Death of Darwinism: Need new predictions, fast!

25 Sep 2009

Dang it, another "Death of Darwinism" prediction has up and fizzled. In Death of "molecular Darwinism" imminent! I noted ID luminary William Dembski's prognostication:

In the next five years, molecular Darwinism — the idea that Darwinian processes can produce complex molecular structures at the subcellular level — will be dead. When that happens, evolutionary biology will experience a crisis of confidence because evolutionary biology hinges on the evolution of the right molecules. 

That grim portent came from the July/August 2004 issue of Touchstone magazine, and even allowing a generous deadline of the end of August, 2009, the five-year clock has run out while "molecular Darwinism" is still dancing a merry jig. (Come on, Doctor Dembski, when you give a patient a fixed time to live, at least have the decency to kill him off if he persists in surviving!)

Are there more prophecies to track? Dembski still has the meter running on a 10-year claim for the "Taliban-style collapse of Darwinism"; let's check on that in 2014. But what else do we have?

Well, we have a ton of "Darwinism is DOOOOOOMED!" cries nicely tracked at The Imminent Demise of Evolution: The Longest Running Falsehood in Creationism; it seems that proclaiming the end of evolutionary theory is a veritable cottage industry among Creationists. Wow. This is one amazing record of lunacy – not only does one nut after another claim that scientists are all abandoning evolution to embrace Creationism, but some of the crackpots insist that scientists are fleeing from the Big Bang and modern geology too.

Yet for all this growing scientific upheaval over the decades, the closer the dates get the present, the more the quotes are from... mostly Dembski, with a handful of asylum mates. It's almost as if the hordes of scientists earlier said to be denouncing evolution don't actually exist

All right, but how about testable predictions? There's plenty of "It's gonna happen! Really!", but are there any firm deadlines? Well, it should come as no surprise that very few in the Darwin Deathwatch Club are willing to set a date; after all, they're not the sort of scholars acquainted with productive measures like testable hypotheses. I can only pick out the following specific forecasts on the page:

1998: Here's a trackable gem:

"I believe that at some time well before 2059, the bicentennial year of Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species,’ perhaps as early as 2009 or 2019, there will be another celebration that will mark the demise of the Darwinist ideology that was so triumphant in 1959.’” Phillip Johnson, “How to Sink a Battleship,’ in Mere Creation, ed. By William A. Dembski, (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1998), p. 446-453, p. 448

Hmm. That's not much to work with; getting strict, we can only hold him to 2059. But what the hey, I'll try to stick around long enough to check.

2002: Paul Nelson predicted this about common descent (CD):

"Here's a prediction. Universal CD will be gasping for breath in two or three years, if not sooner."

Whoops. That one didn't work out so well!

2004: Ah, this was a banner year for prognostication. In addition to Dembski's above auguries, we have a spate of fortune-telling in response to a World Magazine question on what the world will look like in 25 years. Feast on these entrail-readings for 2029:

"The collapse of the Soviet Union put an end to the Soviet myth, just as the scientific collapse of Darwinism, preceded as it was by the discrediting of Marxism and Freudianism, prepared the way for the culture to turn aside from the mythology of naturalism to rediscover the buried treasure that the mythology had been concealing." Phillip Johnson, "The Demise of Naturalism," World, April 3, 2004,

"Now, a mere quarter of a century later, Darwinian evolution is little more than a historical footnote in biology textbooks. Just as students learn that scientists used to believe that the Sun moves around the Earth and maggots are spontaneously generated in rotting meat, so students also learn that scientists used to believe that human beings evolved through random mutations and natural selection. How could a belief that was so influential in 2000 become so obsolete by 2025? Whatever happened to evolutionary theory?" Jonathan Wells, "What ever happened to Evolution?" World, April 3, 2004,

"The house of evolution is falling. Its various theorists are increasingly at war with each other over the basic question of how evolution is supposed to work, and its materialistic and naturalistic foundation is becoming increasingly clear. The evolutionists tenaciously hold to their theory on the basis of faith and as an axiom of their worldview. The publication of these two articles in influential magazines indicates that proponents of evolution see the Intelligent Design movement as a real threat. They are right." R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky|14|21|28/4.htm

Whew! Here in 2009, those are just 20 years away now. We may not get our atomic flying cars by then, but checking up on those claims is definitely worth staying alive for! (I just want to remind Darwinism to hurry up and die fast, because Armageddon is going to be here as soon as 1914. Er, I meant 1925. That is, 1975. Oh, 1975 came and went too? Okay, how about...)

Anyone got more anti-reality prophecies that we need to track?

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