All packed up for NYC!

October 5, 2008 at 7:04 pm (books, review, science)

My time in DC is over and now it’s time to move to the next place.  No more taxation without representation.  I want to be represented and taxed!  I’ll be in NYC by tomorrow night.

Miraculously, I accumulated a little bit more stuff, but I can still fit it in my suitcases.  I hope it’ll fit in the NYC nook that I’ll be living in this fall.

I just finished reading Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul.  (Amazon link)  By Ken Miller, a professor that I had at Brown.  One of the best professors that I had at Brown.  He’s been really involved in the evolution battle.  In this book, he lays out all the arguments for intelligent design, and then explains very clearly and thoroughly why each of those arguments can’t hold up to actual scientific evidence and reasoning.  He also explains the larger motivations behind the intelligent design movement and how this is the first step to break down the scientific process and bring us backwards.  And points out a lot of ulterior motivations that were uncovered as a result of the Dover, PA trial.  He also explains how what we are learning about evolution is even more awesome than the creation story.  I absolutely agree with that.  Evolution is a beautiful and inspiring thing – living organisms can tune themselves to each other and to their environments.  It’s so much more brilliant than the biblical account, which isn’t even taken literally by many (most?) religions.

I highly recommend it.  It’s beautifully written.  It’s clever and clear and humorous.  And thorough.  I also like how the title can be interpreted differently by different groups, so more people will wind up picking it up.  I hope people who think that ID has some merit or doubt evolution or think that accepting the evolution of humans means that we are the product of a random process read this.  I think that they would find this very respectful and enlightening and uplifting.

More good evolution resources:

Ken Miller visited Stephen Colbert.  Here’s the video.

The National Academies published a booklet – Science, Evolution, and Creationism – that explains the fundamental ideas and evidence behind evolution and also why intelligent design is not a scientific theory.  You can read it online, listen to it as a podcast, or spend a little money to get a hard copy version.  They also argue (as does Ken Miller), that religion and science address fundamentally different and non-overlapping things – natural world vs. supernatural world.  Putting them in opposition to each other is an artificial construct that causes unnecessary trouble.  They also have a whole section on common arguments against evolution and they lay out clear responses to each of those.  This is much shorter than Only a Theory, it just covers the basics, but it is nicely argued and organized.  And it’s short.

There’s a NOVA documentary about the Dover, PA trial.  I haven’t watched it yet, but I expect it to be good.


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