Phil Johnson ascended majestically above the usual point of skepticism. It was the great case of Darwin et al v. the Western Religious Tradition that occupied his attention.
To the Editor The Times Literary Supplement The RNA World Sir: Having with indignation rejected the assumption that the creation of life required an intelligent design, Mr Fletcher has persuaded himself that it has proceeded instead by means of various chemical scenarios. These scenarios all require intelligent intervention. In his animadversions, Mr Fletcher suggests nothing so much as a man disposed to denounce alcohol while sipping sherry. The RNA world to which Mr Fletcher has pledged his allegiance was introduced by Carl Woese, Leslie Orgel and Francis Crick in 1967. Mystified by the appearance in the contemporary cell of a chicken in the form of the nucleic acids, and an egg in the form of the proteins, Woese, Orgel and Read More ›
Hey Don — I want you should do me a favor. I noticed that you put up this real negative review of Steve Meyer’s Signature in the Cell on Amazon. I want to tell you, I loved the stuff about the slow fuse and all. It brought back memories of the time Boom Boom Salacio was a Senior Fellow at the DI. The Putznagel Salami Fire? That was Boom Boom. We all miss the Big Guy at the DI. But here’s the thing. The moment your review hit the stands, bang! sales of Meyer’s book go through the roof. I mean you’re taking Boom Boom to a whole new level. So I was thinking that maybe you could give my Read More ›
From the introduction to The Deniable Darwin: My own view, repeated in virtually all of my essays, is that the sense of skepticism engendered by the sciences would be far more appropriately directed toward the sciences than toward anything else. It is not a view that has engendered wide-spread approval. The sciences require no criticism, many scientists say, because the sciences comprise a uniquely self-critical institution, with questionable theories and theoreticians passing constantly before stern appellate review. Judgment is unrelenting. And impartial. Individual scientists may make mistakes, but like the Communist Party under Lenin, science is infallible because its judgments are collective. Critics are not only unwelcome, they are unneeded. The biologist Paul Gross has made himself the master of Read More ›
ENV: In the past, you’ve remarked about mathematicians and their opinions of Darwin’s theory of evolution. They were skeptical, you said; very skeptical. John Von Neumann was an example. How do you know that about him and about other mathematicians? DB: How do I know? Here’s how: I have been close to a number of mathematicians, and friends with others: Daniel Gallin (who died before he could begin his career), M.P. Schutzenberger (my great friend), René Thom (a friend as well), Gian-Carlo Rota (another friend), Lipman Bers (who taught me complex analysis and with whom I briefly shared a hospital room, he leaving as I was coming), Paul Halmos (a colleagues in California), and Irving Segal (a friend by correspondence, Read More ›