Book Review: The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design

Note: This article is reprinted with permission from As I See It, a monthly electronic magazine compiled and edited by Doug Kutilek. AISI is sent free to all who request it by writing to the editor at dkutilek@juno.com.

The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design by Jonathan Wells. Washington, D. C.: Regnery Press, 2006. 273 pp. paperback. $19.95.
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In As I See It 4:2, we reviewed a previous book by Dr. Wells, Icons of Evolution, which we strongly recommended. Our conclusion is that this current work merits similar high praise. Dr. Wells (Ph.D. in biology from UC-Berkeley and Ph.D. in theology from Yale) is a leading figure at the Discovery Institute in Seattle and a major proponent of “intelligent design” (ID). ID is a more-than-decade-old movement that affirms that certain aspects of the physical universe cannot be explained in terms of mere mindless, directionless, accidental development—Darwinism—and therefore demand the work of an intelligent designer. These include irreducible complexity, the remarkable series of precisely convergent matters that make earth habitable, the origin of information in DNA and the origin of life itself. Included among adherents of ID are some old-earth creationists and theistic evolutionists.

Wells presents (and documents—there are forty-seven pages of notes and citations of sources, in the back of the book) the scientific failure of Darwinism. Paleontology—fossils—allegedly one of its strongest “pillars,” provides none of the support claimed and much to the contrary, nor does embryology. Nor does genetics, the most recent focus of the search for hoped-for confirmatory evidence. With such a crushing vacuum of supporting evidence, evolution nevertheless is the dominant philosophy of the educational and scientific ruling elite—those in government-funded university professorships and institution directorships.

The vested interest of these individuals in maintaining their status and salaries has often led them to tyrannical opposition, including suppression, intimidation, discrimination, slander, and threats against those who dare to have the audacity to even suggest that Darwinism may be flawed. Wells cites a number of cases where the most innocuous hints that Darwinism could and should be tested and challenged (rather than being mere dogmatically accepted on the basis of authoritarian decrees of the intelligentsia) have resulted in professors being fired, teachers being reprimanded, editors being dismissed, and school boards threatened with lawsuits. Rather than refute ID (and creationists) with facts, evidence, and proof, the standard response by the Darwinian “priesthood” to such challenges is ridicule and suppression by force.

It would seem, would it not, that if the Darwinists really have the facts on their side, they would welcome any opportunity to present the facts for all to see and evaluate for themselves, and thereby discredit the critics of Darwinism? But the Darwinists, judging from their actions, wish their view imposed on others by force, rather than that their minds be won over by evidence and argument. Curious, indeed.

Wells, as with others in the ID movement, wishes to keep ID focused in the realm of the physical universe, and expressly distances ID from biblical creationism, and young-earth creationism. This, of course, does not mean he is hostile to the Bible, but only wishes to leave it out of this argument. I do, however, think it a bit disingenuous to write, “Note: Intelligent design theory does not claim … that the intelligent cause must be a ‘divine being’ or a ‘higher power’ or an ‘all-powerful force.’ “ (p. 169). Logic compels the conclusion that if an intelligence created DNA, or designed the flagellum of micro-organisms or placed earth in its remarkably ideal position to support life and facilitate scientific investigation of the universe, then that intelligence must be exceedingly intelligent indeed, and unprecedentedly powerful, and there is no English word to describe such an intelligence except “God.” No, God is a necessary deduction if ID’s claims are true. And ID advocates should not pretend otherwise.

Those unfamiliar with the evolution-ID debate will find this a very helpful volume, and even those up on the topic will find much here that is new information.

This is one of a series of “Politically Incorrect Guides” published by Regnery Press (in AISI 9:6, we very favorably reviewed The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science by Tom Bethell; others are on American history, Islam, feminism, etc.). All are politically conservative, and those I am familiar with are friendly toward the Bible and Christianity.

kutilek.jpgDoug Kutilek is editor of www.kjvonly.org, a website dedicated to exposing and refuting the many errors of KJVOism, and has been researching and writing about Bible texts and versions for more than 35 years. He has a B.A. in Bible from Baptist Bible College (Springfield, MO), an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Hebrew Union College (Cincinnati), and a Th.M. in Bible exposition from Central Baptist Theological Seminary (Plymouth, MN). A professor in several Bible institutes, college, graduate schools, and seminaries, he edits a monthly cyber-journal, As I See It. The father of four grown children and four granddaughters, he and his wife, Naomi, live near Wichita, Kansas.
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