Sunday, February 01, 2009

"Intelligent Design" Advocate Reviews Dutton

While I would typically never make a link to anything put out by those dispensers of misinformation over at the Discovery Institute, I figure if Dutton is willing to do it, then so should I. They have a "review of Dutton's new book "The Art Instinct," which is really nothing more than a nonsensical smear piece. They attack Darwinists at every turn, but are willing to use them when convenient, even when the critic is the atheist biologist Stephen Jay Gould, who too often placed Marxism ahead of science, and whose criticisms of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology had nothing to do with biology and everything to do with the fact that they disproved Marxism.

In any case, they criticize Geoffrey Miller for claiming that the arts had their origins in sex -- that they developed through sexual selection. The author is particularly offended at the suggestion that Handel's "Messiah" could have had any sort of connection to sex, whether deep in our evolutionary past, or directly, as claimed (and here I would agree with them that such an interpretation is not necessarily correct) in the PBS special. I think there is extremely good evidence that sexual selection did in fact give us big brains, and art. I also think that there is extremely good evidence that subsequently, the arts have been used for a wide variety of things, including religion. At the same time, singers, musicians (think of rock stars), artists (like Picasso), poets, actors, etc. tend, as a group, to have more sex partners, and to attract more sex partners. This alone suggests a connection. This does not mean that the arts cannot and have not been used for other purposes. Handel's "Messiah" is a fine example of this. But what of other of Handel's works? Or his becoming a musician? Even if his musical aspirations were entirely rooted in religion, that is no argument against sexual selection as the evolutionary origin of the art form.

The article overall is superficial at best. But it's the kind of garbage I expect out of the Discovery Institute, who have pushed "Intelligent design," which is a lie masking their creationist mythology they wish to force on everyone, contra all evidence to the contrary. But here's the bottom line: creationism is religion; evolution is science. Evolution is true/factual; there are several theories of evolution. Creationism is mythology; there are several creation myths. And I say all this as a devout Christian, who believes the enemies of truth are the enemies of Christ.
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