Re: Evidence for "Big Bang Theory"

Gil Hardwick (
Fri, 19 May 1995 04:57:25 GMT

In article <>, John Wilkins ( writes:
>True enough, but I think that there was no conspiracy as implied by the
>"Wedgewood/Darwin family" parenthesis. That this family was capitalist
>industrialist is plain, but the base conditions from which Darwin wrote
>don't explain why Wallace, from very different conditions, came up with
>substantially the same theory. Moreover, Lamarck wrote well within the
>established church, and was from very different times and environment, and
>though his is not what we would call a Darwinian theory, it *was* a theory
>of evolution.

But John, we simply do not have Wallace and Lamarck jammed down our
throats by the Education Industry as the Heroes of the Revolution.

I grant that my use of "conspiracy" can as easily be interchanged
with "stupidity", but that does nothing to explain the systematic
and systemic use of their theories by the Politically Inspired in
their rampage against us.

Surely you will agree, that were all of that effort directed to our
edification we would have long ago been invited to think about what
was being said, to examine ideas critically and seek presentation of
facts in their support.

Surely we would also have been allowed to compare the ideas with the
ideas of others, never fearing for one moment that we should be
beaten for it, or subjected to court hearings, and all the rest of
that nonsense.

In short, if this scientific interpretation is if such substance,
why are its proponents so insistently violent and abusive in its

Please don't sit there telling us that the public are stupid, and
need to be beaten and kicked into line else never to be granted any
standing as scientists and scholars; indeed intelligent, knowledgable,
well-informed and thoughtful people in any event.

>I suspect that the historical linearity of Darwin's theory, in
>contradistinction to the essentially static scala naturae, is more
>proximately influenced via the French Revolution and Rousseau on the one
>hand, and the German Naturphilosophen on the other. David Hull has a book
>on the reception of Darwin (I forget the title) worth checking out on
>this. However, ultimately, the Christian eschatological tradition is the
>main source of irreversible linear time, I concur.


>I'm not sure what you mean by this, but I strongly disagree that
>evolutionary theory is tautologous. This is usually due to a literal
>reading of the Spencerian phrase "survival of the fittest", but when it is
>fleshed out, the resulting formulations (there are more than one) are
>anything *but* tautologies. See Elliot Sober's _The Nature of Selection_
>for a good discussion.

I'll not argue with you on this point. Somebody, however, appears to
be doing a damned poor job of explaining things to the rest of us. I
grant that it may be their own arguments which are tautological, but
that merely serves to confirm my position.

>And here I must totally disagree. The _Origin of Species_ has case after
>case of well documented examples, and the unfinished and never published
>major work of Darwin (forget the name right now) was an exmaple of almost
>obsessive documentation. Moreover, Darwin had developed the theory as a
>result or *direct* researches and observation, and was forced to his
>position by the incongruity of the data he collected on the voyage of the
>Beagle -- somehting he was uniquely in a position to see, at least until
>Wallace went to the Malay archipelago.

Sorry, but Darwin made his observations and wrote specifically within
the discursive framework he carried about with him through all of his
travels. He took so long to finally come out with it NOT through the
weight of evidence that he had accumulated YEARS BEFORE, but because
in his advancing maturity as a human, he was finally able to overcome
his own dread of being disinherited, and ostracised as a gentleman of
some standing in his own social circle.

>: Admittedly were it capable of standing alone in any more substantial
>: manner than we have experienced historically, I myself would be very
>: interested in the idea myself. As it stands, it is simply not worth
>: all the resources taken up pursuing it any further.
>A personal judgement you are entitled to make. I'm equally entitled to
>think you wrong on that matter, but I am pleased to see that you are open
>at least to the possibility that evolutionary theory might have something
>to contribute.

As always open minded on the matter, as you are already well aware
John. But for your part you yet have to explain the need for such
insistent violence among the theory's proponents. If it is so
substantial, surely it can rest on the evidence.

>Along with any other academic discipline that has developed since the
>universities were church properties, ie, since about 1600.

Looks like we are arriving back right here to my original enquiries
as to the behaviour of academics which had originally got me kicked
off ANTHRO-L, and took me all the way through the Supreme Court and
Lord knows whatever else they had wanted to dish out.

Just goes to show that if one sticks to one's guns long enough,
finally the debate comes around to addressing the topic at hand.

I have to go, else my wife will miss her bus.

Your article will be printed out and I will have a further look at it
when I get back.