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Book Jacket

320 pages
Aug 2003
Baker / Revel

Doubts about Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design

by Thomas Woodward

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


"Because of intelligent design's snowballing popularity, critics are now eager to rewrite its history. Thomas Woodward's rhetorical history of the Intelligent Design movement therefore comes at an opportune time, masterfully disentangling the scientific, philosophical, and cultural impulses that drive the movement." --William A. Dembski, author of No Free Lunch "Thomas Woodward's Doubts about Darwin is a fascinating, faithful, and trenchant analysis of the critical role of rhetoric in the rise of the modern intelligent design movement. To understand the public battle over evolution, you must read this book." --Michael J. Behe, Department of Biology, Lehigh University "Tom Woodward distinguishes himself as a valuable resource for understanding the development of the Intelligent Design movement. He combines the scholar's tools with a knack for narrative that results in a fascinating account of what could be the most important science drama of our times." --Ravi Zacharias, international speaker, author "Tom Woodward's book--a vigorous and lively history of the Intelligent Design movement--is must reading for parents, educators, scientists, and informed citizens. Woodward provides crucial insights into the rhetorical dynamics of the Design Movement and the reasons why it resonates both with scholars and the broader public." --John Angus Campbell, professor of communication, Memphis State University

"Tom Woodward has presented a remarkable account of the uses of rhetoric in assaulting the pretensions of the neo-Darwinist fraternity. Earlier commentators had questioned the dogmatic certainties of Darwinian macro-evolution. The orthodoxies of random selection had long been enshrined in virtually every biology textbook. Alas, the early critics made no impression whatever on the teaching of biology. They were dismissed by the academic evolutionists with much the same condescension that the clergy and the English establishment displayed a century earlier in responding to Huxley and the other defenders of evolution. Doubts About Darwin is a delightful chronicle of the ways a small group of doubters are reshaping the debate and bringing out the inadequacies of natural selection to the general public. Doubters and believers alike ought to read Doubts About Darwin. It has much to teach them." --Murray Eden, Ph.D., professor emeritus at M.I.T.

"The classic history of science as a problem-solving, rhetorical enterprise is Martin J. S. Rudwick's The Great Devonian Controversy. Tom Woodward's Doubts About Darwin contributes a new chapter in this history by analyzing the current Intelligent Design controversy. Anyone interested in evolutionary theory will profit from reading this book." --Walter Fisher, professor of communication, University of Southern California

"Doubts about Darwin provides the first comprehensive treatment of the rise of intelligent design theory, perhaps the most challenging intellectual movement to come out of the United States in the last decade. Here Woodward tells the story of disparate scholars equally dissatisfied with Neo-Darwinian dogmatism who band together and slowly but surely shift the burden of proof in their favour-and toward a more open science. Adept in the relevant science, philosophy, and rhetoric, Woodward gives an inside view of this increasingly visible scientific revolution. The mechanics detailed in Woodward's story should inspire others who have wondered how learned outsiders can bring about change in the very heartland of scientific authority." --Steve Fuller, University of Warwick, England, author of Thomas Kuhn: A Philosophical History for Our Times

"Know anyone who's curious about the Intelligent Design controversy? What's the fuss about? Who are the key players? What are they saying and why? Doubts About Darwin is not only the best available guide to the ID movement's brief but eventful history; it's probably also the best available primer on the issues and arguments at stake in the debate." --Duane Litfin, president, Wheaton College "Doubts about Darwin is the first book to apply current rhetorical theory to elucidate the fray between neo-Darwinian antagonists and ID. The book presents a scholarly analysis of ID's efforts to take a legitimate scientific position, and its detractors' efforts to debunk the movement. Tom Woodward has skillfully fashioned a readable, balanced, and timely contribution that should aid ID supporters and detractors alike in understanding the broader narrative setting in which the clash between Darwinism and ID is being played out." --Mark Whalon, professor in the Center of Applied Plant Research, Michigan State University

Book Jacket:

Deep in the halls of scientific academia, a debate has been quietly raging between Darwinian macroevolution and the theory of intelligent design. This challenge to scientific naturalism has life-changing effects on the fundamental cultural story of humanity; it asks what it means to be human and questions whether or not we have a purpose and a destiny.

Beginning with Michael Denton's revolutionary book, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, author Thomas Woodward follows the key players and confrontations that are creating a paradigm shift in both the scientific and public arenas. He shows that the erosion of certainty about the factual truth of Darwinism is the product of a rhetorical onslaught-the persuasive case-making by highly accredited critics like Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, and William Dembski.

Accessible and compelling, Doubts about Darwin opens a dramatic door to moral and intellectual reformation.