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Uncommon Descent contest: List the five books that helped ID most – written by non-ID researchers


In the “List the ten most significant ID books of the last 25 years” (judged today), Mung at #1 wanted to know if we could include books by authors who deny that they endorse ID.

(Contest closed for judging. Watch for another contest.)

A surplus can of worms for that contest, but a great contest in its own right!

Briefly: Lots of books whose authors are looking for any solution other than ID have actually helped ID. List five and give a reason for the top three.

We’ll be flexible here because it’s a broad category by nature, and you may know books that many of us don’t.

One thing though: “Helped ID” means “helped in a conceptual way.” A Darwin troll could write a five-star cussbox against ID and help only in the sense that few readers wish to read him any further. So readers are spared the second hand abuse. A good outcome, that, but let’s hear about ideas that help.

This is a great chance to introduce others to some challenging ideas.

Prizes: 1st: A free copy of The Nature of Nature

2nd: A free copy of Don Johnson’s valuable Probability’s Nature and the Nature of Probability.

Deadline August 6, 2011

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I personally like "A Civic Biology: Presented in Problems", but that's way out of the timeline, eh! But it does certainly suggest the 'primacy of science' and how science MUST be correct: Such gems - "Evolution of Man. -- Undoubtedly there once lived upon the earth races of men who were much lower in their mental organization than the present inhabitants." The Races of Man. -- At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man,... These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; The American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America. Improvement of Man. -- If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not unfair to ask if the health and vigor of the future generations of men and women on the earth might not be improved by applying to them the laws of selection. Eugenics. -- When people marry there are certain things that the individual as well as the race should demand. The most important of these is freedom from germ diseases which might be handed down to the offspring. Tuberculosis, syphilis, that dread disease which cripples and kills hundreds of thousands of innocent children, epilepsy, and feeble-mindedness are handicaps which it is not only unfair but criminal to hand down to posterity. The science of being well born is called eugenics... Parasitism and its Cost to Society. -- Hundreds of families such as those described above exist today, spreading disease, immorality, and crime to all parts of this country. The cost to society of such families is very severe. Just as certain animals or plants become parasitic on other plants or animals, these families have become parasitic on society. They not only do harm to others by corrupting, stealing, or spreading disease, but they are actually protected and cared for by the state out of public money. Largely for them the poorhouse and the asylum exist. They take from society, but they give nothing in return. They are true parasites ... The Remedy. -- If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading. Humanity will not allow this, but we do have the remedy of separating the sexes in asylums or other places and in various ways preventing intermarriage and the possibilities of perpetuating such a low and degenerate race. Remedies of this sort have been tried successfully in Europe and are now meeting with some success in this country... I wonder what BIG Science is teaching the students of today? This book 'helps' ID because it underlines the importance of correct information being supplied to students and where bias exists be bold enough to admit it. World views often drive science before the science is even considered. AussieID
Alexander's Functional Design in Fishes -- just the suggestions in the title when I saw it on library tables in my uni sci lib set me to thinking. kairosfocus
Those weren't my entries, though they may become. I was just offering folks some ideas. :) Freebies Mung
A one-per-post format is confusing when it comes to counting entries, so judges would prefer people didn't do that. All submissions are read anyway. News
This hack is mostly a volunteer. UD News is a hand-to-South operation. Not by choice. News
Mung, News, er O'Leary claims to be a "hack." Do hacks earn salaries? Anyway, here's my list. I'm going to attempt to show how each book has been answered by ID authors and others. 1. Creationism's Trojan Horse - Barbara Forrest, Paul R. Gross Forrest's insistance that ID is "creationism in a cheap tuxedo" will go down as the anti-ID blunder of the century. Answered in "Signature in the Cell," particularly in Chapter 18. 2. The Blind Watchmaker - Richard Dawkins I would put most of Richard Dawkins' books in the list if it could be bigger, but this one in particular seems to have given us a lot to work with in the area of incoherence - particularly his argument for incremental evolution in the weasel chapter - i.e. - demonstrating how design can appear random. Answered in "Darwin's Black Box," "The Design Inference" and "Signature in the Cell." 3. The Grand Design - Stephen Hawking I don't know - putting "grand design" in the title while incoherently arguing the opposite seems to garner some weight to the design argument from cosmology. Answered in "The Privileged Planet" and "The Creator and the Cosmos." 4. Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design - Michael Shermer Shermer's book might have been relevant if ID theorists weren't doing "actual work," (which is one of his primary arguments) but it hardly now seems relevant given the Biologic Institute and other research venues into ID. Answered in "Signature in the Cell" and "There is a God," (i.e., why Darwinism doesn't matter if there is design). 5. Monkey Girl: Evolution, Education, Religion, and the Battle for America's Soul - Edward Humes (A Pulitzer Prize winning Journalist). It's basically an attempt to sway opinion on Kitzmiller v. Dover. Answered in "Traipsing Into Evolution" http://www.traipsingintoevolution.com/ My reason for the top 3 is that they contain the most common arguments against ID in the 3 main areas - whether it is religion or science, whether ID's arguments have been answered from a biological perspective in Darwinian Evolution, and whether there's an argument from cosmology that counters fine tuning. CannuckianYankee
hehe. The judges give enormous weight to my suggestions. I pay their salaries. Mung
Hint: Do you take off points for listing each book in a separate post? (Or for sarcastic comments about other people's book suggestions?) ;) CannuckianYankee
Hint: Mechanical Design in Organisms Mung
Hint: The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design Mung
Hint: An Introduction to Systems Biology: Design Principles of Biological Circuits Mung

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