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The Darwin Myth: The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 2, 2009

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Editorial Reviews


Ben Wiker's brilliant biography of Charles Darwin sheds more light on the contrast between Darwin the kindly man and the chilling logic of his theory than anything I have read. I highly recommend it.--Phillip E. Johnson, Professor of law emeritus University of California, Berkeley and author of Darwin on Trial

Benjamin Wiker's compelling account of the life of Darwin treats its subject as too few biographers do--not as an icon, not as a devil, but as a man. Very highly recommended.--Michael Behe, Ph.D. author of Darwin's Black Box

Ben Wiker brilliantly demonstrates that Darwinism (which is not the same as 'evolution') is atheism masquerading as science. And like its intellectual cousin, Marxism, Darwinism has deeply corrupted our civilization.--Jonathan Wells, Ph.D. author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design

Books about Charles Darwin and his theory too often they try to make Darwin into a secular saint, unworthy of criticism, or else they try to demonize him. Wiker avoids these extremes. All readers, regardless of their views on biological evolution, will have much to learn about the man and his ideas from this important biography on the bicentennial of Darwin's birth.--Guillermo Gonzalez, associate professor of physics, Grove City College, and co-author of The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery

Being myself one who has been both a hard-headed atheist evolutionary and a Bible-thumping creationist it is truly a joyous relief to finally have such a clear, brilliant, and balanced presentation of Charles Darwin's life, beliefs, and motives. Cutting away the myths from both sides, Dr. Wiker enables us to finally see the man for who and what he really was. A must read, and on top of this, a thoroughly good read.--Marcus Grodi, host of EWTN's The Journey Home --. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From the Inside Flap

The Man Behind the Myth

In the 150 years since the publication of Origin of Species, Charles Darwin's reputation has wavered between two extremes--secular saint or heretic. But the truth is much more complicated than that. While he was by all accounts a kind and virtuous man, Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection has been one of the most destructive ideas in history.

So who is Charles Darwin? What did he really believe--and what did his research really prove? In The Darwin Myth: The Life and Lies of Charles Darwin, Benjamin Wiker cuts through the myths and misconceptions and sets the record straight.Taking a "warts and all" approach, Wiker offers a critical examination of Darwin's theories as well as the scientific, social, and religious implications of his life and work.

In The Darwin Myth, Wiker reveals:

* Why Darwin didn't "discover" evolution
* How Darwin set out to create a godless version of evolution
* Why many of his best friends and allies criticized Darwin's theory, and how he never refuted their objections
* How "social Darwinism" is not a misapplication of Darwinism, but is Darwinism
* Why Darwin's theory supported natural slavery, an institution he abhorred
* How much of what we know about Darwin comes from his Autobiography--which at key points is downright misleading
* How Darwin helped make ideological atheism the battle cry of science

Instructive and illuminating, The Darwin Myth casts aside Darwinism's politically correct veneer and offers a critical, scientific analysis of Darwin's life and his history-changing theory.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Regnery Publishing (June 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596980974
  • ASIN: B0058M8FHA
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,928,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Benjamin Wiker is a writer, teacher, husband of one wife, and father of seven children. He has a Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Vanderbilt University, an M.A. in Religion from Vanderbilt University, and a B.A. in Political Philosophy from Furman University. He has taught at Marquette University, St. Mary's University (MN), Thomas Aquinas College, and Franciscan University. He is now an Associate Professor of Political Science at Franciscan University, and a Senior Fellow of Franciscan's Veritas Center.

Benjamin Wiker's website is

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 145 people found the following review helpful By Fritz R. Ward VINE VOICE on May 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Biographies of Darwin tend to either demonize the man or present him as a secular saint. Benjamin Wiker, a Catholic theologian and member of the Discovery Institute, tries to present in this slim volume a biography of Darwin that at once affirms the man while at the same time criticizes the theory. It is an admirable attempt, but in the final analysis it falls a little short. Nonetheless, the book is by no means as hostile to Darwin as the subtitle implies.

Darwin the man was much as he portrayed himself to be: humble, caring, a devoted father, and a devout Whig with liberal political sympathies. Unwilling to live as a wealthy gentleman, unable to work as a doctor, and ultimately bored by the prospect of becoming a clergyman, Darwin "found" himself as a naturalist. One of the many little "lies" that he told in his autobiography was that he was hired as a naturalist for his famous voyage on the Beagle: in fact he was a gentleman companion on the trip, but such stretching of the truth is common in an autobiography. It is certainly true that Darwin was a celebrated scientist by the end of the trip, thanks in no small part to his natural theology teachers John Henslow and Adam Sedgwick.

But Darwin did promote one myth about himself that this little biography correctly notes. His famous theory was not a result of a careful examination of the scientific evidence. Rather, the theory came before the facts, and Darwin's argument for "natural" selection was a deliberate attempt to exclude the divine from the natural world altogether. Of course, the whig theory of history now paints Darwin as the sober scientist, and his opponents like Wilberforce as committed defenders of biblical inerrancy, but this simplified view of history is only held by protagonists in a cultural debate.
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100 of 151 people found the following review helpful By Keith on September 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The book's underlying argument: because science prescribes to methodological naturalism, Darwin, by following this methodology, proposed the theory of natural selection thereby leaving God out. "That evolution must be godless to be scientific is the Darwin Myth, so profoundly misleading that it must be called a great lie,..." (pxi) According to the author then, this myth has supposedly distorted our understanding of the scientific evidence and the debates surrounding evolution (but not any scientific debates). So the author's core complaint here is with methodological naturalism generally, and Darwin's adherence to it in formulating the theory of natural selection.

Simply stated, methodological naturalism mandates that hypotheses or the causes behind phenomena are to be explained using only natural processes. Supernatural or theistic explanations are not admitted at the outset. It's not that scientists don't believe there is a God; it's just that introducing 'Him' into the explanatory process is irrelevant. The reason for this is that methodological naturalism has been enormously successful in providing explanations, in furthering research and in providing practical engineering applications for example. Science, per definitionem *is* methodological naturalism.

Even though science arose out of disciplines more mystical in nature (as in alchemy becoming chemistry for instance), the superstitious side sent countless individuals down nonproductive alleys and dead ends. Supernatural explanations (if there is such a thing) are unproductive. They really don't explain anything. In spite of there always being some things currently deemed supernatural or inexplicable, they may or may not be explained in the future as some unusual natural phenomena.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic and balanced. Most books on Darwin look to either demonize him or exalt him, this book looks to know him, for better and for worse.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rob Weinhold on March 14, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An in-depth look at this man, for certain. I learned a lot as a Christian. His views do not track with mine but I saw a side of him that I was not aware of. He wasn't the monster some people have portrayed him to be but his theory of the origin of species continues to be challenged as it was during his lifetime, even by some of his contemporaries. A must read for those who want to know more about this interesting man and his controversial theories.
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By Blackstone on December 27, 2014
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This is a very impressive book.
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7 of 13 people found the following review helpful By John on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Despite the title, I thought the book really balanced. It is written by an evolutionist whose goal is to not discredit Darwin's theory, but just to give an accurate biography of the man. Because Darwin is the secular saint, Wiker did not really feel there was much out there that was objective. So he attempts to show Darwin's strengths and weaknesses and complexities. What was most interesting to me was how Charles Darwin's grandfather enthusiastically believed in evolution and Charles came from a family line of secularist, so Darwin went out looking for evidence to prove what He assumed before hand was true, it was not like he stumped upon the facts which were so overwhelming that he gave in, lost his faith and surrendered to the truth of science. All of this fits with my notion of the power of presuppositions, Darwin wanted the theory to be true, it had to be true, and this colors his perception of things. Those after him have come from the standpoint that it has to be true, for there is no alternatives, they are committed to it with a religious zeal and devotion, which makes them as acceptable to BS as religious people are. Like Bill Bryson wrote that (I am paraphrasing) "we typically don't think you can get something from nothing, but since there was nothing, and now we have a universe, we have proof that it can happen" and Quinton Smith wrote "the most reasonable thing to believe is that everything came from nothing, by nothing and for nothing" and this kind of nonsense (I say nonsense, in that it is non-sense, something beyond our senses) is embraced by scientist, who don't seem to even pause to reflect how unscientific such a conclusion is. But since it HAD to happen that way, well, it happened.Read more ›
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