Tag Archives: Darwin

Galileo, Darwin and the new enlightenment

Here are two interesting talks in Wellington next Sunday?

1.00 pm to 4.00 pm, Sunday 25 October 2009
Mezzanine Floor, Wellington Central Library

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Collectors’ items?

little-darwinI watched a lecture the other night where the speaker had a Charles Darwin doll sitting on his lectern. I guess this is another thing we will see during the Darwin Year – Darwin merchandise.

It seemed quite cute and I wonder if they are available in New Zealand? This one is part of the “Little Thinkers” Set of dolls.

einstein-dollI quick search shows they aren’t the only such dolls available – there is also an Einstein doll! This raises the prospects of a new collection – dolls of great scientists.

What about others? As a chemist I would like a Mendeleev doll – I am sure he had the face for it.


Dmitri Mendeleev

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Dissent from Darwinism list – further analysis

I have commented before on the dissenters from Darwinism list. It is often used by creationists/intelligent design proponents as evidence for opposition to evolutionary science among scientists. (Sometimes scientists on the list are referred to as “brilliant”, or even “modern day Einsteins!”)

Of course, closer investigation shows that this list is not credible evidence for real opposition to evolutionary science (see Scientific dissent from . . . science? and Dissenters from Darwinism in context). And the motives of the signatories are usually religious rather than scientific (see Who are the “dissenters from Darwinism”?).

This video from DonExodus2 provides further useful analysis of the list. It shows that as evidence for scientific dissension it is really very pathetic.

List of Scientists Rejecting Evolution- Do they really? (10 min)

Similar articles:
Scientific dissent from . . . science?
Dissenters from Darwinism in context
Who are the “dissenters from Darwinism”?

Bringing the supernatural into science

Modern science is often attacked. Despite its obvious benefits to humanity there are many in today’s society who wish to undermine or discredit science. They talk about the “limits of science” as if we were investigating things we shouldn’t. An example is the claim that it’s OK for science to investigate how matter behaves but the question of how matter arose should be left to philosophy and religion. They assert there is a conspiracy by the science “establishment” to control research and to limit scientific explanations. They claim the naturalism of science is too limiting and call for a new “scientific paradigm” which is not limited to the natural. Religious opponents of evolutionary theory are one organised source of these attacks. But attacks also come from others with superstitious beliefs or those trying to advance supernatural explanations and ideas. You can understand their motivation. Frustrated because science does not support, or even disproves, their most cherished beliefs they blame the scientific method, rather than their belief. It’s logical, then, for them to wish to expand the meaning of science to somehow include their belief and then be able to claim that these beliefs are supported by “science.”

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Darwin descendent at AAI Convention

Matthew Chapman, is a great-great grandson of Charles Darwin. He is also a journalist, screenwriter and film director. His speech (video links below) at the recent AAI Convention was entertaining and insightful. (A pdf file of the speech is here)

Chapman was born in Cambridge, England. Soon after moving to the US he became interested in the creationist attacks on evolution. This led to research on the Scopes Trial and a book Trials of the Monkey: An Accidental Memoir. In 2005 he reported on the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial for Harper’s magazine and wrote a book on this: 40 Days and 40 Nights.

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