Tautology Wiki



Well's thesis on Darwinism[]


Design chance dichotomy[]

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/19192/19192-h/19192-h.htm#Footnote_34_34 @....As the advocates of Mr. Darwin's theory defend and applaud it because it excludes design, and as its opponents make that the main ground of their objection to it, there can be no reasonable doubt as to its real character. The question is, How are the contrivances in nature to be accounted for? One answer is, They are due to the purpose of God. Mr. Darwin says, They are due to the gradual and undesigned accumulation of slight variations. The Duke's first objection to that doctrine is, that the evidence of design in the organs of plants and animals is so clear that Mr. Darwin himself cannot avoid using teleological language.....@

What is Darwinism?[]


Hodge quoted four pages out of OoS where Darwin defined NS, he unfortunately left out Darwin's interpretation of Aristotle. Aristotle DArwin correctly identified as having a principle, but then he went on and said process of natural selection. NS can't be both a process and principle , just like d/dx can't be both differentiation and integration. These are subtle ques few seem to pick up on :

Here are the 6 pages out of OoS, I added the Aristotle section as well:

"As Natural Selection which works so slowly is a main element in Mr. Darwin's theory, it is necessary to understand distinctly what he means by it. On this point he leaves us no room for doubt. On p. 92, he says: "This preservation of favorable variations, and the destruction of injurious variations, I call Natural Selection, or, the Survival of the Fittest."

"Owing to the struggle (for life) variations, however slight and from whatever cause proceeding, if they be in any degree profitable to the individuals of a species, in their infinitely complex relations to other organic beings and to their physical conditions of life, will tend to the preservation of such individuals, and will generally be inherited by their offspring. The offspring also will thus have a better chance of surviving, for, of the many individuals of any species which are periodically born, but a small number can survive. I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection, in order to mark its relation to man's power of selection. But the expression often used by Mr. Herbert Spencer of the Survival of the Fit[Pg 32]test, is more accurate, and sometimes is equally convenient." (p. 72)."

"Slow though the progress of selection may be, if feeble man can do so much by artificial selection, I can see no limit to the amount of change, to the beauty and infinite complexity of the co-adaptations between all organic beings, one with another, and with their physical conditions of life, which may be effected in the long course of time by nature's power of selection, or the survival of the fittest." (p. 125)."

"It may be objected that if organic beings thus tend to rise in the scale, how is it that throughout the world a multitude of the lowest forms still exist; and how is it that in each great class some forms are far more highly developed than others?... On our theory the continuous existence of lowly forms offers no difficulty; for natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, does not necessarily include progressive development, it only takes advantage of such variations as arise and are beneficial to each creature under its complex relations of life.... Geology tells us that some of the lowest forms, the infusoria and rhizopods, have remained for an enormous period in nearly their present state." (p. 145).

"The fact of little or no modifica[Pg 33]tion having been effected since the glacial period would be of some avail against those who believe in an innate and necessary law of development, but is powerless against the doctrine of natural selection, or the survival of the fittest, which implies only that variations or individual differences of a favorable nature occasionally arise in a few species and are then preserved." (p. 149)

Darwin on Aristotle: "...Passing over allusions to the subject in the classical writers (Aristotle, in his "Physicae Auscultationes" (lib.2, cap.8, s.2), after remarking that rain does not fall in order to make the corn grow, any more than it falls to spoil the farmer's corn when threshed out of doors, applies the same argument to organisation; and adds (as translated by Mr. Clair Grece, who first pointed out the passage to me),

So what hinders the different parts (of the body) from having this merely accidental relation in nature? as the teeth, for example, grow by necessity, the front ones sharp, adapted for dividing, and the grinders flat, and serviceable for masticating the food; since they were not made for the sake of this, but it was the result of accident. And in like manner as to other parts in which there appears to exist an adaptation to an end. Wheresoever, therefore, all things together (that is all the parts of one whole) happened like as if they were made for the sake of something, these were preserved, having been appropriately constituted by an internal spontaneity; and whatsoever things were not thus constituted, perished and still perish.

We here see the principle of natural selection shadowed forth, but how little Aristotle fully comprehended the principle, is shown by his remarks on the formation of the teeth.), the first author who in modern times has treated it in a scientific spirit was Buffon. But as his opinions fluctuated greatly at different periods, and as he does not enter on the causes or means of the transformation of species, I need not here enter on details......."

ns defined[]


p.111 In his volume of "Lay Sermons, Reviews," etc., Professor Huxley has a very severe critique on M. Flourens's book. He says little, however, in reference to teleology, except in one paragraph, in which we read: "M. Flourens cannot imagine an unconscious selection; it is for him a contradiction in terms." Huxley's answer is, "The winds and waves of the Bay of Biscay have not much consciousness, and yet they have with great care 'selected,' from an infinity of masses of silex, all grains of sand below a certain size and have heaped them by themselves over a great area.... A frosty night selects[Pg 111] the hardy plants in a plantation from among the tender ones as effectually as if the intelligence of the gardener had been operative in cutting the weaker ones down."[35] If this means anything, it means that as the winds and waves of the Bay of Biscay can make heaps of sand, so similar unconscious agencies can, if you only give them time enough, make an elephant or a man; for this is what Mr. Darwin says natural selection has done. - Lay Sermons, p. 347.

Epicurean Theory.[]


Epicurus assumed the existence of matter, force and motion,—Stoff und Kraft. He held that all space was filled with molecules of matter in a state of rapid motion in every direction. These molecules were subject to gravity and endowed with properties or forces. One combination of molecules gave rise to unorganized matter, another to life, another to mind; and from the various combinations, guided by unintelligent physical laws, all the wonderful organisms of plants and animals have arisen. To these combinations also all the phenomena of life, instinct, and intelligence in the world are to be referred. This theory has been adopted in our day by a large class of scientific men, especially in Germany. The modern advocates of the theory are immeasurably superior to the ancient Epicureans in their knowledge of astronomy, botany, zoölogy, and biology; but in their theory of the universe, and in their mode of accounting for all the phenomena of life and intelligence, they are precisely on the same level. They have not added an idea to the system, which has ever been regarded as the opprobrium of human[Pg 11] thought. Büchner, Moleschott, Vogt, hold that matter is eternal and indestructible; that matter and force are inseparable: the one cannot exist without the other. What, it is asked, is motion without something moving? What is electricity without an electrified body? What is attraction without molecules attracting each other? What is contractibility without muscular fibre, or secretion without a secreting gland? One combination of molecules exhibits the phenomena of life, another combination exhibits the phenomena of mind. All this was taught by the old heathen philosopher more than two thousand years ago. That this system denies the existence of God, of mind as a thinking substance distinct from matter, and of the possibility of the conscious existence of man after death, are not inferences drawn by opponents, but conclusions openly avowed by its advocates.

NOTES: ...What, it is asked, is motion without something moving?..... is a tautological question.



http://www.talkorigins.org/sandbox/kwork/Ver4_tautology.html#ref04 Others have objected that the term selection implies conscious choice in the animals which become modified; and it has even been urged that, as plants have no volition, natural selection is not applicable to them! In the literal sense of the word, no doubt, natural selection is a misnomer; but who ever objected to chemists speaking of the elective affinities of the various elements? -and yet an acid cannot strictly be said to elect the base with which it will in preference combine. It has been said that I speak of natural selection as an active power or Deity; but who objects to an author speaking of the attraction of gravity as ruling the movements of the planets? Every one knows what is meant and is implied by such metaphorical expressions; and they are almost necessary for brevity.[8]


http://infomotions.com/etexts/gutenberg/dirs/1/9/1/9/19192/19192.htm _The Pantheistic Theory_.

This has been one of the most widely diffused and persistent forms of human thought on this whole subject. It has been for thousands of years not only the philosophy, but the religion of India, and, to a great extent, of China. It underlies all the forms of Greek philosophy.

It crept into the Church, concealed under the disguise of Scriptural terminology, in the form of Neo-Platonism. It was constantly reappearing during the Middle Ages, sometimes in a philosophical, and sometimes a mystical form. It was revived by Spinoza in the seventeenth century, and subsequently became dominant in the philosophy and literature of Europe.

It is coming up again. Some distinguished naturalists are swinging round from one pole to the opposite; from saying there is no God, to teaching that everything is God. Sometimes, one and the same book in one half teaches materialism, in the other half idealism: the one affirming that everything is matter, the other that matter is nothing, but that everything is mind, and mind is God.


Mystery Surrounds Solar Flare Event

Are mysterious particles shooting through Earth during solar flare events? Enough to disrupt the decay rate of radioactive material previously assumed to be constant? Discovery News' Ian O'Neill explains why scientists think that may be the case.