Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doubting Darwin?

A new book is out called Doubting Darwin? Creationist Designs on Evolution by Sahotra Sarkar. BioOne has a review. The reviewer makes an important point that was often made in the past about the Young Earth Creationists:

The power of the ID creationist arguments is not that they are convincing, coherent, or compelling; it is that they are presented with a veneer of complexity that is taken as a sign of authority—namely, scientific authority. Dismantling these arguments requires a certain level of technical proficiency, but it is not altogether effective. The risk of providing ID creationists with the cover of legitimacy is often greater than any payoff would be in confronting the arguments directly. It is, after all, legitimacy that they are typically after. Politically, it can be more valuable simply to air your ideas in debate without much regard as to how such debates play out. Nonetheless, exposing the absurdity of the seemingly technical ID creationist claims is a vital component in the push back against creationism. For as much as what is at stake concerns a political or ideological debate, it must be underwritten by good science.

This is what is behind the "teach the controversy" movement. If no controversy exists, create one. Overall, a good review with a qualified thumbs-up.

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