The whole review can be found for free here.
One of the first things to note is repetition of a common fallacy about ID being illegal to teach due to the Dover decision. Michael writes:
IDT has been remarkably successful. George W. Bush is one among many who have stated flatly that it should be taught in schools alongside evolutionary biology. Although it is illegal to do so – another court case in Dover, Penn., in 2005 ruled that it, too, violates the separation of church and state – estimates are that at least 20 per cent of American schools already teach it. One suspects that it is not entirely unknown in biology classes north of the border, either.
It’s illegal to teach it in Dover, PA. One federal district court judge does not a federal law make, Michael. Not only is it illegal to teach it in Dover, it’s illegal to even mention it. No one was teaching it in Dover (another common fallacy). ID was mentioned just once in a brief optional statement at the beginning of biology class saying other theories of evolution exist aside from the one (Darwinian) that would be taught in the class and that students could, on their own recognizance, consult a book in the school library if they were interested in learning more about different theories. That, in the opinion of one district judge, was too much. But the fact of the matter is he’s just one judge in one district, his decision is only enforced on the Dover school district, and his decision was never appealed to a higher court in the federal circuit where you’d at least have three higher court judges weighing in on it instead of just one (of the lowest possible rank) federal judge.
But that isn’t the worst decision by far. In another federal court district containing Cobb County in Georgia it was ruled by a different federal judge that it was illegal to say that Darwinian evolution was a theory, not a fact. No mention of alternative theories of evolution was made in Cobb County. A simple sticker was placed in a biology textbook advising students that the section on evolution was theory, not fact, and should be critically considered. So what we have in Cobb County is effectively a law against questioning Darwinian evolution. Is that how science works now? Evidently if you’re a Darwin dogmatist that is indeed how it works. If someone has the audacity to question your dogma put them in jail! I suppose that’s progress. In the old days questioning church dogma got you burned at the stake. Now you just get fined or locked up, blackballed, and denied tenure. We should count our blessings I guess.
In yet another huge boner Michael writes:
If God really does have to get involved in His creation every time something complex needs producing, why does He not get involved in His creation whenever something simple but awful needs avoiding? Many genetic diseases are the product of just one molecule gone wrong. Surely an all-powerful, all-loving God could have taken five minutes off from creating the irreducibly complex to tweak those rogue molecules back into line?
This isn’t a scientific argument. Michael is invoking his idea of what a good God should be doing and using that to support a scientific fantasy about chance & necessity being the author of life. Let’s stick to science, Professor Ruse. We know for a fact that intelligent agency is cabable of goal-oriented tinkering with heritable traits in all kinds of life from bacteria to humans – it’s called genetic engineering. We know that such tinkering can accomplish things that unintelligent natural mechanisms alone have not been observed doing. In essence what we have is the sure knowledge that goal-oriented intelligent agency can tinker with genomes in decidedly ungradual ways not constrained by a requirement for functional intermediary steps versus only an imagined capacity for chance & necessity to do likewise. Surely any objective observer would at least not rule out a known capable mechanism in favor of an imagined mechanism. And that’s being kind to the imagined mechanism – the known capable mechanism should be considered the most likely suspect until such time that one or the other can be definitively shown to be true or false.
Ruse is very short on science, uses fallacies instead of facts, and draws on religious presumptions to support scientific hypotheses. In other words his review is par for the course. He argues like the typical Darwinian dogmatist. I wonder if a serious review of Behe’s book is ever going to materialize? Don’t hold your breath while waiting… court decisions, theological arguments, attempts to divide and conquer by alienating YECs from ID, and hand waving about imagined capabilities of unintelligent processes appears to be the best they can present.