Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design

Darwin Strikes Back: Defending the Science of Intelligent Design

Review from Amazon.co.uk by Professor of organic chemistry, J. C. Walton

Darwin Strikes Back is excellent reading: it is the best book I have read giving an overview of the whole Darwin/ID scene, garnished with a lot of insider information. As a professor at St. Andrews University the escalating war between Darwinian Evolution and Intelligent Design theory strikes me as one of the most amazing phenomena of our time. Evolution is the entrenched orthodoxy of much biological science so objective, well reasoned, scientifically sound responses to ID were expected. In fact, leading evolutionists have reacted with what can only be described as the outrage, anger and contempt of a duchess told by a peasant that her diamonds are paste.

Woodward shows how rebuttals of IDs assertions from Darwinists have scored high on ridicule, opprobrium and misinformation. The tendency has been to stigmatise ID scientists as ignorant religious bigots but scientific counter-arguments have been notably underwhelming. The absurdity of the rhetoric, coupled with the growing perception of the arm waving nature of macroevolutionary biology, is leading evolution into a twilight zone. Darwinism is a core component of atheist ideologies. Woodward details many examples of angst-ridden speeches and articles from evolutionists that deepen suspicion that Darwinism is supported more by ideological beliefs than empirical scientific evidence.

In "Darwin Strikes Back" Thomas Woodward brings to life the main battle fronts in this intellectual conflict. He gives us a panoramic view of the storm created by Michael Behe's announcement that because molecular machines, such as the bacterial flagellum, as "irreducibly complex", they must have been designed. Woodward further recounts how Jonathan Well's exposure of many of the textbook proofs of evolution, such as Haeckel's drawings of embryos, as misinformation or downright fraud, was greeted by evolutionists with a river of contemptuous propaganda.

William Dembski's development of the "explanatory filter", to test complex highly organised structures for design in a logically rigorous way, took ID squarely into the realm of testable science. Woodward describes how the filter works, and how it confirms that molecular machines must have been designed. He then takes us case by case through the criticisms that have been levelled at it, along with Dembski's rebuttals. Woodward is a prominent contributor to the debate, well acquainted with many of the scientists and philosophers from both sides. He gives many interesting insights into the personalities of the major players as well as anecdotal accounts of individual debates and clashes. The book is written in an easy-going colloquial style that makes even the most technical arguments accessible to the non-specialist. Darwin Strikes Back is a must read for everyone wishing to keep abreast of both sides of what is probably the most important battle for the soul of western democracy

Price: $15.00