Tuesday, May 17, 2005
Gould and Dawkins
Gould, on the other hand, is much better all the way around. Thankfully, Gould was also a prolific writer, so, while we no longer have Gould around, he's left us much to remember him by.
To compare, I started Dawkin's "Climbing Mount Improbable" two months ago. I have started and completed three other books in their entirety in the meantime. I still can't bring myself to read more than a few paragraphs of Dawkins at a time. It just feels like wasting my time. Gould, on the other hand, I bought The Panda's Thumb three days ago, and am already on essay #4.
Anyway, pretty much the only argument I have w/ Gould is that he, like many evolutionists, seems to misunderstand creationism. He still wants to equate creationism with Aristotelian creationism. In the first three essays, he talks a lot about two different kinds of design within animals -- near-perfect design and cobbled-together-from-whatevers-handy design. He says that the first isn't good evidence for evolution because, while natural selection can do that, so can a creator. He thinks that the real evidence for evolution is the "cobbled-together" part.
The funny thing is that he's absolutely right. And, for the most part, creationists AGREE with evolutionists that the parts of organisms which are half-functional and seem to be cobbled together from other uses or simply arisen from adaptation probably ARE the result of evolution. See, the evolutionists see only one source of biological innovation -- evolution. Creationists see two -- design and evolution. And I think Gould has inadvertantly pointed out a general way to distinguish them.