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Doubting Darwin?

De
232 pages
Noted biologist and philosopher Sahotra Sarkar exposes the frauds and fallacies of Intelligent Design Theory, and its claim to be ‘good science’.

  • A scientific and philosophical exploration of the debate between evolutionary theory and Intelligent Design in the classroom
  • Puts the debate into its scientific and historical context
  • Looks at a variety of topics, including the relation between Darwinism and modern evolutionary theory, the use of computer science and information theory by the creationists, and the idea of metaphysical naturalism
  • Rejects Intelligent Design’s claim to legitimacy, showing clearly how and why it is an unsuitable alternative to evolutionary biology in the classroom
  • A thought-provoking book for those seeking to understand an intellectual debate that is shaping our education policies
  • Forms part of the provocative and timely Blackwell Public Philosophy series
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Contents
List of Figures Preface Acknowledgments
1
2
3
Introduction The Central Argument The Evidence for Evolution Rejecting Theories Plan of the Book
The Legacy of Darwin and Wallace The Theory of Natural Selection “Absurd in the Highest Possible Degree” Darwin’s Unfortunate Retreat Wallace and Weismann The Decline of Darwinism Mind and Culture Contemporary Implications
The Argument from Design Adaptation and Design Function, Design, and Selection Blind Variation Dembski’s Resurrection
ix xi xvii
1 2 5 10 18
21 22 24 27 30 33 34 37
39 39 42 48 50
v
CONTENTS
4
5
6
7
8
vi
Mere Evolution Mendel’s Legacy The Modern Framework for Evolutionary Theory Selectionism and Neutralism Reconstructing the Past Contemporary Debates Terminological Choices
The Cost of Lunch Evolutionary Algorithms The “No Free Lunch” Theorems Dembski’s Excitement Utter Irrelevance Adaptationism Final Assessment
Complexity is Complicated Irreducible Complexity? Pathways to ICSs The Citric Acid Cycle The Blood Clotting System The Bacterial Flagellum Protein Evolution Irreducibility and Design
Questions of Information What is Biological Information? Information and Evolution Specified Complexity The Law of Conservation of Information The Cambrian “Explosion” Taking Leave of Creation Biology
Cosmic Coincidences Physics and Biology Anthropic Principles? The Force of Improbability A Cosmological Design Argument
59 59 61 65 67 69 77
79 80 82 84 86 90 92
95 96 99 104 107 111 113 115
117 118 120 122 126 128 130
131 132 133 136 138
9
10
Is Fine-Tuning Surprising? A Concluding Note
Naturalism and Its Discontents What Naturalism Is Nagel’s Legacy The Problem of Normativity Creationist Critiques Metaphysical Naturalism
Conclusions Critiques of Evolutionary Theory Is ID Science? Back to the Classroom
Notes References Index
CONTENTS
139 140
141 141 143 146 147 151
155 156 160 163
167 191 209
vii