Critical Thought and Religious Liberty
Critiques of Intelligent Design
Philosophy of Science
||In Tower of
Babel, philosopher Robert Pennock compares the views of the new creationists
with those of the old and reveals the insubstantiality of their arguments.
Several chapters deal with the work of Phillip Johnson, a highly influential leader
of the new creationists. Pennock explains how science uses naturalism and discusses
the relationship between factual and moral issues in the creationism-evolution
||Question: Who made
us? Answer #1: God made us. Answer #2: Evolution made us. Which is it? What is the true
answer to the age-old question of where we came from? In Finding Darwin's God,
Kenneth R. Miller offers a surprising resolution to the evolutionism vs. creationism
debate. A distinguished professor of biology at Brown University, Miller
systematically demolishing the claims of evolution's most vocal critics, showing that
Darwin's great insights continue to be valid, even in the rarefied worlds of
biochemistry and molecular biology. As he puts it, evolution "is the real thing, and
so are we."|
Pro-Intelligent Design Websites
Access Research Network
Center for Science and Culture
Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness
Metanexus on Science and Religion
Origins Home Page, The
Phillip E. Johnson Page
Reasons To Believe
True.Origin Archive, The
Intelligent Design Network
William Dembski's Homepage
Creation-Evolution Controversy, The
Design on the Defensive
Kansas Citizens For Science
National Center for Science Education
Panda's Thumb, The
Secular Web's Science Religion Page
Talk.Origins Archive, The
Talk.Reason: Unintelligent Design
Was Darwin Wrong?: The Critics of Evolution
World of Richard Dawkins, The
Frequently Asked Questions about Intelligent Design: from ARN
The Intelligent Design Movement by Dr. Wayne Wofford
"The members of the intelligent design movement are attempting to return to
the idea that science and religion are compatible. They are taking a number of approaches,
including examination of the complexity of biochemical systems, statistical approaches
involving diminishing probabilities
Creation and Evolution of a Controversy: by Robert T. Pennock
"Now we come to what may be the most significant recent development in the
conceptual evolution of creationism. A more powerful movement is gaining strength within
the Tower and is beginning to take the lead in the battles against evolution in the field.
This is the group of creationists that advocates 'theistic science' and promotes what they
call 'intelligent-design theory.'"
Anti-evolutionists Form, Fund Think Tank: by Eugenie C. Scott
"The funding and deployment of the Center for the Renewal of Science and
Culture is a major step towards scholarly respectability for a relatively new group of
anti-evolutionists: religious conservatives based at secular universities.
witnessing the embryogenesis of what I shall call 'university-based anti-evolutionism.'"
Evolutionists Battle New Theory on Creation: by James Glanz
"In Kansas, after the backlash against the traditional biblical creationism,
proponents of the design theory have become the dominant anti-evolution force, though they
lost an effort to have theories like intelligent design considered on an equal basis with
evolution in school curriculums."
Intelligent Design in Public School
Science Curricula: A Legal Guidebook: by Stephen Meyer, David DeWolf, and Mark DeForrest
The Wedge Strategy: CRSC internal document
The Wedge: A Christian Plan to Overthrow Modern Science?:
by Keith Lankford
"What is troublesome about the [Wedge] document (and CRSC in general)
is that it focuses on overthrowing evolution, not from within scientific establishments, but
through convincing the public that its theory is the morally acceptable one."
Discovery Institute's Wedge project Circulates Online: by James Still
"A recently-circulated position paper of The Center for the Renewal of Science
and Culture, reveals an ambitious plan to replace the current naturalistic methodology
of science with a theistic alternative called 'intelligent design.'"
Intelligent Design Goes to Washington: Skeptical Inquirer
"Supporters of intelligent design theory
brought their message to Capitol
Hill May 10 in a series of events for members of Congress and their staff.
the creation-evolution debate has primarily been active at the state and local level, but
this event may represent the start of a new effort to involve Congress in efforts to oppose
the teaching of evolution."
ID Works In Mysterious Ways: by Michael Shermer
"I have participated in numerous debates with creationists and theologians.
And, in fact, my participation at this conference was a debate with Stephen Meyer in which
I did address many of their points. For my money, however, the action is not in the
arguments of ID, all of which have been thoroughly refuted by myself and others
in the psychology of ID. What is really going on here is
dressed up in new fangled jargon."
How We Threw the Bums Out: by Adrian Melott
An overview of the public-relation strategies used by all sides in
the wake of the Kansas State Board decision to remove the theory of evolution from the
state education standards.
The Wedge at Work: by Barbara Forrest
"Barbara Forrest, Southeastern Louisiana University, outlines the political
agenda of the Discovery Institute's "Wedge Strategy," exposing it as a scientific failure
encumbered by religious ambition and public relations. Forrest articulates clearly the goals,
strategies, and political ambitions of the Intelligent Design movement in America today."
The Wedge Strategy Three Years Later: by James Still
Assault on Evolution: by Larry Arnhart
"Until recently, the critics of Darwinism have championed creationismthe
idea that a literal reading of the early chapters of the Bible offers a more accurate account
of human origins than Darwinian biology does.
But now intelligent design theorists are claiming
that scientific data show evidence in the living world for 'irreducible complexity' or
'specified complexity,' which can only be explained as the work of an intelligent designer."
Critiques of Intelligent Design
Intelligent Design: The New Stealth Creationism: by Victor J. Stenger
"The intelligent design movement is nothing more than stealth creationism,
yet another effort to insinuate the particular sectarian belief of a personal creator into
science education. The argument for design to the universe is, of course, ancient; what is
new here is the wrongful claim that this philosophical and theological argument is now
supported by science."
Answering the Creationists: by Michael Ruse
"The new creationism is no more effective than any of the earlier versions.
The new creationism is a slicker product than the old creationism. Exploring the
fears of its exponents leads us to think more carefully about Darwinism and its nature
and limits. But, ultimately, there is nothing to challenge Darwin's work."
Design Yes, Intelligent No: by Massimo Pigliucci
"A new brand of creationism has appeared on the scene in the last few
years. While still mostly propelled by a religious agenda and financed by mainly
Christian sources such as the Templeton Foundation and the Discovery Institute, the intellectual
challenge posed by neocreationism is sophisticated enough to require detailed consideration."
The Design Detectives:
by Jason Rosenhouse (PDF)
"The intellectual legitimacy of the ID movement rests on the validity of
the explanatory filter as a means for detecting design in nature. It is the difference
between a legitimate theistic science and ye olde God of the Gaps. Dembski's books are a
serious, though deeply flawed
Johnson, by contrast, is just an intellectual poseur
desperately trying to remain relevant to a movement that left him behind long ago." Reviewed,
Dembski's Intelligent Design (1999) and Johnson's The Wedge of Truth (2001).
The "New" Creationism: by Robert Wright
"What is really new about 'intelligent design theory'? And who are
these 'academics and intellectuals'? The answer to the first question nothing
of significance is best seen by answering the second question."
Intelligent Design and the SETI Analogy: by Robert T. Pennock
"Intelligent-design theorists argue that just as the scientists of the SETI
Project seek evidence of intelligence beyond the world, so too do they.
I think that if we investigate the question of intelligent design in this context
it will be easier to see why the IDC conclusion is not scientific."
Saving Us from Darwin: by Frederick C. Crews
"If creationism were to shed its Dogpatch image and take a subtler tack, it
could multiply its influence many fold. Precisely such a makeover has been in the works since
1990 or so. The new catchword is "intelligent design" . . . They are very busy turning out
popular books, holding press conferences and briefings, working the Internet, wooing legislators
. . . and even, in one instance, securing an on-campus institute all to themselves."
Intelligent Design: Humans, Cockroaches, and the Laws of Physics: by Victor J. Stenger
"As the bankruptcy of creation 'science' becomes increasingly recognized,
a new catch phrase, intelligent design, has been adopted by those who persist in
their attempts to inject creationism into the science curriculum." Stenger then argues that
there exist "no evidence or rational argument for intelligent design" moreover it is an
"uneconomical hypothesis that is not required by existing scientific knowledge."
A Word About Intelligent Design: by Burt Humburg
"There is nothing wrong with Intelligent Design as a strictly religious
or philosophical concept. However, it simply fails as a scientific theory.
Intelligent Design cannot be disproved and because it is not predictive, it cannot be
science. Because Intelligent Design is not science, it is inappropriate to teach it in
the public school science classroom."
A Bit Confused: Creationism and Information Theory: by David Roche
"The argument of some creationists that modern information theory refutes
Darwinian evolution is based on a confusion between two distinct information concepts.
At the heart of the Darwinian thesis is not information, but complexity.
understand the difference between these two types of informationShannon information
and complexityit is easy to see what's wrong with the information argument against
The Menace of Darwinism: by Victor J. Stenger
"Creationists responded quickly to the legal developments in Arkansas and a new
version of creation science soon took over the spotlight. This re-creation of creation science
parades under a banner labelled intelligent design. While intelligent design differs in
substantial ways from its previous incarnations, unabashed religious creationism it remains."
A Designer Universe?: by Steven Weinberg
"Some physicists have argued that certain constants of nature have values
that seem to have been mysteriously fine-tuned to just the values that allow for the
possibility of life, in a way that could only be explained by the intervention of a
designer with some special concern for life. I am not impressed with these supposed
instances of fine-tuning."
The Big Tent and the Camel's Nose: by Eugenie C. Scott
"In my talk, I wasn't deploring the untestability of ID per se but
the fact that its proponents don't present testable models. I was referring to the fact
that ID proponents don't present a model at all in the sense of saying what
happened when. At least YEC presents a view of 'what happens:' . . . I said (and have
said repeatedly) that the message of ID is 'evolution is bad science,' without providing
an alternative view of the history of the universe."
Dealing with Antievolutionism: by Eugenie C. Scott
Cosmythology: Is the universe fine-tuned to produce us?: by Victor J. Stenger
(Also in PDF format; from Skeptic Vol. 4, No. 2, 1996.)
A Brief Philosophical Critique of Intelligent Design: by Michael Lotti
"Here is a bold assertion: the distinction between 'intelligently designed'
and 'naturally developed' is only sensible insofar as it directly corresponds to the
distinction between 'man-made' and 'natural.' If this is correct, it severely undermines
the project to create a viable ID theory."
Calvin College Hosts "Design" Conference: by Jeffrey Shallit
"The lack of scientific success may account for the large chips on the
shoulders of ID advocates. In talks and discussions, I heard repeatedly about how the
'scientific establishment' was arrayed against ID proponents, that their work was being
'suppressed,' and so forth. The possibility that ID research was either nonexistent or
of poor quality was never entertained."
The Anthropic Principle Does Not Support Supernaturalism: by
Michael Ikeda and Bill Jefferys
"It has recently been claimed, most prominently by Dr. Hugh Ross on his
web site, that the so-called 'fine-tuning' of the constants of physics supports a supernatural
origin of the universe. Specifically, it is claimed that many of the constants of physics must
be within a very small range of their actual values, or else life could not exist in our
In this article we will show that this argument is wrong."
The Anthropic Coincidences: A Natural Explanation: by Victor Stenger
Contrary to what many Americans have read in the pages of
Newsweek (July, 1998), Stenger says: "Based on all we currently know about fundamental physics
and cosmology, the most logically consistent and parsimonious picture of the universe as
we know it is a natural one, with no sign of design or purposeful creation provided
by scientific observations."
Darwin in Mind: ID Meets Artificial Intelligence: by Taner Edis
"Proponents of 'Intelligent Design' claim information theory refutes Darwinian evolution.
Modern physics and artificial intelligence research turns their arguments on their head."
Michael Behe's Page: from ARN
Behe's Empty Box: edited by John Catalano
Darwin versus Intelligent Design (Again): by H. Allen Orr, Boston Review
God in the Details: by Jerry A. Coyne
Reviewed in Nature, the world's leading scientific journal.
Review of Darwin's Black Box: by Kenneth R. Miller
"Behe [at the closing of his book] attempts to develop
the idea of intelligent design into a testable, scientific hypothesis. This is a lofty goal,
but this is also where his argument collapses. Scientific ideas must be formulated in terms
that make them testable.
Being a trained experimental scientist, one would have expected
that Behe would have seen the need to do likewise. Unfortunately, he did not."
The God of the Tiny Gaps: by Andrew Pomiankowski
"Behe is good at exposing the paucity of evolutionary thought in the field
of biochemistry. But in Darwin's Black Box, he reveals that he is also part of the
problem, falling back on the old, limp idea of 'design.' He takes irreducible complexity
as a statement of fact, rather than an admission of ignorance, claiming that the 'purposeful
arrangement' of biochemical parts must be the result of an intelligent designer. So what we
have here is just the latest, and no doubt not the last, attempt to put God back into
Born-Again Creationism: Behe's Big Idea: by Philip Kitcher
mounts his case for born-again creationism by taking one large
problem, and posing it again and again. The problem isn't particularly new [however] Behe
gives it a new twist by drawing on his background as a biochemist, and describing the
minute details of mechanisms in organisms so as to make it seem impossible that they
could ever have emerged from a stepwise natural process."
The Case of the Tell-Tale Traces: by Daniel C. Dennett
"Michael Behe's book is an interesting attempt at a frontal assault on
Darwinism based on an analysis of the complexities of molecular structures inside the
He hints that this ignorance is an embarrassment to scientists, and suggests
that it is a taboo topic for scientists because in their hearts they fear they cannot
repair it, but this is not at all persuasive. Whether or not scientists ought to
be worried, they just aren't, and I can show why."
Whose God? What Science? Reply to Michael Behe: by Robert Pennock
Pennock responds to Behe's unfavorable review of his book,
Tower of Babel.
Darwin's New Critics on Trial: by Michael Ruse
"[Behe] is in as much trouble in the realm of philosophical theology as
he was in the realm of biological science. He has offered us a freshened-up version of the old
'God of the gaps' argument for the deity's existence: a Supreme Being must be invoked to
explain those phenomenon for which I cannot offer a natural explanation. But such an argument
proves only one's own ignorance and inadequacy. It tells us nothing of beings beyond science."
Who's Got the Magic?: by William A. Dembski
A review of Robert Pennock's Tower of Babel
The Anti-Evolutionists: William A. Dembski: edited by W. R. Elsberry
How Not to Detect Design: A Review of The Design Inference:
by Branden Fitelson, Elliott Sober and Christopher Stephens:
"To test evolutionary theory against the hypothesis of intelligent design,
you must know what both hypotheses predict about observables. The searchlight therefore must be
focused on the design hypothesis itself. What does it predict? If defenders of the design
hypothesis want their theory to be scientific, they need to do the scientific work of
formulating and testing the predictions that creationism makes."
- Another Way to Detect Design?: by William A. Dembski
"Specified complexity therefore seems at best to tell us what's not the case,
not what is the case. Couple this with a Darwinian mechanism that is widely touted as
capable of generating specified complexity, and it is no wonder that the scientific community
resists making specified
complexity a universal criterion for intelligence."
Review of Dembski's Intelligent Design: by Gert Korthof
"Although Dembski has strong religious motivations, he constructed a
non-religious design criterion. His previous mathematical research guaranteed a scientific
exposition of the concepts 'information' and 'complexity'.
However his application
of 'complexity' and 'information' to biology is sketchy and weak. Dembski did not give a
coherent exposition of the extent to which natural selection can generate information."
Physics, Cosmology and the New Creationism: by Victor J. Stenger
"Dembski has become prominent for claiming to apply modern information theory
to the issue of design and
initiating a 'new science.'
As Dembski states
it, 'chance and law working in tandem cannot generate information.' I will try to show that
this is incorrect, when interpreted as some universal principle applying under all
circumstances, which Dembski seems to do."
Snake Eyes in the Garden of Eden: by Keith Devlin
"Antievolutionists argue that humanity could not have evolved by chance. But
just how would one recognize the presence of design?"
Review of Dembski's No Free Lunch: by H. Allen Orr
"You might whip up a bit of applause if you say that a designer can explain
biology. But you'll bring down the house if you say that Darwinism can't and only a
Unfortunately, Dembski's proof has nothing whatsoever to do with
Darwinism and his claim to the contrary is hopelessly silly."
Not a Free Lunch But a Box of Chocolates: by Richard Wein
"The aim of Dr William Dembski's book No Free Lunch is to demonstrate
that design (the action of a conscious agent) was involved in the process of biological
evolution. The following critique shows that his arguments are deeply flawed and have little
to contribute to science or mathematics."
First Impressions of Intelligent Design: by Wesley R. Elsberry
"I had hoped that Dembski might expand his analysis of natural selection in this
volume, but so far that appears not to be the case. Back in 1997, Dembski promised that we would
see his full-blown technical discussion of natural selection in section 6.3 of The Design
Inference. Section 6.3 of TDI includes no such thing. Nor does any other part of TDI."
The Emperor's New Designer Clothes: by Victor J. Stenger
"When Dembski says that information cannot be generated naturally, he seems to
be voicing yet another muddled version of the common creationist assertion that the second
law forbids the generation of order by natural processes. Like his predecessors, he ignores
the caveat 'closed system' in the formal statement of the second law. Open systems can and
do become more orderly by their interaction with other systems."
Phillip E. Johnson
A Review of Darwin on Trial: by Gert Korthof
Impeaching a Self-Appointed Judge: by Stephen Jay Gould
"Darwin on Trial, hardly deserves to be called a book at all. It is, at
best, a long magazine article promoted to hard coversa clumsy, repetitious abstract
argument with no weighing of evidence, no careful reading of literature on all sides, no full
citation of sources
The book, in short, is full of errors, badly argued, based on false
criteria, and abysmally written."
Darwin Prosecuted: Review of Darwin on Trial: by Eugenie Scott
"Darwin on Trial
fails to disprove evolution, but the spirit behind it deserves
to be recognized by all scientists. Johnson reflects the anguish expressed by many conservative
Christians who believe that something terribly important is lost if evolution is true, and
especially if the way things change is through the wasteful and generally unattractive
mechanism of natural selection."
Naturalistic Fallacy: Review of Reason in the Balance: by Michael Ruse
"Here, laid out in full detail, are the reasons why a respectable and intelligent
man like Johnson would freely and gladly make himself a pariah, even in conservative academic
It is not a little bit of evolution that worries Johnson and his ilk. A new
adaptation here, a lost adaptation therewho cares? Rather, it is the very moral fiber
of the nation that counts. Let in evolution, and pornography, abortion, and sodomy are next."
The Prospects for a Theistic Science: by Robert T. Pennock
"Johnson and the new Creationists go much further than Newton in their
recommendations for a theistic science that incorporates divine interventions and allows
appeal to supernatural explanations. In this paper I examine the prospects for such a
The Mistrial of Evolution: by Prof. Terry M. Gray
Theistic-evolutionist Terry Gray (Calvin College) reviews Darwin on Trial.
Review of Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds: by Jeffrey Shallit
A brief but very clever review of Phillip Johnson's Defeating Darwinism.
Review of Darwin on Trial: by Eugenie C. Scott
"Can one use Darwin on Trial to learn about evolution? Not very
well! Darwin on Trial teaches little that is accurate about either the
science, or the topic of evolution. It is recommended neither by scientists nor educators.
Among the book's critics are evangelical Christian scientists who have criticized
Darwin on Trial's
Review of Darwin on Trial: by Wesley R. Elsberry
"Anti-evolutionist apologetics are, in large part, the search for a 'magic
bullet' that will kill Darwinian explanations dead on contact.
Those armed with a
magic bullet can combat the evil lycanthrope directly, without having to go to the trouble
needing to know anything in a deep sense about the subject of lycanthropy. All
the magic bullet user needs to know is how to point and pull a trigger. Phillip Johnson's
book of magic bullets fits the formula."
Review of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis: by Mark I. Vuletic
"I will argue in this paper that both of Denton's attempts to make an adequate
challenge to evolutionary biology fail neither does Denton manage to undermine the
evidence for evolution, nor does he succeed in demonstrating that macroevolutionary
mechanisms are inherently implausible."
Review of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis: by Gert Korthof
"Evolution: A Theory in Crisis is the most scientific anti-evolution
and anti-Darwinism book I read so far. And that doesn't imply that the book is free from
scientific errors or that the book is free of bias. Because of the errors and the
bias, I cannot recommend it to those with little biological training, unless endowed with
a sound critical attitude."
Review of Evolution: A Theory in Crisis: by Al Case
"I had this book recommended to me by several creationists who said it was
'the best' book available for exposing 'the myth of evolution.' With that in mind, I did a
thorough read and came away with the opinion that 'the best' is not much better than the
Review of Nature's Destiny: by Mark I. Vuletic
"Although Denton's book is widely praised among creationists, Denton is no
fundamentalist. In his latest book, Michael Denton argues for a theological view that is
most like deism or pantheism. However, Denton's view is 'distinct from pantheism and some
varieties of deism in that it takes the production of familiar and anthropomorphic life as
the raison d'Ítre of the universe.'"
Jonathan Wells: Who is He, What Is He Doing?: by Jack Krebs
A look at Wells' background in the milieu of the Creation/Evolution debate.
Review of Icons of Evolution: by Massimo Pigliucci
"Since there are omissions, simplifications, and inaccuracies in some general
biology textbooks, obviously the modern theory of evolution must be wrong. This is the
astounding line of reasoning that provides the backbone of Jonathan Wells' Icons of
Evolution. It is the latest book in a series of neo-creationist productions, dressed
with the slightly more respectable label of 'intelligent design theory.'"
Review of Icons of Evolution: by David Ussery
"The purpose of Icons of Evolution, Jonathan Wells claims, is to
encourage people to ask questions about evolution, and to document that 'students and
the public are being systematically misinformed about the evidence for evolution.'
After reading the book, I am convinced that Wells does a quite good job of
Creationist's criticisms of evolution, but he fails miserably
in his task of documenting his claim of fraud and conspiracy amongst scientists to
purposefully and systematically misinform the public."
An Iconoclast for Evolution?: by Larry D. Martin
"A Berkeley-educated biologist's attack on the icons of evolution is full of
sound and fury, signifying a difference in philosophynot science."
Creationism By Stealth: by Jerry A. Coyne
"Wells's book rests entirely on a flawed syllogism: hence, textbooks illustrate
evolution with examples; these examples are sometimes presented in incorrect or misleading ways;
therefore evolution is a fiction. The second premise is not generally true, and even if
were, the conclusion would not follow.
Authors of some biology texts may occasionally
be sloppy, or slow to incorporate new research, but they are not duplicitous."
Icons of Anti-Evolution: by Wesley R. Elsberry, et al.
A Point-by-Point Rebuttal of Icons of Evolution: by Massimo Pigliucci
In this pamphlet Dr. Pigliucci analyzes Jonathan Wells' various claims of
"fraud" found in biology textbooks, which Wells claims are used to unfairly bolster the
case for evolution. Pigliucci argues that in many instances Wells' examples are not devious
at all, but rather excellent corroborations of evolution, only misunderstood by Wells and
therefore merely giving the appearance of deceit. In other instances, Pigliucci says,
where genuine errors have crept in, the blame must be placed fairly on the publishers, who,
because of differing interests, take years to correct scientific error.
Icon of Obfuscation: by Nicholas Matzke
"[A]s we have seen, in every single case, the actual biological experts in
their specific fields of expertise in fact agree that the actual evidence in their field
supports modern evolutionary theory. Furthermore, many of these scientists have felt
sufficiently strongly about this that they have published critiques of creationist
misinterpretations of their work. Many of these scientists have felt sufficiently
victimized by Wells to write specific rebuttals of him."
Reviews of Icons Of Evolution: compiled by Don Lindsay
"The thrust of the book is that science classes commonly teach certain pieces
of evidence, which Wells refers to as Icons. Wells argues that all of them are flawed in one
way or another. He suggests that evolution may be a myth. Scientists disagree."
A Review of J.P. Moreland's The Creation Hypothesis: by Graham Oppy
"If creationists manage to come up with good reasons to take their views
seriously, then I have no doubt that their views will be taken seriously. (Likewise for
astrologers, phrenologists, scientologists, and all those other denizens of the margins
of science.) To date, however as the current volume makes manifest no such
reasons have been forthcoming."
Review of Hugh Ross' The Creator and the Cosmos: by Victor J. Stenger
"The argument for the existence of a personal Creator based on arguments
from probability and coincidence are no more valid than William Paley's divine watchmaker. They
are simply the latest coat of varnish on the long-decrepit argument from design.
by High Ross does great damage to the need for an open, non-dogmatic discussion of the issues."
Plantinga's Probability Arguments Against Evolutionary Naturalism: by Branden Fitelson and Elliott Sober
Review of Lee Spetner's Not By Chance!: by Gert Korthof
Lee Spetner, a physicist of the Jewish faith, claims his NREH hypothesis explains many observed phenomena
that neo-Darwinism does not and cannot explain. How well are Spetner's arguments formulated?
Can random variation build information? Can the accumulation of mutations create new
species? These questions and more are answered in this superb review.
Fitting the Bible to the Data: by Victor J. Stenger
Review of Gerald Schroeder's The Science of God (1997).
A Reader's Guide to Of Pandas and People: by Richard Aulie
"This book recommends 'intelligent design' as a better explanation of biological
diversity than the theory of biological evolution. Many proponents of this movement endeavor to
introduce 'creation science' or 'creationism' into biology courses in the public schools.
Although the authors of the book I review do not use these terms, their effort must be viewed
as part of the on-going 'creationist' movement, which seeks to obstruct the teaching of
Of Pandas and People A Brief Critique: by Kenneth R. Miller
Kenneth Miller, biology professor at Brown University, argues that instead of being
an "objective examination of the pros and cons of evolutionary biology" as claimed, Of
Pandas reads more as "a collection of half-truths, distortions, and outright falsehoods
that attempts to misrepresent biology and mislead students as to the scientific status of
Philosophy of Science
Science as Falsification: by Sir Karl Popper
"It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every
theoryif we look for confirmations. Confirmations should count only if they are the
result of risky predictions; that is to say, if, unenlightened by the theory in
question, we should have expected an event which was incompatible with the theoryan
event which would have refuted the theory. Every 'good' scientific theory is a prohibition:
it forbids certain things to happen. The more a theory forbids, the better it is."
Science as Successful Prediction: by Imre Lakatos
"Thus the crucial element in falsificationism is whether the new theory
offers any novel, excess information compared with its predecessor and whether some of this
excess information is corroborated. Justificationists valued 'confirming' instances of a
theory; naive falsificationists stressed 'refuting' instances; for the methodological
falsificationists it is therather rare corroborating instances of the
excess information which are the crucial ones;"
The Most Precious Thing We Have: The Difference Between Science and Pseudoscience: by Michael Shermer (1998)
A Defense of Naturalism: by Keith Augustine
"In metaphysics, naturalism typically takes a form of materialism or physicalism:
Everything that exists is either physical or supervenient upon the physical. Naturalism in
epistemology contends that the role of epistemology is to describe how knowledge is obtained
rather than to set out a priori criteria for the justification of beliefs
essay I will be concerned with naturalism in the philosophy of religion, where other basic
metaphysical and epistemological issues will arise."
Methodological Naturalism?: by Alvin Plantinga
"[S]cience is said to be religiously neutral, if only because science and
religion are, by their very natures, epistemically distinct. In many areas, science is
anything but religiously neutral; moreover, the standard arguments for methodological
naturalism suffer from various grave shortcomings."
Naturalism is Today an Essential Part of Science:
by Steve Schafersman "Naturalism is, ironically, a controversial philosophy
most people, including some scientists, refuse to systematically understand naturalism
and its consequences. This paper proposes to show that naturalism is essential to the success
of scientific understanding, and it examines and criticizes the claims of pseudoscientists
and theistic philosophers that science should employ supernatural explanations as part of
its normal practice."
Review of Naturalism: A Critical Analysis: by Graham Oppy
Oppy reviews Moreland's and Craig's anthology attacking naturalism.
Theology and Falsification: by Antony Flew
"A fine brash hypothesis may thus be killed by inches, the death by a
thousand qualifications. And in this, it seems to me, lies the peculiar danger, the
endemic evil, of theological utterance. Take such
utterances as 'God has a plan,' [or] 'God created the world,'
They look at first
sight very much like assertions, vast cosmological assertions. Of course, this is no
sure sign that they either are, or are intended to be assertions."
When Faith and Reason Clash: by Alvin Plantinga
"My question is simple: how shall we Christians deal with apparent conflicts
between faith and reason, between what we know as Christians
what we know
and what we know by faith, by way of revelation, as well as know in other ways. In many
areas, this means that Christians must rework the [question of origins and methodology]
from this [theistic] perspective."
When Faith and Reason Cooperate: by Howard Van Till
"This question regarding the proper epistemological role of the biblical
text in the formulation and evaluation of theoriesespecially of scientific
theoriesdeserves far more attention than Plantinga gives it in this particular
paper. One thing, however, seems clear to me: framing the Christian critique of
evolutionary theories in the rhetoric of faith vs. reason offers little hope for
growth in our reasoned understanding of either the Scriptures or the Creation."
Methodological Naturalism and the Supernatural: by Mark I. Vuletic
Departing from the opinion of most Naturalist philosophers, Vuletic maintains
that methodological naturalism is "capable of leading to both the falsification and
the confirmation of a large number of supernatural hypotheses."
Darwin Re-crucified: Why Are So Many Afraid of Naturalism?: by Paul Kurtz
"A disturbing new dimension has emerged in the creation/evolution
controversy. The crusade against Darwinism is no longer the sole preserve of fundamentalist
Christians, for many influential religious conservatives have now joined in the fray. One
hundred sixteen years after Darwin's death, efforts to crucify him continue unabated. The
main complaint of religious conservatives is that the theory of evolution is allied with
naturalism, and this is inconsistent with their theistic faith."
The New Antievolutionism: speech by Michael Ruse
"I think that one can in fact defend a scientific and naturalistic approach,
even if one recognizes that this does include a metaphysical assumption to the regularity
of nature. . . but I don't think it helps matters by denying that one is making it. And I think
that once one has made such an assumption, one has perfect powers to turn to, say, creation
science, which claims to be naturalistic also, and point out that it's wrong."
Commentary on Methodological Materialism: by Eugenie Scott
"If we are allowed to attribute causation to an omnipotent force, there is
no point in looking for a natural explanation. And guess what: if you don't look, you're
guaranteed not to find one! We have found that we get much farther in science by not
relying upon supernatural explanations: for practical reasons, we restrict ourselves to
NOVA Online: A Cyber Debate "How Did We Get Here?" (1996).
"In 1996, NOVA Online asked two leading spokesmen in the evolution/creation
debate to discuss the question, "How did we get here?" The participants have agreed to keep
their letters to less than 500 words and have been given equal time to write them."
Talk of the Nation: "The Politics of Evolution" (August 16, 1999).
"More than a decade ago, the Supreme Court ruled that states
could not compel the teaching of creationism in public schools. Since then Creationists
have adopted a new strategy: trying to keep Darwinism out rather than forcing creationism
into the curriculum. The strategy has recently paid off, as the Kansas Board of Education
voted to delete virtually all references to evolution in its curriculum last Wednesday.
Join Ray Suarez as he discusses the politics of teaching evolution with Russel Lewis,
Wayne Carlie and Stephen C. Meyer, professor of Philosophy at Whitworth College."
Talk of the Nation: "Scopes Trial 75th Anniversary" (July 21, 2000).
"In 1925, John Scopes was tried for teaching the theory of evolution
in a Tennessee public school. Join Ira Flatow and Pulitzer Prize winning author Edward Larson
in this hour for a look back at the trial on its 75th anniversary, and at the ongoing battle
over teaching evolution in the public schools. Plus, a talk with Kenneth Miller, author of the
recent book Finding Darwin's God (1999), and Michael Behe, author of Darwin's Black
Box (1996), as they debate the issue of Darwinism and the theory of 'intelligent design.'"
The Diane Rehm Show: "Evolution vs. Intelligent Design" (April 18, 2001).
"The theory of evolution has been challenged by people who believe for religious
reasons that the creatures of the earth were made, not evolved. Today another group is
challenging evolutionary science. They say evolution isn't a scientifically sound theory,
and propose an intelligent design 'force' has been at work. Two experts discuss these
theories and their implications: Eugenie C. Scott (executive director of the National Center
for Science Education) and William Dembski (associate research Professor at Baylor)."
The Meta Library: "Evolution and Providence" (June 2000).
In June of 2000 the CTNS organized and hosted a workshop with the theme "Evolution and Providence."
A panel was put together representing a broad sampling of the various perspectives on creation,
evolution and divine-action. The participants included Michael Ruse, Stephen Meyer, Eugenie
Scott, Duane Gish, among others. Also available from the Meta Library is an excellent
discussion between Michael
Behe and Kenneth
Miller taken from the "Interpreting Evolution" seminar at Haverford college, June 2001.
The Connection: "Science, Reason and Genetics" (April 17, 2000).
"Richard Dawkins wonders why people consider science so bleakly, thinking it
robs life of warmth and worth. To him, science is filled with wonder, beauty, and awe. Dawkins
contends that when Newton explained the prism, he didn't rob the rainbow of its mystery as
the poet Keats complained, he opened the door to the greater wonders of relativity and an
expanding universe." (listen)
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