An Ivy League professor of computer science has abandoned Darwinism and denounced evolution as an improbable scientific theory. Intelligent design, he now says, is an argument worthy of deeper consideration. David Gelertner, who has taught computer science at Yale University since 1982, penned an article in the Claremont Review of Books detailing his journey of coming to believe that Darwinian evolution, is wrong. Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published in November 1859 and is widely considered to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. “I grew up with Darwin’s theory, and had always believed it was true” Gelertner said.
“I had heard doubts over the years from well-informed people, but I had my hands full and it was easier to let biology take care of itself. But in recent years, reading and discussion have shut that road down for good,” he explained. A key reason he now rejects Darwinism is notably missing fossils from the historical record. During the Cambrian era, the number of fossils of animal groups grew exponentially; thus, the record should then show many fossils of “transitional” ones, in the previous period. But it does not and such organisms still have not shown up. Darwin’s theory predicts new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life.
“Those brave new Cambrian creatures must have had Precambrian predecessors, similar but not as fancy and sophisticated. They could not have all blown out suddenly, like geysers. Each must have had a closely related predecessor, which must have had its own predecessors.” He said that no one should doubt Darwin’s explanations about the small changes in organisms where they adapt to their surroundings over time, adjustments like wing style, fur density, or the shape of the beaks of birds. Yet larger, macro changes in biology that Darwinism posits, such as the emergence of new species as opposed to the micro adjustments in old ones, should be doubted, he said.
“The origin of species is exactly what Darwin cannot explain,” he quipped. An influential work in the Yale professor’s journey out of Darwinism was Stephen Meyer’s 2013 book Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design about which Gelertner said that “few open-minded people will finish it with their faith in Darwin intact.” The Yale professor thinks that belief in Darwinian theory will persist for a long time due to its sizable influence in culture. “An intelligent designer makes perfect sense in the abstract. The real challenge is how to fit this designer into life as we know it. Intelligent design might well be the ultimate answer.
But as a theory, it would seem to have some way to go,” he wrote. He recounted in an interview with the Hoover Institution that his public rejection of Darwinism is taken among many of his colleagues as a personal, existential threat. Although his fellow academics remain his friends and are courteous to him, he noted, “when I look at their intellectual behaviour, what they publish, and, much more important, what they tell their students, Darwinism has indeed passed beyond a scientific argument.” He continued: “As far as they are concerned, take your life in your hands to challenge it intellectually.
They will destroy you if you challenge it.” “What I’ve seen, in their behaviour intellectually and at colleges across the West, is nothing approaching free speech on this topic. “It’s a bitter rejection, fundamental, angry, outraged, violent rejection, which comes nowhere near scientific or intellectual discussion. I’ve seen that happen again and again. ‘I’m a Darwinist, don’t you say a word against it, or, I don’t want to hear it, period.'” “I am attacking their religion,” he added. “It is a big issue for them.” Gelertner is also the author of The Muse in the Machine and the novel 1939. He is known for predicting the emergence of the World Wide Web.
Source: The Christian Post[print-link]