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Darwinism, Design and Public Education (Rhetoric & Public Affairs) Paperback – November 30, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Angus Campbell is Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Communication at the University of Memphis.

Stephen C. Meyer is Director and Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute, in Seattle, Washington.
     Dr. Meyer has co-written or edited two books: Darwinism, Design, and Public Education and Science and Evidence of Design in the Universe. He has also authored numerous technical articles as well as editorials in magazines and newspapers, such as the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Houston Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, First Things, and the National Review.


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Product Details

  • Series: Rhetoric & Public Affairs
  • Paperback: 634 pages
  • Publisher: Michigan State University Press (November 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870136755
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870136757
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,786,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Two comparable volumes have come out in the past year and a half that debate intelligent design theory: "Darwinism, Design, and Public Education (DDPE)" (edited by John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer) and "Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC) and its Critics" (edited by intelligent design critic Robert T. Pennock). Both are over 600 pages, with over 2 dozen articles both from the pro-intelligent design (ID) and pro-evolution viewpoints. It is the differences between DDPE (edited by pro-ID authors) and IDC and it Critics (edited by a pro-evolution author) which make DDPE a unique volume of far greater value.
1) As noted, both volumes have articles from both the pro- and anti-ID viewpoints. That's fine--in fact that is good! Dialogue and debate can only serve to make progress towards better understanding both intelligent design and evolutionary theoryin this issue. However, progress is best served when the playing fields are level.
Numbers-wise, DDPE has a more balanced presentation with about 43% of the articles from the "con" (i.e. pro-evolution side); in IDC and its Critics, only about 33% are from the "con" (i.e. pro-ID) side. That difference is minor, for the real story is told in how the articles are placed.
In IDC and its Critics, the articles from the "con" (i.e. pro-ID) side seemed like mere foils which were almost always then be clobbered to death by 1 to 5 articles from the pro-evolution side. Counter-rebuttal from design advocates seemed rare, and design advocates were rarely given the last word on any issue. In DDPE, the articles from the con side seemed to be genuine rebuttals which were left to stand for themselves. In fact, the entire last section of the book is almost entirely devoted to letting critics have their say.
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Format: Paperback
It is refreshing that at least some healthy discussion has commenced regarding the literal plethora of misinformation on which most of the assumptions regarding Darwin's theory on the origin of the species are based. This book and others of its kind, though not exhaustive enough to tackle in only a single volume every aspect of the countless controversies surrounding Intelligent Design vs. Darwinism, nicely inspires interested parties to adhere to the principle of searching for truth, not simply accepting verbatim what mainstream academia has been promoting over the past century.

The fact is, most proponents of macro evolutionist theory, when thoroughly questioned, do not even know what it is, have never taken a biology course, nor could they explain the difference between natural selection itself (aka. adaptation, a phenomenon which can be empirically observed as occurring in nature) and the theory that entirely new species of living creatures make the quantum leap from a previous species to a complete other via the motor of natural selection (merely a theoretical model used to explain the broad variation of species, which is not able to be empirically proven through simple observation, only assumed through deduction).

One such lay proponent of neo-Darwinist theory has been busily flaming this very review board. His name is Tom Sullivan of York, Pennsylvania. Due to a sheer lack of understanding of what ID is and an absence of any semblance of objectivity, his reviews are absolutely useless to sincerely interested observers.
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Format: Hardcover
Less than two decades ago, proponents of "intelligent design" (ID) set out to establish ID as a legitimate topic for scholarly debate and then as an alternative to a neo-Darwinian approach in biological research. They have made considerable progress on the first objective, less on the second. Meanwhile they have been drawn into noisy state and local controversies over the teaching of evolution in public schools. The ID movement, in its unfinished state, has thus come to the attention of journalists and politicians. It has become a thorn in the flesh of veteran defenders of evolution hardened by years of conflict with "scientific creationists." This compilation by Campbell and Meyer should help outsiders explore ID and sort out the ongoing confusion.
Having read a good many books and articles for and against ID as a basis for comparison, I have a positive impression of the Campbell/Meyer book. It is more readable than some others that contain an equivalent amount of semi-technical information. Its message: Questions about Darwinian theory raised by ID should be taught in science classrooms to stimulate critical thinking about science, education, and religion. At the outset, rhetorician John Angus Campbell sets the tone in "Why Are We Still Debating Darwinism? Why Not Teach the Controversy?" He and philosopher Stephen Meyer both contribute to Part I, on aspects of the public school questions. Part II critiques the way evolution has been taught. Part III lets proponents make their case for ID as a scientific alternative. Part IV gives critics of ID their turn, beginning with a clear analysis of ID's shortcomings by rhetorician Celeste Michelle Condit. Philosopher Michael Ruse and others weigh in, but ID pioneer Phillip Johnson gets the final word.
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