Wallace’s Frenemies: A Lesson from Phillip Johnson

first_imgEvolution Faith & Science Wallace’s Frenemies: A Lesson from Phillip JohnsonMichael FlanneryNovember 20, 2019, 5:20 AM A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Michael FlanneryFellow, Center for Science and CultureMichael A. Flannery is professor emeritus of UAB Libraries, University of Alabama at Birmingham. He holds degrees in library science from the University of Kentucky and history from California State University, Dominguez Hills. He has written and taught extensively on the history of medicine and science. His most recent research interest has been on the co-discoverer of natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913). He has edited Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution: How Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwinism (Erasmus Press, 2008) and authored Alfred Russel Wallace: A Rediscovered Life (Discovery Institute Press, 2011). His research and work on Wallace continues. Share Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Photo credit: “Beetles collected in the Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace” (cropped), ©Natural History Museum, London, via Flickr.In a post yesterday I replied to Harvard evolutionary biologist Andrew Berry’s bumbling review of my book Nature’s Prophet. It was written as an antidote to people precisely like Berry who selectively praise Wallace when he’s engaged in science talk, but are quick to brand him a fool when he expresses any of his metaphysical views. Wallace’s historiography is festooned with such frenemies, Berry among them (more are mentioned in the book). This is all the more unfortunate because Wallace himself devoted the last half of his life to things these frenemies so adamantly oppose. Nature’s Prophet allows the whole Wallace to speak, and speak proudly and unapologetically. While I stated my case on most points, one more seems so surprising that it deserves special comment. Toward the end of his review Berry quotes me as referring to Wallace as constructing “a human-centered cosmology that resonates with much of scripture.” He then somewhat astonishingly says, “What is the relevance of this?” Man’s Place in the CosmosNow if he had been paying attention he would have noted that I had already laid out the fact that Wallace’s Man’s Place in the Universe (1903) was to highlight the significance of man in the cosmos, not to mention his grand statement of natural theology, The World of Life, that ends with his assertion that man is “already ‘a little lower than the angels,’ and, like them, destined to a permanent progressive existence in a World of Spirit.” That quotation comes from Psalm 8, and other passages reflect Wallace’s natural theology as well: Matthew 6:26; Romans 1:20, 1 Corinthians 15:39, to name a few. In fact, it is fair to say that Wallace constructed a natural theology that resonated with all the Abrahamic religions. Wallace, therefore, distinguished himself from those like Haeckel who saw humankind as a mere by-product of blind natural forces. Again, I never suggested that Wallace was referencing the Bible per se (although his closing line quoted above clearly does) or that he was even remotely expositing on Genesis or any other biblical text, only that Wallace opposed Paley’s brand of special creation. He was not opposed to the grander and more magisterial sense of general creation often revealed in scripture. Haeckel’s cosmology is diametrically opposed to a human-centered universe, preferring one that reduces humanity to nothing more than co-equal artifacts of a blind physical world.Borrowed from DarwinHaeckel’s idea was borrowed from Darwin. And where did Darwin get this diminution of humankind? It had nothing to do with science; it goes back to his association with the radical freethinking Plinian Society that he joined as a teenager in Edinburgh. On March 27, 1827, Darwin, just barely turned 18, heard a fellow Plinian, William Browne, give a lecture on human consciousness and the mind as merely the product of brain activity. This only added fuel to William Greg’s earlier inflammatory presentation to the society, setting out to prove that “the lower animals possess every faculty & propensity of the human mind.” Thus, by the time Darwin was working on Notebook C in 1838, he was well schooled in materialist thought. So sometime between mid-May and mid-June Darwin writes: “Why is thought being a secretion of the brain, more wonderful than gravity a property of matter? It is our arrogance, it is our admiration of ourselves.” Then a little later he adds, “Man in his arrogance thinks himself a great work worthy the interposition of a deity, more humble & I believe true to consider him created from animals.”“Stubborn Modesty”But Darwin had it all wrong. The insightful historian John Lukacs, taking his cue from what his friend and colleague Jacques Barzun called Darwin’s “stubborn modesty,” replied:  We must recognize, contrary to all accepted ideas that we and our earth are at the center of our universe. We did not create the universe, but the universe is our invention, and it is, as are all human and mental inventions, time-bound, relative, and potentially fallible. Because of this recognition of the human limitations of theories, indeed, of knowledge, this assertion of our centrality — in other words, of a new, rather than renewed, anthropocentric and geocentric view of the universe — is not arrogant or stupid. To the contrary: it is anxious and modest. . . . No. The known and visible and measurable conditions of the universe [its material aspects] are not anterior but consequent to our existence and to our consciousness. The universe is such as it is because in the center of it there exist conscious and participant human beings who can see it, explore it, study it. (For those readers who believe in God: the world and this earth were created by Him for the existence and consciousness of human beings.) This insistence on the centrality and uniqueness of human beings is a statement not of arrogance but of humility. It is yet another recognition of the inevitable limitations of mankind. [See The American Scholar.]Missing the PointSo when I referred to Wallace’s human-centered universe that resonated with scripture I was juxtaposing it with Darwin’s and Haeckel’s reductionist materialism, and nothing could be more relevant than that. The fact that Berry can’t see it means he missed the point of Nature’s Prophet entirely.So I was left puzzled by Berry’s comment. I thought perhaps he didn’t read the book completely. Maybe he just skimmed it and cherry-picked for items of criticism. Then I realized the truth of something Phillip Johnson had said in The Wedge of Truth:I have had many conversations with leading scientists, journalists and other intellectuals who are committed to evolutionary naturalism, as well as with theological modernists who express fundamentally naturalistic ideas in theistic language. When I refuse to accept naturalistic assumptions some are overtly hostile, some are patronizing, and some try their best to be polite. All are uncomprehending. To them naturalism and science are virtually the same thing, and they think that to depart from science is to depart from reason.A Fatal ErrorBerry’s response was, therefore, predictably patronizingly hostile. Now I know why. Berry couldn’t see the relevance of my statement — and indeed much of the book — because he simply failed to comprehend it through the lens of his naturalistic worldview. Moreover, he can’t see through his own philosophical commitments and instead in blissful confidence conflates naturalism, science, and reason. This is fatal to anyone who would understand and appreciate a considerable body of Wallace’s work: Darwinism (1889), Man’s Place in the Universe (1903), The World of Life (1910), and Social Environment and Moral Progress (1913). In some ways, for all of his claims to academic competence in evolutionary biology in general and Alfred Russel Wallace in particular, Berry came incredibly ill-equipped to review Nature’s Prophet because he was essentially deaf, dumb, and blind to its message.So we can add Berry to the list of Wallace frenemies quick to praise him on certain matters but equally quick to condemn him on others. That Berry could quote from George Romanes as branding Wallace’s “teleological thinking” as one of “incapacity and absurdity” shows how little we have advanced in the big picture discussion of the nature of life and humanity’s place in it. Sadly, with few exceptions, most Wallace “scholars” (Berry among them) don’t appreciate the entire man, and they never will.Photo credit: “Beetles collected in the Malay Archipelago by Alfred Russel Wallace” (cropped), ©Natural History Museum, London, via Flickr.center_img Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man TagsAbrahamic religionsAlfred Russel WallaceAndrew BerrybrainCharles DarwinCorinthiansDarwinism (book)EdinburghErnst HaeckelfrenemiesGenesisGeorge RomanesHarvard Universityhistoriographyhuman consciousnessJacques BarzunJohn LukacsMan’s Place in the Universematerialismnatural theologyNature’s ProphetNotebook CPhillip E. JohnsonPlinian SocietyPsalmPsalmsRomansScriptureSocial Environment and Moral ProgressteleologyThe American ScholarThe Wedge of TruthThe World of Life,Trending Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Recommended Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogoslast_img read more

33 people awaiting in-patient beds at LUH

first_img Google+ WhatsApp 33 people awaiting in-patient beds at LUH There’s been another increase in the number of people awaiting in-patient beds at Letterkenny University Hospital this morning, with 33 people recorded by the INMO, up six on yesterday. Of those, 14 were on Emergency Department trolleys.Nationally, the INMO says there were 429 admitted patients awaiting beds in Irish hospitals this morning, the largest number, 41, at University Hospital Galway. Google+ 45 new social homes to be built in Dungloe Pinterest Consultation launched on proposal to limit HGV traffic in Clady Facebook RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Homepage BannerNews Pinterestcenter_img Twitter WhatsApp Hospitalisations rise as Donnelly suggests masks will stay ’til autumn Twitter Disruption to cancer service will increase mortality – Oncologist Previous articleOver 40 new jobs created as brand new hotel opens in DerryNext articleMP says small businesses could be exempt from border checks News Highland By News Highland – July 24, 2019 Journey home will be easier – Paul Hegarty Facebook Donegal hoteliers enjoy morale boost as bookings increase last_img read more

FCI opens Saudi Arabian operation

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

City firms claimed £14m costs in oligarch case

first_imgMr Justice FancourtCity law firms representing two oligarchs accused of a multi-billion-pound fraud at a now state-owned Ukrainian bank claimed around £14m in costs after successively arguing that the case should not be heard in London.In a judgment on costs published this week, Mr Justice Fancourt awarded a portion of the claimed costs, around £8.4m, to businessmen Igor Kolomoisky and Gennadiy Bogolyubov and five businesses to which they have or have had connections.The judgment shows that international firm Fieldfisher, which represented Kolomoisky, claimed around £9m. Bogolyubov, now represented by Enyo Law and previously by Skadden, claimed £2.9m, while lawyers for the five companies claimed £2.1m.After considering the ‘very very substantial’ costs, Fancourt J awarded interim payments of £4m (Kolomoisky), £2m (Bogolyubov) and £1.5m (the five companies). The costs judgment comes after the High Court ruled in PJSC Commercial Bank Privatbank and Igor Valeryevich Kolomoisky & Others, that the English courts do not have jurisdiction to hear the claims by PrivatBank.A worldwide freezing order for misrepresentation and non-disclosure previously obtained by the bank was also stayed. The oligarchs deny any wrongdoing.PrivatBank, represented by international firm Hogan Lovells, has said it will appeal the ruling.Assessing the £9m costs, Fancourt J said the sum was hard to quanitify as there is ‘no costs schedule equivalent to the kind of schedule that is produced on a summary assessment.‘The short schedule that has been produced provides very little detail at all. It contains, for example, single items for work done on documents for 7,107 hours and 58 minutes, amounting to £2,008,000 of fees, and in another part of the schedule another 4,506 hours of work done on documents for £1.55 million of fees,’ Fancourt J wrote.Fancourt J also rejected a claim by PrivatBank that the fees be placed into a solicitor’s holding pending the outcome of any appeal. ‘At this stage it is clear that very substantial amounts of money have been spent by the defendants on legal fees. It seems to me appropriate, on the basis of my findings, that they should have those interim payments on account of costs at this stage,’ his judgment found.last_img read more

Magnus Carlsen reveals next move to launch a new era of $1 million online chess tour

first_img Arnold Dsouza COMMENT First Published: 15th May, 2020 18:11 IST LIVE TV The internet is here to stay!https://t.co/S5LG0BUsXO pic.twitter.com/DS0zvVVz7P— Magnus Carlsen (@MagnusCarlsen) May 14, 2020 ALSO READ: Online Chess: Viswanathan Anand Rested As India Lose To ChinaMagnus Carlsen IQ: Magnus Carlsen Online Chess TourChess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen recently announced the launch of the ‘Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour’ on May 14. The 29-year-old Norwegian created an invitational online chess tournament last month for fans with the total prize money of $250,000. The aim was to keep fans at home occupied during the coronavirus lockdown. The online chess tournament began on April 18 and ended on May 3 as Magnus Carlsen himself won the inaugural tournament. However, fans weren’t too surprised with the results given the Magnus Carlsen IQ is considerably higher in comparison to an average human.ALSO READ: GM Iniyan To Organise ‘Chess Marathon’ To Raise Funds For COVID-19 ReliefMagnus Carlsen standings: Magnus Carlsen Online Chess TourAccording to ScoopWhoop, the Magnus Carlsen IQ clocks in at 190. The staggering Magnus Carlsen IQ puts him in the category of the top 20 smartest people in the world. Magnus Carlsen’s peak classical rating of 2882 is the highest in history and the Chess World No 1 recently broke the record for the longest unbeaten streak, making it 111 games without defeat.ALSO READ: Over 25 Grandmaster To Take Part In Indian Chess League From May 15Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour: Schedule for online chess TourFollowing the success of the first online chess tour, Magnus Carlsen now wants to combine three more online chess tournaments – including the Magnus Carlsen invitational last month – to create an astonishing prize fund of $1 million for the final winner. This will be the highest ever reward for winning an online chess tour and the finals will take place between August 9-20. The top four players from the inaugural chess tournament will qualify for the next ‘major’. Carlsen, along with Hikaru Nakamura, Ding Liren, and Alireza Firouzja will feature in the next major online chess tournament. Here is the schedule for the three major online chess tours including the final: Lindores Abbey Rapid Challenge (May 19-June 3) – $150,000Online Chess Masters (June 20-July 5) – $150,000Legends of Chess (July 21 -August 5)  – $150,000Grand Final (August 9-20) – $300,000Magnus Carlsen Chess Tour: Magnus Carlsen online chess tour finaleWinners of the individual tournaments will progress through to the grand final. The $250,000 from the invitational chess tournament will be added to the prize money for the other four tournaments. The total prize money for the winner of the final will be a staggering $1 million. ALSO READ: Online Chess: Viswanathan Anand Rested As India Lose To China Last Updated: 15th May, 2020 18:11 IST Magnus Carlsen Reveals Next Move To Launch A New Era Of $1 Million Online Chess Tour Chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen is prepared to combine four online chess tournaments and reward the winner with a staggering $1 million prize.center_img World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen is set to boost the popularity of his sport amid the coronavirus lockdown. It is reported that the ‘Magnus Carlsen Online Chess Tour’ will combine the four major online chess tournaments with the grand finale set to take place in August later this year. The prize money for the Magnus Carlsen chess tour would amount up to a whopping $1 million – the highest reward for winning an online chess tournament. SUBSCRIBE TO US WATCH US LIVE FOLLOW US Written Bylast_img read more

Bramley on fire at Phoenix

first_imgThere were two 2s, coming from Duncan McLean with about a 2ft putt, and John Nicholas.  Wednesday, Jan. 11, Green Valley – 2 Person ScrambleWe take every opportunity to blame global warming for any unusual event on our planet but who would have thought that we would have 24 hours of rain in January in Pattaya?  As a result it might have been a good idea to have wellington boots instead of golf shoes for we were welcomed at the course by heavy rain.  This quickly disappeared but made an unwelcome return half way round encouraging us to take shelter for 40 minutes and, when we ventured forth, you soon discovered if your shoes were waterproof and some difficulty finding areas that were not under water.Murray Hart was due to return to Australia on Jan 13 and to say a fond farewell to the Billabong he agreed with Capt. Bob to have a 2-person scramble and he would generously donate some prizes.  It was a welcome change to the usual stableford format and was well supported by the Billabong regulars.With the heavy rain interrupting proceedings, the scores could have been better but Joseph Schuler and Miss Poopay left everyone in their wake with a net score of 61.8, which included 5 birdies on the front nine and a score of 66 with a 4.3 handicap.  In second place was Freddie Starbeck and John Nichols with 64.8, third place went to the Ritchie family, Greig and Gary with 66.4, just ahead of Tony Oakes and George Barrie with 67.4.The ladies had their own competition with Miss Tan taking no prisoners with 42 points, well ahead of Miss Pin occupying second place with 36 points but requiring a count-back to push Miss Nu into third place.There was only one ‘2’ which went to Miss Yen. Friday, Jan. 13, Crystal Bay – StablefordCrystal Bay was the venue for this day out, and considering the amount of rain during the week, the course was in surprisingly good condition.  There were some soft spots here and there but nothing to get upset about and the course was packed full so a long day was in store.With 7 groups playing we started a little early and thanks must go to the efficient staff members who look after the golfers.  One member of our group, George Barrie, almost got the hole in one still missing from his list of golfing achievements, his effort here stopping just 6 inches short of the cup.The scores were not too bad with nobody breaking their handicap.  There was a count back for third place between Geoff Parker, Dave Bramley and George Barrie with Geoff being the one left out, George taking fourth and Dave the bronze, all with 35 points.  There was also a count back between Miss Tewin and Alistair Gall for the top two spots, Alistair being edged out by Tewin after they were tied on 36 points each.There were three ‘2’s, coming from George, Dave Bramley and Andrew Woodall.center_img Golf from The Billabong BarMonday, Jan. 9, Phoenix – StablefordSlightly wet underfoot at Phoenix today and highly unusual for this time of the year to be getting rained on, but the last of the Billabong group just made it before the rain belted down.  The scores were very good due to the soft conditions – you could really have a go at the flags.  Playing Lake and Ocean it was no carts on the fairways so a little bit of walking was required, but it turned out to be a snappy round with no holdups at all.Capt Bob, Dave Bramley and John Anderson.It was a surprise to come round to the 4th tee to see a driver floating in the lake alongside the tee box.  It turned out it wasn’t thrown in anger but was a practice swing from Freddy and it slipped out of his hand.  A couple of minutes later a little lady staff member swam out and returned the runaway club to its owner.Anything under 40 points didn’t get a mention today, with Capt Bob scoring 40 points to take third place, John Anderson, playing his best round of golf for some time in second with 42, Dave Bramley filling top spot with 43 even after he blobbed the last two holes.Miss Poopay (left) with Joseph Schuler.last_img read more

Retribution for the rejected

first_imgBy RUSSELL BENNETT SKIPPER Corrie Wilson couldn’t put it into words and club matriarch Jenny Davis didn’t even try. They…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Prized hoofs on show

first_imgTHE Hoof and Hook competition run by the Parklea Pakenham and District Agricultural and Horticultural Show Society will be again…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img