Evolution: a theory about everything or nothing?

Secular beliefs, atheism, evolution, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris.jpg

We continue, from part 1 and part 2, considering that the soft science of psychology includes heavy doses of evolutionary worldview philosophy interpretations of data and that there appears to be a correlation between stable families and socio-political conservatism and unstable families and socio-political liberalism.


We continue, from part 1 and part 2, considering that the soft science of psychology includes heavy doses of evolutionary worldview philosophy interpretations of data and that there appears to be a correlation between stable families and socio-political conservatism and unstable families and socio-political liberalism.

We now come to the portion of the study by Prof. Randy Thornhill and Corey Fincher, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico pertaining to evolution’s role in politics:

Liberal and conservative politics were not invented by the power hungry but evolved to help us to survive…interested to find out whether the differences between right and left were “functional and socially strategic in human evolutionary history. In other words, did politics evolve to help our ancestors to survive and reproduce?*

This is a classic case of worldview adherence in the form of quaint Victorian Era Darwinian tall tales. In other words, when you have no answer, no explanation, you simply say that evolution did it.
To assert that politics evolved to help us to survive is, evolutionarily speaking, to say nothing at all. This is because on the evolutionary view anything and everything evolved to help us to survive.
Family evolved to help us to survive. Supernaturalism evolved to help us to survive. Charity evolved to help us to survive. War evolved to help us to survive. In fact, according to Randy Thornhill, Sam Harris, Craig T. Palmer, Joann E. Rodgers, et al. rape evolved to help us to survive: rape played a beneficial role in human evolution.
Dan Barker claims that rape is not absolutely immoral and Richard Dawkins claims that it is only arbitrarily immoral (see Atheism, the Bible, Rape and EvilBible.com, part 6 of 6).

Secular beliefs, atheism, evolution, Daniel Dennett, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris.jpg

On this view all is “good” as all has evolved to help us to survive. Anything and everything of which you can conceive—the good the bad and the ugly—was beneficial to human evolution as it rid us of the weak, less fit and preserved the strong, the fittest.

Let us close by noting that some actually think that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution applies to all observations of biology. In other words, Orthodox Darwinists assert that the reason that evolution applies in all, each and every, situation is because it is, biologically speaking, a theory about everything. Yet, clearly, it is a worldview philosophy and a theory about nothing.

For example:

Under certain conditions of human evolutionary history outgroup alliances are highly advantageous whereas under others close ingroup alliances better promote survival.*

The problem is that this is to say absolutely nothing. Consider the following criticisms of this sort application of the supposed omni-theory of evolution.

Do-While Jones:

Notice that if things are similar, it is evidence of evolution. It shows they have a common origin. But, if things are different, it is evidence of evolution. It shows that they have changed over time. Since similarity is evidence of evolution, and difference is evidence of evolution, everything is evidence of evolution!**

Philip S. Skell:

Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive — except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed — except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.***

With regards to Game Theory, Benjamin Wiker notes,

By using games with fewer rules than Candy Land, the Darwinian game theorists are claiming ‘to uncover the fundamental principles governing our decision-making mechanisms.’ We’d better take a closer look, starting with their presuppositions … The answer seems to be that whatever has survived must be the most fit; therefore whatever exists must have been the result of natural selection. Fairness exists; therefore, it must be the result of natural selection. Q.E.D. It is always convenient to have a theory that cannot possibly be proved wrong.****

Philosopher Paul Feyerabend (in R. G. Colodny (ed.) Problems of Empiricism in Beyond the edge of certainty: Essays in contemporary science and philosophy (University of Pittsburgh series in the philosophy of science) (1965 AD), pp. 145-260) points out (emphasis added for emphasis):

The stability achieved, the semblance of absolute truth is nothing but the result of an absolute conformism. For how can we possibly test, or improve upon, the truth of a theory if it is built in such a manner that any conceivable event can be described, and explained, in terms of its principles?
The only way of investigating such all-embracing principles is to compare them with a different set of equally all-embracing principles—but this way has been excluded from the very beginning. The myth is therefore of no objective relevance, it continues to exist solely as the result of the effort of the community of believers and of their leaders, be these now priests or Nobel prize winners.

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* Roger Highfield, “Does a poor upbringing make you more left wing?,” Daily Telegraph, 23 May 2007 AD

** Do-While Jones, “Comparative Anatomy Vindicated,” Science Versus Evolution’s newsletter “Disclosure,” Jan 2012 AD, Vol 16, Issue 4

*** Philip S. Skell, “Why Do We Invoke Darwin? – Evolutionary theory contributes little to experimental biology,” The Scientist, August 29, 2005 AD
Skell is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences and Emeritus Evan Pugh Professor at Pennsylvania State University

**** Benjamin Wiker, “Playing Games with Good and Evil: The Failure of Darwinism to Explain Morality, Crisis,” Discovery, 1 May, 2002 AD.
FYI:
Candy Land is a “Hasbro” board game for children ages 3 and up.
“Q.E.D.” is the Latin term quod erat demonstrandum which means “that which was to be demonstrated,” in other words; tautology or circular logic.

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