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57 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Volume of the Highest Academic Standards, January 15, 2004
This review is from: Darwinism, Design and Public Education (Rhetoric & Public Affairs) (Hardcover)
Two comparable volumes have come out in the past year and a half that debate intelligent design theory: "Darwinism, Design, and Public Education (DDPE)" (edited by John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer) and "Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC) and its Critics" (edited by intelligent design critic Robert T. Pennock). Both are over 600 pages, with over 2 dozen articles both from the pro-intelligent design (ID) and pro-evolution viewpoints. It is the differences between DDPE (edited by pro-ID authors) and IDC and it Critics (edited by a pro-evolution author) which make DDPE a unique volume of far greater value.
1) As noted, both volumes have articles from both the pro- and anti-ID viewpoints. That's fine--in fact that is good! Dialogue and debate can only serve to make progress towards better understanding both intelligent design and evolutionary theoryin this issue. However, progress is best served when the playing fields are level.
Numbers-wise, DDPE has a more balanced presentation with about 43% of the articles from the "con" (i.e. pro-evolution side); in IDC and its Critics, only about 33% are from the "con" (i.e. pro-ID) side. That difference is minor, for the real story is told in how the articles are placed.
In IDC and its Critics, the articles from the "con" (i.e. pro-ID) side seemed like mere foils which were almost always then be clobbered to death by 1 to 5 articles from the pro-evolution side. Counter-rebuttal from design advocates seemed rare, and design advocates were rarely given the last word on any issue. In DDPE, the articles from the con side seemed to be genuine rebuttals which were left to stand for themselves. In fact, the entire last section of the book is almost entirely devoted to letting critics have their say. That comes at the end, meaning the pro-evolution authors are allowed to speak without immediate academic clobbering, as was typically done to the pro-ID authors in IDC and its Critics. With pro-ID editors, DDPE does allows for real discussion on a level playing field.
2) The "con" (i.e. pro-evolution) side in DDPE was represented by few old or dated articles that were being re-used, but rather seemed to include much genuinely new material. In IDC and its Critics, it seemed almost all the "con" (i.e. pro-ID) articles were older works from ID proponents, aged anywhere from 5 to 13 years, often from early in the ID movement when many objections had yet to be made, or good answers from ID proponents to certain criticisms had not been given sufficient time for gestation. Though not every article is new, DDPE stands in contrast because it contains a significant amount of novel material from both sides that is worth reading.
[...]
I'll readily admit my bias lies on the side of ID, but I must say that in DDPE, I appreciated arch-ID critic Massimo Pigliucci's article discussing the treatment of the origins of life in textbooks-an article that was not included in the "critics" section, but rather appeared to be part of a cooperative discussion of textbooks from both sides.
[...]
[...]
In short, I think the 2 volumes are comparable size, but their differences are very telling: DDPE treats its critics with academic respect and tries to give them a voice, [...]. I noticed a stark contrast between the way the two editors seemed to treat their critics.
DDPE is a volume of the highest academic standard that, [...] serves to give much academic credibility to this debate.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 2, 2007, 4:56:45 PM PST
I think it is odd for DI people to comment on a DI book...

Posted on Mar 25, 2007, 12:25:40 PM PDT
God says:
Hey Casey? Where's the [ID] beef?

In reply to an earlier post on May 17, 2007, 1:52:44 PM PDT
Stef says:
I think it is odd for a person to comment on DI people commenting on a DI book, three times in a day...

Posted on Dec 12, 2007, 6:20:01 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 12, 2007, 6:25:09 PM PST]

Posted on Aug 20, 2014, 12:11:25 PM PDT
Anonymous says:
Hilarious. A DI lawyer promotes a DI book. Luskin's review of Darwin's Doubt was deleted?

"intelligent design theory"

Hilarious. There is NO such "theory".

"However, progress is best served when the playing fields are level."

Hilarious. Religion cannot be "level" with science.

"mere foils which were almost always then be clobbered to death"

Quite appropriate of course.

Actually, this does not appear to be a book review.
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