Skip to main content

On the Evolutionary Road to Damascus - 4

This is the fourth in my series of linked blog entries on my experience of being converted (or not) to intelligent design. I had intended to do much the same with the second book as I did with the first - give a quick summary of the book in a first post, then analyze the key points in the next, but in this case there will be only one post about the book, for reasons that I think will become obvious.

The second book intended to shift me into the intelligent design camp is The 10 things you should know about the Creation vs Evolution debate by Ron Rhodes. What I didn't realize when I started to read this is that it's one of a whole series Ron has written including The 10 most important things you can say to a mason and The 10 most important things you can say to a Catholic. I think this tells you where Ron is coming from. (I confess I would be fascinated to read both of these!)

As the other books in the series show, this title really doesn't contribute to my journey, because it's not a science book, it's a religious book. A fair amount of its arguments are based on biblical quotation - important to many, but irrelevant to this discussion.

All in all, the book left me feeling more than a little queasy. Perhaps the best example of how it got things horribly wrong is it gives three examples of the evil that 'darwinism' is responsible for. This came close to self parody, because in every single example you could change 'darwinism' to 'Christianity' and make as much sense. According to Ron:
  • Hitler was a 'Darwinian evolutionist' - the implication is that evil actions of the state are driven by a 'belief' in darwinism. Unfortunately, it's all too easy to say the same about many world religions. And Hitler also believed the world was not flat - does his support make that theory doubtful too?
  • Evolutionary theory has played a role in fostering racism - no, incorrect assumptions falsely citing evolutionary theory have done this, not evolutionary theory. And let's not forget the Ku Klux Klan, making exactly the same type of misuse of a Christian heritage.
  • Darwin argued that men had greater mental powers than women, so evolutionary theory is sexist - Darwin's beliefs on women are neither here nor there, and would certainly be of his time. And let's face it, some of the epistles in the Bible are not exactly lacking in sexist content if you're just going to take things out of context.
I really can't go on with the contents of this book, which has a 'young earth', world created less than 10,000 years ago in six literal days viewpoint. If its viewpoint were true, it seems to accept that we are dealing with a God who maliciously did things to fool us, like set light from the stars in motion part of the way here, so it appears to be coming from further back in time than it really is. (The author agrees this is an unacceptable picture, so it must be wrong, but doesn't provide an alternative explanation.)

I can only end with a quote from a review of one of Ron's other books: 'This is an uneducated author in biblical research and church history, not to mention a person with an already established agenda which will not be deterred by the facts.'

This book hasn't changed my opinions at all - but then it's not surprising, as it regards even Intelligent Design as suspect. This isn't a science book, full stop. So, in my next and final post on the subject, I come to the last of the evidence I've been presented with - a DVD.


Popular posts from this blog

Why I hate opera

If I'm honest, the title of this post is an exaggeration to make a point. I don't really hate opera. There are a couple of operas - notably Monteverdi's Incoranazione di Poppea and Purcell's Dido & Aeneas - that I quite like. But what I do find truly sickening is the reverence with which opera is treated, as if it were some particularly great art form. Nowhere was this more obvious than in ITV's recent gut-wrenchingly awful series Pop Star to Opera Star , where the likes of Alan Tichmarsh treated the real opera singers as if they were fragile pieces on Antiques Roadshow, and the music as if it were a gift of the gods. In my opinion - and I know not everyone agrees - opera is: Mediocre music Melodramatic plots Amateurishly hammy acting A forced and unpleasant singing style Ridiculously over-supported by public funds I won't even bother to go into any detail on the plots and the acting - this is just self-evident. But the other aspects need some ex

Is 5x3 the same as 3x5?

The Internet has gone mildly bonkers over a child in America who was marked down in a test because when asked to work out 5x3 by repeated addition he/she used 5+5+5 instead of 3+3+3+3+3. Those who support the teacher say that 5x3 means 'five lots of 3' where the complainants say that 'times' is commutative (reversible) so the distinction is meaningless as 5x3 and 3x5 are indistinguishable. It's certainly true that not all mathematical operations are commutative. I think we are all comfortable that 5-3 is not the same as 3-5.  However. This not true of multiplication (of numbers). And so if there is to be any distinction, it has to be in the use of English to interpret the 'x' sign. Unfortunately, even here there is no logical way of coming up with a definitive answer. I suspect most primary school teachers would expands 'times' as 'lots of' as mentioned above. So we get 5 x 3 as '5 lots of 3'. Unfortunately that only wor

Best writing advice

I saw on Twitter the other day (via someone I know answering it), the question 'What's the best writing advice you would give to someone who wants to become a writer?' My knee-jerk response was 'Don't do it, because you aren't one.' What I mean by this is that - at least in my personal experience - you don't become a writer. Either you are one, or you aren't. There's plenty of advice to be had on how to become a better writer, or how to become a published writer... but certainly my case I always was one - certainly as soon as I started reading books.  While I was at school, I made comics. I wrote stories.  My first novel was written in my teens (thankfully now lost). I had a first career that wasn't about being a writer, but I still wrote in my spare time, sending articles off to magazines and writing a handful of novels. And eventually writing took over entirely. If you are a writer, you can't help yourself. You just do it. I'm writ