Mailvox: Evolutionary Rhetoric

An eminent authority on mathematics, namely, Frank J. Tipler, recommends that we keep things a bit more simple and rhetorical for the innumerate enthusiasts of evolution by natural selection:

You are of course quite correct that biologists do not understand the mathematical criticisms of evolution by natural selection. Since they are incapable of being reached by dialectic, perhaps rhetoric would be more effective.

One rhetorical technique is Argument From Authority.

In your July 13, 2024 “Evolutionists are Retarded,” you refer to the mathematical arguments given in the 1966 conference by “a professor of electrical engineering from MIT and a French mathematician.” In one of your earlier posts on this subject, you mentioned the similar criticisms by the mathematician S. Ulam, but you did not say who Stanislaw Ulam was.

Ulam was the co-discoverer of the Teller-Ulam design for the thermonuclear bomb. (See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Teller–Ulam_design). Ulam also discovered the Monte Carlo Method (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monte_Carlo_method) which was essential to working out the details of the H-bomb’s mechanism. Now the Monte Carlo Method is an evolution by natural selection technique that actually works!

An example of the Monte Carlo Method is Richard Dawkins’ “Methinks it is a weasel” so-called “example” of Darwinian evolution (it’s not). In the “Methinks” example, the endpoint is chosen ahead of time (this is teleology, which is implied by determinism — recall that Monte Carlo has a “deterministic” piece in the algorithm). Certainly, if there is a future goal chosen, natural selection can find it. The Monte Carlo Method works! But the key point of Darwinism is that evolution is assumed to have no goal.

Which means that Darwinism doesn’t work mathematically, for the reasons you’ve stated. Which was Ulam’s point. And Ulam understood the mathematics — he ought to, he invented it — and the biologists did not, and have not, and cannot.

So, if these people cannot be reached by dialectic, they might be reached by rhetoric: Ulam was a great mathematician who understood the mathematics of evolution.

Argument from Authority does not establish truth, but it does establish presumption of truth: if you cannot understand the mathematics, assume that the mathematicians do.

So there it is. Evolutionary biologists don’t understand the mathematics of evolution. And you don’t have to take the word of a humble truck driver and part-time plumber for it either, that’s on the authority of a very well-respected professor of mathematics as well as a famous mathematician of historical note.

The man can certainly turn a phrase. This one is definitely going in the aphorism book:

If you cannot understand the mathematics, assume that the mathematicians do.
–Frank J. Tipler, Professor of Mathematics, Tulane University

That French mathematician I mentioned in the previous post was no slouch either. One thing that has become very clear is that the educated critics of TENS are vastly smarter, on average, than its best-known and most-educated advocates.

DISCUSS ON SG