January 22, 2011

WE WERE ALL DESIGNISTS THEN TOO:

Alfred Russel Wallace: The proponent of intelligent design in Darwin's day (Michael A. Flannery, 02.05.09, Forbes)

Yet Darwin and Wallace had very different views of how their respective evolutionary mechanisms worked. In the end, those differences would lead to two inherently oppositional theories--Darwin's driven by wholly random processes, and Wallace's imbued with design and purpose. Wallace eventually broke with Darwin in 1869 over the ability of natural selection to explain the human intellect. For him, nature was infused with teleological meaning.

After Darwin's death in 1882, Wallace continued to develop his ideas and eventually constructed what is best called intelligent evolution. This is not simply theistic evolution, a gratuitous, divine add-on to Darwin's naturalistic processes, but an intelligently designed evolution that is limited by evolution's principle of utility--namely, that no animal or structural part of an animal will develop unless an advantage is afforded to that species, nor will either advance beyond that which is necessary for survival.

Why, asked Wallace, if the principle of utility inherent in natural selection is absolute, did humans develop brains far beyond that necessary for mere survival? No biblical creationist, Wallace spent the remainder of his life answering that question and gave his fullest answer in the aptly titled World of Life: A Manifestation of Creative Power, Directive Mind and Ultimate Purpose, published in 1910.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 22, 2011 6:04 AM
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