Custom Search

Sunday, September 16, 2007

First Things editor scolds New York Times over Dawkins's review

Apparently, in the most recent edition of First Things, Fr. Richard Neuhaus defends Mike Behe, author of Edge of Evolution. It's not on line yet, but Fr. Neuhaus says, among other things,
You usually know that somebody is losing the argument when he loses his cool and resorts to bluster, abuse, caricature, and the invocation of authorities who agree with him.
He is referring, of course, to Richard Dawkins's attempt to trash Behe's book in The New York Times. He notes the curious fact that the Times should never have given the book to Dawkins to review anyway, without giving Behe the right of reply (which it would never dare to do):
It is hard to know what purpose is served by the Book Review in having Dawkins review Behe, except, possibly, to ostracize anyone who presumes to raise questions about prevailing Darwinist orthodoxies and, perhaps, to pander to the smug prejudices of the presumed readership of the Times. That does not instill confidence in the Darwinist materialism that they are so desperately defending.

This is all particularly interesting because Neuhaus is not especially one of the ID think tank Discovery Institute fans.

Rather, it sounds (especially when you read the whole thing) as though he is beginning to get the same picture as so many of the rest of us: Darwinism is the Enron of biology. The fact that he scolds the New York Times over Dawkins's review is interesting in view of the question raised by some about whether Dawkins had actually read Behe's book.

Also: Cameron Wybrow, who got an honest review of Mike Behe's Edge of Evolution published in the Philadelphia Enquirer, found himself taking to task a completely silly review in the Winnipeg Free Press. Put it this way: It is impossible for U of Winnipeg molecular biologist Janice Dodd to consider the possibility that Darwinism might not be true. So she doesn't. Read her review, then Wybrow's comment.

I was travelling on a Toronto streetcar today with a fellow journalist who was musing about the sheer gullibility of Darwinists. Learned in history, he pointed out that Darwinists had originally attacked Mendel because Mendel cited statistics for genetics - instead of the vagueness the Darwinists so love. He and I believe in a traditional religion, but the Darwinists believe in magic.

Labels: , , , , ,

ID materials outselling anti-ID materials?: Gotta getta law against that!

When I checked on Sunday, September 16, around 9:00 p.m. Toronto time, Lee Strobel's DVD, Case for a Creator was #2 in Science and Technology DVDs, ahead of Flock of Dodos, which was only #9. No wonder some people want to misshelve ID-friendly materials.

Labels: , ,

Catholic Church continues to reject Darwinism

Avery, Cardinal Dulles weighs in on evolution in First Things. Citing Christoph, Cardinal Schonborn's assault on Darwinism in the New York Times in July 2005, he notes,
Cardinal Schönborn’s article was interpreted by many readers as a rejection of evolution. Some letters to the editor accused him of favoring a retrograde form of creationism and of contradicting John Paul II. They seemed unable to grasp the fact that he was speaking the language of classical philosophy and was not opting for any particular scientific position. His critique was directed against those neo-Darwinists who pronounced on philosophical and theological questions by the methods of natural science.
Several authorities on these questions, such as Kenneth R. Miller and Stephen M. Barr, in their replies to Schönborn, insisted that one could be a neo-Darwinist in science and an orthodox Christian believer. Distinguishing different levels of knowledge, they contended that what is random from a scientific point of view is included in God’s eternal plan. God, so to speak, rolls the dice but is able by his comprehensive knowledge to foresee the result from all eternity.

Critically, he notes,
This combination of Darwinism in science and theism in theology may be sustainable, but it is not the position Schönborn intended to attack. As he made clear in a subsequent article in FIRST THINGS (January 2006), he was taking exception only to those neo-Darwinists—and they are many—who maintain that no valid investigation of nature could be conducted except in the reductive mode of mechanism, which seeks to explain everything in terms of quantity, matter, and motion, excluding specific differences and purpose in nature. He quoted one such neo-Darwinist as stating: “Modern science directly implies that the world is organized strictly in accordance with deterministic principles or chance. There are no purposive principles whatsoever in nature. There are no gods and no designing forces rationally detectable.”

And it goes on from there. Basically, serious Catholics cannot be serious Darwinists. And versa vice.

Labels: , , , ,

Is intelligent design biblical?

Apparently, Brit evangelical boffin Denis R. Alexander wants to know whether intelligent design of the universe or life forms is a biblical doctrine, and concludes somehow that it isn't.

Alexander seems to miss the point that if the universe or life forms are obviously not - or not obviously - intelligently designed, then it pretty much does not matter what the Bible says - including the fact that the Bible seems to think that you can and should know that they are intelligently designed.

The "Political Church" of the West is not a communist church as in the East, but it is definitely a materialist one.


Who links to me?