From Publishers Weekly
Biophysicist Hunter brings rare depth and originality to this analysis of an often-neglected stream of Darwin's thought, illuminating not only the original debates surrounding The Origin of Species, but also contemporary questions about evolution and religion. Hunter's main argument is that most interpreters of evolution have misjudged Darwin's metaphysical motives. Rather than an assault upon God's existence, evolution was for Darwin and many of his contemporaries a defense of God's goodness, a strategy for disassociating God from the often unsavory details of nature by introducing a blind process of natural selection. Hunter attributes the early enthusiasm for evolution to the pervasive but shallow "modern theology" of many educated Victorians, whose offense at the violence and inefficiency of nature was compounded by their expectation that God's dealings with the world must always be benevolent and clearly discernable as such. Still more fascinating is the way Hunter traces similar metaphysical arguments in evolutionary rhetoric from Darwin to the present day, suggesting that theological attitudes from the nave summit of the "modern" era continue to color perceptions of evolution and creation, often to the detriment of both. This book falls outside the standard niches of the evolution-and-religion literature, and readers who strongly identify with either side of creation-evolution debates will find grounds for disagreeing with some of Hunter's assertions; but the cogency of his central argument should attract readers of both persuasions.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
"George Hunter brilliantly supports his thesis that Darwinism is a mixture of metaphysical dogma and biased scientific observation, that 'at its core, evolution is about God, not science.'" -Phillip Johnson, author, Darwin on Trial
Biophysicist Cornelius Hunter argues perceptively that the main supporting pole of the Darwinian tent has always been a theological assertion: 'God wouldn't have done it that way.' Rather than demonstrating that evolution is capable of the wonders they attribute to it, Darwinists rely on a man-made version of God to argue that He never would have made life with the particular suite of features we observe. In lucid and engaging prose, Hunter shines a light on Darwinian theology, making plain what is too often obscured by technical jargon. -Michael J. Behe, Lehigh University
This wonderfully insightful book will prove pivotal in the current reassessment of Darwinian evolution. Darwinists argue that evolution has to be true because no self-respecting deity would have created life the way we find it. Hunter unmasks this theological mode of argumentation and argues convincingly that it is not merely incidental but indeed essential to how Darwinists justify evolution. -William A. Dembski, Baylor University
A fascinating study of a much overlooked aspect of the origins controversy. -Stephen C. Meyer, Whitworth College
In this latest must-read installment of scholarship on human origins, Cornelius Hunter shows how Darwin's metaphysical questions-particularly his inability to reconcile a loving, all-powerful God with the cruelty, waste, and quandaries of nature-led him to develop the theodicy of evolution.
Cornelius G. Hunter was senior vice president of Seagull Technology, Inc., a high tech firm in Silicon Valley. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of Illinois.