Is the Darwinian Paradigm Outmoded?

Thursday, February 15th, 2007
"Nothing makes sense
except in the light of evolution"
Dr. Michael

Professor of Philosophy
Florida State University

Michael Ruse (born June 21, 1940 in Birmingham, England) is a philosopher of science, working on the philosophy of the biology and is well known for his work on the argument between creationism and evolutionary biology. He was born in England, took his undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol (1962), his master's degree at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario (1964), and Ph.D. at the University of Bristol (1970). Ruse taught at the University of Guelph Canada for 35 years. Since his retirement from Guelph, he has taught at Florida State University and is since 2000 the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy. In 1986 he was elected as a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Canada and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has received honourable doctorates from the University of Bergen, Norway (1990) and the McMaster University, Ontario, Canada (2003).

Ruse was a state witness in the 1981 test case (McLean v. Arkansas) of the state law permitting the teaching of "creation science" in the Arkansas school system (signed by governor Frank White). The federal judge ruled that the state law was unconstitutional. Ruse takes the position that it is possible to reconcile the Christian religion with Evolutionary Theory, unlike, for example, Richard Dawkins, Phillip E. Johnson or Edward O. Wilson. He now debates regularly with William A. Dembski, a known proponent of intelligent design.

The Evangelical Right has always hated evolution, Darwinism particularly, so there is no surprise that today it is pushing Creationism Lite, aka Intelligent Design Theory.

What is amazing and depressing is how many others join in the chorus of anti-Darwinism, from the English Departments of the universities of the nation – seduced as they are by the worst excrescences of French philosophy – to Marxist biologists lodged in Ivy League schools of the East – to philosophers who secretly fear that we humans might be modified apes and hence our knowledge and our morality are no more than adaptations to survive and find mates.

This talk is a robust defence of Darwinism against its critics.  Far from being an outmoded paradigm, Darwinism is a jewel in the crown of science.