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Darwin’s Doubt reviewer: Darwinism as a faith tradition


Darwin's Doubt

From New Oxford Review, a review of Steve Meyer’s Darwin’s Doubt, on the Cambrian explosion:

In Darwin’s day “time & chance” could perhaps be imagined as makers of life both because the understanding of biological organisms was simplistic and because 19th century utopian dreamers thought that social evolution as well as revolution would make “the new man”, an idea that still persists.

But the 20th century has been especially harsh on those simpletons and dreamers, Darwin primary among them. Meyer shows this by lining up respected scientists, including those of the Darwinist, materialist persuasion, who, nonetheless, have discredited every aspect of the Darwinian project, from the failure of natural selection to make anything new, to the failure of contemporary Darwinist nostrums like “hox genes”, once thought to be kick-starters of the evolutionary process.

Meyer goes over all of this as well as how Darwin thought his theory would be rescued by later fossil finds, inaugurating a faith tradition relied upon by evolutionary biologists since then in order to keep the theory afloat despite the evidence, not because of it. In support of this longing for evidence, Darwinists have diligently developed a bullpen of backup arguments to replace Darwin’s starting arguments as each one of them got knocked off the mound. More.

And their hat will never run out of rabbits as long as the government pays.

Thanks! :) equate65
Hi everyone, I received my copy of Darwin's Doubt a few days ago, and it's making for very interesting reading. Here's a quote from the final page, page 413:
To gain a true picture of the world we need facts - empirical data. But we also need experience, sometimes called wisdom, the reference points that a coherent view of the world provides. Historically, that evidence was provided for many men and women by the traditions of Western monotheism - by our belief in God. The theory of intelligent design generates both excitement and loathing because, in addition to providing a compelling explanation of the scientific facts, it holds out the promise of help in integrating two things of supreme importance - science and faith - that have long been seen as at odds. The theory of intelligent design is not based on religious belief, nor does it provide a proof for the existence of God. But it does have faith-affirming implications precisely because it suggests that the design we observe in the natural world is real, just as the traditional theistic view of the world would lead us to expect. Of course, that by itself is not a reason to accept the theory. But having accepted it for other reasons, it may be a reason to find it important.
Chapters 10 to 14 of Dr. Meyer's book are especially interesting! vjtorley
EQ: p 412 is in the What's at stake chapter [no 20] -- functionally an epilogue -- that addresses his personal reaction to the Burgess fossils on top of that Canadian mountain, glides into a discussion with the guide [who did not know he was leading a party including Paul Chien] triggered by a teen who had been doing some reading challenging the Darwinist account, then broadens into how wider conversations arise on the topics linked to ID. Meyer, who let us not forget is a PhD philosopher of science, brings up worldview level issues in outline, highlighting Dawkins and his 2006 The God Delusion by p 409 as a popular level champion of what I have usually called evolutionary materialism and Meyer terms scientific materialism. On p. 410 he speaks of theistic evolution, BioLogos form. he then says on that page: "The argument of this book presents a scientific challenge to both of the4se views." (Maybe someone with a Kindle version can do some clipping for us on his summary, I am too pressed just now to type a lot.) On pp. 411/412, he opens with: "The Cambrian explosion, like evolutionary theory itself, raises larger | worldview questions precisely because it raises questions of origins and of design, and with them questions that all worldviews must address." He then says:
unlike strict Darwinian materialism and the New Atheism built atop it, the theory of intelligent design [he uses the common letters] affirms the reality of a designer -- a mind or personal intelligence behind life. This case for design restores to Western thought the possibility that human life in particular may have a purpose or significance beyond temporary material utility. It suggests the possibility that life may have been designed by an intelligent person, indeed, one that many would identify as God . . . . The ability to detect design makes belief in an intelligent designer (or a creator or God) not only a tenet of faith, but something to which the evidence of nature now bears witness."
This is a reasonable discussion of the wider context of origins science, and it is careful to distinguish science from wider worldview issues and views. Those who want to make sophomoric strawman talking points will easily snatch on this out of context (I often wonder just how much of phil they really have under their belts . . . ) but the chapter is raising reasonable onward questions and points in response to an ideology that is most definitely out there on the ground. KF kairosfocus
Stephen Meyer on the Frank Turek Show to discuss his bestselling book Darwin's Doubt http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yul4VXp7T_0 bornagain77
equate65: "Meyer specifically states that “god did it” on page 412." I'm pretty sure he didn't use a small g if he did! :) Moreover, why do you want someone to give away the end of a book before you have had a chance to read it? Most people would be sad if someone told them the end of a book before they read it. Like all good mysteries, its possible the 'butler did it'! :) Dr. Stephen Meyer: Darwin's Dilemma - Where did the information come from? - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CTKKrtSc8k bornagain77
Haven't read the book yet, but am hearing on the blogosphere- Meyer specifically states that "god did it" on page 412. Anyone who has read the book, know if this is true? equate65
Darwin being rescued by fossils means the biological evidence was never there and so evolution was never a biological SCIENTIFIC theory. Fossils don't show biological processes or descent. only the geology does if it does. Geology doesn't. only a line of reasoning from geological presumptions using biological DATA POINTS leads to conclusions about biological processes and descent. Evolution was always a flaw of scientific methodology and not insight or integrity or other motivations. RULE. NO geology in biology. on your own legs must evolution stand. Robert Byers

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