Objections Sustained

Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law & CulturePhillip E. Johnson

Objections Sustained is a collection of essays by UC Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson, also the Program Advisor to Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. In the first half of the book, Johnson presents nine short chapters about Darwinists and Darwinism. Johnson first takes aim at the myth that science and religion occupy completely separate realms. This myth, formally approved for public consumption by the National Academy of Sciences, is refuted by famous proponents of Darwinism like Thomas H. Huxley, who viewed Darwinism as the antidote to letting the “Divine foot in the door.”

Johnson also recounts other fascinating anecdotes from the history of the evolution debate. In 1995, the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) formally adopted a definition of evolution, which left it “unsupervised,” implying that well, evolution was “unsupervised.” This anti-religious definition left evolution exposed as a theory charged with implications for religion. Protestations from religious scholars went unanswered, until Eugenie Scott charged in to save the day by convincing the NABT to revise its language. The word “unsupervised” was removed from the definition, but as Johnson observes, “nothing was changed.” Johnson also has his finger on the pulse of in-house debates among top Darwinists. Stephen Jay Gould and his punctuationalists are in a mud-slinging war with the ultra-Darwinists who follow Richard Dawkins. They can’t agree on how evolution happened, but they’re sure it did. Moreover, amidst their name-calling, they agree that words must be kept light lest they fuel the fire for creationist criticism.

The second half provides various essays on topics related to books, culture, and law. Johnson, who was a clerk for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren, explains how Darwinism-based law is trying to make religion irrelevant to our culture by consigning faith to the realm of fantasy. The wit of professor Johnson is only outpaced by his experience, insight, and scholarship in this fascinating and diverse collection of short commentaries.

Phillip E. Johnson

Former Program Advisor, Center for Science and Culture
Phillip E. Johnson taught law for more than thirty years at the University of California — Berkeley where he was professor emeritus until his passing in 2019. He was recognized as a leading spokesman for the intelligent design movement, and was the author of many books, including Darwin on Trial, Reason in the Balance and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds.