Monday, April 28, 2008
Reviewing Our Options
Publishers Weekly's review of Ken Miller's new book:
Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul
Kenneth R. Miller. Viking, $25.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-670-01883-3
Thoroughly enjoyable and informative, this new book by Miller (Finding Darwin's God), a Brown University biologist and leading proponent of evolution, dismantles the scientific basis of intelligent design piece by piece. He does this by taking seriously the claims of intelligent design (though with tongue often in cheek), such as irreducible complexity, and looking at the biological facts and the dubious conclusions ID concepts would lead to. He turns to the peer-reviewed scientific literature to demonstrate that the two biological phenomena ID proponents say could not have evolved—blood-clotting proteins and bacterial flagella—are now well-enough understood to fully rebut intelligent design. Looking at the underlying philosophical issues, Miller explains that ID's proponents want to replace modern science with " 'theistic science'... that would use the Divine not as ultimate cause, but as scientific explanation." Miller effectively explores the devastating consequences such a change would have on both science and society. In a measured, well-reasoned book, Miller explains why evolution does not deny us our humanity or our unique place in the universe.