An Important Book Review

The staff of Biologos asked me to review a new book by Discovery Institute’s Michael Denton. The book is called Evolution Still a Theory in Crisis, not an auspicious title for an evolutionist like me. But I read the book, and Im glad I did.

I think my review of the book (written with my wife and collaborator, Aniko Albert) along with an introduction by Jim Stump, Biologos Senior Editor, and a non technical summary by the Biologos Editorial Team could represent a turning point in the interactions between those who hold to Evolutionary Creationism, and some parts of the Intelligent Design movement.  I will repost the review here at a later date, but for now here is a link to the review and the other documents. Comments can be made here or there, as you wish.





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4 Responses to An Important Book Review

  1. Jon Garvey says:

    Yes indeed, Sy – a great piece of work, I mean principally from the functional point of view, rather than just the quality of the review itself, good as it is. It could help change the sociological game considerably, so well done.

    To me, the ramifications of embracing some of the new thinking could be great. For apart from Denton’s identification with the ID movement, TEs will be much more constrained to examine the other up-and-coming non-Darwinian views of evolution (brief review of Suzan Mazur’s book due on the Hump as soon as I get round to it).

    All of these new insights are quite incompatible, it seems to me, with most of the the theologies that have been formed from Darwinism, such as those majoring on the Malthusian conflict and savagery of creation (hence God not closely involved), or on the selfishness of evolution (hence human sin = selfishness = inevitable because of evolution).

    There will be new challenges too in doing proper work on the science-faith issues under the new paradigm, because ID aside, most of the new approaches do not lead directly to theism any more than Darwinism did. Being a lot more complicated than Darwin’s intuitively simple idea, they’ll be a lot more difficult to untangle from their metaphysical commitments – so I can see a new generation of Christians bending over backwards to fit God into the Third Way, rather than looking at how the Third Way points to God.

    It’ll be stimulating though!

  2. Thanks Jon

    I agree that future discussions will be interesting, and I have no idea where they will lead. And indeed (speaking of leaning over backwards) the Third Way folks make a point straight away of denying any relevance of their theories to theism. I think that all of this presents a nice challenge to theologians, and should keep them busy for quite some time.

    I think in the near term it will be a muddle, but I am optimistic that in the end, ID, TE, and the science itself will all find a way to untangle all of this complexity, and that it will eventually all point to God’s creative majesty at least as much (probably a great deal more) than we now see.

  3. SheilaDeeth says:

    Thank you. If our library gets a copy I shall certainly read this. But just reading your review gives me a clearer feeling for how to respond creatively to creationist friends.

    • I am glad Sheila. I used to be very annoyed at creationists. I find myself more willing to engage them (as long as they are also), since I believe I see some movement toward acceptance of evolution on their part as well. Perhaps the age of bitterness is waning. That would be nice.

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