Darwinism is not about facts. It is one of many examples of a progressivist theory of history, just like Marxism, just like 19th Century British liberal economics, only in this case applied to biology. The inherent weaknesses in the theory have nothing to do with a literal rendering of Genesis or the age of the earth. I never, ever make that argument. If one wishes to confront uncomfortable facts, one has to look at the intellectual influences on Darwin. He cites several but he is very selective, since, as this article demonstrates, Darwin got his theory from Herbert Spencer: http://www.history.o...eek_3/allen.pdf
Spencer resented the fact that Darwin did not attribute the theory to Spencer, despite the fact that Spencer specifically sent his essay on natural selection to Darwin 2 years prior to the publication of Darwin's book. Only in a much later addition was Darwin pressed into an attribution.
The myth is that something called "Social Darwinism" developed after the publication of "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life." The fact is that it is just the other way around. Darwin applied Spencerism to biology.
Darwin's argument is not based on scientific evidence. He admitted at the time that the geological evidence disputes his theory, but he is confident that the geological record would eventually support it. He also admits that his theory is an inference that he draws, that over time will be supported by facts.
A number of bogus "facts" have been used to support it, some of which have been outright fabrications, such as the English moths. Even if the case of the English moths were not fabricated, the fact is that it in no way supports his theory of evolution, because it is not a case of one species evolving into another species. And yet it has been a standard piece of "proof" in high school biological texts and maybe still is so as far as I know. There is to date no evidence, geological or otherwise, of one species having evolved from another species, or animalic existence evolving from some random combination of elements. But again, even if this could be proven, it is not a theory of origins, because where do the basic elements come from?
Darwin relies on an aesthetic argument. He says that God could not possibly have created the vast diversity in nature. That that could only have come from a random process of selection, gradually over a vast period of time. But that at some point in the evolutionary process, God breathed life into certain things. Even if this were true, and there is no way to prove or disprove such a theory, it is not a theory of origins, because of the problem of infinite regress, a problem that Aristotle was well aware of and addressed in the Posterior Analytics 2400 years ago. Darwin says that this process of random natural selection actually is "ennobling." But that is an aesthetic theory, not a scientific fact.
To this day, there is not a single, actual fact that supports Darwinism, and in no way can it be defended as a theory of origins, because you keep pushing back the same problem of causality infinitely. There are many other problems with Darwinian evolution which have been addressed in the critical literature. The best work on the subject I have run across is a relatively short section in Eric Voegelin's "Race and State" which was published in 1933 in Austria, and you can guess what the primary topic is about. The book caused Voegelin to flee Austria after the Anschluss in 1937, literally a few steps ahead of the Gestapo. It's a difficult book, but worth the read.
But I assume after you have read this post, Jonathan, that you will continue to assert that I am basing all of my arguments on a literal interpretation of Genesis and a literal interpretation of the Biblical timeline.
It's perfectly understandable that advocates of Darwinism do not want to read any of the critical literature or take it seriously, because of its inherent weaknesses as an ideology. Everyone who critiques Darwinism is simply dismissed as a religious fundamentalist. But in any scientific endeavor, studying the critical literature is de rigeur. Orthodoxy has always done this. Origen wrote Contra Celsus, a massive work addressing the criticisms of Christianity by the Roman philosopher Celsus. Orthodox Christians today tend to be aware at least of the critiques of Orthodoxy since we live in societies for the most part that are dominated by religious sects that are critical of Orthodoxy. I was looking at a Catholic site yesterday about a priest who had converted to Orthodoxy and there were numerous anti-Orthodox comments on the site. One needs to know the criticism, regardless of whatever discipline one has adopted.
But in the case of Darwinism, it is dismissed in advance as "unscientific." This is precisely the same tactic that is used by Marx who says that criticism of Marxism is not permitted because Marxism is a scientific system and therefore any criticism is ipso facto unscientific.
But if you like, I will offer you the opportunity to state one established fact that supports Darwinism.