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The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design Paperback – August 21, 2006

3.4 out of 5 stars 142 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Why Darwinism—like Marxism and Freudianism before it—is headed for extinction

In the 1925 Scopes trial, the American Civil Liberties Union sued to allow the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution in public schools. Seventy-five years later, in Kitzmiller v. Dover, the ACLU sued to prevent the teaching of an alternative to Darwin’s theory known as "Intelligent Design"—and won. Why did the ACLU turn from defending the free-speech rights of Darwinists to silencing their opponents? Jonathan Wells reveals that, for today’s Darwinists, there may be no other choice: unable to fend off growing challenges from scientists, or to compete with rival theories better adapted to the latest evidence, Darwinism—like Marxism and Freudianism before it—is simply unfit to survive.

Wells begins by explaining the basic tenets of Darwinism, and the evidence both for and against it. He reveals, for instance, that the fossil record, which according to Darwin should be teeming with "transitional" fossils showing the development of one species to the next, so far hasn’t produced a single incontestable example. On the other hand, certain well-documented aspects of the fossil record—such as the Cambrian explosion, in which innumerable new species suddenly appeared fully formed—directly contradict Darwin’s theory. Wells also shows how most of the other "evidence" for evolution— including textbook "icons" such as peppered moths, Darwin’s finches, Haeckel’s embryos, and the Tree of Life—has been exaggerated, distorted . . . and even faked.

Wells then turns to the theory of intelligent design (ID), the idea that some features of the natural world, such as the internal machinery of cells, are too "irreducibly complex" to have resulted from unguided natural processes alone. In clear-cut layman’s language, he reveals the growing evidence for ID coming out of scientific specialties from microbiology to astrophysics. As Wells explains, religion does play a role in the debate over Darwin—though not in the way evolutionists claim. Wells shows how Darwin reasoned that evolution is true because divine creation "must" be false—a theological assumption oddly out of place in a scientific debate. In other words, Darwinists’ materialistic, atheistic assumptions rule out any theories but their own, and account for their willingness to explain away the evidence—or lack of it.

Darwin is an emperor who has no clothes— but it takes a brave man to say so. Jonathan Wells, a microbiologist with two Ph.D.s (from Berkeley and Yale), is that brave man. Most textbooks on evolution are written by Darwinists with an ideological ax to grind. Brave dissidents—qualified scientists—who try to teach or write about intelligent design are silenced and sent to the academic gulag. But fear not: Jonathan Wells is a liberator. He unmasks the truth about Darwinism— why it is wrong and what the real evidence is. He also supplies a revealing list of "Books You’re Not Supposed to Read" (as far as the Darwinists are concerned) and puts at your fingertips all the evidence you need to challenge the most closed-minded Darwinist.

About the Author

Jonathan Wells is Professor of Anthropology and Paediatric Nutrition at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, and a leading international researcher in the field of paediatric nutrition. His empirical research focuses on human growth, body composition and metabolism, and is complemented by the development of evolutionary perspectives on these topics. He has contributed extensively to the scientific literature and is the author of The Evolutionary Biology of Human Body Fatness: Thrift and Control (Cambridge, 2010).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (August 21, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596980133
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596980136
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Marshall on March 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
First, my overall evaluation. The book is well-written, punchy, and has an edge. Wells make a plethora of strong arguments, overturns many of the most popular anti-ID talking points, but decidedly does not overturn what he calls "Darwinism."

Let me start the criticism with that term. It appears to have been chosen more to irritate the other side than because it most accurately describes his opponents. Darwin did not, after all, know about genetics -- as Wells makes clear -- or the supposed engine of innovation, random mutations. It would be like calling the General Theory of Relativity "Newtonism" -- both overly pejorative and underly accurate.

But my main criticism is that Well's argument against neo-Darwinian evolution (NDE, a better term) is not that strong. He allocated one chapter each to overturning the evidence from fossils and from genetics -- both mostly seemed like hand-waving, generalizations, and rank assertions, to me. He should at least have admitted that the general pattern of fossil evidence does show progression and development over four billion years. I don't think he even mentions the hominid record, or if he did, his mention was hard to notice as a speed sign in a poor town. All in all, on this subject Wells seemed to protest too much, and say too little.

The rest of the book was generally quite good, I thought. Wells deals with philosophical objections well. He shows that ID proponents are engaging in serious science. He demonstrates that there are a lot of very small-minded and virulent critics of ID on college campuses (if you've been around here, you might add Amazon), some of whom seem to have little room in their hearts for the concept of freedom of speech or a marketplace of ideas.
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I think it's great when clear thinking scientists are skeptical of the Darwinian illusion. This book is one of several that I recommend to friends. Well organized, plenty of corroborating references, and easy to follow.
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This book mentions the fact that in Cobb county (Georgia) stickers were put in biology books that state evolution is a theory. Technically true, but the intention of putting in these stickers by the Cobb county school board was to cast doubt on evolution. In science, a theory explains facts and observations and scientific laws. For example, relativity theory is a theory. The structure of atoms being protons and neutrons and electrons is a theory. The movement of the continental plates is a theory. Heck, even the movement of the earth around the sun is a theory.

The theory in all of these is a well tested model which explains facts and observations. But, none of these subjects when taught in a science class faces the risk of a sticker being put in that states that it is only a theory. The difference with evolution is that there are certain religious adherents who perceive evolution as a threat. Those who think this way are of course, the target market of not only this book, but all the "politically incorrect guide" books.

Why is it that those who argue against the descent of all species from a common ancestor (such as this author) argue against evolution by calling it Darwinism? When someone talks about relativity theory, it is not called Einsteinism even though relativity theory was a completely new theory when illustrated by Einstein, but the evolution of species was already known to the scientifically educated before Darwin was famous.

Charles Darwin showed overwhelming evidence for evolution and he showed how natural selection worked within evolution in order to favor certain traits. Even in the 18th century there were many men who were already developing ideas on species evolving from earlier ones.
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If you're curious about intelligent design (I am, as a science teacher and as a Christian), I suppose this is a good book to read. However, you should also follow up by checking the author's citations. Alas, I found that most of his claims about "Darwinism" (a term he never clearly defines and uses to mean pretty much anything bad) are demonstrably and provably false. He carefully selects and then very creatively edits quotes from various scientists to make them appear to say whatever he wants instead of what they actually said; many of his sources have debunked his "quotes" online. His evidence in support of I.D. consists mainly of the irreducible complexity hypothesis, which has the advantage that anytime one of their "irreducibly complex" features turns out to have a solid evolutionary track record (think eyeball), the I.D. advocates can just pick another structure that hasn't been properly studied yet without ever admitting they were wrong.

Ultimately, this book demonstrates the failure of I.D. as science. The author keeps trying to redefine what science should mean in an effort to force inclusion of his ideas; finally he has to divert attention from his lack of evidence with an alleged conspiracy by the powerful "Darwinists" to suppress the bold thinkers (like the author, I guess) who advocate I.D. Worse, though, than its failure as science is I.D.'s failure as theology; by relying solely on things we haven't fully explained yet to support the thesis, the Intelligent Design movement in effect tries to make my God into a god of ignorance. My faith is bigger than natural causes, bigger than rational explanation, and is not subject to peer review; that's why we call it faith, you dunderheads. New discoveries about the universe do not make God smaller, they only make his creation all the more wonderful. Rather than legitimizing religion, forcing religion into a pseudo-scientific mold only makes God (and the advocates of intelligent design) look silly.
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