Sunday, June 29, 2008

A word about constantly-mutating evolutionists, skeptical philosophers, and speculative theologians

From TeamPyro:

"Here's some background on Spurgeon's argument below. In 1890, William Platt Ball published Heredity and Evolution.; Are the Effects of Use and Disuse Inherited? An Examination of the View Held by [Herbert] Spencer and [Charles] Darwin. Ball was himself an evolutionist, but he (along with others in the same vein) departed from Darwin—and even more so from Herbert Spencer—on the question of whether and how our parents' and ancestors' behavior influences the characteristics we inherit from them. Will the offspring of a hardworking man who uses his muscles inherit any benefits from his working out? Or if the tails of Cocker Spaniels are clipped for enough years so that generation after generation of dogs never use their tails, will a breed of naturally tailless Spaniels eventually result through the evolutionary process?

Spencer, for one, seemed to think so. He pointed to giraffes as proof of the "use and disuse" theory, claiming giraffes could never have evolved such long necks unless their tendency to stretch ever higher had some effect toward actually lengthening the necks of their offspring across many generations. Thus Spencer (and evolutionists who followed him) argued, evolution is a hopeful doctrine for the future of humanity. It suggests that humanity will eventually get better if we act better. That was the standard evolutionary doctrine of salvation through the 1870s or so.

The actual progeny of that brand of humanistic optimism, however, was a whole new species of evolutionists, including William Ball. They pointed out a stubborn fact: the laws of genetics mitigate against our inheriting the effects of our parents' behavior through any kind of purely biological process. As an illustration, Ball pointed out that Jewish men have practiced circumcision from time immemorial, and Jewish infants are nevertheless still always born with fully intact foreskins. Ball insisted that evolutionary changes needed to be explainable by some more scientific means than the theory of use and disuse. He wasn't sure how animals evolved fantastic traits, but he insisted the process could not be explained by the use-and-disuse theory; that was simply unscientific.

Those who held the older evolutionary opinions employed human morality as a counter-example. The use-and-disuse theory is the only way to account for human guilt in the evolutionary paradigm, they insisted. They pointed to the immoral proclivities so evident in human behavior as undeniable proof that we have inherited behavioral influences from our animal ancestors. Suddenly some of the same modernists who had long scoffed at the idea of original sin were now acknowledging the ubiquitous manifestations of original sin in order to prop up their now-outmoded evolutionary theories.

That debate was raging when Spurgeon preached this sermon, and it explains the setting in which these comments were made. Spurgeon seems to indicate that he expected the theory of evolution itself to be debunked and replaced by some other fallacy in a very short time. If so, he would be disappointed by the tenacity of that theory today. In the most important respect, however, Spurgeon was exactly right: evolutionists have never found a stable, tenable theory to explain the most fundamental difficulty of their system: how did ordered information get programmed into the genetic code in the first place, and why are there zero observable instances of positive mutations in which additional information is added to a species' genetic code by some "natural" process? In their quest for answers to that question, evolutionists keep changing their story, and the textbooks still have to be completely rewritten every three years or so. Spurgeon observed this trend more than 130 years ago.

And for good measure, he threw in a rebuke aimed at the trendy, emerging, modernist church leaders of his day who aped the style of secular scientists and philosophers by shifting their opinions every three years or so to suit the times. Don't miss that part in the closing paragraph of this excerpt."

The rest can be found here. . ..