Over at Peaceful Science, Joshua Swamidass has made another strange and unsubstantiated claim. He has attempted to speak again on behalf of (all) ‘scientists,’ as is his linguistic tendency, yet in this case about ‘social Darwinism’:
“Social Darwinism was a thing that is legitimately connected to the holocaust [sic]. However, scientists today reject Social Darwinism. Even atheists should thank God for this.” https://discourse.peacefulscience.org/t/darwinism-and-social-darwinism/6873/2
It’s a bit saucy, perhaps all well & good to suggest that atheists should thank God for something, anything. Yet one of the most active living and agitating ideological evolutionists and one of his co-authors are actually trying to get people to accept ‘Social Darwinism’. https://evolution-institute.org/truth-and-reconciliation-for-social-darwinism/ How does Joshua deal with this apparent blindspot in his approach?
A second highly selected gene, LYST, is associated with pigmentation, and changes in it are probably responsible for the blanching of the ancestors’ brown fur. Computer analysis for the multiple mutations of the gene showed that they too were almost certainly damaging to its function.
Here is what started this conversation:
“At risk of being a bit off-topic, let me add that there is a far larger “intelligent design” community. I am talking about philosophy, particularly academic philosophy. Philosophers, as a group, tend to look at things from what I consider a[n] intelligent design perspective. That perhaps comes from Plato. Perhaps it is a natural way of thinking. To be clear, that particular intelligent design community is honest and largely non-political, unlike the religious version. And yes, there are “fine tuning” ideas coming from that community.” – Neil Rickert (http://theskepticalzone.com/wp/?p=2926&cpage=2#comment-27860)
I asked him:
“could you elaborate on this: “Philosophers, as a group, tend to look at things from what I consider a[n] intelligent design perspective”? … which philosophers, specifically who … which you suggest display a “natural way of thinking” about ‘intelligent design’?”
At Uncommon Descent — though not only there! — one often come across the view that naturalism is inconsistent with rationality: if one accepts naturalism, then one ought not regard one’s own rational capacities as reliable. Some version of this view is ascribed to Darwin himself, and we can call it “Darwin’s Doubt” or simply “the Doubt.” Should we endorse the Doubt? Or are there reasons for doubting the Doubt?
Paul Nelson has argued against macro-evolution, and I sense that some folk here want to discuss it. So here’s a thread where we can do that without taking other threads off-topic.
First, some references. There are three UD threads on this: