❰EPUB❯ ✼ Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design Author Michael Shermer – Uroturk.info
Excellent short and concise explanation of why creationism ID is crap and dangerous to teach as even close to real science. A Creationist Turned Scientist Demonstrates The Facts Of Evolution And Exposes Intelligent Design S Real AgendaScience Is On The Defensive Half Of Americans Reject The Theory Of Evolution And Intelligent Design Campaigns Are Gaining Ground Classroom By Classroom, Creationism Is Overthrowing BiologyIn Why Darwin Matters, Bestselling Author Michael Shermer Explains How The Newest Brand Of Creationism Appeals To Our Predisposition To Look For A Designer Behind Life S Complexity Shermer Decodes The Scientific Evidence To Show That Evolution Is Not Just A Theory And Illustrates How It Achieves The Design Of Life Through The Bottom Up Process Of Natural Selection Shermer, Once An Evangelical Christian And A Creationist, Argues That Intelligent Design Proponents Are Invoking A Combination Of Bad Science, Political Antipathy, And Flawed Theology He Refutes Their Pseudoscientific Arguments And Then Demonstrates Why Conservatives And People Of Faith Can And Should Embrace Evolution He Then Appraises The Evolutionary Questions That Truly Need To Be Settled, Building A Powerful Argument For Science ItselfCutting The Politics Away From The Facts, Why Darwin Matters Is An Incisive Examination Of What Is At Stake In The Debate Over Evolution This is probably one of the finest books to pick up, in case you were confused about Creationism or Intelligent Design controversy It s not as much of a controversy in the scientific world as we are taught, but we all know controversies can be manufactured and the biggest victim of this manufactured controversy is Darwin s theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.The Author Michael Shermer is former self declared creationist who spent a big deal of his young adult life enthusiastically spreading creationism Later in his life he saw reason and realized that the creationism movement was not portraying evolution correctly Having been in that movement, he understands how creationists and Intelligent Design ID advocates think and push their agenda.One of the great things of this book was the way he explained how our body is not exactly intelligently designed because it evolved through natural selection which isn t intelligent He mentioned a few of them male nipples, male uterus, anomalous thirteen ribs, tail bone, wisdom teeth, appendix, body hair, goosebumps etc All these are remnants of our ancestral apes and since existence of any of these doesn t affect our survival rate, these traits don t get extinct.Shermer provided a very simple explanation why people don t accept Evolution It feels too simplified, but given that most of evolution denial is religiously motivated, it s not a broad generalizationThis morality is what bothers people aboutevolution theory, not the technical detailsof the science Most folks don t give onewhit about adaptive radiation,allopathic speciation, punctured equilibrium and the like What they docare is about whether teaching evolutionwill make their kids reject God, allowscriminals and sinners to blame theirgenes for their actions and generallycause society to fall apart.There is a pretty good explanation of the Scopes trial and in general pretty un intelligent movement called Intelligent Design The members of ID would claim in court that their theory sic has nothing to do with religion and outside the court they would profess their love for God and link ID with God without caring that their statements are being recorded in public It would be surprising if such people who are anything but intelligent cant come up with the Intelligent Design explanation of existence of life.The fruitless debatesShermer explains how Creationism ID vs Evolution debates are kind of fruitless because one relies on faith whereas other relies on evidence Even though it is fruitless, refusal to take up the debate challenge can be seen as weak of insecurity of the scientists The goal of the debates are to target the fence sitters as the hardcore creationists won t change their mind as they consider their unmoved faith as a virtue and there is no point in targeting the scientific minded people as it would be preaching to the choir.Either Or FallacyShermer goes on the explain another fallacy of the ID movement as there is a shortage of fallacies where they consider only two explanation evolution or ID If science is not able to explain something, then it is an implicit proof that ID is right The fallacy lies in the fact that there can be than two answers for a question Another fallacy which Shermer didn t emphasize enough is that ID needs to explicitly prove it s validity Lack of scientific explanation doesn t automatically make ID valid This fallacy is also known to us as Gods of the Gaps.Science disproving religionThis was probably the most important chapter of the book Sherman provides three models in which science and religion can exist Conflicting world model A model where findings of science are considered a threat to religion and the ideas of religion are considered dangerous to science It is a model in which evidence clashes with faith Same world model A model which holds that science and religion are two ways of observing the world Separate World model In this model, science and religion are not compatible or mutually exclusive, but serve different purposes It explains how religion takes care of emotions, friendship, societies whereas science takes care of knowing the world.Shermer left this question mostly unanswered without providing any solid hint if he choses any of these models If I had to choose, my bet would be on Seperate World model It is useless and waste of time to explain people why religion does not explain the world Religion has been used as a shield for horrible things in the past, but if we can channel belief into something constructive, then it should be a much sought after option.I would not buy the argument that science and religion can coexist for the same topic If take for example origin of life Science has made it very clear that the answer to our best of knowledge is Evolution by Natural Selection along with Artificial Selection What about stars In this case, we have two answers provided by each The gas cloud collapsing on itself, which is provided by science and God Designer did it by Creationism ID In this case, I would have to choose evidence over faith.Science does not deal with all the things which religion deals with Morality, for example is something which we humans accept as a part of the culture which has very little to do with science Some religious people claim that morals come from God scriptures whereas other people who disagree with that claim don t say It comes from science Science is currently absent from the field of morality In case you think science should have an answer, then you should read The Moral Landscape How Science Can Determine Human Values by Sam Harris where he claims that science can answer moral questions, even though admitting his ideology isn t complete and needs work to even qualify as any kind of scientific theory. Why Darwin Matters, by well known skeptic author Michael Shermer, is an excellent introduction to the science, and lack thereof, behind the controversy between evolution and Intelligent Design ID creationism that has jeopardized science education in the USA Those who are seeking an in depth criticism of current ID arguments, however, will find this book lacking in particulars.Shermer begins with a concise survey of what evolution really is, and masterfully sets the historical stage in which evolution is pitted against Christian fundamentalism He accurately pinpoints the major logical fallacies characteristic of ID creationists arguments, and briefly surveys the best arguments put forth in favor of ID, touching on the flaws in each Finally, he reveals some disturbing facts about the true motives of the ID movement All in all, the book is beautifully organized and extremely well written.Nonetheless, it is not until the Coda after the Epilogue that Shermer drives home the central argument against ID, that it is scientifically vacuous The problem with the supernatural explanations of Intelligent Design is that there is nothing we can do with supernatural explanations They lead to no data collection, no testable hypotheses, no quantifiable theories therefore, no science Moreover, Shermer does an admirable job explaining the key role of evolution in modern biology, yet somehow fails to mention its enormous potential to improve human health, as geneticists and molecular biologists have already begun to unravel the secrets of the human genome, drawing crucial information from the genomes of the chimpanzee and other animals To the average American, that s why Darwin matters.The battle hardened scientist or science teacher already embroiled in the controversy will learn little from Why Darwin Matters but will still enjoy reading it And for any up and coming defender of science, this book makes a perfect springboard from which to explore the politico religious phenomenon of ID in greater depth. I have come to the conclusion that the subtitle should actually be the title of this book Sometimes I felt like I was in court and Intelligent Design was the defendant Shermer s purpose was to lay down the facts regarding evolution is such a way as to explain why Intelligent Design is a scientific impossibility Or, the fact that, in his opinion, Intelligent Design is not scientific at all.I rarely read books that are so thoroughly scientific I m not going to lie sometimes I had to skim over the most in depth parts about RNA and mitochondria and the nitty gritty aspects of evolutionary theory But there was much that was interesting about studies that have been done and anecdotal stories about evolutionary science these were very accessibly written I feel like I now have a sense for what both sides of the Evolution vs Intelligent Design debate assert and that I m able to have an informed discussion about the topic.I liked how the book was set up, the chapter headings and sub headings really guided my reading and often answered questions that came up as I read, especially this is it possible to reconcile a faith in God as a supreme being creator and knowledge of evolutionary theory He goes into this in depth, obviously, as he separates the theory of evolution from theological discourse I appreciated that he acknowledged that yes, it is totally possible to be reconciled to both but I also felt, and this bothered me, that he tended to be condescending regarding those who DID believe in Intelligent Design Actually, the whole tone of the book felt a bit condescending to me and even though he presents an excellent case and I don t even disagree with his point I just wish he d been less patronizing.This book got me thinking, that s for sure I can t pretend this is the perfect summer beach read or that everyone will want to pick it up, but it helped me use my brain for a while, got me to sort through how I feel about a multitude of issues and for the most part, it did entertain me So, take from that what you will. Why Darwin Matters The Case against Intelligent Design by Michael Shermer Why Darwin Matters is a solid, very accessible, concise book that refutes Intelligent Design ID It also provides lucid arguments in support of evolution The book is composed of the following nine chapters The Facts of Evolution, Why People Do Not Accept Evolution, In Search of the Designer, Debating Intelligent Design, Science Under Attack, The Real Agenda, Why Science Cannot Contradict Religion, Why Christians and Conservatives Should Accept Evolution, The Real Unsolved Problems in Evolution and a very interesting Appendix Positives 1 One of the main reasons Michael Shermer is a very good author is because he understands his audience He understands that this book is intended for the masses and he succeeds at providing the masses what it needs A clear understanding of Why Darwin in fact matters and the facts about evolution, in an accessible manner 2 Mr Shermer is also a very likeable and intelligent man and this comes through in his writing style which is straight forward, easy to follow yet profound It s the perfect gift for someone who wants to know the facts from fiction regarding evolution and ID 3 It clearly shows why ID is not science by going over their arguments 4 Explains to the layman what constitutes scientific work 5 The concept of convergence of independent lines of evidence leads to the very compelling and single conclusion, that life evolved 6 Love the use of lists throughout the book, such as vestigial structures, reasons why people resist the truth of evolutionary theory, seven strongest predictors of belief in God, reasons to engage in the debate between evolution and ID, arguments for ID, six cosmic numbers of the Anthropic Principle, ten icons of evolution, 7 Mr Shermer knows how to get to the point and does a wonderful job with lists and other interesting tidbits So much is covered succinctly in less than 225 pages 8 A good section on science under attack and a discussion on important court cases 9 The truth behind the people behind the ID movement and their ultimate agenda 10 An interesting chapter on what the real unsolved problems in evolution truly are 11 A truly enjoyable introduction to evolution written in an accessible manner for all levels to enjoy 12 Extensive notes and the links work well Negatives 1 Not as technical as other books on the topic but provides great references for those who want to dig deeper 2 Table of contents work fine but you can t access it from the menu 3 I think the weakest part of the book is when Mr Shermer tries to extend an olive branch of sorts to believers Evolution makes for good theology Didn t really buy this argument You can t allow faith to get in the way of the facts, no matter what they are In summary, this book is another great addition to my evolutionary collection I also recommend the following books on evolution Why Evolution Is True by Jerry Coyne my favorite book on this topic , Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin, The Making of the Fittest by Sean B Carroll, What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayr, Life Ascending The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution by Nick Lane and of course you have your pick of books from the master Richard Dawkins his most recent book on evolution is The Greatest Show on Earth. Excellent overview of the how evolution is among the most tested and observed hypothesis in natural science and how it dovetails or not with the various theories of creationism and intelligent design Recommended I have read other books by Shermer who write technical subjects with interest and clarity. In Why Darwin Matters The Case Against Intelligent Design Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic magazine, reviews succinctly both the overwhelming evidence in support of contemporary evolutionary theory and the pseudoscientific religious nonsense known as Intelligent Design, and then, discusses the real, unsolved problems in evolution Shermer, for example, has ample space to describe briefly Ernst Mayr s theory of allopatric speciation, and its relationship to punctuated equilibrium, the evolutionary paleontological theory developed by American invertebrate paleontologists Niles Eldredge and Stephen Jay Gould But he also devotes ample space to dissecting Intelligent Design concepts like William Dembski s Law of Conservation of Information , noting its irrelevance to both current mathematical information theory and the transfer and accretion of information via DNA in living biological systems He offers an elegant overview of the origins and history of the so called Evolution vs Intelligent Design Debate , devoting ample time to the existence of the infamous Wedge Document and the trial proceedings of the Kitzmiller vs Dover trial and, of course, the harsh verdict rendered by Federal Judge John E Jones III against both Intelligent Design and the Dover Area School District board Shermer s terse tome is noteworthy for several reasons First, he recognizes the necessity for engaging Intelligent Design advocates like Michael Behe and William Dembski, among others, in debates between themselves and knowledgeable critics on behalf of genuine science like Shermer, if only to educate public audiences on the nature of scientific inquiry, the ample facts obtained from genuine scientific research, and the disingenuous lies, half truths, and omissions promoted zealously by Intelligent Design advocates Second, he makes a most persuasive case explaining why evolution ought to be accepted by conservatives, as the agent ultimately responsible for the origins of morality in humans, and that survival of the fittest could be seen as a biological application of Adam Smith s concept of laissez faire free market economics Last, but not least, Shermer contends that science should be viewed as being complementary towards spirituality, by engendering a sense of awe in viewing, for example, distant galaxies therefore evolution can and should be seen in this very light For these reasons, Shermer s terse tome deserves a place on the bookshelves of as wide a readership as possible Reposted from my 2008 review Once an evangelical Christian, Michael Shermer made the journey from creationist to evolutionist, as did Darwin himself, when his foray into the natural sciences left him overwhelmed by evidence of evolution In this book, Shermer now the publisher of Skeptic magazine details several specific arguments made by those who believe in Intelligent Design such as the belief that only micro and not macro evolution occurs Then, one by one, he shows how each of these arguments fall apart at the most crucial point In each case, he then provides the explanation provided by science evolution He sheds light on how little those who champion Intelligent Design many of whom are influencing textbook content seem to understand about even something as basic as the scientific method or the definition of theory in science.After discrediting Intelligent Design, Shermer goes on to make one of the elegant arguments I ve heard about how one can both accept evolution and a creator although not Intelligent Design , as many do He makes attempts to explain why one might, but of course, must abandon intellectual rigor at this point Still, the argument is eloquent and he does resolve the conflict Proving the existence of gods, of course, is another matter, but that isn t his task. I am normally a fan of Michael Shermer s mixture of wit and wisdom but Why Darwin Matters just fell a little flat for me The book is well written and full of facts and wry wit but I found it read like a primer, only useful for those about to debate a proponent of Intelligent Design ID Now this maybe the goal of the book and if it is then it has accomplished it, but I was looking for and this may have been where I went wrong.The book goes over the basics of evolution and of the advances made in biology since Darwin, which was interesting but not very in depth Much of the text is spent educating the reader on the history of Creationism, ID and the legal battles in the US to get them taught as alternatives to Evolution The focus on US court battles is where Shermer begins to lose me, I care to learn about the science but the legal battles, not so much Once again I am probably falling victiim to not being the core audience for this book.Why Darwin Matters is a good book and I am sure it will find a receptive audience amongst American skeptics and freethinkers but I fear that it s narrow look at evolution left me out of the loop and hoping for.