Intelligent Design Icon Intelligent Design

Rewatching Darwin’s Heretic

With the 100th anniversary this Thursday of the death of Alfred Russel Wallace, it’s a suitable time to take another look at our documentary, Darwin’s Heretic: Did the Co-Founder of Evolution Embrace Intelligent Design? Of course I’ve seen it before — but wow, I’m reminded both of the power of its message and beauty of the production itself. (For the latter, congratulations to Center for Science & Culture associate director John West.)

Last week I tried to correct the misunderstanding on the part of Wallace promoter George Beccaloni that we care about Wallace’s legacy because his break with Darwin over "intelligent evolution" is somehow evidence for the contemporary theory of intelligent design. No one thinks that — though it’s true that Wallace’s later writing eerily anticipates, and in a way sets the agenda for, today’s ID research community on everything from the "mystery of the cell" and the exquisite design of a bird’s feather to the fine-tuning of the universe itself. He’s rightly seen as the founder of ID in its modern iteration. (Though of course the idea goes back much earlier, to Plato and Aristotle, among others.)

More than that, our interest in him lies in his ability to upset stereotypes and clich�s about ID: what it is, how it argues, why thoughtful people would reject orthodox Darwinism in favor of a view open to seeing evidence of guiding purpose in nature. The grip of hackneyed thought keeps many, many people from wrestling in an informed, honest way with the challenge of ID. Wallace is a powerful antidote to and liberator from clich�. For much more on his life and research, see here.

David Klinghoffer

Senior Fellow and Editor, Evolution News
David Klinghoffer is a Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute and the editor of Evolution News & Science Today, the daily voice of Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, reporting on intelligent design, evolution, and the intersection of science and culture. Klinghoffer is also the author of six books, a former senior editor and literary editor at National Review magazine, and has written for the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Seattle Times, Commentary, and other publications. Born in Santa Monica, California, he graduated from Brown University in 1987 with an A.B. magna cum laude in comparative literature and religious studies. David lives near Seattle, Washington, with his wife and children.



Darwin's Heretic (Alfred Wallace)Films and Videohistory