Saturday, May 14, 2011

Darwinism a la Geocentrism

In a strange case of history repeating, the whole debate about origins seems to quite neatly align with another old debate about nature; the workings of the solar system.

Aristotle’s geocentric model of the universe was rather simplistic in that it assumed that all the celestial bodies moved in a uniform circular path around earth. While the retrograde motions of the planets were certainly known to Aristotle, he had no way to incorporate it into his model.

It wasn’t until Apollonius and Hipparchus came on the scene that the idea of epicycles was injected into Aristotle’s model to make it fit the actual observations. When Ptolemy came along, he took the idea of epicycles to a whole new level, compounding epicycles upon epicycles in a desperate effort to make the Aristotelian model fit observations.

It wasn’t until Copernicus and Kepler finally came upon the scene that the whole Aristotelian system was thrown out in favor of a totally new, and far more accurate, model; heliocentrism.

We can see in this whole narrative some quite striking parallels with the current debate over origins:

Darwin’s evolutionary model of the origins of the species is rather simplistic in that it assumes that all species evolved from one common ancestor by only a natural process. While problems were well known to Darwin such as a lack of model for the origin of the first life-form; lack of transitional fossils; and known limits to genetic change in breeding, he had no way to incorporate these into his model.

Intelligent Designist’s eventually came on the scene and injected the ‘god of the gaps’ idea into Darwinism in a desperate effort to make the Darwinian model fit observations.

It wasn’t until Henry M. Morris and John C. Whitcomb Jr. finally came on the scene that the whole Darwinian system was thrown out in favour of the new, and far more accurate model of Biblical Creationism (or Young Earth Creationism).

The overturning of the Aristotelian model in favour of heliocentrism was a long drawn out and tortured affair. The stalwarts of the old model simply didn’t want to let it go and thus admit that they were totally wrong. They used every tactic in the book to stall the rise of the new model, even the highest powers in the land resorted to ‘roughhousing’ tactics.

It took the compounding of evidence and the slow dying off of the ‘old guard’ before the revolution truly took over.

The same is certainly true of today’s origins debate. The adherents of the old Darwinian model of origins are just as stubborn and dogmatic as the old geocentrists. Darwinists are demoting or sacking those in academic circles who disagree with them, even resorting to the courts in a desperate attempt to stall the rise of Biblical creationism.

But just as the ‘old guard’ was unable to stem the rise of revolutionary heliocentrism, the evidence against evolution is mounting, the evolutionary dogmatists are aging and the tide is inexorably turning in favour of the new revolution; Young-Earth Biblical Creationism.

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