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Darwin's Nemesis: Phillip Johnson and the Intelligent Design Movement Paperback – February 22, 2006

3.2 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This Festschrift from friends—and a couple of friendly critics—honors Phillip Johnson, the Berkeley law professor whose 1991 publication Darwin on Trial and later books helped intelligent design emerge as a highly visible, and highly controversial, alternative to Darwinism. While it may be premature to hail Johnson as "Darwin's Nemesis," these essays reveal him as an influential strategist and mentor within the ID movement. Contributors to the 2004 symposium that spawned this collection include leading ID advocates Michael Behe, Stephen Meyer, Jonathan Wells and Scott Minnich, as well as Darwin defender Michael Ruse, who has engaged Johnson in debate. Other contributors address cultural and political questions beyond evolution itself, such as Francis Beckwith's timely review of legal controversies over ID in the classroom, J. Budziszewski's discussion of naturalism and the Natural Law tradition and editor William Dembski's commentary on the professional—and often personal—"backlash" against ID advocates. Readers who are familiar with the basics of ID and curious about the movement's development and inner workings will find much of interest, although for an account of the most recent and current controversies over ID, they will need to consult other sources. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"These essays reveal [Johnson} as an influential strategist and mentor within the ID movement" -- —Publisher's Weekly, February 13, 2006
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: IVP Academic (February 22, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830828362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830828364
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,497,563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on April 30, 2013
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Editor William Albert Dembski (born 1960) is a key figure in the "Intelligent Design" movement, who is a professor at the Southern Evangelical Seminary and a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute. He has written/edited many other books, such as The Design Inference, Intelligent Design, The Design Revolution, Mere Creation, Uncommon Dissent, Tough-Minded Christianity, etc.

Dembski wrote in the Preface to this 2006 book, "This volume takes its place alongside other intelligent-design compilations, serving as a handy reference for various ID research topics and personal stories. Yet, as a tribute to our well-loved friend, this book also plays a special role in the ID literature... this book memorializes Phil's achievements in heading the ID movement and thanks him for his influence not only on our lives but also on the wider community of ID proponents and friendly critics." (Pg. 21) Essayists include Stephen Meyer, Michael Behe, Thomas Woodward, Michael Ruse [!], Jonathan Wells, etc., and a "Final Word" by Philip Johnson.
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I have not read all this book yet but, it is all it is claimed to be. It mostly deals with Phillip E Johnson, formerly a law professor at U.C Berkely law school. He led the charge of exposing the flaws of the Darwin theory, of which there are many. Trained in the law he is eminently qualified to expose the failure of an argument. I have a picture over my desk which is the bible of the Darwinists. 5 figures from left to right starting with the ape on four legs and graduating to "man" majestically upright. I never bought it and good scientists talked for years about the "missing link" until the Humanists, lawyers, educators et al took it over and peddled it to every student in government public schools & colleges until it became the bible for creation. Think of it. All life started in a prehistoric puddle of inorganic muck which morphed to organic muck to cells etc etc all randomly and without design to MANKIND who can now survive through his massive manpower and solve all problems without the design of a creator. If that is assumed true, I offer the reader Washington DC, New York City, Baltimore, Miami, Los Angeles, well ad infinitum, ad nauseum!
I did not buy it before and I do not buy it now. This book, "Darwin's Nemesis" deals with all this in formidable argument. It is not too late for brainwashed Darwinists to look at the evidence. If you study the "Humanist Manifesto I & 2" you will find the Intelligentsia, Lawyers and Educators doing away with God and his rules so more than a few of them could get on with their lie of license.
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First I checked this book out at the local library; I enjoyed the first third or so enough to purchase it and was not disappointed at all. This is more than a tribute to an inaugurating champion of man's intellectual capacities; it's a fitting collection of contributions to the search that this man initiated (for all intents and purposes) several decades ago.
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The book itself is a good resource for readers who wish to learn more about the works of Phillip Johnson, a leader of the Intelligent Design theories/(facts according to his supporters). It is a one sided defense of Johnson and tears down Darwin. Granted, Darwin made lots of mistakes, but Darwin was the first word, not the most recent, researcher into evolution. One writer insists the world is 10,000 years old. Some writers refute the existence of genetic mutations, or that any mutated species could survive. I know of the research into genetic mutations of species that following nuclear blasts and I believe that genes can indeed mutate and find it sad we have to debate even this level of science. But, indeed, this is the core of this debate.

I note one writer who argues how terrible it is that there are those who believe that since religion is not testable truth that it can not be taught as truth in schools. Yes, that is why your truth has to be faith, not taught in public schools as truth. Students are of different faiths, and it is up to their faiths to teach them faith. It is the role of schools to teach testable truth. That's the way it is supposed to be. Sorry.

The book is a good resource. Even those who disagree with these views can learn from it and allow the debates on this to continue.
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I am shocked by the vial hate-speech and mindless ad hominem attacks in the "reviews" printed below. They demonstrate just the kind of vicious closed-minded nonsense that ID proponents seek to dispel. To quote one extreme example (you can read it in context in John Kwok's "review" below): "I find the notion of a Festschrift published in honor of Professor Johnson as absurd as a group of Neo-Nazis publishing one to commemorate Adolf Hitler and his hate-filled book "Mein Kampf" (I find this an apt comparison since Johnson and quite a few of his supporters have an ideological world view that is remarkably close to the likes of Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.)."

Well, to quote Adolf Hitler, whom this reviewer seems to have some familiarity with, "All propaganda must be popular and its intellectual level must be adjusted to the most limited intelligence among those it is addressed to. Consequently, the greater the mass it is intended to reach, the lower its purely intellectual level will have to be." Several of these reviews marvelously illustrate this principle and shame on them for that. And good on the authors of Darwin's Nemesis, both advocates and opponents of ID, who seek a more reasoned approach.

As far as this book is concerned, it must have hit a raw nerve. One has to wonder what irrational opponents of Johnson and his thinking are so sensitive about. If Darwinism really does all that it claims, then it will survive if it is the fittest theory; if not, extinction is inevitable. Whatever happens, there is no place in a civilized society for the kind of hate-speech that a few reviewers clearly wish to substitute for rational arguments. Most appear to do this because they have not actually read the book, but simply hate Phillip Johnson.
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