For This Physicist, “Overthrowing” Darwinism Is on the Table

by David Klinghoffer

Ethan Siegel is a physicist who writes a pretty consistently interesting regular blog for Forbes. Yesterday he offered thoughts on “How To Overthrow A Scientific Theory In Three Easy Steps.” He concedes, “Even our best theories of today may be superseded with tomorrow’s science.”

And no one, except perhaps some ultra-Darwinists, would disagree. He notes that theories have limits:

Any theory, no matter how successful, has a finite range of validity. Stay within that range and your theory works very well to describe reality; go outside of it, and its predictions no longer match observations or experiments. This is true for any theory you pick. Newtonian mechanics breaks down at small (quantum) scales and high (relativistic) speeds; Einstein’s General Relativity breaks down at a singularity; Darwin’s evolution breaks down at the origin of life. [Emphasis added.]

That last point is the theme of Stephen Meyer’s first book, Signature in the Cell. Siegel’s three steps are actually four:

  • Step 0: recognizing successes and failures of the leading theory.
  • Step 1: reproducing all the successes of the leading theory.
  • Step 2: succeeding where the prior theory did not.
  • Step 3: you must make new, testable predictions that differ from the original theory’s.

Whether proponents of intelligent design have succeeded in any of those is a question you could debate. But it’s beyond doubt that they are trying, in a rigorous manner, to advance through each of those steps. It is striking that Darwin defenders typically refuse to acknowledge that or to address the science of ID. They are mostly content with name-calling…


For This Physicist, “Overthrowing” Darwinism Is on the Table