunking such out-of-context nonsense.

            Fine, knock yourself out playing word games. I still have no idea what you hope to achieve.

          • John, you did what you criticized your creationist friends were doing. Not only was it “mine-quoting” but “the whole-article-quoting” a position which you agree with without looking at it carefully. “To be taken seriously one must act seriously” you said. So I am taking acting seriously by not only presenting a summaries of the works you said I used out of context, but direct readers to the original articles, with the aim of showing that it would be taking out of context if and only if it was used to show that those authors rejected evolution theory.

            Your accusation was false saying that I took them out of context because the claim was not that these authors reject evolution theory, but, that some paleontologists echoes Nietzschean case. Going beyond your accusation, I am going through all quotes with the aim of showing that they are not taken out of context.

          • What are you babbling on about? I quite clearly said I’m “pasting it directly from the site.” No controversy there.

            Like I said, if you want to waste your time on word games then knock yourself out. You were still grossly disingenuous by trying to use Nietzsche’s commentary regarding evolution without clearly identifying that he knew nothing, absolutely NOTHING about the science.

            So, do try to be honest in whatever article you’re writing. Clearly identify the OVERWHELMING scientific consensus for evolution. Clearly identify that there is NO “controversy,” as ridiculous organisations like the Discovery Institute try to claim. Clearly identify that creationism is a religious notion and has no scientific backing whatsoever.

          • John, I am babbling at your accusation that I was dishonest, which I found it was not I but you who is dishonest. You mined an article that is against creation science thinking it also undermined Nietzsche’s critique. You claimed the work I presented were taken out of context, but without carefully reading the site you wholly copy-pasted nor probably reading David M. Raup original article.

            The blogger, you wholly copy-pasted, targeted creation science use of the Raup’s work, which I think he is by and large on the mark. Pasting it wholly here as if it also would be taken out of context in Nietzchean sense and accusing me of being a young earth creationist was simply doing what you claimed your creationist-mine-quoters do.

            My article is simply seeking to shows that Nietzsche’s critique is still alive in contemporary literature and that the works I used are not taken out-of-context in relation to Nietzschean position. I want to clear John Lennox and I following his presentation accusation of being “dishonest”.

          • I never claimed it undermined Neitzche. I said it undermined your creationist quote mining… which it did, and i told you quite clearly i was copy n’ pasting it.

            If by “contemporary literature” you mean a mathematician/Christian apologist (Lennox) then you have a very funny idea of what is actually “applicable.”

          • John, I think a quote-miner, or rather more correct, a whole article-quoted-miner is you John who did not carefully read your own copied-pasted article nor probably read Raup’s article.

            If creationists quote what I presented, which I was introduced in Lennox’s lecture, then I am impressed by them and would ask you to read Raup’s article and judge for yourself, because they are correct and did not take Raup out of context if they only pointed out that fossils record that gave Darwin a huge problem has not change over 150 years later.

            I joyed rereading Raup’s article. As Bradley Monton, I do not care which tag I am named. I am after truth and truth alone, no matter the cost.

          • Of course Lennox uses those quotes… he’s a quote mining christian apologist. you just fell into the trap of falling for it then regurgitating the words, which were taken out of context. It’s what creationists do. They are silly people who cannot defend their position without deceit.

            Listen, go on your merry anti-science way. In the age of information ignorance is a choice. It appears you have chosen unwisely.

          • John, you are very correct that ignorance is a choice and by claiming it is used out of context from mined quoting site which without checking if it true, since you probably have not yet read Raup’s article but echoed “out-of-context”, which is purely false and unwise.

            Don’t fell into traps of echoing others without being skeptical of both sides. Do yourself, John, an honor by reading Raup’s whole article. Keep claiming it is being taken out of context does not make it magically so. Read the whole original article: Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontology

          • I did read sections of it, but i’m not at all interested in something penned in 1979…. that’s NINETEEN SEVENTY-NINE, 34 years ago 🙂

            Are you even aware of the vast repository of finds since then? The science is not in question, Prayson. Do yourself a favour and leave the subject alone. You’ll end up looking like a fool.

          • John, the aim is not to say what Raup saying it true. Again I am not a biologist and I can not pass judgement there. My aim is to show that the claim that it was taken at of context is purely and simply false. Crying day and night that it is out-of-context does not suddenly make it true. Ignorance is a choice, as you said, in a day where information is right on your figures. I made it available to readers who wish to awake from the delusion of the claim that Raup’s work is taken “out-of-context”. It is 8 paged-worth-reading article: Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontonlogy

          • 🙂 I hope next time John you will read the actual article before echoing what others(both creationists and their opponents) say about it. The same standard we ask creationists to follow applies also to us. Honest is a virtue. With evidence now in place of what David M. Raup wrote in Conflicts Between Darwin and Paleontoloy I think your creationists friends are correct, if they used Raup to show the fossil issue, as Nietzsche (and not Raup’s position on evolution, since he clearly states that natural selection works) and you, John, and anyone who claim it is been taken out of context, are flatly wrong.

          • My article is simply seeking to shows that Nietzsche’s critique is still alive in contemporary literature…

            If by ‘literature’ you mean just-so stories unsupported by today’s modern synthesis, then by all means utilize out-of-date, discredited junk that does indeed keep Nietzsche’s ignorant critique alive. But if you want to understand why Raup’s observation (1979 for crying out loud) of a lack of nicely sequenced fossils and apparent jumps in the record have been addressed to the satisfaction of all evolutionary biologists not motivated by religious apologetics, then stop turning back to this discredited junk and start turning to those most familiar with today’s good science: evolutionary biologists! No amount of quote mining, no amount of Discovery Institute/Creation Research/Evolutionary News/Worldnet Daily misdirections, no amount of religiously motivated apologetic writers and philosophers and engineers and dentists, will suffice to offer what is lacking from your efforts: evidential support for why evolution is a failed explanation when it seems to work for everyone everywhere all the time to produce therapies, technologies and applications that work. People like Lennox simply ignore this elephant in their chapel but pretend it doesn’ matter because their puddle of metaphysics seems to fit the hole they find themselves in perfectly. But it does matter a very great deal, so if you want to dismantle the theory of evolution, then you have to come up with a better alternative than Oogity Boogity because these products of evolutionary biology WORK. And they work not because of POOF!ism but because it’s a natural mechanism we see in predictable, testable, consistently reliable operation. THAT is the most compelling argument you are failing to address with these little cherry picked critiques.

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