last updated 7-26-02

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Critical Thought and Religious Liberty

Intelligent-Design Creationism
Critiques of Intelligent Design
    Behe, Michael
    Dembski, William
    Johnson, Phillip
    Miscellaneous Authors
Philosophy of Science
The Debates

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 controversy.

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…begins by 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

Pro-Evolution Websites
   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

Intelligent-Design Creationism

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…and philosophy."

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.…We are 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.…Until now, 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…but in the psychology of ID. What is really going on here is old-time religion 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 creationism—the 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. … Because 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.…Once we understand the difference between these two types of information—Shannon information and complexity—it is easy to see what's wrong with the information argument against evolution."

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 universe.…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

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 nature."

Flagella Myths : by Mark Perakh
"How Intelligent Design Proponents Created the Myth That Bacteria Flagella Look Like Man-made Machines."

Born-Again Creationism: Behe's Big Idea: by Philip Kitcher
"Behe…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 cell.… 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."

William Dembski

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 designer can.…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 covers—a 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 circles.…It is not a little bit of evolution that worries Johnson and his ilk. A new adaptation here, a lost adaptation there—who 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 theistic science."

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 nature of 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 scientific accuracy."

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 of…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."

Miscellaneous Authors

Michael Denton

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 worst."

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

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 summarizing…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 philosophy—not 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.…This book 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 biological evolution."

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 evolutionary biology."

Philosophy of Science

Science as Falsification: by Sir Karl Popper
"It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verifications, for nearly every theory—if 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 theory—an 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 the—rather 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… In this 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…about God, 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 theories—especially of scientific theories—deserves 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 methodological materialism."

The Debates

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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