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 ›
Earlier this year, evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala critiqued Stephen Meyer’s book, Signature in the Cell, in an invited essay for the Biologos Foundation website. Dr. Meyer has now responded with the first part of a two-part response, “On Not Reading The Signature in the Cell.” In this first part, Meyer argues that Ayala unfortunately does not appear to have read Signature in the Cell, and so his effort to refute the book falls flat. Indeed, Ayala’s “review misrepresents the thesis and topic of the book and even misstates its title.” Read more here.
Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini aren’t making many friends among evolutionists with their new book What Darwin Got Wrong. Salon magazine published an interview with Fodor today in which he has some interesting things to say about the attacks he’s received online, about whether he is providing aid and succor to the ID community, and what he thinks is wrong with modern evolutionary theory. As you explain in the book, one of the problems with Darwinism is that Darwin is inventing explanations for something that happened long ago, over a long period of time. Isn’t that similar to creationism? Creationism isn’t the only doctrine that’s heavily into post-hoc explanation. Darwinism is too. If a creature develops the capacity to spin Read More ›
Intelligent design (ID) has attracted its fair share of critics. If it’s not the fulminations of New Atheists, it’s extremely uncharitable readings from some Catholic intellectuals who think they smell mechanism or interventionism. While the criticisms vary, they tend to have one thing in common: they’re based, not on actual ID arguments, but on stereotypes and misunderstandings of those arguments. It’s hard to find ID critics who actually describe an ID argument correctly before proceeding to refute it. Catholic physicist Stephen Barr is a constitutionally uncharitable critic of ID. It’s not clear that he has even read the books that he criticizes. But he criticizes them nonetheless. In a February 9 diatribe in First Things, he makes several complaints. For Read More ›
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 ›