Michael Ruse, the Charming Darwinian Atheist

Unlike the reptilian Dawkins, sinister Dennett, or smug Coyne, Michael Ruse is a prominent Darwinian atheist by whom it’s hard not to feel charmed. I have never met him but his column in the Guardian could only be written by someone who is by nature very nice, very naïve, or probably both. Ruse considers the question of what impact belief in Darwinism should be expected to have on morality, and he answers with an “on the one, on the other hand.” Since God is dead (and Darwin killed him), there can be no objective moral ideas. Moses received nothing on Sinai. Yet, not to worry! This realization will not lead to bad behavior since our genes, inscribed by natural selection, Read More ›

Reading Wesley Smith: Why the Darwin Debate Matters

If the intelligent-design side in the evolution debate doesn’t receive the support you might expect from people who should be allies, that may be because they haven’t grasped why the whole thing matters so urgently. I got an email recently from a journalist whom I’d queried on the subject. “All told, I’m on the ID side of the debate,” he wrote, “but it isn’t a pressing interest for me.” Anyone who similarly doesn’t quite “get it” should read our friend and colleague Wesley J. Smith’s new and important book on the animal-rights movement, A Rat Is a Pig Is a Dog Is a Boy. If you follow conservative journalism, you’ve likely heard about the book from the contentious deliberation it Read More ›

When a Book Review Is Not a “Book Review”

Last updated 3/9/10, 7:00 pm. As a former book review editor (at National Review), I take a professional interest in book reviews and all the things that can go right or wrong with them. I confess, though, I’ve never seen anything quite like the treatment of Stephen Meyer’s book, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design, on BioLogos, the curious website funded by the Templeton Foundation and specializing in Christian apologetics for Darwin. The site published what was clearly, unambiguously written to look like a review by biologist Francisco Ayala that, as Steve Meyer pointed out already, actually gave every evidence that Ayala had not read the book. (My colleague Dr. Meyer thinks Ayala did read Read More ›

Primordial Soup? Would You Believe…

Life arose without design or direction from any intelligent agent. Would you believe it did so in a sun-warmed ocean surface? No? Would you believe an earth-heated vent at the bottom of the same ocean? Would you believe an office microwave that hasn’t been cleaned since the Bush Administration? The past week’s startling news of backpedaling from the “primordial soup” theory rang a bell, though I wasn’t instantly able to say whose comedy routine it put me in mind of. Hm, was it Monty Python? ScienceDaily carries the story: For 80 years it has been accepted that early life began in a “primordial soup” of organic molecules before evolving out of the oceans millions of years later. Today the “soup” Read More ›

Lying for Darwin

Over the past couple of months at Jerry Coyne’s blog, Why Evolution Is True, he and Matthew Cobb have written several blog posts attacking Stephen Meyer’s Signature in the Cell — by my count, five posts. The most recent by Coyne accuses Meyer of dishonesty: Meyer does not mean well. He is spreading lies and confusing people by distorting real science. Is that the unfortunate result of “meaning well”? Do you think that because somebody is a “Christian brother,” he’s incapable of lying for Jesus? Isn’t it strange, though, that for all the persistent attacks on Meyer, in quite personal terms, Professor Coyne hasn’t dared to actually read Steve’s book? That’s obvious because Coyne’s throwaway summary of its contents — Read More ›