Alfred Russel Wallace: Shedding Light on Darwin’s Shadow – Discovery Institute

Co-discoverer of the theory of evolution by natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace broke with Charles Darwin over scientific questions that today point scientists to intelligent design. He arguments are more pertinent now than ever.

From Shedding Light on Darwins Shadow, the introduction to the newly released Intelligent Evolution: How Alfred Russel Wallaces World of Life Challenged Darwinism, edited by science historian Michael Flannery:

Darwinian theists, in fact, share a peculiarly inflated view of nature with many atheists. Noted atheist Daniel Dennett, for example, praises Nature as a wonderful wedding of chance and necessity that leaves him in awe of its sacred magnificence. Similarly, Richard Dawkins talks of the power [of the Darwinian worldview] to dissolve astronomical improbabilities and explain prodigies of apparent miracle. Darwinian theist Karl Giberson exclaims, Nature is grand on so many levels. Does this grandeur have something to do with the fact that it was created by God? Giberson thinks so, but offers little in the way of evidence for that something other than his own feelings. Fellow-traveler Ken Miller is just as transported by it all as he waxes eloquent about chance and wonder and how we should take genuine delight in knowing that we are the products of the natural world, a world the specifics of which could have turned out quite differently. [Deborah] Haarsma [president of the Darwinian theist think tank BioLogos], on the other hand, is more passionate about seeing Gods hand at work in natural processes, and explicitly argues that Natural laws are a testimony to Gods faithful providential care as he upholds the existence of all matter and mechanisms moment by moment, but the underlying mechanisms where she sees the hand of God are . . . largely blind. A providential hand cannot at the same time be a blind one. C. S. Lewis once quipped, Nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.

No amount of numinous language can alter historian/philosopher Arthur Koestlers observation [in The Sleep Walkers (1959)] concerning the rise of philosophical reductionism of the kind ushered in by the Darwinian paradigm. The space-spirit hierarchy was replaced by the space-time continuum as an intelligent spiritual world gave way to a blind law-based nature:

As a result, mans destiny was no longer determined from above by a super-human wisdom and will, but from below by the subhuman agencies of glands, genes, atoms, or waves of probability. This shift of the locus of destiny was decisive. So long as destiny had operated from a level of hierarchy higher than mans own, it had not only shaped his fate, but also guided his conscience and imbued the world with meaning and value. The new masters of destiny were placed lower in the scale than the being they controlled; they could determine his fate, but could provide him with no moral guidance, no values and meaning. A puppet of the Gods is a tragic figure, but a puppet suspended on chromosomes is merely grotesque.

Wallace natures prophet saw this dire assessment long before Koestler. His World of Life offers an alternative. His was an effort to restore nature to the space-spirit hierarchy it once knew.

And that space-spirit hierarchy seems to be confirmed with every new discovery.

There is much more to tell than this excerpt can convey. Read more and learn more from Wallaces own World of Life. You can order it for yourself here.

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Alfred Russel Wallace: Shedding Light on Darwin's Shadow - Discovery Institute

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