When word got out that well-known English novelist and biographer A.N. Wilson had set his pen to the subject of Darwin, many of us (myself included) couldn’t wait for the British release by John Murray — the very publisher who had issued On the Origin of Species 158 years earlier! — to make its way across the Atlantic. And now Read More ›
Casey Luskin reviews Bill Nye’s latest book, Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, and finds it underwhelming when compared to another bestseller, Darwin’s Doubt. According to Luskin: “If you think Nye’s ideology is bad, wait until you see the science he uses to justify these claims.” Read more at Evolution News & Views.
If someone had predicted a year ago that Oxford University Press would publish a book with the subtitle Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature is Almost Certainly False, I might have wondered what alternate universe he was inhabiting. But Oxford did publish it, and the aftershocks among the intellectual elite have yet to abate.
The book’s author, philosopher Thomas Nagel, is a professor at New York University and the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from Oxford University; fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities; and elections to such august bodies as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society. It is a testament to Professor Nagel’s stature that his critique of Darwinian theory was allowed to be published at all. But his stature has not immunized him from a flood of abuse and even suggestions of creeping senility.
It’s not often that a book by a professional philosopher attracts the notice — let alone the ire — of the cultural powers-that-be. One can think of Allan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind in the 1980s, but other examples are hard to come by. At any rate, Mind and Cosmos is well on its way to becoming a book that can’t be ignored by the thinking public. Thus far, it has been denounced in the Nation and the Huffington Post, dubbed the “most despised science book of 2012” by the London Guardian, defended in the New Republic (where Nagel’s critics were blasted as “Darwinist dittoheads” and a “mob of materialists”), subjected to a feature story in the New York Times, and put on the cover of the Weekly Standard, which depicted Nagel being burned alive, surrounded by a cabal of demonic-looking men in hoods.
The author has attracted special displeasure from the powers-that-be for using Mind and Cosmos to praise intelligent design proponents such as biochemist Michael Behe and philosopher of science Stephen Meyer. As the New York Times explained, many of Nagel’s fellow academics view him unfavorably “not just for the specifics of his arguments but also for what they see as a dangerous sympathy for intelligent design.” Now there is a revealing comment: academics, typically blasé about everything from justifications of infanticide to pedophilia, have concluded that it is “dangerous” to give a hearing to scholars who think nature displays evidence of intelligent design.Read More ›
In the century and a half since Charles Darwin first proposed his theory of evolution, Christians, Jews, and other religious believers have grappled with how to make sense of it. Most have understood that Darwin’s theory has profound theological implications, but their responses have varied dramatically. Some religious believers have rejected it outright; others, often called “theistic evolutionists,” have sought Read More ›
Stephen C. Meyer’s book, Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2013), is perhaps the most comprehensive critique of the neo-Darwinian paradigm ever written. He makes his case by examining the Cambrian explosion, where nearly all of the major animal phyla appeared abruptly in the fossil record, without evolutionary precursors. In the Read More ›
In this brief, accessible foray, popular math/science writer Berlinski (Newton’s Gift) breathes life into an ancient mathematician and the world of axioms and theorems he created — a geometric world that became the basis for much of modern math, from analytic geometry to the idea of curved space-time. To Berlinski, Euclid’s fourth-century B.C., 13-volume Elements is a manifestation of his Read More ›
Stephen Hawking’s new book, The Grand Design, co-authored with Leonard Mlodinow, contends that God is not necessary to create the universe because the laws of physics can do it alone. The “new atheist” crowd will cheer this message, but their credulity is a matter more of fiery sentiment than of coolheaded logic. Mr. Hawking asserts that “as recent advances in Read More ›