Discovery Institute, the All-Purpose Boogey Man

It always amazes me how if you want to bash intelligent design, Discovery Institute, or Darwin doubters generally, you can pretty much say anything you want, however ridiculous, and everyone in the Darwin choir will sing hallelujah and never bother to fact check what you say. At the Huffington Post, science writer John Farrell debuts with an awkwardly written blog trying to pick a fight with John West on Darwinism’s sinister race-war theme (“Bad Faith (in Science): Darwin as All-Purpose Boogey Man?“). The post struck a nerve, garnering 1,266 comments as of this writing. Says Farrell, West wants his readers to realize that Darwin’s racism had murderous overtones and that therefore the science of evolution must be suspect. Farrell means Read More ›

Berlinski Takes on St. Christopher, Now Viewable Online at C-SPAN

Good news! The Berlinski/Hitchens debate of a couple weeks ago, “Does Atheism Poison Everything?,” is now viewable online in full at C-SPAN. Berlinski is inimitably rapier-like yet courteous as always, though I don’t envy him having to fend off the sympathy vote for the ailing and recently sainted Christopher Hitchens (who looks eerily like Sebastian Shaw as Anakin Skywalker in Return of the Jedi). At Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne notes the C-SPAN production, first smugly saying — apparently before he watched it — how enjoyable it is to see Hitchens “take apart” the “haughty” Berlinski. Then he offers an update to the same post, apparently now having watched the event, where he pronounces it a “reasonably good debate” Read More ›

Nature: I used to love her, now I’ll have to kill her

[NOTE: Today we welcome a new contributing writer to Evolution News & Views, Heather Zeiger. Ms. Zeiger graduated magna cum laude from the University of Texas at Dallas with a B.S. in chemistry and a minor in government and politics. She received her M.S. in chemistry, also from UTD; her research was in organic synthesis and materials.] The most general definition of bioethics is the relationship between man and technology. This relationship takes on many forms, some in the context of fear, as exemplified by Bill Joy’s now well-known Wired article, “The Future Doesn’t Need Us.” Others are in the context of hope or even a type of salvation, as exemplified in Ray Kurtzweil’s work, including The Singularity Is Near: Read More ›

New TV Documentary Links Darwinian Theory with Poisonous “Social Darwinism”

In the debates sparked recently by the New Atheist writers, bashers and defenders of faith have been united at least on one point: Ideas have consequences. The consequences of a particularly controversial idea — Darwinian evolution, a pillar of atheism — will be the subject of a provocative new documentary on cable TV. What Hath Darwin Wrought? shows the relationship of the founding father of evolutionary theory to eugenic, racist, and even Nazi ideologies. Discovery Institute scholars John West, Richard Weikart, and David Berlinski provide the historical background in interviews with television personality Todd Friel.

Darwinian Morality: How the Truth Refreshes

Assurances that we have nothing to fear from Darwinism are a familiar species of evolutionary apologetics. We’re told that Darwinian thinking doesn’t threaten morality, religion, or belief in life’s having an ultimate meaning. On the contrary, it enhances all things good and fair. Karl Giberson’s recent column in the Huffington Post, “How Darwin Sustains My Baptist Search for Truth,” deserves to be pinned under glass and put up on a wall as a near-perfect specimen of the genre. Anyone who’s honest with himself knows this is all propaganda and wishful thinking, but it refreshes us nevertheless to hear Darwinists themselves confess — even trumpet — the truth. Darwinian scholars and journalists have been writing with what must seem, to their Read More ›