As a nod to Darwin Day and Black History Month, today’s ID the Future spotlights the racist thinking of Charles Darwin and the scientific racism fueled by Darwinism and Darwinists. As guest and historian Michael Flannery notes, Darwin’s followers, including Darwin’s cousin, Francis Galton, took ideas found in Darwin’s work and used them to vigorously press the case for eugenics, a movement that came to have a horrifying impact for American blacks in the twentieth century, including for thousands who were subjected to forced sterilizations. Was Darwin’s racism purely a function of his time and place, Victorian England? Flannery says no, and on two counts. First, he says that the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Read More ›
On this ID the Future, science historian Michael Flannery continues discussing his newly updated Intelligent Evolution: How Alfred Russel Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwin. Wallace was co-founder with Charles Darwin of the theory of evolution by random variation and natural selection, but unlike Darwin he saw teleology or purpose as essential to life’s history, and a teleological view as essential to the life sciences. According to Flannery, Wallace’s views on the nature of the cell, the special attributes of humans, the irreducible nature of life, and the fine tuning of the universe hold up well today. He and Darwin disagreed on much of this, yet they maintained mutual respect. In this, Flannery says, the two are a great model Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, science historian and host Michael Keas talks with fellow science historian Michael Flannery about the newly updated book Intelligent Evolution: How Alfred Russell Wallace’s World of Life Challenged Darwin. Flannery tells of Darwin’s involvement in the Plinian Society, a “freethinkers” group at Edinburgh University where he studied medicine as a teenager. It was there that he first encountered radical philosophical materialism, the worldview that laid the philosophical foundation for his work in evolution. Flannery also speaks of Alfred Russel Wallace’s “intelligent evolution” and how it differs from Darwinism and from today’s theistic evolution — what Flannery prefers to call “Darwinian theism.”
On this episode of ID the Future, science historian Michael Flannery pays tribute to Gertrude Himmelfarb, the pioneering Darwin critic who passed away in late December 2019. Even as the world was praising Darwin at the 1959 centennial of The Origin of Species, she was writing of his rhetorical sleight of hand, by which “possibilities were promoted into probabilities, and probabilities into certainties, so ignorance was raised to a position only once removed from certain knowledge.” Gutsy, bold, and precise in her scholarship, she saw Darwin’s theory as offering convenient “scientific” support for the class-divided, untrammeled survival-of-the-fittest industrial competition of the day. And she showed that Darwin’s scholarship — especially in his philosophical sources — was thin and thoroughly forgettable, Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Michael Flannery speaks again with host Mike Keas about his book Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace, and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology. Wallace was the co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection along with Charles Darwin, but in 1869 he broke with Darwin, disagreeing with him on the origin of special human attributes like art, music, and abstract thought.Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, host Mike Keas speaks with science historian Michael Flannery about Darwinism, Past, Present, and Future, in which Flannery wonders about an L.A. Times op-ed by Ann Reid, director of the pro-Darwinism lobby group The National Center for Science Education.Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future, Michael Flannery, historian of science and emeritus professor from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, discusses how Alfred Russel Wallace, co-founder of the theory of evolution by natural selection, broke with Darwin by arguing that the rise of humans required something more than blind evolutionary mechanisms. As Flannery also notes, the great geologist Charles Lyell sided with Wallace in the debate, to Darwin’s dismay. Listen in to learn more about Lyell’s idea of uniformity, the pro-Darwinian origins of the journal Nature, and how professional dissent from Darwinism has existed and persisted ever since Darwin’s Origin of the Species. And to dive deeper still, check out Flannery’s new book on Wallace, Nature’s Prophet.Read More ›
On this episode of ID the Future host Mike Keas talks a third time with Michael Flannery about Flannery’s new book Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology. The surprising word come out of this conversation is how open Darwin was to Wallace’s opposing viewpoint — unlike many Darwinists today. Some of Flannery’s recent experience with historians of science, though, shows there is at least hope in some quarters for increasing academic openness today.
On this episode of ID the Future historian Michael Flannery continues discussion of his new book Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology. Flannery tells how Wallace became convinced of some “overruling intelligence” in nature — not because of “gaps” in what he knew, but because so many human attributes demand a better explanation than Darwin’s own “utility principle.” They called for a cause adequate to the effects. Please consider donating to support the IDTF Podcast.
On this episode of ID the Future, historian Michael Flannery discusses his just-released book Nature’s Prophet: Alfred Russel Wallace and His Evolution from Natural Selection to Natural Theology. It’s the intellectual history of Wallace, who is credited with independently propounding the the theory of evolution by natural selection. Darwin insisted on a purely materialistic version of the theory, but as Wallace studied the evidence, he grew convinced that intelligent design also played a role in the history of life, particularly in the origin of humans. Though not a religious person, he broke with the rising scientism of his day to argue that there must be some “overruling intelligence” behind nature.Read More ›