Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Is Darwinism a Cult?

Philosopher of science Cornelius Hunter thinks so:
One day while walking to the life science library I was stopped by a cultist who wanted me to join. Having spoken with cultists before, I was able to explain his problems to him. The cult’s beliefs entailed several obvious contradictions, its leaders had well-documented ulterior motives, and so forth. But the fellow was undeterred. He was certain that his cult held the truth, in spite of the obvious problems.

Later I thought about some of the things he said. They revealed even more problems and I wished I had pointed them out. A few weeks later I saw him again and so I engaged him in conversation. Not only were there the problems I pointed out the first time we had spoken, but now I added several more. But again, the fellow was undeterred.

People have a remarkable capacity to hold bizarre beliefs. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not referring to beliefs that are not provable or don’t adhere to some logical formula. I’m referring to beliefs that are downright false. The cultist I spoke with was sure, and it is this unjustified certainty that revealed the problem, not the beliefs themselves. Who knows, maybe his cult did hold the truth, but his reasons provided little confidence. Between his assurance and his facts there was a wide chasm.

It is the same with evolution.
Hunter goes on to explain why he says this. I don't know that Darwinians comprise a cult, but they sure do seem dogmatic given the quality of their arguments.

It should be noted that a Darwinian is one who believes that the process of evolution is a completely physical, natural process requiring no intelligent agency at any point. Not all evolutionists are Darwinians but all Darwinians are evolutionists. Hunter doesn't make this distinction clear in his post, but rather tacitly conflates evolution, which could be an intelligently guided process, with Darwinian evolution which is not.