Alfred Russel Wallace, Co-Discoverer of Evolution by Natural Selection — and “Creationist”

Despite repeated explanations that intelligent design is not creationism, Lauri Lebo at Religion Dispatches and others persist in equating the two. There’s a lot of bandying about of terms without defining them. One possible definition of “creationism” is the attempt to make scientific assertions regarding the natural world and/or the origin of life based upon a literal reading of Genesis. Yet with intelligent design, as David Klinghoffer points out, even if the source of the intelligence were identified as a deity, that wouldn’t make it creationism in this sense of Genesis literalism. In short, when it comes to speaking of “creationism,” there is a need for much greater clarity of thought and expression. I can think of no better illustration of Read More ›

Gould’s Fatal Flaw: The Thirtieth Anniversary of Wallace’s Encounter with Darwinian Newspeak

Precisely thirty years ago this month the late Stephen Jay Gould published an article in volume 89 of Natural History purporting to demonstrate Alfred Russel Wallace’s “fatal flaw.” Wallace, who co-discovered natural selection in his now-famous Ternate Letter of 1858, first startled Charles Darwin and then prompted him after years of ponderous delay to finally complete his Origin of Species and rush it to press. By November of the following year his magnum opus was in the hands of the English public. But Wallace would break with Darwin over the source of the human intellect. While Darwin thought man and animal different in degree not kind, Wallace felt that the special attributes of the human mind, its facility for abstract Read More ›

The Darwin Myth Removes the Façade and Reveals the Man

In nine highly readable chapters The Darwin Myth takes its reader from Darwin’s boyhood of wealth and privilege, to his brief stint in theology school, his quest for adventure, and the development of his “one long argument” that would form the remainder of his life’s work. This bold and uncompromising biography exposes Darwin “warts and all,” the flaws of Darwinian evolution, and the dark and disturbing consequences of a theory that easily lent itself to social Darwinism, the eugenics movement, and even Hitler’s völkisch racism.

Todd’s Blog Bungles Wiker’s New Book, The Darwin Myth

Wood has Wiker asking the wrong question. Wiker didn’t ask, when did Darwin become an evolutionist, he asked, when did Darwin develop his worldview or philosophy? That is a powerful and important question and one not asked enough by Darwin’s biographers past and present; too bad Wood missed this point so tellingly and clearly made by Wiker.