Sunday, July 30, 2006

Worth reading. Click through while it’s still free.

In “The language of life” (7/30/2006) LA Times staff writer Robert Lee Hotz discusses talking back to evolution doubters. Not arguing, but rather talking sense.

In the border war between science and faith, the doctrine of "intelligent design" is a sly subterfuge — a marzipan confection of an idea presented in the shape of something more substantial.

Until recently… those scientists most qualified to defend evolutionary biology were strangely reluctant to confront these dissenters publicly. Now, in three quite different books — a collection of essays, a biography of Charles Darwin's intellectual life and a debunker's guide to the debate — some of the nation's most distinguished thinkers step forward as expert witnesses to challenge the ruse of intelligent design directly.

Taken together, these works are essential reading for anyone who sincerely wants to "teach the controversy" as intelligent design advocates so often urge — or to understand its dishonesty. As distillations of the best thinking on this ploy, they ought to be required reading for every high school science teacher and school board member in America.

Oh, yes, the three books under discussion are

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin: An Intimate Portrait of Charles Darwin and the Making of His Theory of Evolution by David Quammen

Intelligent Thought: Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement, edited by John Brockman

Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design by Michael Shermer


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