The complexity objection against Darwinism

One of the very old objections to Darwinism was that it is more complex than special creation. The number of changes required to turn a wolf into a whale exceed the amount of work one would have to do to make a whale from almost anything. It’s actually harder to make a submarine out of a car than it is to make it de novo or from whatever might be lying around. It is easy enough to image a submarine turning into a car, but once one starts taking the engineering problems seriously the story becomes more an more like an episode of Mythbusters. 

But it’s hard to turn this into an in-principle argument against Darwinism since any pre-existing organs are more than none. It merely raises the familiar empirical question of how many changes are needed before they become prohibitive.

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3 Comments

  1. JC said,

    June 13, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    What does Thomism have against Darwinism in the first place? Doesn’t Darwinism ultimately just say this (in Thomistic parlance): prime matter must be able to topologically transform from maximally simple states into ever more complex substantial forms and that this matter in time is able to “discover” these forms (which pre-exist in the Divine Intellect) through thermodynamic “exploration” in time with the mechanism of Natural Selection “carving” out the forms into actual Being. Matter, from maximal simplicity and deadness is drawn toward it’s final non-material, non-dead End in God, it’s first and final cause, through the evolutionary process itself. Indeed, even if God “Started the computer program” of Reality with the Human Form (an idea I take seriously) it nonetheless would have to be the case that a past for this program COULD have happend (though how exactly could be unresolved or indeterminate), evolving to that point from a maximally simple state in the “past.” If evolution were impossible it would render the material world fundamentally unintelligible, even to God.

    • June 13, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      What does Thomism have against Darwinism in the first place?

      Nothing, as far as I know. Unless a quondam absence of goals or purpose (like happens in chance events) is taken as being foundational or total or not subordinate to some goal. Or unless it’s false.

      The point is just to give an objection anyway, not to say that the idea is false. I give all sorts of objections to things I think are true.

  2. June 13, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    We don’t have a problem recognizing plagiarism even in cases where it would have been easier for the author to write his own text than to borrow from all those sources.

    In other words, “the devil is in the details,” and we recognize from the details both plagiarism and Darwinism.


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