My family and I were watching Ninotchka last night — the sly story of a dour, emotionally repressed Soviet official who travels to Paris and reluctantly discovers the allure of beauty, luxury, and love. Greta Garbo plays the title character. It’s full of great lines, and I was especially tickled by Ninotchka’s pre-transformation dismissal of herself as, “Just what you see. A tiny cog in the great wheel of evolution.”
It made me think of our upcoming documentary, The Biology of the Baroque: The Mystery of Non-Adaptive Order, which you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy when it premieres on YouTube next month. The stern, nearly robotic Ninotchka at first disclaims all interest in the lights of Paris or any of the city’s other charms but only wants to inspect its sewers and other infrastructure, “from a technical standpoint.” In a very similar way, evolutionary thinking asks us to ignore life’s superabundance of numinous order and baroque artistry.
The video is based on a novel and incisive argument from Discovery Institute biologist Michael Denton in his new book Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis, to be published on January 26. You can see the trailer now:
Evolutionists have good reason for demanding that we avert our eyes from biology’s delicate artfulness. None of that, after all, is explicable in light of the Darwinian theory that natural selection retains only what is useful from a “technical standpoint” of reproductive successive. In the book and the video, directed by Center for Science & Culture associate director John West, Dr. Denton puts this quality of superfluous, luxurious “non-adaptive order” front and center.
Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis follows in the tracks of Denton’s groundbreaking work of thirty-plus years ago, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis. The latter inspired a rising generation of pioneers in the field of intelligent design, notably Michael Behe. The forthcoming book is no mere update, however — it reveals powerful new evidence of design in nature and opens a fresh frontier for the science of ID.
Dr. Denton concedes that when he wrote his first book, he did not recognize the abundance of non-adaptive features in life — a realization that he details with authority in the new book. Watch for The Biology of the Baroque in this space on February 12.