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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Ottawa Citizen Should Be Ashamed of David Warren

David Warren writes for the Ottawa Citizen—an otherwise respectable newspaper. Denyse O'Leary is one of Warren's biggest fans. Today's column in the Citizen is about The doctrine of Darwin.

Here are some things that David Warren has to say. Trust me, I'm not making them up; you can check for yourself by following the link to the newspaper.
Darwin's contribution was the mechanism of natural (and later, sexual) selection. This mechanism was simultaneously proposed by Alfred Russel Wallace, a true genius who made many other signal observations and discoveries; but Darwin alone became obsessed with this one, and insisted that it could carry us beyond adaptation within a species, across natural barriers to the creation of entirely new forms, over eons of time. Wallace was not so sure, and to this day, Darwin's notion exists merely as a surmise. It has never been proven.

Which is its great strength. For what cannot be proven can never be disproven, either. The Darwinian account is merely belied by the fossil record, which has provided none of the inter-species "missing links" that Darwin anticipated, and which instead yields only sudden radical changes.
You have to wonder about the intelligence of someone who can write as an authority on Darwin while remaining completely ignorant of the entire field of paleontology. Does Warren go out of his way to avoid reading anything by any science writers, who have been documenting all kinds of transitional fossils, even in the past year?
The man himself was very much a product of his age: a bourgeois Victorian adapted to an intellectual environment in which such fatuities as Utilitarianism and Malthusianism were in the air. In retrospect, he is a redundant character, for Wallace already had the theory, and many others could have drudged out Darwin’s specific points.
You don't have to read a biography of Darwin to recognize the stupidity of this assertion—although reading a book or two is probably a good idea before shooting off your mouth. No, you don't have to read a whole book to learn that Darwin developed the essence of his theory of natural selection more than 15 years before Wallace ever thought of such a thing. Furthermore, Darwin was far, far, ahead of Wallace in his thinking about evolution. Darwin's genius lay in presenting the case for evolution in a way that Wallace—and no one else that we know of—ever could.

All you have to do to find this out is read some rather short articles, or Wikipedia. Is that too much to ask?

As if that's not bad enough, Denyse O'Leary quotes a birthday greeting from David Warren on her blog [Darwinism: Well then, no birthday cake for you, David!].
I oppose Darwinism because it is an intellectual & scientific fraud. I have opposed it all my adult life on that account alone; as I've told you before, I opposed it as crap science when I was an atheist. But I oppose it today with greater & greater passion, because I see that it provides the cosmological groundwork for real evil.
Is that the sort of person who should be writing 200th birthday greetings for the Ottawa Citizen?


  1. "Respectable"? Maybe once upon a time; now it's a rag. These days, is there in fact anyone intelligent at the Citizen except Dan Gardner? There might be -- I don't read it more.

    And as for David & Denyse: wow. It's like, every day is Opposite Day.

  2. You didn't include the last paragraph which says everything you need to know about Warren's idea of what empiricism/science is:

    Over the 151 years since the apparitions of Mary to the devout little peasant girl, Bernadette Soubiros, countless millions have visited that remote shrine [Lourdes], and the medical bureau that was established to test claims of miraculous cures has identified many cases beyond human explanation. In other words, there is far more empirical evidence of the miracle at Lourdes than there has ever been, or can ever be, of Darwinism.

  3. And people wonder why print news is dying...

  4. Denyse was an atheist? Good riddance to her. I'd hate to see her writing as an atheist.

    I have never been able to figure out how or why anybody pays her to write.

  5. It is Warren that was an atheist. According to
    "Warren is a recent convert to Roman Catholicism and a social conservative."

  6. How extremely considerate of Mr. Warren to share his scientific illiteracy and single digit IQ with the world.


  7. It would be interesting to ask this Warren guy how he knows that there's no evidence for Evolution as opposed to there is, but not being a biologist, he's unaware of it.

  8. Look at the bright side: Warren's conversion increases the correlation between intelligence and godlessness.

  9. I didn't see the author of this juvenile dribble actually refute anything Warren said, just use his little potty mouth along with his little mind to shout his hate at anyone who would offend his hero, his god, his Barack Obama: Darwin.

    Darwin is buried in a cathedral and quoted scripture during his most important postulations.

    You all are a bunch of bitter atheists.

    Christianity is the religion of Copernicus, Galileo, Descartes, Leibniz, Keplar, Pascal, Erasmus, etc., etc., etc.

    Not atheism nor any other religion can compete!

    1. "Christianity is the religion of Copernicus, Galileo, "

      And how did that work out for Galileo?

      Warren a pleasant old curmudgeon who opposes natural selection even though there is not a single piece of evidence to oppose it, and much evidence and experimentation to support it. He falls back on the old "lack of transition fossils" argument. When one is found, he responds that now there are two gaps instead of one.

      His opposition is religious, not scientific. He is a creationist, although he would call it "Intelligent Design". There are many problems with "intelligent design". One of them is, who designed the designer. But the most compelling is how poorly designed many features are. The eyes of squid and octopi are much better designed than human eyes. Our abdominal muscles are not particularly well designed for walking upright, and neither is our spine. And there are hundreds of more examples, just in the human body.

      But Warren argues that natural selection is nothing more than a bunch of "just so" stories. He is certainly entitled to his beliefs. And I respect him for that. But when his opinions are logically argued against, he resorts to ridicule rather than logical counter-argument.

  10. The priests of Darwinism are offended.. How deliciously hypocritical.

  11. "Is that the sort of person who should be writing 200th birthday greetings for the Ottawa Citizen?"

    Yes, absolutely, because he is right.