Darwinism

(Facebook comment to a post comparing “dogmatic Darwinists”  to “dogmatic Christians”.)

Rejecting natural selection, though, is like rejecting gravity. The Origin of Species didn’t create a dogma like Das Kapital, there are no Darwinists like there are Marxists, with Darwinist historians and Darwinist semioticians and Darwinist musicologists like there is Marxist history, Marxist semiotics and Marxist musicology. But there are a myriad takes within the vast realm of biology on Darwin’s theories, all of which deviate in some way from the original without being condemned as heretical. But it’s no wonder–Darwin wrote over a century and a half ago and genetics was yet unknown, and genetics, it turns out, is the actual mechanism that propels his theory of natural selection. That Darwin was able to describe natural selection without knowledge of genetics is astounding, but it is genetics that has enabled his theory to be as valid now as when he wrote it nearly two centuries ago. You cannot say the same about Marx, but you will find many academics whose entire intellectual framework and careers are based on the idea that Marx was correct, because Marxism is a dogma in which Marxist economic theory has to be correct, by definition.  Yet I have never met (nor read) anyone who dogmatically guarded Darwin’s theories as a Marxist will guard Marx’s analysis, because science has expanded far beyond what Darwin himself wrote about. There simply is no Darwinian dogma, not in the way that people compare it to Christian or Marxist dogma. Natural selection is not a political or philosophical debate, Darwin’s theory is simply about how life is recreated in conjunction with external stimuli. That is basically it.

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