26 of 35 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating but Surreal Take of Evolution-Creation Debate,
This review is from: Dissent Over Descent: Intelligent Design's Challenge to Darwinism (Hardcover)
A lot of books have been published about the evolution-creation controversy but this has got to be the most original and, in many ways, most outrageous. Fuller has been always known for his rather perverse take on things and people (esp. Thomas Kuhn, who also comes in for a whipping here) but this tops them all. Fuller is basically arguing that `Science' in the philosophically robust sense of a unified sense of reality (the kind of thing physicists still go on about) requires a belief in the privileged place of humans in the universe. This belief is by no means self-evident but requires a belief that we have some privileged relationship with whomever was responsible for the universe's creation. In this respect, Fuller argues that a belief in `intelligent design' in some broad sense - and he's not afraid to talk about God in this context -- is needed to do science. Once you accept this point, as many philosophers and scientists have, then Darwin's theory of evolution with its strong emphasis on chance-based processes starts to look strange. And I suppose that's really the point of this book, to make Darwin and Darwinism look strange. There are some truly mind-blowing moments here, including a sustained comparison between evolution and astrology in its scientific heyday (about 500 years ago). Fuller also does a good line on nasty remarks, calling modern evolutionary theory `genetically modified Darwinism' and the blog Panda's Thumb, `Darwin's brownshirts'. He even spends time pouring scorn on theistic evolutionsists like Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller, whom he regards as intellectually superficial. Fuller also makes the interesting point that no good science has ever come from atheism, and that one can go on arguing about the merits of evolution and creation without affecting the day-to-day work of science.
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Initial post: 20 Feb 2009 15:04:20 GMT
R. Davies says:
I'm not sure if this is a good review or not but it makes the book sound ridiculously poor and the author a complete idiot.
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jan 2010 11:20:41 GMT
This is an excellent review, the only thing it lacks is a few quotes and examples from the book. It is even easy to think of the great contributors to modern science, from Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and on to Newton, and right up to Gregor Mendel (1850s), to see that all these were Christians, of various denomination, and all believed that if they were unearthing truth then it was to the glory of God. Mendel was first to nail the concept of the 'gene' (you can read an English translation of his paper pub. by Harvard Press, foreword by Mangelsdorf), and he was an Augustinian monk who rose to be abbot of his abbey. Newton wrote more on bible studies and theology than he did on science, and you can read it online now. One or two enlightened ancient Greeks and Islamic scholars had the right idea too, but they all fizzled out as their culture did not support their lone genius sufficiently to achieve critical mass.
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