Is it somehow petty, offensive, exploitative, and beyond the pale to point out how the Holocaust Memorial Museum shooter, who murdered a guard on Wednesday, writes about evolution in his sick manifesto? Should it be considered beneath one’s dignity to quote the man and let his words speak for themselves? James von Brunn, the suspect in question, is a white supremacist, a bitter anti-Semite, a Holocaust-denier, a wacked out conspiracy theorist, who served more than 6 years in a federal prison for attempted kidnapping. All this is fair game to report. Everyone agrees to that. But the fact that he writes of “Natural Law: the species are improved through in-breeding, natural selection and mutation. Only the strong survive. Cross-breeding Whites Read More ›
This is the second part of a review of The Darwin Myth by Benjamin Wiker. Part one is available here. An element of the Darwin story that may surprise many readers of Benjamin Wiker’s fine new biography The Darwin Myth is the ultimate disconnect between Darwin and many of his colleagues. Wiker points out that many of Darwin’s avid supporters, who accepted and helped popularize his theory, rejected Darwin’s materialistic reductionism. They argued, indeed, that the evidence did not support Darwin’s materialistic understanding of evolution. Biologist Asa Gray at Harvard was Darwin’s strongest champion in America. However, as Wiker tells us, “Gray believed that the human mind could not be explained as the material result of natural selection.” He did Read More ›
According to Benjamin Wiker’s provocative new biography, The Darwin Myth: the Life and Lies of Charles Darwin, Charles Darwin was an honorable and likable man, a family man. He loved his siblings; he was devoted to his wife; he loved his children and grieved deeply over his daughter’s death. But Darwin was also someone who presented to the public an elaborate and even deceptive story about himself and his work to advance a philosophical agenda. While there are many biographies of Charles Darwin, Wiker’s deserves attention because of its fascinating account of the complex interaction between Charles Darwin, the man, and Darwinism, the theory he advocated and popularized. Wiker’s presentation of Darwin’s human contradictions is a valuable contribution to this Read More ›
Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at Professor Scot McKnight’s Beliefnet blog, Jesus Creed. The first post in this series is found here, and the second here. The Origin of Beauty Benjamin Wiker and Jonathan Witt’s masterful book A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature gives the following illustration of how modern scientific reductionists treat nature and the arts: Imagine hearing the following account of one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s symphonies: ‘We have been able to prove that this particular symphony is actually reducible to a series of notes that happen to be played both at the same time in chords and one after another, creating a string of disturbances in the air caused by Read More ›
Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at Professor Scot McKnight’s Beliefnet blog, Jesus Creed. The first post in this series is found here. Intelligent Design and the Deity In the predominant narrative, Charles Darwin was a humble scientist who proposed a strictly scientific theory. Upon publication of The Origin of Species in 1859, religious folks like Bishop Wilberforce voiced theological objections to it; and thus began the most salient episode in the ‘war between science and religion.’ Many Christians adopt a similar narrative, but suggest this was all a misunderstanding; Darwin’s theory simply has nothing to do with religious or philosophical questions. If I may be so bold, I’d like to suggest that both narratives are wrong.