Friday, April 6, 2012

Books I'm Reading: Only a Theory (April 6, 2012)

Kenneth R. Miller's Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul (Penguin 2008) is a short book (221 pages) but it seems to me an important one. Miller puts into historical perspective the ongoing work by the religiously devout to malign evolution, with particular emphasis on the insidious effects of the switch in terminology from "scientific creationism" to "intelligent design," which, he argues persuasively, attempts not simply to deny the fact of evolution but to discredit scientific thinking in its entirety. While Miller neatly dismantles the main ideas advocates of "intelligent design" use to back their thinking, that is not his primary aim. He is more concerned with raising alarm bells to alert us to the danger "intelligent design" poses to the tradition of skeptical, critical thinking that has long underpinned the advance of science. Concise, clear, convincing. Highly recommended.

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