Skip to comments.Saving Us from Darwin [Multiple Book Review]
Posted on 09/20/2001 8:46:10 AM PDT by aculeus
The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism
by Phillip E. Johnson
InterVarsity Press, 192 pp., $17.99
Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong
by Jonathan Wells
Regnery, 338 pp., $27.95
Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution
by Michael J. Behe
Touchstone, 307 pp., $13.00 (paper)
Mere Creation: Science, Faith and Intelligent Design
edited by William A. Dembski
InterVarsity Press, 475 pp., $24.99 (paper)
Intelligent Design: The Bridge Between Science and Theology
by William A. Dembski
InterVarsity Press, 312 pp., $21.99
Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism
by Robert T. Pennock
Bradford/MIT Press, 429 pp., $18.95 (paper)
Finding Darwin's God: A Scientist's Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution
by Kenneth R. Miller
Cliff Street Books/HarperCollins,338 pp., $14.00 (paper)
1. It is no secret that science and religion, once allied in homage to divinely crafted harmonies, have long been growing apart. As the scientific worldview has become more authoritative and self-sufficient, it has loosed a cascade of appalling fears: that the human soul, insofar as it can be said to exist, may be a mortal and broadly comprehensible product of material forces; that the immanent, caring God of the Western monotheisms may never have been more than a fiction devised by members of a species that self-indulgently denies its continuity with the rest of nature; and that our universe may lack any discernible purpose, moral character, or special relation to ourselves. But as those intimations have spread, the retrenchment known as creationism has also gained in strength and has widened its appeal, acquiring recruits and sympathizers among intellectual sophisticates, hard-headed pragmatists, and even some scientists. And so formidable a political influence is this wave of resistance that some Darwinian thinkers who stand quite apart from it nevertheless feel obliged to placate it with tactful sophistries, lest the cause of evolutionism itself be swept away.
As everyone knows, it was the publication of The Origin of Species in 1859 that set off the counterrevolution that eventually congealed into creationism. It isn't immediately obvious, however, why Darwin and not, say, Copernicus, Galileo, or Newton should have been judged the most menacing of would-be deicides. After all, the subsiding of faith might have been foreseeable as soon as the newly remapped sky left no plausible site for heaven. But people are good at living with contradictions, just so long as their self-importance isn't directly insulted. That shock was delivered when Darwin dropped his hint that, as the natural selection of every other species gradually proves its cogency, "much light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history."
By rendering force and motion deducible from laws of physics without reference to the exercise of will, leading scientists of the Renaissance and Enlightenment started to force the activist lord of the universe into early retirement. They did so, however, with reverence for his initial wisdom and benevolence as an engineer. Not so Darwin, who saw at close range the cruelty, the flawed designs, and the prodigal wastefulness of life, capped for him by the death of his daughter Annie. He decided that he would rather forsake his Christian faith than lay all that carnage at God's door. That is why he could apply Charles Lyell's geological uniformitarianism more consistently than did Lyell himself, who still wanted to reserve some scope for intervention from above. And it is also why he was quick to extrapolate fruitfully from Malthus's theory of human population dynamics, for he was already determined to regard all species as subject to the same implacable laws. Indeed, one of his criteria for a sound hypothesis was that it must leave no room for the supernatural. As he wrote to Lyell in 1859, "I would give absolutely nothing for the theory of Natural Selection, if it requires miraculous additions at any one stage of descent."
Darwin's contemporaries saw at once what a heavy blow he was striking against piety. His theory entailed the inference that we are here today not because God reciprocates our love, forgives our sins, and attends to our entreaties but because each of our oceanic and terrestrial foremothers was lucky enough to elude its predators long enough to reproduce. The undignified emergence of humanity from primordial ooze and from a line of apes could hardly be reconciled with the unique creation of man, a fall from grace, and redemption by a person of the godhead dispatched to Earth for that end. If Darwin was right, revealed truth of every kind must be unsanctioned. "With me the horrid doubt always arises," he confessed in a letter, "whether the convictions of man's mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey's mind...?"
[snipped. Go to site for the balance.]
As I've said many times: my problems with Darwinism aren't that it contradicts my religion, but rather that it contradicts good, solid science. The young-earthers are embarassing to me as a Christian, but learned scientists like Behe have to strike terror in the hearts of Darwinists, who themselves seem to operate more by faith than by scientific reasoning.
Behe have to strike terror in the hearts of Darwinists
Behe invokes laughter in the hearts of informed Darwinists. Many of his rock solid predictions of things that would never be published in "Science" or "Nature" have come to pass, including several things about flagula rotors that were already published before his book was. Apparently, he didn't do too thorough a job of benchchecking. To calculate the odds of something occuring, you have to know the state-space, and the selection criteria within it. You know no such thing about what happened to produce, for instance, cellular life. If you have no detailed idea about how a thing happened, you have no analytical ability to estimate the odds against it. These "whirlwind can't build a 707 from sand" arguments are all of this highly doubtful nature, including Behe's.
And those who call themselves Christian and think they can know truth apart from God or those who compromise their faith to be accepted among the pagans.
You see, when you embrace materialism, you throw free will out the window
I see. If nobody created us for any purpose, and our choices are the result of complex processes that are, at their lowest levels, non-deterministic, than we don't have free will. Whereas, if a being created us for a reason, we do have free will. I hate to be a party pooper, but that makes no reasonable sense, if anything, the opposite would be more likely.
Garbage. If your mind were made of clockwork, why would you expect it to *feel* any differently from how it does now?
Free will exists by definition. We define it as "that process by which humans make conscious decisions". That leaves the question of how we make those decisions completely unaddressed. How do you think we make those decisions? Just what exactly do you think our brains do, anyway? (No homunculus, please.)
Please, no profanities. :-)
Oh no? The ID'ers claim some person had to create life. And Phillip Johnson, Jonathon Wells, and everyone at the Discovery Institute explicitly want us to believe that this person is the Great Supernatural Authority Figure. (Otherwise ID would be helpless to save society from godless materialist nihlism.)
Here's a page from the Discovery Institute's Center for Renewal of Science & Culture from 1997 that I had printed & scanned (before I discovered the magic of downloading html files into an offline archive :-) ...
This is different from creationism how exactly?
Liars may be a bit harsh. Just uneducated in the theory of evolution.
Creationists want a theocracy like the Taliban set up to rule America. It's sad.
ABC NewsSTORY IS FROM HERE (gotta scroll down some to find it).
Saudi Bans Pokemon As Gambling, Un-Islamic
Saudi Arabia has banned the popular children's video and card game Pokemon, saying it promoted gambling and un-Islamic teachings. In a directive obtained by Reuters on Saturday, the commerce ministry said the ban on Pokemon goods was in line with a recent edict by the kingdom's top Islamic authority aimed at "protecting the Muslims' ideology as well as their morals and money."
It said Pokemon games and accessories already in the kingdom would be seized and that the ban applied to imports of all games and goods bearing Pokemon symbols.
Pokemon, short for Pocket Monsters, began as a Nintendo Co Ltd video game in Japan more than five years ago and has since ballooned into a cultural phenomenon with spin-offs including trading cards, video games, a feature film, books, comics, toys and clothing.
The edict said the game was a form of gambling prohibited by Islam as it involved collecting and trading Pokemon cards.
It also said the game contradicted Islamic teachings by promoting Darwin's theory of evolution and featured the Star of David which is linked to Zionism, Israel and the Freemasons.
The edict said the game also featured Christian crosses and symbols of Japanese Shintoism.
Saudi Arabia, with a population of some 17 million, has one of the largest and most affluent consumer markets in the Arab world.
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