Darwinism: Science or Philosophy

Chapter 13b
Reply to Arthur M. Shapiro
Tamed Tornadoes

David L Wilcox

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This is the author's comment to a response to his original paper.

ARTHUR SHAPIRO HAS more or less suggested that I have blinded the poor audience with a razzle-dazzle array of biological problems, a heterogenous display of difficulties too extensive to deal with individually in this forum. Further, his "tornado alley" illustration implies that my purpose is to inject the hand of God into science by introducing unknowns, "gaps" in scientific explanations. Neither objection is valid.

The diverse evidence I presented centers on a single, common problem: a complex and structured genome that is characterized by programmed and error-checked entities, a cybernetic base for biotic reality. Darwinian theory is based on a "bean-bag" view of genetics, on the additive effects of many small effect genes-or perhaps on occasional "macro" mutation. But, in the cybernetic model, those "beans" are best explained as adaptive buffers for the genetic goal-seeking machinery. Evidence for adaptive change does not naturally expand into evidence for prescriptive change as it accumulates.

Thus, it is not minor anomalies, the occasional genetic tornado. that neo-Darwinism cannot (yet) explain. Rather, it has failed to explain the fundamental realities of biological systems. It has failed to explain the core of the apple. Why then has it been considered an adequate (nay, a necessary and vital) explanation for all of biological reality?

I have no metaphysical necessity driving me to propose the miraculous action of the evident finger of God as a scientific hypothesis. In my world view, all natural forces and events are fully contingent on the free choice of the sovereign God. Thus, neither an adequate nor an inadequate "neo-Darwinism" (as mechanism) holds any terrors. But that is not what the data looks like. And I feel no metaphysical necessity to exclude the evident finger of God.

I conclude that the easy acceptance of neo-Darwinism as a complete and adequate explanation for all biological reality has indeed been based in the metaphysical needs of a dominant materialistic consensus. One can be a theistic "Darwinian," but no one can be an atheistic "Creationist."

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