Darwin Strikes Back
A couple of years ago on this program, I had this to say of the book Doubts about Darwin by my friend Thomas Woodward: “The motivation for [the] . . . founders of the [intelligent] design movement to instigate this ‘reformation within science’ is a passion for intellectual truth-telling.”
Woodward displays this passion for truth-telling yet again in his marvelous new book, Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design. What Woodward wrote about just a few years ago is even truer today. Amid a firestorm of criticism and abuse from committed Darwinists, the intelligent design movement continues to press forward, gaining scientific credibility and even grudging respect from some evolutionists. But as Woodward shows, there’s still a long way to go.
Because the more respect intelligent design gains, the more alarmed the Darwinists become. Their thinking goes something like this: It’s one thing for those religious people to talk about a creator God—that’s religion; but now they are talking about science—so, they figure, “Let’s label it religion.” Woodward writes, “These sentiments were echoed in public declarations, verbally and in print, by Darwinian defenders, warning . . . that Intelligent Design is religion, not science . . . This statement,” Woodward continues, “emerged as the number-one talking point for Intelligent Design opponents [over the last few years].”
The idea makes for a great sound bite, as the popular press is well aware. But it has no ground to stand on, and that’s becoming increasingly obvious if you spend any amount of time researching the issue. Intelligent design theorists come from all backgrounds and creeds; some of them aren’t “religious” at all. What they have in common is what Woodward calls a “scientific paradigm” that allows for design in any natural mechanism that can’t be explained simply by chance or purely natural causes. His meticulously researched book clearly explains the scientific reasoning behind this paradigm.
Ironically, it’s the anti-intelligent design forces that are fully committed to a religious dogma—a dogma whose foundation is starting to show dangerous cracks. Their religion is materialism, and some of them even admit it, like Harvard geneticist Richard Lowentin. Woodward quotes him as saying: “We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs . . . because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.”
Well, he’s being honest, at least. But who is it now who’s confusing science and religion?
Suggest the presence of something outside of and greater than the universe we know, and Darwinists get all but hysterical. Take the case of researcher Richard Sternberg. He isn’t even an intelligent design advocate himself, but when he dared to publish a peer-reviewed article on intelligent design in his scientific journal, the Darwinists acted more like Grand Inquisitors than scientists, cutting off his access to research and trying to limit his academic freedom.
In light of such nonsense, the continuing quest of intelligent design theorists is all the more intriguing and admirable. As Woodward points out, this criticism is even cause for gratitude, because it is leading many intelligent design theorists to be more thorough in their research and to sharpen their arguments.
I hope you will visit our website, BreakPoint.org, to find out how you can get a copy of Tom Woodward’s great new book, Darwin Strikes Back. I strongly recommend it to anyone who shares a true commitment to science and a passion for truth.
Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design by Thomas Woodward.
|For Further Reading and Information
Thomas Woodward, Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design (Baker, 2004).
BreakPoint Commentary No. 040426, “Darwin’s Doubters: Changing Paradigms, Intelligently.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 050401, “A Question of Power: Darwinists on the Losing Side of History.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 070202, “A Cut-and-Paste Ruling: Judging Intelligent Design.”
Gina Dalfonzo, “Faith and Science Together: Some Thoughts on Origins, part 1,” and “part 2,” The Point, 31 January and 1 February 2007.
Travis McSherley, “Another Testimony by Design,” The Point, 2 February 2007.
Regis Nicoll, “‘Elvis Lives,’ Says Cosmologist,” The Point, 23 January 2007.
Regis Nicoll, “The Word or the Quantum?” BreakPoint Online, 19 January 2007.
Visit the website of Dr. Richard Sternberg.
The Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness Center helps students start chapters on college and high school campuses to foster communication about evolution and intelligent design.
Charles Colson, “Creation and Evolution: Are Both True?” BreakPoint Online, 19 May 2004.
Chuck Colson’s “Ten Questions about Origins” is a great resource for students to use in raising questions in science class.
See also “Teach the Controversy” by Stephen C. Meyer and “Top Questions about Intelligent Design, Scientific Challenges to Darwinian Evolution, and Science Education Policy.”