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Friday, September 07, 2007

Spying on a Darwin fan's nightstand

Hey, I am not doing the spying. Sean Carroll
an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where he also teaches courses in genetics and evolutionary biology. His most recent book is Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo and the Making of the Animal Kingdom (W. W. Norton, 2005).
offered his reading list to American Scientist.

His top books are
The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, by Sam Harris (W. W. Norton, 2004).

Darwin, by Adrian Desmond and James Moore (Warner Books, 1991).

Chance and Necessity, by Jacques Monod (Knopf, 1971);

Carl Sagan's The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark (Random House, 1995).

The Origin of Species (1859).

All materialist books. Which is all very well, as long as Carroll does NOT imagne that he has some superiority over people who would read Boethius or Dante - or, material to his own field, Edge of Evolution, or The Design Inference.

Neurosurgeon Mike Egnor, who has said kind things about The Spiritual Brain, based on his experience, comments,
... what an impoverished reading list. No philosophy, no religion, no study of the Bible, little fiction and no Dante or Shakespeare (unless you count the Darwinist stuff as fiction). Even if Carroll disagrees with us theists, you'd think that he'd read something other than the materialist trash, at least to know about the 90% of the world that believes in something more than materialism. For goodness sake, we read about materialism, the least he could do is read a little bit of literature that transcends materialism.

Materialism will ultimately fail as an ideology, not only because it's wrong, but because it's stupefyingly dull.

Yes, Dr. Mike, but before it fails, how many good scientists will it bring down? We need more, and ever more, safety nets, it seems.


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