Field of Science

NCSE reviews ID literature

On the National Center for Science Education's website is a review of Thomas Woodward's Darwin Strikes Back from 2006. Woodward sent me this book as a gift in 2007, but I have never gotten through all of it. It's tiring to read something that distorting. My copy is filled with notes in the margin where I felt Woodward was clearly ignorant of the science. Jason Rosenhouse (of EVOLUTIONBLOG) lists three difficulties with Woodward's book:
  • He presents an inaccurate and caricatured version of evolutionists’ arguments.
  • He does not reference the most scholarly refutations of ID arguments, but focuses instead on short book reviews and popular- level articles.
  • When he discusses the scientific details, he routinely gets important things wrong.
I especially agree with the third of these points; getting the science wrong really is almost expected when the author has no proficiency in the subject (Woodward has a B.A. in History and a Th. M. in Systematic Theology). Honestly, having to refute scientific arguments from someone not well versed in the field is really annoying. Rosenhouse spells it out in his review:
[The representation of taxonomy] is merely a taste of all that is wrong with this book. Woodward makes much of the fact that scientists use strong rhetoric in denouncing the arguments of ID folks. Of course they do. Woodward and his ilk run around the country accusing scientists of the crassest sort of ignorance and incompetence. The ID literature asserts that the common wisdom in every branch of the life sciences, whether in genetics, evolution, paleontology, anatomy, biochemistry and so on, is simply wrong. People study for years to become experts in any one of these disciplines, and then they have to put up with people bearing obvious religious and political agendas completely distorting everything about their subject. Is it surprising that they respond with anger? [My emphasis.]

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