In a response to a putdown of intelligent design at National Review, David Klinghoffer offered examples of people National Review readers would take seriously who, one way and another, did not feel they owed the allegiance to Darwin that a clever but clueless trend follower might:
I am surprised that he doesn’t seem to know that many of the great figures of the conservative intellectual past, including Buckley, tended toward skepticism on Darwinism or sympathy for design — in no particular order, Richard John Neuhaus, Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb, Tom Wolfe, Richard Weaver. In Witness, Whittaker Chambers beautifully described awaking from the spell of Communism upon contemplating the “immense design” of his little daughter’s ear. Buckley hosted a Firing Line debate on intelligent design, which he argued for alongside his fellow debaters, mathematician David Berlinski, biochemist Michael Behe, and U.C. Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson, all affiliated with Discovery Institute. Commentary published Berlinski’s great series of attacks on Darwinian orthodoxy. And so on. David Klinghoffer, “The Ultimate Question of Life’s Origins” at National Review
Meanwhile, a historian and compulsive listmaker sends us this list of generally reputable people who have doubted Darwinism:
- St. George Jackson Mivart–the book to read is On the Genesis of Species (1871)
- Alfred Russel Wallace–the book to read is The World of Life: A Manifestation of Creative Power, Directive Mind and Ultimate Purpose (1910)
- Oliver Lodge–the book to read is Evolution and Creation (1926)
- Robert Broon–the book to read is The Coming of Man: Was It Accident or Design? (1933)
- John Elof Boodin–the book to read is God and Creation: Three Interpretations of the Universe (1934)
- Jacques Barzun–the book to read is Darwin, Marx, Wagner: Critique of a Heritage (1941, 2nd ed. 1958)
- Paul S. Morehead and Martin M. Kaplan (editors)–the book to read is Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution (proceedings of The Wistar Symposium, April 25-26, 1966) (1967)
- Arthur Koestler and J. R. Smythies (editors)–the book to read is Beyond Reductionism: New Perspectives in the Life Sciences (proceedings of The Alpbach Symposium 1968) (1969)
- William Irwin Thompson–the book to read is At the Edge of History (1971)
- Norman Macbeth–the book to read is Darwin Retried (1974)
- Fred Hoyle–the book to read is The Intelligent Universe (1984)
- R. J. Baum–the book to read is Doctors of Modernity: Darwin, Marx & Freud (1988)
- Owen Barfield–the book to read is Saving the Appearances: A Study in Idolatry (1957, 2nd. ed. 1988)
- Stanley L. Jaki–the book to read is The Savior of Science (1988)
- David Stove–the book to read is Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution (1995)
- Anthony O’Hear–the book to read is Beyond Evolution: Human Nature and the Limits of Evolutionary Explanation (1997)
- Wendell Berry–the book to read is Life is a Miracle: An Essay Against Modern Superstition (2000)
- Hilary and Steven Rose (editors)–the book to read is Alas, Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology (2000)
- Benjamin Wiker–the book to read is The Darwin Myth: The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin (2009)
- Paul Johnson–the book to read is Darwin: Portrait of a Genius (“genius” meant in an ironic sense!) (2012)
- Thomas Nagel–the book to read is Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False (2012)
There was also the public evolution summit in November 2016 but that deserves a story by itself as one senses that the cultural origins are quite different.
See also: Why did an evolutionary biology prof imply world-famous chemist James Tour was “stupid”?
A writer encountered this all-too-common type of behavior recently and was, well, surprised. To see why it feels normal to many of us, it is helpful to understand a bit about Darwinism as a social phenomenon.
Intelligent design as “rube-bait” and David Klinghoffer’s response Klinghoffer offers his vid, The Information Enigma by way of rebuttal. But rebuttal almost misses the point. Today’s Darwinism is a snipe on Twitter, a swipe in passing, a slogan on a whiteboard, a well-practiced rant – not something it would make sense to ask anyone to support with reference to facts or coherent ideas. Williamson’s got that right. No arguing with fashion.
George Montañez: Using specified complexity to rule out Darwinian explanations A lay-friendly version of Montanez’s paper at BIO-Complexity translates from the math.
How Darwinism misled biologists about lichens They spent a lot of time ridiculing what they should have been studying. They ridiculed the now commonly accepted idea that a lichen was algae and fungi living as if they were one organism
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