In the new political science that developed in the Progressive Era, study of what constitutes wise opinion was dropped. The new political scientist was to abandon the supposedly played out mines of political theory. Progress, you would have thought as an intellectual in that period, must proceed on “scientific” principles. Max Weber’s “fact/value” distinction meant that facts alone could be submitted to scientific inquiry, while issues of right and wrong (“values”) could be examined only from outside their own assumptions. Here, then, is partly where we get our present day intellectual prejudice against crediting what politicians say they are doing and our constant suspicion that the real truth must be something else. It arose in Germany as an element of the “science of the state” (Statswissenschaft) and the “general theory of the state” (Allgemeine Staatslehere). And it fit well with the new science of politics, Politische Wissenschaft. With the new method, known states were compared historically, with perfection of the state as the goal. In the latter half of the 19th century, these ideas entered the United States in the heads of young Americans who, lacking domestic graduate schools in public law, embarked on studies in Germany. In time the concept of eugenics gained force in the Second Reich — decades before the Nazis employed it. When, in 1904, the German Empire exterminated almost the whole race of native Hereros in German Southwest Africa, it was publicly justified in terms of Darwinism. There were few protests. A generation earlier, the first American convert to Teutonic ideas of political science and the founder of its U.S. version was John W. Burgess. Dazzled by what he found in Germany, Burgess, back home, proclaimed the ultimate end of the state to be “the perfection of humanity; the civilization of the world; the perfect development of human reason, and its attainment to universal command over individualism; the apotheosis of man.” German-trained instructors, helped shape the America field of political science over the next generation. From political science at Johns Hopkins, meanwhile, came a number of historicist scholars, including Woodrow Wilson. We can chart the Progressive Era from the 1880s because of the work of Wilson. In America today, Darwinism’s triumph in something called “political science” continues to batter at the philosophical foundations of republican government.
Species often explode suddenly into life, as in the Cambrian explosion, which even Darwin found to be a problem for natural selection. Some of them do not persist beyond the age to which they are adapted. That does not require an explanation. But others just settle down to long eons where they don't change much, no matter what the environment. And "stabilizing selection" does not account for that. The cockroach, for example, is still around and still easily identifiable after perhaps 350 million years. The 350-million-year-old coelacanth fish and the 300-million-year-old horsetail grass survive largely unchanged.
John Searle, the eminent professor of philosophy at U.C. Berkeley, once said that "there is a sense in which materialism is the religion of our time." Sometimes called naturalism, materialism here has nothing to do with greed or a lust for riches. It is the name of a philosophy -- the belief that physical matter is all that exists. Alex Rosenberg of Duke University's philosophy department has put it nicely: What is the world really like? It is fermions and bosons [elementary particles] and everything that can be made up of them, and nothing that can't be made up of them. To put it more simply still, the world consists of nothing but molecules in motion. And that does seem to be the philosophy of our time, at least within our most prestigious universities -- sometimes even including their theology departments. Materialism is itself an implausible philosophy, as another eminent philosopher, New York University's Thomas Nagel, recently wrote in his much-despised book Mind and Cosmos. Its subtitle gives the explanation: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False. The explicit materialism of the Darwinians is the mirror image of creationism. Creationists are easy for scientific materialists to rebut, because the materialists can say, "That is just your belief. We don't have to accept that." In a parallel way, we can say to the materialists: "That is just your belief. We don't have to accept that. And it is the real basis of your evolutionism." In between the Creationists and the Materialists we encounter the scientific evidence that makes the materialist position increasingly improbable -- the evidence that Stephen Meyer recently presented in Darwin's Doubt: information theory, insufficiency of the fossil record, epigenetics, complexity of life at the molecular level, and so on.
Eyes Work Without Connection to Brain: Ectopic Eyes Function Without Natural Connection to Brain
For the first time, scientists have shown that transplanted eyes located far outside the head in a vertebrate animal model can confer vision without a direct neural connection to the brain. Biologists at Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences used a […]