Tuesday, July 8, 2008

First Impressions of 'Only a Theory'

I have looked through Ken Miller's new book, Only A Theory, in Books-A-Million. My first impression of it is that it is essentially a repolished Finding Darwin's God (Many of the arguments he made had the familiar ring of his last book) except that now he is not just pointing to interesting facts which support evolution here and there, he is taking a sledge hammer and driving his points home with hard, indisputable facts. He has also updated it to refute new creationist arguments, namely the argument that "Evolution cannot produce new information" as well as discussing the contents an fallacies of Behe's Edge of Evolution.

He also seems to want to wake the rationalists of America into seeing that if ID succeeds, we may lose out as one of the most scientifically productive countries in the world. I fully agree with this, but I'd like to add something: Intelligent Design is not the real threat. No, Answers in Genesis has even condemned the ID movement for failing to identify the designer as the Biblical Deity. The real threat is a narrow minded, stubborn and unashamedly dogmatic worldview which this movement stems from. By this I do not mean Christianity, I mean Fundamentalist Christianity. Fundamentalists tend to consist of people who were raised fundamentalist, or who are extremely committed to taking a literalist, narrow minded interpretation of their Bible. They do not listen to theologians or scholars much, they mainly consist of nutjobs like J.P. Holding (aka Robert Turkel) who simply defend the Bible as a hobby. It is painfully obvious reading their works that they are not only bad at defending the Bible by the number of logical fallacies they make, but they are also horribly ignorant of any insight into scripture past what their tent preacher gave them. Essentially, Christians need to reach out to these people and help them realize that they are wrong, and try to change their minds.

I mean, if Christians can understand that
1) The Earth is Old
2) All Life is related
3) How Evolution Works and What it is

Our nation will have a fighting chance in the Market of Science, even if a few folks think that God had a hand in the major steps of evolution as Michael Behe does.


Joe McCraw said...

Behe is a goofus.
Even though he knows that Evolution is a fact due to his study of DNA, he still clings to a notion of god because he saw a frozen waterfall in three pieces.
The next time I hear from Behe, it better be the sound of a bicycle horn riding by.

AIGBusted said...

Hi Joe,

I believe you are thinking of Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project. He was the one who converted because of a waterfall, allegedley, but he has written a book that addresses the claims made by ID and found them lacking.

I don't think evolution necessarily disproves God.

Lui said...

"I don't think evolution necessarily disproves God."

It's true, of course, but I think that evolution at least makes God superfluous. One can choose to believe that God used natural selection as the mechanism by which to produce us, but one could just as easily (and more parsimoniously) see natural selection and other evolutionary processes working on their own. Putting God into the picture just adds an unnecessary layer of complexity.

AIGBusted said...

That's also true, Lui. My view is that evolution itself doesn't make a supreme being superfluous, but along with a natural origin of life and natural origin of the universe, does make god unnecessary.