Wallace’s “Theory of Intelligent Evolution” (Part I)

I’ve previously mentioned Michael Flannery and his edition of A.R. Wallace’s World of Life titled Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution: How Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwin which recently appeared under the imprint of Dembski’s vanity press (see here, here and here). The work consists of a four page foreword by Dembski, a 55 page introduction by Flannery, and a 151 page extract of Wallace’s original work (omitting most of the work, by the way). This, Flannery claims, “will allow for a full and thorough presentation of what in Wallace’s day was called Wallaceism and is referred here as intelligent evolution” (p. 59). (As an aside, the term “Wallaceism” was coined by the novelist Samuel Butler in 1890 but was one rejected by Wallace himself.)

Wallace has long interested me precisely because of his acceptance of the efficacy of natural selection to a degree that outstripped Darwin’s own claims. Yet Wallace felt that selection could not explain the human mind. In that he was very similar to St George Jackson Mivart (the Victorian anatomist whom I have been working on for a while now) whose treatment by the Darwinian inner-circle could not have been more different from how Wallace was treated. Flannery sees Wallace as championing a “unique theistic evolutionary theory” (p. 59). If I was to classify Mivart it would be as a theistic evolutionist whose position is very similar to that maintained by the Catholic church today.

It is doubtful whether I will have enough free time this summer to compare Flannery’s edits with Wallace’s original. What I do, however, want to do is comment both on Dembski’s foreword and Flannery’s introduction. This post will concentrate on Dembski while a subsequent one will deal with Flannery.

Dembski’s piece doesn’t start off well. In fact, it starts with the sort of error that would result in a student hovering in fail territory. As any competent student of Darwin knows, he worked on barnacles for eight years in the 1840’s and 50’s.. He resumed his investigations into natural selection in 1854 and began work on his “big book” (titled Natural Selection) two years later. That work was approximately half-way completed by mid-June 1858 when Darwin received the famous manuscript from Wallace. Dembski shows his ignorance of basic history by claiming:

In fact, it was Darwin’s receipt of Wallace’s so-called “Ternate paper” in 1858, outlining this theory, that prompted him to stop puttering with barnacles and rush his Origin of Species into print the next year.

Dembski, it seems, is as good a historian as he is a mathematician and philosopher. Darwin’s work on barnacles was published in 1851 & 1854. He hadn’t “puttered” with them in over four years. Indeed, Michael Ghiselin has noted that Darwin’s “puttering” with barnacles resulted in four volumes that are still useful to modern systematists and taxonomists. Would that Dembski’s “puttering” in philosophy and math were so productive, or even that he could win a medal from the Royal Society for his work.

Somewhat ironically, Dembski goes on to note that

the history of science is filled with good ideas that were first applied indiscriminately but then later had been applied with discernment to a narrower range of phenomena

Indeed, And one of those ideas is design.

Dembski makes much of the contrast between Wallace’s selectionism (which was even more wide-ranging than Darwin’s) and what he terms “Darwin’s inflated view” omitting to mention that the difference was largely to do with Wallace – for spiritualist reasons – not believing that the human mind could be a product of natural selection.

Dembski accuses Darwin of “calculated duplicity”. He claims,

Darwinism never was science but rather was (and is) an attempt to validate and buttress philosophical naturalism with a series of naturalistic speculations drawn from Darwin’s five-year voyage on the Beagle.

This, by the way, mirrors the argument in Wiker’s latest diatribe, The Darwin Myth. If nothing else, ID proponents sure stay on message, albeit an inaccurate one.

Dembski claims that Wallace would “nowadays be regarded as a proponent of intelligent design”. This raises two issues. Firstly, Flannery sees Wallace as a theistic evolutionist. Given the traditional antipathy of ID proponents to theistic evolutionists (see here for example), Flannery & Dembski cannot have it both ways. Is Dembski willing to admit that theistic evolutionists are actually on the side of the angels? Secondly, and in many ways more importantly, who cares? Of what possible relevance to modern ID is it if Wallace held some teleological views regarding the human mind. It’s about as relevant as Darwin’s theory of gemmules to modern genetics.


65 thoughts on “Wallace’s “Theory of Intelligent Evolution” (Part I)

  1. That’s the kind of mistake I might expect a student to make. It’s not the kind of mistake that I would expect to find in a forward to a historical reprint. As far as that last point goes, it seems to loosely fit a pattern that I find in Creationists of ressurrecting dead scientists or natural philosophers simply because they held views that might be compatible with todays creationism or intelligent design. Indeed, why should we care? For all we know, if Wallace were alive today he might look at the current state of the field of evolutionary biology and change his own mind about evolution and the human mind.

  2. I think this actually represents a huge step forward for the ID movement. They have been stuck in 1802, with Paley’s watch, for a long time. That they have moved forward another 56 years should be applauded. At this rate they will enter the 20th Century some time in the middle of the 22nd.

  3. ‘Foreword’, Mr James, not ‘forward’, if we are worried about the kind of mistakes that students make. Otherwise, keep the assaults on disingenuous fools like Dembski up!

  4. You’re making a category error- that is to say, your error is expecting IDers to adhere to their categories.

    When IDers are attacking science, theistic evolutionists count as ID advocates. When IDers are trying to appeal to religion, theistic evolutionists are misguided. This allows them to keep their numbers up while maintaining the “intellectual” “purity” of the movement.

  5. IDers seem to have the strange ability to take issues that serious people have long-since examined and approach them as though their repetition of old arguments is something brand new an exciting, destined to overthrow “Darwinism” once and for all.

    This interest in Wallace is one example, one that Stephen Jay Gould already considered in his excellent essay “Evolution and the Human Brain: Darwin vs Wallace,” with which many here are no doubt familiar.

    Only an ID proponent could see Wallace’s desperate desire to hold on to human uniqueness in the face of the evidence as a point in ID’s favor.

  6. The gap in the fossil record, which caused Darwin to exercise due restraint, has slowly widened into a great gulf of ambiguity. The worldwide search for an intermediate specimen, fnanced by government grants and great universities, has failed. And with the unearthing of new species trickling down to a mere few in the last quarter century, it is highly unlikely that the earth still entombs tens of thousands of intermediate specimens showing the protracted gradation of mind perception. There is only one certainty: the dismal failure of paleontologists to unearth a single transitional form and the fact that all of procreation is not in utter confusion degrades the irreconcilable “theory” of protracted gradation (evolution) to a mere platitude.

    Alfred Wallace, cofounder of the “survival of the fittest,” who, along with Darwin, submitted the proposal to the Linnean Society on July 1, 1958, arrived at a similar resolute determination. The famous explorer of the environment, whose works were overshadowed by the more famous Darwin, became acutely aware of the merits of the scientifc record. In a momentous turnabout, he divested himself of all contributions to the feld of “natural selection,” charged the idea of survival of the fttest to the folly of youth, and recognized God as the mechanism of creation. The move left an unrestrained Darwin alone to crusade the cause of protracted gradation. Driven by the obsession of his tenet and fueled by the many accolades bestowed upon him, Darwin succumbed to the grave (sufering a fatal heart attack in 1882) in hopes that one day an intermediate specimen would be unearthed. If Darwin was correct, he passed into nothingness from whence he came. His rejection of God (as his grandfather, Erasmus Darwin had before him) was complete and everlasting; there would be no turning back; neither would there be any remorseful apologies nor would there be any escape. However, if he was unjustifed in his stance on “Christianity” and there is a God, the incorrigible Darwin faced that which he hated most, the prospect of eternal punishment:

    6….it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation [repay trouble] to them that trouble you [the people of God];
    7. And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
    8. In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
    9. Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
    10. When he shall come to be glorifed in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…—II Tessalonians 1

    This rebuttal was presented by C. David Parsons, author of The Quest for Right, a 7-book series on origins based on physical science. Learn more at http://QuestForRight.com

  7. Dear Mr. Parsons,

    Your post started off well. Then you put the pedal all the way down and made a left turn off the road and into a field. After traveling over a couple of bumpy sentences, your post went over a cliff and then crashed and burned. The driver was unharmed. I saw him running around the flaming wreck holding up a sign advertising your website. I haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to click your link. I think I’ll finish my coffee first.

  8. Wow. A creationist throws out the ol’ “there’s no transition fossils” canard. How original.

  9. Josh, better drink a couple of cups of coffee. Science will never be the same after this. Here’s what a couple of other bloggers wrote:

    “The Quest for Right: A Creationist Attack on Quantum Mechanics. Here’s a different take on creationism/ID: The Quest for Right, a multi-volume series on science, attacks Darwinism indirectly, by attacking quantum mechanics. A more sophisticated way to argue against Darwin is certainly to argue against modern physics. Without modern physics, you lose astrophysics too, which enables the author to make the case for YEC [young earth creationism]. The author goes on to prove that things like red supergiant stars and X-ray pulsars don’t really exist, except in the imagination of scientists.”

    “I remember once mentioning that as fundamentalist theists began to understand more of the implications of quantum mechanics, it would not be long before they branched out away from attacking evolutionary theory and started attacking quantum mechanics. Well, with this series of books, the attacks have started.”

    “This isn’t true, is it? Tell me this isn’t true.”

  10. @C. David Parsons:
    Is the god of the gaps is trying to hide in quantum mechanics now?

  11. C. David Parsons, author of The Quest for Right, a 7-book series on origins based on physical science.

    Wow! I can save a lot more time by not reading 7 books of your complete rubbish, than I would if you kept your drivel to a single volume!

    Extraordinairely stupid anti-scientist Parsons, no brains, no sense, no insight, just a whole barrel of lies. No part of the wide world of knowledge too small for hit to trash.

  12. jaredcormier, you may wish to continue your education by reading the series — 26 years in the writing. These books are slated to be taught in the public schools. Better read them now, as you will have to help your children with their homework. http://questforright.com

  13. Well, I finished my coffee and clicked over to the link about the quest for right. There wasn’t a lot of science that I saw right off the bat except for the listing of topics on the left side of page one. The site was well designed and looked great! What I came away with after reading the reviews, quotes, and excerpts was that the author claims that modern science has it wrong, and by it he means Everything. Correct me if I am wrong, but what tipped off the author to all science being incorrect was that science leaves no room for divine intervention. As the author scoured all of science to find out where it went wrong he discovered that basic physical and chemical reactions caused by changes in the state of (or position of) the electrons of atoms have been completely misunderstood and misinterpreted since science first figured out that things were made atoms.
    The author then corrects the mistakes made based on these faulty assumptions by burning down the old house of science, leveling its foundation using quantum mechanics and the bible and builds it anew in only seven affordable volumes designed for children.

    I’m probably too old and set in my ways to approach your quest for right with a truly open mind, but I tried my best. I remain unconvinced, mostly because of your bible first, physical evidence second approach. I would feel the same way, I imagine, if someone used the book of Mormon or Dianetics as their primary source material.

  14. LOL!

    “These books are slated to be taught in public schools”

    Yeah right. Any person that hasn’t moved beyond the God in the Gaps argument could never write a book that would be allowed to be taught in schools.

  15. In the intro pages to his website, Mr. Parsons names black holes as one of the lies perpetrated by the school of quantum mechanics. However black holes are most fundamentally a consequence of Einstein’s general relativity.

    I read some of the sample material and it seems to be a polemic, not a textbook. The author obviously thinks very highly of himself…

  16. Mr. Parsons,

    As an Assistant Professor of Biology at your old alma mater, whose research program is actually based in the mechanics of how evolution works, I have to take some issue with your comments. The “gap” approach to attempt to discredit the process of evolution is one that has not been successfully used in quite a while. Moreover, “modern” evolutionary biology relies upon several additional sources of information (that were developed after the MCV & RPI merged I must say) such as the use of genetic information. Indeed, if you were to take some time and conduct some scholarly research by perhaps looking into some of the leading scientific journals that focus on the process of evolution (I would recommend the journal Evolution as a good start), I think you would find that the vast majority of studies that actually do research in evolutionary biology do not rely upon comparative analysis of fossils (although we do use them when we have the occasion to help put conservative times for bifurcations on our molecular trees).

    The issue that I am unable to understand is the actual utility of the methods you propose. When I walk into my laboratory and begin to prepare an experiment, how exactly is it that I am supposed to use your particular religious motivations in this process? It is not another way of thinking, or another means to understanding, it appears to me that your particular approach starts with a set of answers and then tries to figure out the way to ask a set of questions that gives you those answers. As I was taught the scientific method, this is a bit deviant and, in my opinion, disingenuous.

    As an aside. I personally would feel unqualified to write a text book on a field that is outside my own area of specialization. After all, I only have a single PhD. Given the complexity of how the cutting edge research in Geology, Physics, Mathematics, and even my own field Biology I find it truly amazing that you can produce several volumes of text on such a wide variety of topics.


    R.J. Dyer, PhD

  17. The Quest for Right may also be referred to as the quest for truth, regardless of what that truth may be, even if the Bible is used as a scientific reference book.

    Be it known that the Bible was penned, not by the will of man as some suppose, but by holy men of God who, through much fear and trembling, were inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Bible stands undaunted against the attacks of obstructionists who would cast it aside as worthless. For the discerning, the Bible has stood the test of time and may be fully trusted as the history of the world.

    Good news! The Quest for Right dismantles the hocus pocus conjured up by the obstructionist scientific league and allows the return to the highly respected and accurate traditional field of dating. The traditional field is the systematic account of past events, peoples, places, and things methodically recorded, usually in chronological order, on physical instrumentation. Unlike the pretentious dates imposed by quantum scientists, the utilization of written documentation makes it possible to ascertain precise dates simply by opening an encyclopedia or a history book, and, in particular, the Bible.

    The Quest for Right traces the dynasty of Jesus back through the pages of the Bible to the first man Adam. The exhaustive effort proves to the dismay of geologists that the earth was created on September 13, 4007 B.C. The study details the genealogy of Jesus with such profound logic and historical detail that every mouth will be stopped. The genealogy of Jesus is made possible by incorporating two previously unknown bellwethers situated in the Bible; the bellwethers led the investigation across two bridges in time that would have otherwise been unbridgeable.

    The dynasty of Jesus transports the reader (1) from the accretion of the earth from a watery nebula to the creation of the new heavens and earth; (2) from the creation of the dinosaurs to the demise of the hapless creatures, as recorded in the Bible; (3) from the time of Noah’s flood to the future destruction of the earth by fire; and (4) from the dedication of the earthly house of the Lord to the dedication of the true temple, Jesus. The project is so authoritative that all previous works on the subject will necessarily have to be revised.

  18. Anyway, back on topic…

    Flannery’s edition is $27.95 for a 240 page softcover book. Ouch. I’m tempted to typeset my own version and offer it at cost.

  19. Mr. Parsons,

    What you did was copy and paste some advert about your texts in response to a relatively simple question. On the surface, I get the impression that you are evading the particular inquiry and regurgitating some pre-written screed that uses somewhat derogatory terminology such as referring to real scientists as belonging to an “obstructionist scientific league” I was unaware there was one, perhaps my research is to pedestrian to be invited into the group. I have the distinct impression that when someone starts off by using childish name calling then they are not really arguing from a position of power.

    However, at this point you still haven’t addressed the fundamental question that I posed regarding the utility of your approach to understanding reality. Lets make it simple and I’ll rephrase it a bit. “What specific fundamental principles of your religion do you actually use in order to better understand the world around us?” Ethical principles are not unique to any one particular religion so I would discount that as an answer. Also, if you could respond with fewer derogatory terms and grandstanding (“The study details … with such profound logic and historical detail that every mouth will be stopped.” come on, really?).

    R.J. Dyer, PhD

  20. Dr. Dyer, you asked, “What specific fundamental principles of your religion do you actually use in order to better understand the world around us?”

    Answer: The Bible is the only schoolbook — a roadmap if you will — which will get us into heaven. If one will not regard the Bible as the ultimate guide through life, all other arguments and philosophies are vain dissertations. For instance, if a man came to you and asked, “Is masturbation okay?” Your response would no doubt follow the worldly norm, “Masturbation will not hurt you; in fact, it may be helpful in many instances.” A follower of Jesus would see this differently.

    Generally speaking, masturbation is the excitation of one’s own genital organs either by one’s hand or some other means, called a fetish. The answer to the important query may be derived from the Sermon on the Mount, also called the Beatitudes. In Matthew 5, Jesus called the disciples aside to teach them privately. One of the subjects taught was adultery. The words of our Lord are repeated here:

    27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
    28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

    Now, it is the nature of man that, when he is drawn away by the lust of the flesh and is sexually aroused, and there is no one with whom to fulfill his sexual fantasy, he will often resort to masturbation in order to satisfy the flesh. Wherefore, Jesus warned:

    30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

    Masturbation, the offending of oneself by one’s own hand or a fetish, is a sin unto death. If one is married, it is called adultery. If one is unmarried, it is fornication.

    The incorrigible, in an attempt to justify their continuing in masturbation, often claim that Jesus changed the subject in verse 30: “the offending of oneself is by using the hand to strike another or to steal. And by this persuasion, attempt to do away with the holy commandment to abstain from masturbation.

    The strategy may be exposed by entertaining a key word in Matthew 5:30, the word “offend.” Offend, by definition, is: To transgress; to violate a moral or divine law; sin. How can one offend one’s own body, please read 1 Cor. 6:18-20:

    18 Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.
    19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
    20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.
    Without contradiction, “Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.”

    If one strikes another with his/her hand or engages in other crimes, one does not “offend” one’s body; these sins are “without the body.” However, if one engages in a sexual crime, be it lustful thoughts, masturbation, pornography, sodomy, or any other type of sex, the offense is against one’s own body. Beloved, believe the words of Jesus: if you offend yourself, it is a sin unto death.

    Those looking for a way out so that they can continue to offend themselves may ask, Is it okay to entertain sexual fantasies if one does not masturbate? Another may ask, Is masturbation okay if I do not entertain sexual fantasies? The answer: Although man will often commit the vile sin of masturbation as a direct consequence of lustful thoughts, as alluded to by Jesus, there are some who masturbate without unclean thoughts. Conversely, there are others who engage in pornography—lustful thoughts are pornography—and do not resort to masturbation. Instead, they may find a willing partner, or even a spouse, to fulfill their sexual appetite. Moreover, there are some who fantasize about others while enjoying his/her own spouse. The possibilities of sexual sins are unlimited and will not be listed for the sake of propriety.

    So you see, Dr. Dyer, in order to understand the world around us, one must turn to the Bible as a guide, without which, a true understanding is simply not attainable.

    For more information on this subject and a 1000 others, please read The Quest for Right series. http://questforright.com

  21. Parsons, how the devil can you, in all seriousness and at great length, answer the question “What specific fundamental principles of your religion do you actually use in order to better understand the world around us?” with the reply of “Masturbation, Dr Dyer!”?

    Physical masturbation only, I presume, since you seem more than capable and quite at ease with the mental variety.

  22. @ C. David Parsons,

    You sir have taken ignorance of reality to a whole new level.
    Go offend yourself.

  23. Mr. Parsons,

    I will have to agree with “alextangent” with respect to your response. I was unaware that “… understanding the world around us” has anything to do with masturbation? I was looking more towards the kinds of things that real people are concerned with, fighting disease, making a better life for our fellow humans, understanding the universe, or even determining the best combination of ingredients necessary for a really good smoked brisket (something I have been applying the scientific method on in my own ‘personal’ research to which I think I have found at least a local optimum). I guess I just don’t understand the analogy that you use and I am quite sure that it would be improper to use masturbation in the design of my experiments (besides being somewhat dangerous because of the sharp implements and the nasty chemicals we encounter) independent of what was written in any religious text.

    So, can we be a bit more basic. What questions does your interpretation of your theology ask or answer that aren’t already being dealt with by science or secular philosophy? Is there any “value added” here to general society, that cannot be provided by secular philosophy or science, then what is the purpose other than to subjugate? I just don’t get it but I am hoping that you can provide a logical answer.

    Again, cordially,

    R.J. Dyer, PhD

  24. “This rebuttal was presented by C. David Parsons, author of The Quest for Right, a 7-book series on origins based on physical science. Learn more at http://QuestForRight.com

    I found the second sentence pretty funny.

  25. “jaredcormier, you may wish to continue your education by reading the series — 26 years in the writing. These books are slated to be taught in the public schools. Better read them now, as you will have to help your children with their homework. http://questforright.com

    26 whole years. It always brings a smile to my face and a shake to my head when some creationist feels the need to trot out how extraordinarily long they’ve been working on some anti-evolution screed. I encountered a creationist like you on a discussion board one time – claimed to have been studying evolution for 2 decades. Then he went on to ‘explain’ how DNA is made of amino acids.

    I am a former school board member and am in contact with all of the current members. I can assure you that these collections of creationist claptrap will never poison the minds of students in my district.

  26. Thank you, Mr. Parsons! I haven’t laughed that hard in quite some time.

  27. “What specific fundamental principles of your religion do you actually use in order to better understand the world around us?” I answered the question: if one wishes to investigate the causes and laws underlying reality, he/she must rely on the wisdom of scripture. Examples: if one wants to know about continental drift, it is recorded in the Bible. Do you want to know what happened to the dinosaurs, it is recorded for all to see. What about the origin of skintones? It is recorded in the Bible. Want to know how the earth was created from a watery nebula? It is recorded in the Bible. Curious as to the age of the earth? It is recorded: the earth accreted on September 13, 4007 BC. Want to know why the Muslim hates the Jews? It is in the Bible. Want to know about divorce and remarriage? It’s in the Bible. Want to know about raising a child? It is in the Bible. Want more? Read the Bible.

    Do you have another question?

  28. @C. David Parsons

    Why did it take you 7 books? … I can summarize your entire idea in two sentances:

    God did it. All observations shall be bent away from reality to support this, no matter how much this deceit makes the baby Jesus cry.

    … But I suppose lying for Jesus is more profitable with 7 books. Hope that whole ‘false prophet’ punishment thing isn’t too harsh for you David.

  29. “Curious as to the age of the earth? It is recorded: the earth accreted on September 13, 4007 BC”

    Give me the exact reference for this in the bible

    I’ll save you some time … there is none, it is an estimation created by one man’s interpretation of the bible. Not to mention that the Gregorian Calendar was invented long after your bible was written.

    Funny, would have thought such a loud bible (t)humper would have known that.

  30. “Want to know why the Muslim hates the Jews? It is in the Bible.”

    Give me the exact reference for this in the bible

    I’ll save you some time. The Quran states that Muhammed was the first Muslim. Considering that the Quran dates to Muhammed’s supposed divine revelations in 610, many centuries after your bible … you fail, there is no reference to any Muslim in the bible.

    … But yes, I know David, when you’re Lying For Jesus, your ‘literal’ interpretation of the bible can be twisted into any shape to support your mythology.

    Oh ya, and god talked to me too … he said you fail.

  31. Hmmm seems that C. David Parsons is taking a break from this thread.

    Maybe he’s gone back to the start … and realized he can’t reconcile the two contradictory creation stories in Genesis.

  32. Do not let this self-declared herald of truth hijack the thread. Neither his off topic jibes, nor his limited intellect warrant the deviation. [not worthy to be named]

    On to my, point about the blog topic..
    So many IDr’s and YECs take the approach that if they can show that the evolutionist messiah was weak & flawed that his gospel will be thrown down. Darwin collected observations, organized ideas well, setting off a flood of research and inqiury that revolutionized biological science, giving consistent explanation of the observable, and accepted only due to the overwhelming consensus of professional scientists in the field. Scientists do not have messiahs, for Darwin to be wrong in many or most of his ideas would irrelevant. What matters is the extension through preponderance of futher observation, and experimentation. Even as his scientific suggestions have not gone unmodified it does not lessen his contribution, and any weaknesses in his arguments do not alter the collective conclusions of scientists in current times.

    Were Darwin to be shown to be a child molester, or racist or wife beater, a sissy or plagiurist would not affect his leagcy, and would have even less relevance to modern science. Not a messiah. Science has none, needs none.

  33. “The earth accreted on September 13, 4007 BC.” You said, “Give me the exact reference for this in the bible.” The question is answered to the complete satisfaction of the reader in Volume 5, which encompasses some 375 pages. This blog is a little too restrictive for that.

    The answer to the Muslim question is in Volume 4. I cannot give you the icing off the cake when you can request your library to provide a copy.

    Concerning the Gregorian Calendar, all dates in the Bible are based on the moon calendar; that is, Jerusalem time. For example, today is the 17th day of the 4th month. The Feast of Weeks began last Sabbath; that is, the seventh day (Saturday). Jesus was born in the fall, not during Christmastime. So much more. http://questforright.com

  34. Not a messiah. Science has none, needs none.

    A little about Darwin’s belief in belief in a Creator:

    Darwin once confessed to being a theist, the belief in the existence of a god or gods, in particular the belief that God both created and rules all earthly phenomena. After the publication of the Origin, Darwin charged his original belief in God to the “constant inculcation” (instruction or indoctrination) in a belief in God” during his childhood, which was as difficult to cast down as “for a monkey to throw off its instinctive fear and hatred of a snake.” With self-assurance, Darwin purposed in his heart that he would no longer retain God in his knowledge, resolving instead to become an “agnostic.” The reader is, therefore, cautioned that, whenever reading books and articles about Darwin, most, if not all, biographical authors are predisposed to depict him in a favorable light, oftentimes allowing pro-evolutionist sentiment to prejudice their work.

    The Old Testament did not escape Darwin’s inflamed rhetoric; concerning the validity of biblical histories (in particular, the Genesis account of creation), Darwin pointedly declared that “the manifestly false history of the earth….was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos (sic), or the beliefs of any barbarian.” Thus, Darwin likened the creation of the first man, Adam (Genesis 2:7-25), to a mere fairy tale. As an alternative to the counterfactual history, he summarily disposed of both creationism and God by declaring in the Origin that, once the reader entertains the “volumne (sic) on the origin of species…light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history,” meaning that man and apes diverged from a common ancestor through the agency of evolution without the aid or influence of God—there is no God.

    Let the foolish man say in his heart, “There is no God.” That doesn’t make it so.

  35. Quoth Parsons;

    The question is answered to the complete satisfaction of the reader in Volume 5, which encompasses some 375 pages. This blog is a little too restrictive for that.

    Complete satisfaction requires 375 pages? Granted, this blog is not as absorbent as the printed page, but surely you could have provided a small sample.

  36. I guess you can’t read. “for Darwin to be wrong in many or most of his ideas would irrelevant.” As he is no prophet how he felt about dog does not concern me beyond how it may have colored his conclusions.

    Go on ramble and rant off topic mr parsons..
    But my on topic question was as to whether others felt it an accurate observation that IDr’s & YECs assume Darwin to be taken as some messianic figure, and by attacking him, or his original works that they somehow have invalidated more than a centry of science and overwhelming consensus on evolution theory.

    Your unscientific belief in dog has no relevance to this discussion of Darwin & Wallace. I suppose you can’t help yourself, given the selfimportant perspective you have regarding your 7 book series of nonscience[read/spoken “nonsense”] and how there is impending worldwide inclusion of the series as primary texts..

  37. “Give me the bible reference” was answered by a reference to his own books. It wouls appear that Parsons wrote the bible.

    However I am very happy he is answering questions, because he will be able to explain something no Biblical Literalist has ever done, despite my repeated questions.

    How did Kangaroos get from Ararat to Australia?

  38. Complete satisfaction requires 375 pages? Granted, this blog is not as absorbent as the printed page, but surely you could have provided a small sample.

    A small sample is taken out of context:

    The units of time specified hereafter relate to Imperial or Jerusalem standard time; ROA times follow in parenthesis. In review, Imperial Time (abbreviated IM), reckoned in years, months, weeks, days, hours and minutes, is governed by the cycles of the Moon as established by God, hence, the word month from the word moon. All dates in the Bible are Imperial Time. Contrariwise, the rule of occultic affairs (ROA), as ruled by the cycles of the sun, is occultic related; it was carried about by the resolve of sun worshippers until it was adopted by most of the governments of the world. ROA is utilized to calculate important occultic affairs; for example, the birthday of the Roman sun god Sol, the god of Kings: Sol’s birthday is celebrated at the time of the winter solstice (Sol’s winter status), occurring on or about December 22; the Romans, however, set the celebration on the 25th (See index: solstice, Sol, Baal, Christmastime, Ra). Question: Did God choose December 25, the high holy day of sun worshippers, to introduce Jesus, the Christ, to the world? Scripture denounces the absurdity:

    14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
    15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial [Baal, the sun god]? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel [unbeliever]?—2 Cor. 6

    Interestingly, only Easter is held in higher esteem by Christians than the occultic Christmastime. Note: Jesus died on the high holy day of Passover, not the occultic related Easter. The term Easter is derived from the Phoenician pronunciation of Astarte or Ishtar, the latter, according to Hislop, being pronounced as “Easter.” The goddess Easter is the “dawn-goddess,” celebrated by sunrise services, whose high holy day is celebrated at the vernal equinox (spring). During the celebration, the demon goddess Easter or Astarte ventures into the underworld to resurrect Tammuz (Eze. 8:14), the son of Baal and Easter, who, when he is brought forth causes spring to begin. For a full account of the Church’s plagiarizing of the abominable high holy day of Astarte, see index: Ash Wednesday, Astarte, candlemass, Easter, grove(s), Lent, Reserve of the Gods, Catholicism, Tammuz.

    Back to the specifics: Whereas an occultic ROA day begins at 12:00 A.M. (midnight), an Imperial day begins six hours earlier at 6:00 P.M., the first hour of the day Jerusalem standard time. The rule of occultic affairs is currently understated as universal time (UT), also Greenwich time, the mean solar time of the meridian at Greenwich, England, which has been adopted by a vast majority of countries as the basis for calculating time. Jerusalem or Imperial time begins three hours earlier and is utilized to determine all dates in the Bible. See index: Imperial Time; calendar, libation; occultic dispensation; and rule of occultic affairs.
    Note: The disciples of witchcraft, that is, Satan worshippers, practice the demonic inspired attribute of speaking and writing backwards; this is the white is black mentality of those who hate God. Less well known and understood is the rite of backward worship; instead of lifting hands in praise as is the custom of some Christians, the wretched worshipers bend over frontward and force their arms as high above their backs as possible in praise to Satan. Taking this into account, the reader should not be dismayed that a day governed by the rule of occultic affairs or UT time begins at 12:00 A.M. midnight, six hours earlier than the day established by God. Remember, a day begins at 6:00 P.M., the first hour Jerusalem Standard or Imperial Time (See Genesis 1:5). As an object lesson, observe the face of either a clock or wristwatch and note that the points 12:00 and 6:00 are diametrically opposite one another; more accurately, they are backward: the 1st hour is 6:00 P.M., the 6th hour is 12:00 P.M., etc. This will give you an idea as to the ruling occultic dispensation (See index: calendrical deities, witchcraft).
    In preparation for that which follows, the Imperial dates listed in this section are immediately followed by ROA intervals; for instance, the earth was created from a watery nebula on the first day of the first month in the first year IM (Gen. 1:1-5). Correlating the beginning to ROA, the time is written Sat/Sun, Sept. 13/14, 4007 BC. The double dates are required in that an Imperial day begins at the first hour (6:00 P.M. ROA) while the ROA day begins six hours later; hence, an ROA day will always span two Imperial days.
    In further adjustment, and in order to excise the occultic deities associated with the names of the ROA months and weeks, the dates will be summarily listed in numeric form as demanded by scripture (Ex. 23:13): examples: Sunday (Sol’s or Sun’s day) would revert to first day; Monday (Selene’s or Moon’s day) would change back to second day; and Saturday (Saturn’s day) would return to either the seventh day or Sabbath; the latter designates are synonymous.

    When transcribing the date of creation from Imperial to ROA time, the latter is Seventh/First (days), Ninth (month), 13/14 (days of month) 4007 B.C.; or (7th/1st, Ninth, 13/14, 4007 B.C.). The dates will appear awkward at first; however, with practice they will seem commonplace. Example:

    Imperial or Jerusalem standard time for the date of creation:
    First 1, 0001 IM
    Rule of occultic affairs or universal time
    Ninth 13/14, 4007 B.C.

  39. The Bible records a great earthquake in which a central land mass (not Pangaea) was divided and the various pieces moved to their present locations by the power of God. The exact years the breakup occurred and ended are recorded in the Bible. The movement of the continents is attested by the discovery of dinosaurs in Antarctica.

    Regarding the kangaroos, they did not have to cross a land bridge to Australia; they simply hopped across a central land mass. Note: If the kangaroo, with its long tail, had been extinct during Darwin’s time, the infamous naturalist would have labeled it a dinosaur.

    I regret that I cannot answer any further questions today; I’m off to Stone Mountain, GA for a family picnic. By the way that hugh “stone” is sedimentary, that is, the particles were once suspended in water. Sedimentary rock represent primary formations; volcanic formations are isolated events and are secondary.

  40. hahaha awesome David!

    You did exactly as I figured you would.

    You in no way referenced at all where in the bible it is stated that “The earth accreted on September 13, 4007 BC”.

    The best you could do, in your reams of irrelevant rambling was to quote Genesis that the earth was created on the first day of the first month of the first year, and slip in some arm waving to arbitrarily correlate it to our calendar

    Spending more time Lying For Jesus, unable to admit that the correlation to our calendar is an entirely subjective interpretation … of which there are very many:


    Funny, I don’t even see your imaginary number in this list, I guess you just don’t matter very much.

    And David’s profit motivation to Lie For Jesus is confirmed with his attempt to make us buy his books for the answers to our questions instead of freely, openly and directly answering the question “as we would do unto him”, without trying to hide his lack of a good answer with pages of babble.

    Get that fire stoked! David the False Prophet is just itching to burn!

  41. Nope, I think this is an honest-to-goodness batshit crazy fundie. When you’re that deep into delusional fantasy, even “[kangaroos] simply hopped across a central land mass” will seem reasonable. And the sample of 375 turgid pages was obviously typed one-handed while the other was busy sinning.

    Honestly, I’d ban him. For being (a) off topic (b) off his meds and (c) off the part of the internet where this gibberish passes for intelligent discourse.

    On reflection, (c) is what the internet has become… Just ban him for no reason in that case.

  42. At this point, it’s transparent that Parsons is just hawking his books. I suggest we all ignore him.

  43. 2nd the motion, alextangent. Life is too short to be dragged into off topic ramblings by a lunatic

  44. even if the Bible is used as a scientific reference book.

    Well now there you go;First you create the theory, fortify faith against reason and then use that to affirm or refute observed fact.I was getting it all wrong.Oh ,and the kangaroo thing….that was rich.

  45. So, Dembski, read for comprehension and retention much ?
    Can I suggest a course in reading and study skills from your local community college?
    Look, Bill, everybody knows what your ulterior motive is.
    For whatever reason, you have decided that evolution by random mutation and selection cannot be true because if it is your god cannot exist, or some other horrible faith-shaking thing will happen. In order to avoid that horror, you have decided that there must be a god, therefore there must be a design and so anything that confounds that premise must be anathema.
    I’m sure none of these thoughts are new around here, but still, I felt the need to
    write it.

  46. Intelligent Design is a laughable nonsense slash bullshit theory presented by failed scientists who will never be famous unless for all their failures in life.

    To Mr C. David Parsons, dude, stop quoting from the bible. Bible is written BY HUMAN. Bible is a guidance to life, YES, BUT It is not a science proven evidence to anything. The content in the Bible has been twisted by the Church for ages that no body would really know how it really happened in the past.

  47. (Sigh)…. I was actually quite interested in the original article. It’s unfortunate that the discussion has wound around with futility, for the most part. To Mr. Parsons, all I can say is that as a human being, you would be wise not to be afraid of science, and as a Christian, you would serve your faith better if your defense wasn’t based in that fear. The best Christian thinkers have always jumped into science head first, and not just poked at it cautiously with their toes. They had faith in the human mind as well as in their God.

    There is a story that when Galileo first invented his telescope, he told some monks that he could prove the earth moved around the sun, and the huddled outside covering their eyes and refusing to enter. They were not good Christian thinkers. If Thomas Aquinas (maybe you’ve heard of him) had been there, no locks would have been strong enough to keep the big man away from the telescope. He would have been only too eager to see what the world had to say. He was a good Christian thinker.

    If you want to be a good Christian thinker, Mr. Parsons, you would do well to emulate men like Aquinas (the 13th century’s great champion of reason) and not men like the monks afraid of the telescope. Look at what science has to say, and try to understand it for what it is before you attack it. If God gave man a mind, he meant him to use it.

    I completely agree with the remarks made earlier about IDr’s and YEC’s. Far too often they lambaste the man instead of understanding his words, or fail to carefully consider science’s progress away from its early formulations. I suppose its an easy mistake to make, but it’s polemical and not scientific.

  48. I have to be impressed at someone who took 26 years and 7 books to write “read the Bible”.

  49. Mr. Parson needs to buy me a new gibberish-meter.

    And one with an extra-large scale if he intends on writing more.

  50. As we all know, the Bible has π equal to 3. It’s only the evil Darwinians who insist in adding the obscene .14159… to π.

  51. Mr Parsons has done an excellent job as devil’s advocate (pity he had no facts to use) but Darwin has survived the onslaught (yet again). I commend Mr Parsons on his sense of humor, I feel he could have a real future in standup comedy with his material. But enough is enough David so now just shutup. Thankyou

  52. The answer to the Muslim question is in Volume 4. I cannot give you the icing off the cake when you can request your library to provide a copy.

    A third rate book saleman! You claim the answer is in the bible and then say that one has to acquire your book to find out where. Why? You just need to give a bible reference, I have quite a large collection in various languages.

  53. Classic anti-evolutionary tactic. First, find a contemporary of Darwin (or a predecessor). Then claim said contemporary, who is often a well known scientist (see Isaac Newton for another example), as a critic of the modern state of evolutionary theory, and then go on a rant about naturalism or materialism. Factual accuracy is not important. At least Dembski’s piece, while containing some major factual errors, passes by these criterion. Pieces like this just reinforce the statement that “the Wedge” of ID is a socio-political movement at its core, rather than a scientific one.

  54. Let’s see, we have:
    Claims to miracles
    Claims to personal incredulity
    Claims to personal belief
    Post hoc ergo propter hoc arguments
    Circular reasoning


  55. St George Jackson Mivart (the Victorian anatomist and one of Huxley’s protegé) had a harshy treatment by the Darwinian inner-circle (with Darwin’s approval) preventing him to join scientific organizations and to advance his academic career. Are you endorsing this abject behaviour?

  56. St George Jackson Mivart (the Victorian anatomist and one of Huxley’s protegé) had a harshy treatment by the Darwinian inner-circle (with Darwin’s approval) preventing him to join scientific organizations and to advance his academic career. Are you endorsing this abject behaviour?

    Whatever gave you the idea that I would be endorsing that? (Other than the fact that your pro-ID sympathies would want that to be the case).

  57. It has nothing to do with my pro-ID sympathies. You wrote: “Mivart … whose treatment by the Darwinian inner-circle could not have been more different from how Wallace was treated”. Since English is not my mother tongue, that’s why I asked you. Why did the Darwinian inner-circle treat Mivart that harsh way? Why Darwinians still behave this way in the Academia against Darwin dissidents?

    By the way, Mivart’s critique of the role of Darwin’s theory of natural selection in the origin of species was my thesis subject in 2008.

  58. Since you worked on Mivart, you should already know this but the brief version is that the treatment of Mivart had little – if nothing – to do with his rejection of natural selection as an explanation for certain adaptations but occurred because non-scientific reasons. Primary among them is that Darwin felt that Mivart mistreated George Darwin in a review of Descent – this then escalated differences and resulted in Huxley and Wright acting to distance Mivart from the inner-circle. This however didn’t prevent Mivart in any way from continuing to work and publish as an anatomist (though his interests shifted into theology and philosophy in the 1880’s).

    But as I said, you should already know that as it’s been known since Gruber’s biography of Mivart. See my entry on Mivart in The Dictionary of 19th Century British Scientists for more if you need refreshing on the issue. The best entry point is, of course, Darwin’s own correspondence on the issue.

    Why Darwinians still behave this way in the Academia against Darwin dissidents?

    Unsubstantiated creationist talking point #45 in a series of three billion. You can do better.

  59. I dare to disagree with your view that the treatment of Mivart by Huxley, Hooker et al had little – if nothing – to do with his rejection of natural selection as an explanation for certain adaptations but occurred because non-scientific reasons.

    Three years before Mivart had mistreated George Darwin in a review of works by Taylor and Lubbock on primitive man (Quarterly review, July 1874) – Huxley, Hooker et all acted to distance Mivart from Darwin’s inner-circle. I agree with you that this action didn’t prevent Mivart in any way from continuing to work and publish as an anatomist, but these people did their best to prevent Mivart to join some prominent English scientific organizations.

    Mivart described his June 15th, 1869 painful experience (to dissent from Darwin) this way:

    “After many painful days … I felt it my duty first of all to go straight to Professor Huxley and tell him all my thoughts, feelings, and intentions in the matter without the slightest reserve, including … the theological aspect of the question. Never before or since have I had a more painful experience than fell to my lot in his room at the School of Mines on that 15th of June 1869. As soon as I had made my meaning clear, his countenance became transforme as I had never seen it. Yet he looked more sad and surprised than anything else. He was kind and gentle as he said regretfully, but most firmly, that nothing so united or severed men as questions such as those I had spoken of.”

    Quoted in GRUBER, J. W. A conscience in conflict – The life of St George Jackson Mivart. Columbia University Press, New York, 1960, p. 36-37.

    Huxley’s letter to Joseph Hooker:

    “I have been reading Mivart’s book … and the devil has tempted me to follow up his very cocky capsuling of Catholic theology based as he says upon Father Suarez. So I got some of the old Jesuit’s fólios out of the Library here and have been revelling in scholastic philosophy and catholic theology with the effect of discovering that Master Mivart either gushes without reading or reads without understanding. … I am sorry … as Mivart is clever and not a bad fellow but he allows himself to be insolent to Darwin and I mean to pin him out. Only fancy my vindicating Catholic orthodoxy against the Papishes themselves.” Ibid, p. 87.

    Huxley publishes his article ‘Mr. Darwin’s critics’ in Contemporary Review, 1871, in Darwiniana, New York, 1896, p. 120-186.

    Darwin’s letter to Huxley:

    “Your letter has pleased me in many ways to a wonderful degree. I laughed over Mivart’s soul till my stomach contracted into a ball, but that is a horrid sensation which you will not know. … It quite delights me that you are going to some extent to answer and attack Mivart. His book, as you say, has produced a great effect…”

    In GRUBER, op. cit, p. 87-88.

    Hooker wrote to Darwin:

    “I return Huxley’s article which I have read with all the admiration I can express. What a wonderful Ensayist he is, and incomparable critic, and defender of the faithful. Well I think you are avenged on your enemy.’

    In GRUBER, op. cit., p. 90.

    Mivart’s mistake was to quote and criticise an article by George Darwin on matters of eugenics. This act of freedom of speech led to Mivart’s being EXPELLED (I couldn’t resist) from Darwin’s inner circle, although Mivart went to great lengths attempting to fix this ‘unpardonable sin’ against Darwin’s young son.

    Huxley and Hooker and other men used their position of academic power to ostracise Mivart. Several times, the last one in 1888, they succeeded in preventing Mivart to be elected to the Athenaeum Club. See GRUBER, op. cit., p. 112-114.

    I am aware of your entry on Mivart in The Dictionary of 19th Century British Scientists.

    By the way, do you know why all the letters exchanged between Mivart and Darwin are not available online?

Comments are closed.