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Monday, November 19, 2007

Publisher braces for controversy as definitive book on intelligent design hits market


Publisher braces for controversy as definitive book on intelligent design hits market DALLAS – November 19, 2007 – The Foundation for Thought and Ethics has just published The Design of Life. This definitive book on intelligent design (ID) comes as a shot across the bow to dogmatic defenders of Darwinian orthodoxy. Written by two key ID theorists, mathematician William Dembski and biologist Jonathan Wells, it presents the full case for intelligent design to a general audience. Critics, in dismissing The Design of Life, contend that intelligent design has collapsed in the wake of the 2005 Dover trial. Author William Dembski responded, “Those same people have been announcing intelligent design’s demise every year since 1990. Strangle it as they might, intelligent design just won’t die. The Design of Life shows why the better arguments and stronger evidence are now on the intelligent design side.”

According to FTE president Jon Buell, The Design of Life is not intended for high school students; it is aimed rather at college/university students and adults who want a clearer understanding of why a growing number of scientists doubt Darwin. “FTE enlisted William Dembski and Jonathan Wells because the public needs a book that compares the argument for design, point by point, with the argument for no-design,” noted Buell. The book covers the origin of life, origin of species, and origin of consciousness, as well as other controversial areas. “We now know so much more than Darwin did,” said author Jonathan Wells, who also wrote The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design (Regnery 2006). “Instead of just papering over more cracks, it’s time to take a fresh look. The Design of Life shows why it is no longer possible to be an intellectually fulfilled Darwinist.” The Design of Life, which goes on sale today, retails for $35. It is available through online booksellers and at a discount directly from the Foundation for Thought and Ethics at

About the Foundation for Thought and Ethics
FTE is a nonprofit educational organization based in Dallas. It publishes books on topics impacting the public understanding of worldview, morality, and conscience. From its inception over 25 years ago, the organization has maintained a special interest in intelligent design, publishing books in this area and fostering dialogue about it among leading scientists, scholars, and educators. FTE’s web site is

Note: I will be putting entries on the book's blog site when it is up. I have been saving some favourites.

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World of ideas: A leftist critique of social Darwinism

In The Nation, Daniel Brook writes,
Social Darwinism is the ideology of Gilded Ages, times of stunning inequality and declining social mobility. Social Darwinism takes the manifest injustice of a socially ossified society and argues that its very ossification proves that such a society is just. You can see it in David Brooks's New York Times column when he reassures a nation in which predatory lending now serves the function once played by sharecropping that the "rich don't exploit the poor; they just outcompete them." You can also see it in The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. For Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein, survival of the fittest proves that rich Americans deserve their wealth and poor Americans deserve their poverty. Clark merely applies the theory globally to rich countries and poor countries.

To the social Darwinist, it is societies with high degrees of intergenerational social mobility that are, in fact, the most backward. They have yet to allow all the talented to rise to the top. By contrast, the most ossified societies are the most advanced, for they have already allowed the best to ascend, where they continue to reproduce superior offspring. Thus, the meritocratic filtering period was always in the past. Perhaps, as the first social Darwinists argued, it was at the dawn of human history? Or, as Clark argues, in the Middle Ages? Or, as Mickey Kaus suggested in his 1992 book, The End of Equality, just a generation ago? Whenever it was, it is not now. The wheat has already been separated from the chaff. A few were already riding high long ago, and the rest continue to be run over.

As James Watson’s recent daring descent down Mt. Improbable has recently demonstrated, in the present age of political correctness, social Darwinism is a career killer irrespective of merits or lack thereof.

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