James J. Lee, Hostage-taker and Darwinist

We are thankful that James J. Lee, the hostage-taker who invaded the Discovery Channel building today in Maryland, did no physical harm to his hostages, who have now been safely freed. Lee, a radical environmentalist, was shot and killed. While expressing relief that police action averted a greater possible tragedy, it’s worth noting the contents of the late Mr. Lee’s reported manifesto, a list of demands he published online, directed at the cable channel. Demand number 7 reads: Develop shows that mention the Malthusian sciences about how food production leads to the overpopulation of the Human race. Talk about Evolution. Talk about Malthus and Darwin until it sinks into the stupid people’s brains until they get it!! For the sake Read More ›

How Not to Defend Darwin on “Survival of the Fittest”

Evolutionary biologists make poor historians, especially when it comes to Charles Darwin. So intent on preserving the reputation of St. Charles, evolutionists typically do their best to paper-over Darwin’s less-than-savory views on issues like race or the application of natural selection to society. British biochemist and theistic evolutionist Denis Alexander runs true to form in a newly posted interview at BioLogos. In the interview, Alexander does his best to disassociate Darwin from the idea of “survival of the fittest,” noting that the phrase was coined by Herbert Spencer rather than Charles Darwin, and that it was then picked up by nasty politicians like Kaiser Wilhelm and Adolf Hitler, who used it to promote their noxious views. Alexander is correct that Read More ›

Karl Giberson v. Al Mohler on Darwin: The Grudge Match

It’s always a bad sign when people start publishing “open letters” to one another. Our BioLogos friend Karl Giberson is embroiled in a strangely bitter dispute with Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Bitter, at least, on Dr. Giberson’s side. In this dustup, theistic evolutionist Giberson displays a lot less dignity than the object of his ire, Dr. Mohler, and less regard for truth notwithstanding that it’s precisely a lack of truthfulness with which he seeks to tar Mohler. Dr. Giberson’s concern as always is to demonstrate the Christian bona fides of Darwinian theory. Writing on the Huffington Post under the striking headline “How Darwin Sustains My Baptist Search for Truth,” he now takes Mohler to task Read More ›

Zombie Genes?

On August 19, Gina Kolata reported in The New York Times that geneticists “have seen a dead gene come back to life and cause a disease.” According to Kolata, the human genome “is riddled with dead genes, fossils of a sort, dating back hundreds of thousands of years–the genome’s equivalent of an attic full of broken and useless junk,” though some of those genes “can rise from the dead like zombies.” Now a supposed “zombie gene” is implicated in a type of muscular dystrophy abbreviated FSHD–a hereditary disease that affects about 1 in every 20,000 people. Kolata cites a recent Science article that begins by reviewing work dating back to the 1990s that establishes a link between FSHD and a Read More ›

The Phantom Menace of Creationism

Conspiracy theorist Lauri Lebo, writing at Religion Dispatches, seeks to defend once more her cloudy thesis that by criticizing a move in Louisiana to teach creationism in public schools, Bruce Chapman revealed Discovery Institute’s secret plot to support teaching creationism in public schools. Even as conspiracy theories go, this one lacks plausibility. I wrote here earlier that Ms. Lebo, a journalist with a specialty in these issues, is presumably aware of the “enormous differences” between creationism on one hand and intelligent design (or even mere Darwin doubting) on the other. She assures us she does know the difference but there’s still no evidence of that in her latest column. Instead she thinks she has found a smoking gun, linking Discovery Read More ›