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46 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Study of the Impact of Materialist Ideology on Amercian Society, December 5, 2007
This review is from: Darwin Day In America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science (Hardcover)
In Darwin Day in America, Dr. John West brings into sharp focus the manipulation of our political and cultural institutions by metaphysical materialist ideology. A superb work of scholarship, Darwin Day in America chronicles how some of the top scientific, medical and elite thinkers of the 20th and 21st Centuries pushed an ardent materialist agenda into our hospitals, courtrooms, schools, and bedrooms. Ideas really do have consequences, and the consequences of materialism's junk science culture have often been severe.

Essential to West's study of such materialist ideology is the view of man espoused by Charles Darwin in his second major work, The Descent of Man. Darwin argued that the purposeless processes of natural selection and random variation implies a humankind whose actions are wholly reducible to natural impulses. Banished is any set of moral truths for man to look to as a basis for sound judgment. Morality is reduced to an instinctual or environmental set of behavior that furthers human survival. In fact, Darwin--and sociobiologists who have followed in his footsteps--have either doubted or outright denied the existence human free will. This view of man leads to a moral relativism that could reasonably justify all sorts of ideas and actions--be it eugenics, polygamy, or the like.

A trained political scientist, West is careful to make clear that there is no logical *necessity* between, say, neo-Darwinism and eugenics. But through numerous historical examples and careful citation, West shows how scientific, medical and other elites have explicitly and repeatedly advanced such ideas and programs in the name of Darwinian evolution or "science."

In particular, chapters 3-5 chronicle the calculated efforts of metaphysical materialists to radically alter our criminal justice system. The materialists have tried to undermine our respect for free will and moral responsibility in order to bring about a hyper-rehabilitationist system. The materialists have not been nearly as successful as they would have liked--at least not yet. But the pushback is surely no consolation to the victims and the victims' families in those individual cases where criminals were exonerated solely because of supposed biological & environmental factors. Nor is it any consolation to the victims and their families in those cases where innocent victims themselves were dehumanized because of their supposed lack of biological fitness. Hyper-rehabilitiationism also led to criminals avoiding due punishment, instead facing inhumane medical "treatments" that run contrary to the Constitution's prohibition of cruel treatment.

Subsequent chapters address the impact of ardent metaphysical materialism (including neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory) on business, architecture, and bioethics. The chapters on Alfred Kinsey and sex education are not for the squeamish.

A later chapter goes on to discuss the theory of intelligent design (i.e., certain aspects of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, rather than undirected processes). But the book is not a defense of the theory of intelligent design per se. Instead, West places his discussion of the theory intelligent design primarily in the context of academic freedom. That freedom is under attack by too many in today's Darwinian establishment. West understands better than anyone the hostility and recriminations that scientists and other scholars have been subjected to in academic circles for taking interest in the theory of intelligent design--or for simply raising doubts about the scientific evidence for neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory.

Darwin Day in America is an excellent book. It receives my highest recommendation.

Darwin's Conservatives: The Misguided Quest
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 6, 2007 8:43:04 PM PST
A very thoughtful review Seth. Too bad the Darwinobots will soon be leaving you massive negative votes and writing vapid screeds on the book to insure it will not be seen. Such is the state of intellectual discourse among the "defenders of science."

Posted on Dec 10, 2007 12:07:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 10, 2007 12:08:53 PM PST
M. TRAYNOR says:
"Instead, West places his discussion of the theory intelligent design primarily in the context of academic freedom."

I wonder, does West discuss the theory of geocentrism or the theory the earth is flat in the context of academic freedom? Does West discuss the fact that the proponents of ID don't even use it in their own research? Not that folk like Behe do much in the way of actual research, mind, but still, why doesn't the well funded Discovery Institute actually discover anything? Apparently, unlike phlogiston theorists or dowsers or astrologers, ID folk must be treated as serious scientists even though their 'God made it that way' one-size-sits-all 'theory' produces nothing but an end of enquiry rather than a beginning, the death of discovery.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2007 9:31:40 AM PST
Rather than argue with West, M. Traynor's post merely mocks him, as if philosophical debate were but a fashion show and West's ideas were "so last year". Free men seek to debate each other, with the understanding that in the course of their arguments the winner will have won by displaying a more profound understanding of the subject but both will have gained by learning from the other's knowledge. The dogmatist and the relativist see no benefit from debate since for the former there can be no truth but his own and for the latter there can be no real learning since there is no objective truth whatsoever.
Free men seek debate; tyrants and despots seek to mock.

Posted on Dec 11, 2007 6:39:21 PM PST
It would've been nice if Seth had mentioned that he also formerly worked at the Discovery Institute.

A little pertinent disclosure never hurt anyone.

Posted on Dec 12, 2007 7:23:30 PM PST
Deep Pressed says:
Though I do find agreement in the comparison of Darwinism as a new form of religion within some of the scientific community (in as much as dogmatic followers proclaiming its 'RIGHT-iousness), I must fall back on the conclusion that the negative aspect of making the comparison, is derived from the original...namely religion. It seems to me that possibly any, and maybe all, arguments contrary to the 'science' attributed to Darwinism and its societal negative affects could be very easily compared to what religious sects have done to other humans throughout the history of man. I do not see how a 'return to God' is as relevant to the argument posed as much as a questioning of what truth and its meaning is (a.k.a. the STUDY OF science...maybe more specifically into the nature of man...and why we believe in God).

If the reality (subjective) can be perceived as being done by a human (animal if-you-will), and the understanding being that Man is first fallable, second, cannot profess to know the mind of God, then would it not make sense to take these facts into consideration in proportion to proposed rationalles about man and god? I do believe the scientist has an advantage of being more 'spiritual' if you will than the religious man in this arena; for a 'pure' scientist believes only that he is right until disproven and many DO know that they only have their very human capacities to evaluate the world with. It seems the problem lies with 'scientists' who would act like believers and thus take it upon themselves to continue practicing a method which obviously has disproven results, which by the way is why I think we don't still use structural cranial determinants to profile murderers.

I think it to be the dogmatic 'believers' which truly attempt to destroy religion, by taking it upon themselves to define what God is to the human race, and thus adding their own pretensious intentions into the definition. It also has the adverse effect of making God mad...He.

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 12:11:40 PM PST
Anonymous says:
Seth Cooper's statement about the Dover trial:

"Taking things from the top, between August of 2003 and August of 2005 I served Discovery Institute's Center for Science & Culture as a legal and public policy analyst. In keeping with Discovery Institute's long-held public policy position, I frequently reiterated to legislators, school board members, teachers, parents and students across the country that the legally and pedagogically appropriate way to treat the topic of evolution in public schools is to fully teach the scientific arguments for and against the contemporary version of Darwin's theory as well chemical evolutionary scenarios for the origin of the first life."

In other words, the policy of the DI has always been to try to cast doubt on science in order to trick the rubes into accepting "god did it".

=========

From this review:

"the theory of intelligent design (i.e., certain aspects of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, rather than undirected processes)"

And just what "intelligent cause" was present on this Earth over 3.5 billion years ago when life arose from non-life? Your Christian god???

"God did it" can never be a scientific theory. Even Stephen Meyer talks about "The God Hypothesis" (from 1999 and ever since then):

http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/ReturnofGdHypth.pdf

But such a "hypothesis" has NO evidence to support it and thus it has FAILED miserably.
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