Laws of nature

[ Sat. Jul. 29. 2006 ]

A century and a half ago, Charles Darwin sparked a scientific revolution. Now that revolution has become a culture war. But does the concept of "intelligent design" have validity as an alternative to evolution? Three new books look beyond the rhetoric.

By Robert Lee Hotz

"A teaching moment that encompasses all the ages of the Earth."

Intelligent Thought
Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement
Edited by John Brockman

...Indeed, the effort to inject intelligent design into science classrooms is an attempt to narrow the common ground of a secular society, writes science publishing impresario John Brockman, who commissioned a collection of essays called Intelligent Thought: Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement. "[R]eligious fundamentalism is on the rise around the world, and our own virulent domestic version of it, under the rubric of 'intelligent design,' by elbowing its way into the classroom abrogates the divide between church and state that has served this country so well for so long."

In Intelligent Thought, Brockman persuaded 16 distinguished scientists to address the controversy from the pulpit of their technical expertise. The assembled are knowledgeable, humane and deeply passionate about science as a way of knowing the world around us. The result is a teaching moment that encompasses all the ages of the Earth ...

Why Darwin Matters
The Case Against Intelligent Design
Michael Shermer

...None writes so fiercely in defense of evolution as Shermer, a Scientific American columnist and founder and director of the Skeptics Society. With the sustained indignation of a former creationist, Shermer is savage about the shortcomings of intelligent design and eloquent about the spirituality of science. In "Why Darwin Matters," he has assembled an invaluable primer for anyone caught up in an argument with a well-intentioned intelligent design advocate. ...