I long ago came to see the modern acceptance of Darwinism as the real-life equivalent of the people in Hans Christian Andersen's story "The Emperor's New Clothes." I cannot remember whether I came to that realization independently, or whether I once heard an evolution skeptic draw the comparison. But now I've come across it again in Hunter's book (which I haven't read before), and so thought it worthwhile to share his version of the analogy.
The story is about an emperor who is fooled into wearing no clothes and the mob mentality that overtakes his subjects as they too are led to go along with the charade. All the people in the kingdom are told that the emperor has beautiful new clothes, and the emperor is convinced as well. When the people see the smiling emperor with no clothes, no one wants to point out the obvious.More accurately, the people are told that only sophisticated people can appreciate the splendour of the new clothes, and so each of the onlooking mob dares not say that he sees nothing for fear of being labelled a rustic. Hunter continues...
When I first read the story, I was unimpressed. What was the point? The story certainly had no bearing on the real events of the world. Such an obviously false and absurd charade could never actually take place, and if it did, large numbers of people would never go along with it.Yes, indeed. And those who look closely at the evidence will conclude--unless that have lost all use of a healthy 'baloney detector'--that the emperor is stark naked.
But now I appreciate Andersen's tale. It is indeed possible for people to go along with bizarre explanations. The problems with evolution are evident in nature itself. Biology is full of amazing designs whose evolution would apparently constitute nothing less than a miracle.