Reactions to Stephen Meyer’s Book: Darwin’s Doubt

I found a pretty good short blog post that centers around Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt. The writer starts from a good, middle of the road, practical position. You can find the post here.

The post describes the reactions and tactics of some people in the current batch of neo-darwinists, people who are more interested in rude online rhetoric than they are of finding the truth or being reasonable. Using the guise of rationality, they become so unreasonable that their wild-eyed protests tend to give away their bias. As the author says at one point:

I think there are some otherwise well-trained scientists who are freaking out, and doing it in widely public and observable ways.  Their lack of command of reason is a tell-tale sign that their motives for defending their orthodoxy are not scientific.  And I believe the failure of the scientific communities to engage in this conversation in a rational way is a manifestation of power brokering rather than honest intellectual engagement.

The fact that laymen are pointing this out is a sign that the facade of scientism surrounding darwinist orthodoxy is showing visible cracks, a movement running on momentum that must be supported with insults. Methinks they protesteth too much. Their colleague Richard Dawkins claims in one breath that evil does not exist because the universe is random and indifferent, then in the next breath says religion is wrong. Similarly, these modern darwinists wrap themselves in reason and logic, then use illogic and insults to maintain their case. I’m reminded of the story of the orator whose speaking notes had a reminder, ‘point is weak here; shout for emphasis.’

In former times, atheists and agnostics like Bertrand Russell were civil and reserved, dealing in the world of ideas with tact and respect. Russell is said to have been personal friends with the Christian scholar G. K. Chesterton, and the accounts have them socializing together, then vigorously debating in academic halls filled with educated scholars. Instead, modern atheists seem to go to the streets and accuse Christians of being no better than that funny religious channel on TV. Meanwhile, those with an open mind are listening to and respecting the work of Christian scholars like Stephen Meyer. If you believe the publisher’s quotes for Meyer’s book, you find:

  • “It’s hard for us paleontologists to admit that neo-Darwinian explanations for the Cambrian explosion have failed miserably….Meyer describes the dimensions of the problem with clarity and precision. His book is a game changer.” (Dr. Mark Menamin, paleontologist at Mt. Holyoke College and coauthor of The Emergence of Animals)
  • “Darwin’s Doubt represents an opportunity for bridge-building rather than dismissive polarization—bridges across cultural divides in great need of professional, respectful dialogue—and bridges to span evolutionary gaps.” (Dr. George Church, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and author of Regenesis)
  • Darwin’s Doubt is by far the most up-to-date, accurate, and comprehensive review of the evidence from all relevant scientific fields that I have encountered in more than forty years of studying the Cambrian explosion.” (Dr. Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig, senior scientist emeritus (biologist) at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research)
  • Darwin’s Doubt is an intriguing exploration of one of the most remarkable periods in the evolutionary history of life…. No matter what convictions one holds about evolution, Darwinism, or intelligent design, Darwin’s Doubt is a book that should be read, engaged and discussed.” (Dr. Scott Turner, professor of biology at the State University of New York and author of The Tinkerer’s Accomplice)

By contrast, the New York Times review uses phrases like “born more than two decades ago, in the wreckage of creation science,” “poorly disguised version of the Bible,” calling it an improved disguise for Biblical teaching. When they start accusing you of the “C” word (creationist), they seem to think the argument is over.

The good news is that sooner or later the emotional rhetoric of the atheists will give away that the emperor has no clothes. The bad news is that until then the popular sophistry tastes good to masses who do not want to entertain new thoughts.

 

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About humblesmith

Christian Apologist & Philosopher
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5 Responses to Reactions to Stephen Meyer’s Book: Darwin’s Doubt

  1. Mike says:

    Meyer is hoping for some kind of paradigm shift in evolution, but that doesn’t seem to be happening. If you’re looking for an emperor with no clothes, it’s been creationism. Especially the brand that you furnish – the kind that denies all of macroevolution altogether. That will never be a scientific paradigm, because it’s a fairy tale, and will only have a reservation in fundie circles.

    • humblesmith says:

      As this blog post shows, the reaction to Meyer is primarily based in something other than his work, which your comment reinforces. But since we are now into opinions, I’ll give mine. The atheistic community will hang on to the current view of evolution as long as they can, and will only give it up when there is another naturalistic model that is presented, one that does not allow for a divine foot in the door. This is true because they are philosophically committed to materialism, a commitment that does not come from oberving any data. It is also common sense, for many historic changes in science took a while to be accepted………..current models have momentum that does not change quickly.

      • Mike says:

        The atheistic community mind you, was basically created when evolution was discovered. Hence, the evidence for evolution makes atheism possible, and atheism is a conclusion drawn from things like evolution. There have been plenty of good critical reviews of Meyer’s book on the internet, look around. He’s resting his case on the Cambrian explosion, as if somehow must be an act of god. It isn’t. The fossil record demonstrates a pretty good amount of detail of the evolution of phylum. Materialism is observed everyday. It’s supernaturalism that has no observable data going for it. The thing about science is that it has to be based on evidence. There is no evidence for creationism. If you have some, I’d love to hear it. But no one has been able to produce a shred of evidence for creationism or the supernatural that didn’t turn out to have a natural explanation. And so scientists are justifiable weary when theists try to push god’s foot in the door. There’s simply no good evidence for it.

  2. humblesmith says:

    The post here, and the one linked, has much less to do with the data than it does the method of reasoning and argumentation. That you are using the “C” word shows the problem is still with us.

    As to your conclusions about supernaturalism and data, I’ve addressed this fallacy elsewhere:

    http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2010/06/26/science-materialism-and-the-supernatural/

    This one is also relevant and revealing:

    http://humblesmith.wordpress.com/2010/11/18/the-passionate-faith-of-atheism/

    • Mike says:

      Reasoning is Meyer’s big problem. He’s making claims based on his theological beliefs in the biological sciences with no evidence to back it up. All of his claims are arguments from ignorance.

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