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Dissent Over Descent: Intelligent Design's Challenge to Darwinism [Hardcover]

Steve Fuller
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Book Description

5 Jun 2008
If you think Intelligent Design Theory (IDT) is merely the respectable face of Christian fundamentalism, and Evolution the only sensible scientific world-view, think again...IDT has driven science for 500 years. It was responsible for the 17th century's Scientific Revolution and helped build modern histories of physics, mathematics, genetics and social science. IDT's proponents take literally the Biblical idea that humans have been created in God's image. This confident, even arrogant, view of humanity enabled the West to triumph in the modern era. Evolution, on the other hand, derives from more ancient, even pagan, ideas about our rootedness in nature and the transience of all life forms. It has been always more popular outside the West, and until Darwin few evolutionists were scientists. What happened to reverse these two movements' fortunes? Steve Fuller's brilliant revisionist history is essential reading for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of science's most vociferous debate.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Icon Books Ltd (5 Jun 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840468041
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840468045
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 803,785 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A rich mine of often-overlooked information, personal interpretations of the history of science that are provocative and sometimes astonishing.' -- Times Higher Education, Book of the Week, July 2008

'The richness and complexity of argument defy critical summary.'
-- Times Higher Education, Book of the Week, July 2008

About the Author

Steve Fuller has appeared on Radio 4's 'Today', Radio 3's 'Nightwaves' and Channel 4's 'Trial of the 21st Century'. He has written for the Independent, the New Scientist and the New York Times, among others. Fuller is also Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The natural world as God's handiwork 18 Nov 2010
By Dr. H. A. Jones TOP 500 REVIEWER
Dissent over Descent: Intelligent Design's Challenge to Darwinism, by Steve Fuller, Icon Books, 2008, 280 ff.

The natural world as God's handiwork
By Howard Jones

Steve Fuller is an American philosopher, sociologist and writer on the history and philosophy of science with more than a dozen books to his credit. He is currently a professor at the University of Warwick, in England. The theme of his book is that Intelligent Design, that is, evidence of God's handiwork in the natural world, has been the inspiration behind scientific endeavour from the start. Several scientists would agree with this, but it was not Christianity as Fuller suggests but theism that was the driving force. He also regards ID as a valid concept.

Fuller's opening chapter here deals with dissent in science and religion. As Fuller appeared for the defence in the trial of Kitzmiller vs the Dover Area School District in 2005, upholding the view that ID was science and not religion or creationism, we know from the outset where he stands on the issue. These trial proceedings feature prominently in the book and are available verbatim on-line. The British Royal Society and the American National Academy of Sciences regard evolution as science and ID as non-scientific. It is the remit of science to `replace articles of faith with logical and empirical demonstrations', which it has done very successfully. It is therefore a cause for despair when supposedly intelligent people still insist on a world which is 6000 years old because it is written in the Bible when science indicates clearly it is nearly a million times older. For Fuller, `communion with God is the historic source of communal solidarity . . . a foundational insight in the discipline of sociology.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit over the top? 19 Jan 2012
By Frenger
I don't think anyone has ever wanted me to agree with them more. It was really hard to understand his style of writing to begin with, until I realised it was built on a foundation of whinging.

Throughout the book I saw no positive reasons as to why ID should be taken seriously and I saw no real reasons (all his points were either out of date or just plain wrong) why natural selection shouldn't be the principle in which evolution is driven.

I can't tell whether this book was made to reinforce people who already agree with ID or if it is supposed to change Evolutionists mind. If it was the latter we have a problem as there is no evidence put forward to suggest ID is even a science, let alone a science strong enough to remodel one of the most excepted branches of science.

So, in the end, all this book seems to say is "Ah come on, give us a chance mate" without offering any real reason why we should.
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3.0 out of 5 stars a fair attempt 10 Mar 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Certainly not introductory, but some valid points made. However, I found it rewarding towards the end.well worth the price though
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