Book Review on the impending collapse of Darwinism

Chris Banescu, webmaster of OrthodoxNet, had his review of William A. Dembski’s book “Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing” published on Town Hall.

“Intelligent Design,” the movement challenging Darwinism, bears watching because it may overthrow Darwin. ID challenges Darwinism on scientific grounds. For example, probability theory (which did not exist during Darwin’s time) reveals there is less chance of a single cell emerging from inert matter than a tornado blowing through a factory and assembling a Boeing 747. A single cell, in other words, is more complex than the airplane. Design advocates argue that the Darwinian notion that parallel processes developed simultaneously, thereby allowing the movement within systems from simplicity to ever greater complexity, is based on naturalistic philosophy rather than credible science.

Touchstone Magazine has taken the lead on this issue on religious/cultural circles. Phillip Johnson, who one day will be rightfully considered the father of the Intelligent Design movement, is an editor of that outstanding magazine.

Comments

  1. Much of evolutionary theory is misunderstood: in practice, it refers to a process that results in heritable changes in a population spread over many generations (and which has been proven). Some of the natural selection theories are still observeable in nature. This is not the same as saying we were once unthinking hairy apes (although based on the inhabitants of some local sports pubs, the theory seems to hold some weight). Even if it were, such a theory does not implicitly or explicitly deny a First Cause, at least not the texts I’ve read.

    There’s probably enough material in life sciences to delegate any speculative theories about the origin of man and human consciousness to a brief footnote anyhow, whether it’s Creationism or whatever.

    I just hope that Intelligent Design proponents (of which I consider myself to be) aren’t going to move towards the acceptance of the “6,000 year old Earth” nonsense.

  2. Michael Bauman says:

    Darwin, following in the footsteps of his grandfather had an explict agenda of naturalism, i.e., a total denial of any divine cause of any type for the natural world. Most of his ardent disciples since then have the same agenda.

  3. Well, I consider myself to be one who believes that the cosmos is designed by an intelligent designer, but I am not an advocate of Intelligent Design (ID), the movement founded by Johnson, Dembski, et al. The wikipedia article on ID provides a good description of ID, as well as a thorough explanation of why it is still a philosophical movement and not a scientific one. The most telling is that it provides no falsifiable hypotheses and no scientific papers which can be discussed and refuted or supported by peer review.

    Frankly, even as philosophy, I think its main flaw is that it misunderstands the methodological naturalism of science, which is to say it misunderstands science entirely. The main proponents of ID appear bent on disproving Darwinism as a tool of metaphysical naturalism, which intimates an inability to make the distinction between metaphysical naturalism and methodological naturalism.

    It also deserves to be said that Darwinism has already been overthrown. Theodosius Dobzhansky, an evolutionary scientist of the early- to mid-twentieth century and Russian Orthodox Christian, wrote in 1964, “Modern biological theory is, of course, far from being identical with Darwin’s of more than a century ago, and yet there is an unbroken intellectual continuity betweeen them.” Gayle Woloschak, in her book Beauty and Unity in Creation: The evolution of life (Light and Life, 1996) writes,

    First, Darwin’s model has been altered to include Mendelian genetics (neo-Darwinism); DNA polymorphisms (post-neo-Darwinism); and, most recently, the accumulation of very small changes that leads to selection (perhaps to be considered post-post-neo-Darwinism).

    As silly as that sounds, it indicates how far biological thought has developed since Darwin’s initial hypothesis. And yet, some religious believers continue to fight “Darwinism.” In reality, what they are fighting now is simply “science.”

  4. Dean Scourtes says:

    Bible Literalism has never been a component of Orthodox Christian theology. As long as we recognize that everything in nature is God’s creation, does it matter if it required seven days or seven million years to reach it’s present state?

    To me the whole debate seems as silly as those bumper-stickers that show either a fish, or a fish with legs climbing on to land, or the fish with legs dead on it’s back. God is once again shaking His head at our foolishness.

  5. Michael Bauman says:

    Dean, if the time element were the only problem with Darwinism, you’d be correct, but it is not even close to the only problem. Darwin and most of his adherents, disciples, and apologists all have one thing in common, they want to destroy traditional Christian knowledge of a supernatural foundation for the physical world. In the early days, they were honest enough to call their naturalistic philosophies religions. They have grown more disingenuous and subtle over the years, but no less intent on the destruction of Christianity. One of the primary targets in their attempt to dismantle Christianity has always been her restrictions on sexual practices, including, but not limited to adultery, homosexuality, and abortion.

    Darwinism has always been and remains both racist and misogynistic. It defines man and the rest of creation as an accident, not always a happy one. Since the founders and proponents of the new faith are obviously the “fittest”, they deserve to be the elite among the peons. They have been especially dismissive of the poor and the need to care for them (they are obviously “unfit”). Scrooge’s famous rejection of charity to “reduce the surplus population” comes straight from the Social Darwinism popular at the time. Peter Singer is the modern day incarnation of such hardhearted hedonism.

    Dean, that you so easily dismiss criticism of the most virulent anti-Christian philosophy this side of Islam as a dispute over Biblical literalism shows, IMO, your fundamentally materialistic orientation and ignorance of or current cultural.

    I suggest you read Genesis, Creation, and Early Man by Fr. Seraphim Rose, ed. by Damscene Christian for another perspective.

  6. Michael Bauman says:

    Basil, we are fighting naturalism and materialism which is the philosophical foundation for what is today called science but is in reality a intolerant scientism. For you to state that Darwinism has been overthrown simply because it has been modified in some of its precepts is a shallow excuse for reasoning.

  7. Michael, I think the distinction Basil is drawing is between classical Darwinism and neo-Darwinism (punctuated equilibrium, etc.). If so, he is correct. Modern Darwinism has recast many of the older Darwinian precepts.

    Basil, I don’t see ID as a counter philosophy as much as a repudiation of the Darwinian myth (“myth” applied in its classical definition). The charge of “creationism” doesn’t really apply here. I don’t see ID thinkers advocating any kind of “creation science.”

    I wrote a book review (Doubts About Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design) that examins Darwinism in terms of cultural narrative. I agree with the author’s conclusion that Darwinism is not science at all because I too believe that narrative shapes perception. Narrative is the story line in which we organize and assemble data, and Darwinism is a narrative, not science. Science I think, cannot posit any theory of origins apart from borrowing narratives outside of its discipline and expertise.

  8. Dean Scourtes says:

    Michael – I agree with you that a presentation of the theory of evolution that explicitly denies the involvement of God in the creation of the Cosmos would be objectionable. This would be tantamount to state-supported teaching of athiesm and would violate the perfect neutrality of government towards religion set forth in the Bill of Rights which states that government shall neither establish nor interfere with the practice of religion.

    In my one college anthropology class, and in all of the articles I have read on the theory of evolution, the existence of a divine plan or intelligent design has neither been denied or asserted, but simply left unaddressed, and I assumed it was left to the student to draw his own conclusions regarding divine involvement. So I’m not shrugging off the athiest aspect of the teaching of evolution you find disturbing, I just didn’t realize that it existed.

    Like James my own inclination is to believe that there is an intellegent design behind the evolution of life on the planet and to view all nature as God’s creation which we are duty-bound to protect.

  9. Michael, as an Orthodox Christian with different attitude toward science than yours, I take exception to your statement, “Darwin and most of his adherents, disciples, and apologists all have one thing in common, they want to destroy traditional Christian knowledge of a supernatural foundation for the physical world.” Myself, and other Orthodox Christians (and many, many orthodox Christians in other communions) with similar views have no such intentions. Your statement begs the question and unfairly demonizes your true opponents in this debate.

    The equivocation between Darwinism — that is, Darwin’s original hypothesis — and Social Darwinism — that is, the misinterpretation of natural selection as “survival of the fittest” and its subsequent use as a sociological philosophy — is sloppy and has no basis in actual practice. Social Darwinism has long been discredited, while natural selection has been accepted, modified, and is the basis of all modern biological explanations of living mechanisms.

    You are, however, correct to recognize that rejecting evolution at this point in time entails a rejection of the entire enterprise of natural science.

  10. Father, I read your review, and I must respectfully disagree on a number of points.

    I will select one: The antecedent probability that biological life would come into existence is irrelevant. It has, indeed, come into existence. The question is: How?

    A scientific inquiry into the genesis of life will be empirical; empiricism is the nature of science and the scientific method. A theological inquiry into the genesis of life, while it may reference an empirical, scientific description, will be composed primarily of actions by supernatural characters who by their very nature defy empirical quantification. Thus, theological explanations cannot produce scientifically falsifiable hypotheses. That is the fatal flaw of any attack on scientific theory from a theological base.

    I agree with you that cultural narrative is an important keystone in this discussion. However, we live in a world in which we must integrate a theological narrative with an empirical narrative. Integrating the two is a formidable task, but I doubt that the answer is to obliterate the foundations of the empirical narrative at this point. It has proven to be very practical in terms of various classes of technology — for example, specifically relating to the discussion of biology, medicine.

  11. Michael Bauman says:

    Basil, I think you need to study the history of the Darwinian movement a lot more closely. Doesn’t it trouble you at all that Darwin himself set out to find an explanation of the physical world that specifically precluded God. That, to me, is not scientific, it is a prejudged conclusion searching for a set of facts. The explicit statements of many of the most successful of Darwin’s popularizers down through the years that they wish to destroy the Christian worldview prove my point.

    Facts only mean something within a specific context and interpreted from a certain set of assumptions. Both the context and the assumptions from which evolutionists have long argued are antithetical to Orthodox Christianity. IMO, it leads to the conclusion of the esteemed astrophysicist, a son of my parish, who in a public presentation of his work made the statement (I paraphrase), that the more science knows about the cosmos, the less reason we have to look to God for an explanation.

    You cannot serve two masters. You will either approach the creation from a stance of materialistic naturalism or as an ineffable theophany that reveals the reality of God. Whether they are Darwinists, neo-Darwinists or whatever, the naturalistic materialists have done great harm to our culture and our world. They continue to do so. They have begun to interpret man out of existence as a meaningful being and absolutely refuse to consider that the revealed truth of the Church concerning the nature of man is anything but laughable. Such hubris leads to the statement made many years ago by an important AI researcher and quoted in Time magazine that computers would be the next dominant life form on the planet. Does that not disturb you?

    You may think I am demonizing unfairly, the demonization of people of faith by the scientific establishment has been going on far longer–beginning with Darwin’s Bulldog, Mr. Huxley down to current writers in the Scientific American who frequently make direct pejorative comments against the sanity and reason of anybody that believes in God. The constant demonizing of Mr. Johnson and others of his caliber who dare to question the assumptions and interpretations of the masters of the universe is indicative of the arrogance of the elite of which I speak. I am sure that there are many that do not explicitly approach their subject in such a manner, but most of the ones making public statements certainly do.

    Social Darwinism has not gone away, it permeates much of modern political and cultural thought on both ends of the political spectrum and the middle as well. What pray tell do you think undergirds the abortion movement?

    There is no reason why science cannot be practiced from an open, frank acknowledgement that God is the Creator and sustainer of the physical world and that he is immanent as well as transcendent, revealed in his Son, Jesus Christ. IMO, it would not destroy any of the accomplishments of science or the practice of science itself, it would simply put it in proper perspective. More importantly, it would allow us to more effectively absorb the discoveries of science with fewer ethical dilemmas, in part because we might finally realize that just because we can do it, does not mean we should do it. I simply cannot understand the antipathy towards such an idea that exists in so many public scientists. For some reason they seem compelled to hurtle headlong into the abyss of unbelief, unfortunately, they are trying to take as many people as they can with them listening to the satanic whispers that “God is not resonable”

    No! I do not argue against science, the empirical exploration of the creation is something God wants us to do, but unless we set our knowledge in the sure and certain context of His existence, governance, and will, it is all ashes.

  12. Michael Bauman says:

    Basil, you say “..I doubt that the answer is to obliterate the foundations of the empirical narrative at this point. It has proven to be very practical in terms of various classes of technology ? for example, specifically relating to the discussion of biology, medicine.”

    There is no proof that any of the positive discoveries over the last 140 odd years would not have been made if the science were carried out from a foundation of love of God rather than, at best, considering Him irrelevant. The materialistic capitalization of man and nature is more destructive than helpful leading as it has to the despoilation of vast stretches of the natural world and the deceimation of many cultures.

    There should be no difficulty integrating empiricism and theology unless one begins the attempt from a materialistic foundation. You are proposing a false dicotomy.

  13. Tonight I just a started a new book “From Darwin to Hitler: Evolutionary Ethics, Eugenics, and Racism in Germany” (Amazon here) that examines the effects of Darwin on German morality and social ethics from Weimar to Hitler. I’m reviewing it for TownHall.com. As I come across interesting items I will post them here. The author’s thesis is that Darwinism revolutionized German thinking which led to the acceptance of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia in the academy and medical establishment thereby laying the foundation for the Final Solution. Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, I should add that the author has an impressive array of endorsements on the jacket.

  14. Basil, a couple of responses:

    I will select one: The antecedent probability that biological life would come into existence is irrelevant. It has, indeed, come into existence. The question is: How?

    Yes, precisely. My argument is that Darwinism is insufficient in explaining the “how.” And it is not just one or another variant of Darwinism, but the entire enterprise, hence the objections based on probability, irreducible complexity, etc.

    A scientific inquiry into the genesis of life will be empirical; empiricism is the nature of science and the scientific method. A theological inquiry into the genesis of life, while it may reference an empirical, scientific description, will be composed primarily of actions by supernatural characters who by their very nature defy empirical quantification. Thus, theological explanations cannot produce scientifically falsifiable hypotheses. That is the fatal flaw of any attack on scientific theory from a theological base.

    What makes you think empiricism is capable of explaining origins? It may be that the ability you ascribe to science to produce a cultural narrative is something that lies beyond the bounds of empiricism. Thus the corollary, that a theological narrative inevitably contradicts science, is not necessarilly true either. It may turn out that the apparent conflict between science (Darwinism at least) and religion may not be real. (Think in terms of narrative here, not in terms of biblical literalism.)

    I agree with you that cultural narrative is an important keystone in this discussion. However, we live in a world in which we must integrate a theological narrative with an empirical narrative. Integrating the two is a formidable task, but I doubt that the answer is to obliterate the foundations of the empirical narrative at this point. It has proven to be very practical in terms of various classes of technology ? for example, specifically relating to the discussion of biology, medicine.

    I think you are misunderstanding a point here. There are not two classes of narrative: empirical and religious. Narrative here means the cultural story, the shared ideas and values by which people make sense of the universe. Science, religion, literature, etc. all contribute to it and and are shaped by it. The collapse of Darwinism is not the collapse of the “empirical” narrative, but something larger — a cultural narrative in fact. Frankly I think it will shake culture to its foundations when it is finally perceived that Darwinism has clay feet (the perception will be the collapse).

    And I am not so sure that integrating science and theology is such a formidable task. It seemed fomidable when the Darwinian narrative appeared unassailable. But science itself is disproving the Darwinian hypothesis, not religion, so perhaps the divide is not as great as we all thought.

  15. Perhaps folks who read Seraphim Rose (or those who read those who wrte *about* him) would be interested in the reply to his book done by Drs. George & Elizabeth Theokritoff in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 46-4, pp. 365-90 : Genesis And Creation: Towards A Debate (.pdf file). It is on the web and can be read free. He is an emeritus professor of Geology at Rutgers, she a D.phil from Oxford and translator of the letters of the Athonite Elder Joseph, among other things. It is as good a response to one way of reading the Church Fathers and the sciences as any I’ve seen. I’ve heard Fr. Damascene speak, and found it the creepiest thing I’ve ever heard since being in the Church. All about Seraphim Rose, God not mentioned at all. The science of evolution is one thing, atheistic conclusions drawn from it are another. Once that is understood, it and every other science is alot less threatening. In fact, they are no “threat” at all. How many Orthodox Christians know abouth Pavlov singing in a church choir, thereby saving it from destruction under Stalin? How many know Fr. Georges Florovsky’s first published paper was on physiology of salivary glands, done with a researcher in Pavlov’s lab? Please don’t let Platina skew the understanding of reality.

  16. Bob, thank you for the link to that paper.

  17. It is impossible for two true propositions to be contradictory. By extension, it is impossible for two sets of true propositions to be contradictory. However, any one proposition from either set might appear to be contradictory to any one proposition of the other set. Indeed, both sets are themselves a subset of the superset of propositions which can justly be labelled “Truth.” Truth, as put forth in the above argument, does not contradict itself.

    If a scientific statement is true, it cannot contradict a theological statement which is also true. Any apparent conflict must be eliminated by further study: either one is false, both are false, or another statement or set of statements must be found to reconcile the two.

    (This little bit of logic, by the way, should not negate the observation Truth itself is primarily a person and not primarily a set of propositions, but that is a discussion for another day.)

    Thus the corollary, that a theological narrative inevitably contradicts science, is not necessarilly true either.

    The corollary of what? I dispute that true theology contradicts true science.

    It may turn out that the apparent conflict between science (Darwinism at least) and religion may not be real.

    It is not real, and it has already turned out not to be real. The conflict is an illusion. Why are we still fighting the Modernist/Fundamentalist debate? That was not really even our fight to begin with (as Eastern Orthodox).

    But science itself is disproving the Darwinian hypothesis, not religion, so perhaps the divide is not as great as we all thought.

    In all my research on this topic, I have heard the death-knell of Darwin sounded many, many times, going back many decades. It always turns out to be wrong; science continues to find more evidence for the common ancestry of all living things, not less. Whenever I read that death-knell, it always comes from one who is not a scientist. As I myself am not a scientist, I depend on scientists to inform me of the consensus of their fields of study. When I read scientific literature, the imminent death of any model of evolution, Darwinian or otherwise, is never mentioned.

    The integration of science and theology is only formidable because people continue to be afraid of science instead of tackling it in a manly way and bringing under the subjection of God and his Christ. As the paper linked to by Bob Koch said, “…the Church does not endorse or condemn scientific theories….” There is nothing threatening to the truth of God’s revelation in the truth we discover through investigating the world around us.

  18. I’m not sure where the confusion lies, but it may be that we are operating with different definitions of Darwinism. (I find myself in substantial agreement with most of your conclusions.) It appears that “Darwinism” means, or at least implies, common ancestry, correct? At least that is how you appear to be using it in the “death knell” paragraph. I would argue that common origins is an assumption not native to or even characteristic of Darwinism, although Darwinism is certainly dependent on it. I would highlight the evolutionary hypothesis instead.

    As for that “death knell,” I have heard a lot of hostility expressed toward Darwinism, but the criticism from scientific quarters is relatively new, at least in terms of quality and scope. You won’t see this is established scientific journals yet, but you do see the wagons being circled. My sense is that the debate is different this time around.

  19. Father, to be quite honest, I dislike using Darwin or Darwinism as a reference at all, since scientific thought has developed quite a lot since his original hypothesis in Origin of Species. I understand Darwinism to be short-hand for most people for the evolutionary hypothesis and any model proposed to explain it. (I sometimes see people include acquired inheritance, Lamarck’s discredited hypothesis which predates Darwin, under the rubric of “Darwinism”!) Sometimes, Darwinism is used to refer to a non-scientific philosophy of some sort. When completely restricted to philosophical matters, I often agree entirely with any anti-Darwinist arguments. The problem is that authors then equivocate and argue that because they have defeated a philosophical Darwinism on philosophical grounds, any scientific theory with historical roots in Darwin’s original model to explain evolution must then be proven false.

    I also must admit a rather shallow familiarity with proponents of the Intelligent Design movement. Since I often have limited time to give to purely intellectual pursuits, I find that I do not have the energy to fully engage the work of Philip Johnson or William Dembski, though tertiary sources seem to indicate that they fail to see the essential importance of methodological naturalism to the scientific enterprise.

    I recommend Philip Kitcher’s Abusing Science; it comprehensively explains a coherent philosophy of science by showing exactly why “scientific creationism” is not science. I mention it not because I am confusing ID with “scientific creationism,” but because it is an excellent text on what makes science what it is. I also mention it because all of the tertiary sources I’ve read on ID indicate a failure to grasp the importance of methodological naturalism. Darwin on Trial and other ID texts are on my future reading list, to be sure, but Orthodox theology and the Church Fathers tend to take a higher priority. ;)

  20. Basic writes: “I recommend Philip Kitcher’s Abusing Science; it comprehensively explains a coherent philosophy of science by showing exactly why ‘scientific creationism’ is not science. I mention it not because I am confusing ID with ‘scientific creationism,’ but because it is an excellent text on what makes science what it is.”

    Yes, it is a terrific book. If you were going to read only one book on creationism, this is the one. It not only critiques creationism, and puts forth a sound account of evolution, but also serves as a great introduction to the philosophy of science — especially on the topic of what makes a theory a scientific theory as opposed to some other kind of theory.

  21. A representative of the American Atheists was on Scarborough Country last night, and I was surprised at his relative lack of persuasiveness regarding whether Intelligent Design should be presented in a Science class (ACLU v. Pennsylvania).

    He did say this (which I agree with): Intelligent Design cannot be proven using standard approved scientific methods, even if it is coherent and logical from a philosophical standpoint. The elements of the scientific method are:

    1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
    2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
    3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
    4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
    5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.

    This is where ID fails from a scientific standpoint. What is the means for experimentation? How does one “test” or “observe” the existence of God? This should not be too disconcerting, as I would think God would not be dependent on the laws He has created but above and beyond them.

    Nevertheless, it shows why ID does not belong in a “crude” science class but can quite rightly be brought up within a philosophy class, even in a public school. Is ID logical? Very much so. Is it scientific? No.

  22. Note 21. ID is not “creation science” ie: it does not presume to prove the existence of God (which is beyond the purview of science anyway). ID undermines the philosophical naturalism of Darwinism. Put another way, ID exposes the dependence of Darwinism on naturalistic philosophical presuppositions ostensibly proven true, but in fact not proven at all. Darwinism is a cosmology, a narrative that purports to explain the origins and processes of the universe as a comprehensive whole (allowing of course that the comprehensiveness is not completely understood yet), rather than the scientific hypothesis it claims to be. ID argues that the Darwinian assumptions about natural selection and the evolution of systems don’t square with the scientific knowledge gained since Darwinism was first promulgated. One such point is that systems, even subatomic systems, are too complex to allow for parallel tracks of evolutionary development.

    To require ID to “prove” the existence of God misunderstands its function and scope.

  23. Jim Holman says:

    James writes: “A representative of the American Atheists was on Scarborough Country last night, and I was surprised at his relative lack of persuasiveness regarding whether Intelligent Design should be presented in a Science class (ACLU v. Pennsylvania).”

    I saw the same program. For anyone convinced of the “liberal” bias of the media, this program was very instructive. You have the pro-ID Pat Buchanan as the host, three pro- ID pundits, and then this fellow from the American Atheists. So out of five talking heads four were pro-ID, and the one anti-ID person wasn’t even a scientist.

  24. Michael Bauman says:

    Notes 21 and 23: Evolutionism fails all of the same tests ID fails. One cannot have a science of origins. The best one can do is to approach an explanation based by interpreting what data we do within a philosphical context.

    Scarborough Country is specifically designed to be conservative in tone and content, one show out of many. The existence of the show actually does more to prove the general liberal bias of the established media. The show was designed, produced and is broadcast as a balancing of the rest of the network.

  25. Michael, yes, your point is correct with this caveat: ID doesn’t presume to explain origins. It merely points out where Darwinism fails.

    Comment on Jim’s note: IMO, what is most remarkable that Darwinism is on the defensive at all. The fact that ID was debated shows the cultural shift is already taking place. The fact that an atheist defended Darwinism could be for various reasons, including that they could not find a scientist to go on, but it still points out that this question has a religious dimension, at least in cultural terms. IOW, there are religious implications to this debate as evidenced by the presence of an atheist (presuming this was his primary credential) defending Darwinism, even as a second choice.

  26. Michael Bauman says:

    Three bothersome aspects of evolutionism (since Basil dislikes the appellation Darwinsim):

    1. The stubborn refusal by the public proponents of evolution to even consider the possibility that the physical world has its source in a supra-physical reality.
    2. The impossibility of a genuine application of true scientific method to the study of the course of life on earth (as Jim described in Note #21):

    Observe some aspect of the universe.
    Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
    Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
    Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
    Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
    Darwin used a pre-existing hypothesis and then ?observed? phenomena to fit the hypothesis and as far as I know all of the predictions he made have been shown false.

    Since there is no possible way to construct a meaningful, controlled experiment or any way to duplicate the observed phenomenon in a lab, observational bias will be so strong as to invalidate conclusions as scientific.

    3. Antipathy by the founders and many of the popularizers of evolutionism to Christian morality, not just to Christian cosmology. Darwin, Haekel, Huxley and others frequently expressed the desire to overthrow the sexual moral stance of Christianity and to restructure society along tyrannical humanistic models or to replace Christianiy with silly, made-up religions, e.g. de Chardin and Haekel.

    A genuine scientist, IMO, using the method Jim describes, want to find out which hypothesis (naturalism or design) produced the most coherent, intelligible, logical, and simple explanation of the observed reality. One would also have to test to see whether a change in assumption as to origin made a radical difference in the interpretation of the facts.