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Uncommon Dissent

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Uncommon Dissent: Intellectuals Who Find Darwinism Unconvincing

Edited By William A. Dembski
366 pages
Hardcover ISBN 1-932236-30-9
Paperback ISBN 1-932236-31-7

from back cover:

Darwinian evolutionary theory has come to assume and aura of invincibility, especially within elite intellectual circles. Yet recent years have seen the rise to prominence of ever more sophisticated crtiques of the ideas marketed under the name of Darwinism. Dissatisfaction with Darwinian theory seems to be reaching a critical mass, as growing numbers of educated people, including philosophers, biochemists, biologists, lawyers, journalists, and theologians, identify serious problems with the repugnant orthodoxy.

In Uncommon Dissent, methematician and philosopher William Dembski brings together essays by leading intellectuals who find one or more aspects of Darwinism unpersuasive. While those who question Darwinism are often alleged, in the famous formulation of biologist Richard Dawkins, to be ignorant, stupid, insane, or downright evil, the measured, thought-provoking essays in Uncommon Dissent make it obvious that the critics of Darwinism cannot be so easily dismissed. The contributors are serious and skeptical inquirers whose challenges raise troubling questions about the viability of Darwinian ideology, and their arguments reveal at work a refreshing spirit of genuinely open-minded investigation. The result is a bracing book of undeniable intellectual power.

Table of Contents

Part I: A Crisis of Confidence

1. The Check Is in the Mail: Why Darwinism Fails to Inspire Confidence by Robert C. Koons
2. Darwinism as Dogma: The Establishment of Naturalism by Phillip E. Johnson
3. The Miracles of Darwinism by Marcel-Paul Schüzenberger (1996 Interview with La Recherche)

Part II: Darwinism's Cultural Inroads

4. Darwin Meets the Berenstain Bears: Evolution as a Total Worldview by Nancy R. Pearcey
5. Teaching the Flaws in Neo-Darwinism by Edward Sisson
6. Accept No Imitations: The Rivalry of Naturalism and Natural Law by J. Budziszewski
7. Refereed Journals: Do They Insure Quality or Enforce Orthodoxy? by Frank J. Tipler

Part III: Leaving The Darwinian Fold

8. A Catholic Scientist Looks at Darwinism by Michael J. Behe
9. An Anti-Darwinian Intellectual Journey: Biological Order as an Inherent Property of Matter by Michael John Denton
10. Why I Am Not a Darwinist by James Barham

Part IV: Auditing The Books

11. Why Darwinism Fails the Test of Science by Cornelius G. Hunter
12. Darwinian Evolutionary Theory and the Life Sciences in the Twenty-First Century by Roland F. Hirsch
13. Cheating the Millennium: The Mounting Explanatory Debts of Scientific Naturalism by Christopher Langan
14. The Deniable Darwin by David Berlinski
Chapter 14 is followed by Dr. Berlinski's point/counterpoint with noted Darwinists, including Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Eugenie C. Scott, and others


Note: because this book is produced by a lesser-known publisher, it is not available from many smaller booksellers


This is one of the most intellectually stimulating books I've had the pleasure to read in years. Not only does it deliver repeated blows to the foundations of Darwinism (from a variety of directions), it also nullifies the typical pro-evolution argument that those who would dare to question the "unquestionable" ideology are typically ignorant, and invariably Christian. Only a fool would label any of the writers in this collection ignorant; further, only two of them (Pearcey and Behe) are overt Christians, and several (including Dembski himself) accept no religious dogma whatsoever.

While I can't say I agreed with every argument in its entirety, even those I eventually disagreed with challenged my stance on the issues.

I would warn casual readers, this is not a work for the layperson. Given the brevity of the essay format, the writers appropriately assume a minimum undergraduate-level grounding in biology, physics, chemistry, statistics, philosophy, logic, etc.. That said, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to those with the prerequisite understanding, be they Darwinist or Creationist.

Pharos 16:04, 21 March 2007 (EDT)


See Also