Friday, January 9, 2009

Old Pizza

I have been doing lots and lots of reading lately. I think I've checked out about 20 books from my library in the past few weeks, and I have been reading articles (journal and magazine) galore. It's all so that I can be as informed as possible for the writing of my book (I'm currently working on a draft of the third chapter).

Anyway, I'm now reading an antievolutionary classic. It's Evolution: A Theory in Crisis by Michael Denton.

I found it eerie to read his descriptions of the bacterial flagellum and cilium and his comments on how complex they were. This book totally got the Intelligent Design movement up and running.

Denton also tries to replace the evolutionary understanding of animals' relationships with "typology". The idea is very similar to the creationist concept of a "kind". The big question is: How does one reconcile the concept of distinct "types" with bizarre critters like the platypus? You can't. Denton dodges the issue by pointing out that although marsupials do seem "part mammal part reptile" there is no one part of the animal that seems intermediate, only parts which are fully reptilian or fully reptile. Although this isn't quite true, even if it were true it would be nothing but a red herring. If all animals could be classified into discrete "types" we shouldn't see anything like the monotremes or marsupials.

I suppose the best I could say about the book is that it isn't rude or stupid as most creationist literature is, nor do I get the feeling that Denton is deliberately decieving himself or trying to decieve others. He really believes what he wrote, he is just sorely mistaken.

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