Welcome to ARN-Announce
by Dennis Wagner

Number Fourteen, April 30, 2001

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This is the fourteenth issue of ARN-Announce. It describes many of the upcoming events and new articles, books, videos and other resources on Intelligent Design. Please forward this message to several of your friends and colleagues to let them know about the resources available at Access Research Network ( Back issues of ARN-Announce can be found at


It seems like every week I hear about some new book that has just been published on some aspect of Intelligent Design. This month we would like to introduce you to three new authors as well as a new weekly web column by the general himself reporting on action from the frontline.

The first two books take a look at some important theological perspectives.

Huston Smith, who is well known for his scholarship on the world’s religions, surprised his colleagues with a new book explaining what is wrong with modern scientism and why religion still matters. Meanwhile Cornelius Hunter documents Darwin’s religious motivations in forming his theory and shows how modern day Darwinists rely on Darwin’s God as much as he did to justify naturalism.

Finally Neil Broom, a researcher from New Zealand, weighs in with a fresh new critique of materialistic science and yet more evidence for Intelligent Design. And because the printing press can’t keep up with all the ID news fast enough, we have launched a weekly web column by Phillip Johnson entitled “The Weekly Wedge Update.” For more details on these great new resources, read on.


New book by Huston Smith (ARN Item #B069, $19.50) Another Amazon Buster Deal!

Huston Smith is the grand old man of religious scholarship. Raised by missionary parents in China, Smith went on to teach at M.I.T. and U.C. Berkeley, among others, and his World's Religions has long been the standard introductory textbook for college religion courses, and was the primary focus of a five-part PBS television series with Bill Moyers.

Finding the right title for a new book is often a difficult task. As Smith wrote the text of his new book his working title was “The Human Spirit in the New Millennium: Light at the End of the Tunnel” because he wanted to argue that if the human spirit is to fare better than it recently has, it must shake off the tunnel vision of modernity. Another appropriate title for this book might have been “Why Science Does Not Have All The Answers.” One journalist even observed that Smith seemed to be angry at science. “No” he responded, “I am angry at us modern Westerners who, forsaking clear thinking, have allowed ourselves to become so obsessed with life’s material underpinnings that we have written science a blank check.”

So in this new book Smith sets out to explain the limits of science, and the worldview of naturalism that usually accompanies it. He opens up a new dialogue about the appropriate place of religion in human experience and modern society. If you enjoy reading books by Phillip Johnson, then you will also enjoy this new work by Huston Smith. In many ways it reads like a more popular version of Johnson’s books and serves as a great entry point into the problem of scientism and philosophical naturalism for the non-scientist.

To view a detailed table of contents or order a copy of this book at the best price on the net, go to:


New book by Cornelius Hunter (ARN Item #B056, $14.25) Amazon Buster Deal!

With endorsements from Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, William Dembski and Stephen Meyer on the jacket (see below), anyone following the Intelligent Design movement will recognize this as a “must-read” book. Cornelius G. Hunter provides a unique historical, theological and scientific look at the emergence of Darwin’s theory. Beginning with the provocative statement that "evolution is neither atheism in disguise nor is it merely science at work," Hunter denies evolution's claim to be pure science, beyond the "entanglements" of faith or belief. Ultimately, he shows how Darwin's theological concerns-particularly his inability to reconcile a loving, all-powerful God with the cruelty, waste, and quandaries of nature-led him to develop the theory of evolution.

Hunter provides the crucial key to engaging the Intelligent Design debate in the context of modern theology. He addresses the influences of Milton, rationalism, the enlightenment, and Deism, quoting extensively from Darwin's journals, letters, and scientific writings. Readers of history, science, philosophy, and theology will enjoy this honest telling of a complex and engrossing story.

Cornelius G. Hunter was senior vice president of Seagull Technology, Inc., a high tech firm in Silicon Valley. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in biophysics at the University of Illinois.

From the Jacket Cover:

George Hunter brilliantly supports his thesis that Darwinism is a mixture of metaphysical dogma and biased scientific observation, that 'at its core, evolution is about God, not science.'

-Phillip Johnson, author, Darwin on Trial

Biophysicist Cornelius Hunter argues perceptively that the main supporting pole of the Darwinian tent has always been a theological assertion: 'God wouldn't have done it that way.' Rather than demonstrating that evolution is capable of the wonders they attribute to it, Darwinists rely on a man-made version of God to argue that He never would have made life with the particular suite of features we observe. In lucid and engaging prose, Hunter shines a light on Darwinian theology, making plain what is too often obscured by technical jargon.

-Michael J. Behe, Lehigh University

This wonderfully insightful book will prove pivotal in the current reassessment of Darwinian evolution. Darwinists argue that evolution has to be true because no self-respecting deity would have created life the way we find it. Hunter unmasks this theological mode of argumentation and argues convincingly that it is not merely incidental but indeed essential to how Darwinists justify evolution.

-William A. Dembski, Baylor University

A fascinating study of a much overlooked aspect of the origins controversy.

-Stephen C. Meyer, Whitworth College

To view the table of contents or order a copy of this book at the lowest price around go to:


New book by Neil Broom (ARN Item #B053, $9.50) Amazon Buster Deal!

What do you get when you mix law professor Phillip Johnson, chemist Charles Thaxton and biochemistry professor Micahel Behe? You get Neil Broom from the University of Auckland in New Zealand who is just as comfortable talking about the philosophy of scientific materialism as he is theories on the origin-of-life, and evidence for design in biochemistry. Those who found the concepts in Behe’s Darwin’s Black Box exciting, but a bit difficult to wade through will definitely want to read How Blind is the Watchmaker? by Neil Broom. First, there are a lot more illustrations in this book than in Behe’s. Broom’s interesting blend of diagrams, scanning electronic microscope pictures, cartons, and photos will keep even the scientific novice turning the pages.

To make his case for design, Broom leads the reader through a layman’s tour of nature’s incredible machinery such as lilliputian molecular pumps, rotary engines and corkscrew propellers, molecular monkey bars of the cell’s cytoskeleton. Broom then discusses Michael Polanyi’s concept of hierarchical structures in living systems. In Polanyi’s concept there is information or design function in living systems that transcends the physical and chemical descriptions of the systems. Broom presents several analogies, such as Morse code, to demonstrate this point. He explains why simply understanding the chemical and physical bonds of DNA does not explain the higher functions (design) of living systems.

Broom spends several chapters reviewing origin-of-life arguments and principles of natural selection. He demonstrates why there is no creative power in either. Simply put: naturalism cannot create new information.

In his final chapters Broom turns to the amazing design of the humble bacterium and evidence from embryology. He conclude that claims by Darwinists to explain all of life is as absurd as imagining that the existence of any man-made machine can be accounted for without regard to its human inventor.

If you are looking for a good introduction to critiques of naturalism and evidence for design then this is the book for you. It’s interesting to see that the scientific community in the Southern Hemisphere is keeping pace with the growing Intelligent Design movement to the North. Of course many prominent ID proponents credit Australian medical doctor and scientist Michael Denton with sparking their interesting in the topic over twenty years ago with his classic book Evolution: A Theory in Crisis.

Neil Broom (Ph.D., Auckland) is an associate professor in the department of chemical and materials engineering at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Since 1975 he has been a research fellow of the Health Research Council of New Zealand involved in bioprosthetic heart valve development, joint tissue biomechanics and arthritis research, and spinal biomechanics.

From the Foreword:

In How Blind is the Watchmaker? Broom shows conclusively that Intelligent Designs opposition to Darwinism rests primarily on scientific grounds. He also explores cultural, theological and philosophical implications of Intelligent Design, but he does so only because Darwinism is, on its own terms, an oversold and overreaching scientific theory. Indeed, his scientific case against Darwinism is devastating.

-William A. Dembski, Baylor University

From the Jacket Cover:

Neil Broom provides a lively and informative demolition of reductionism that rules evolutionary biology. I recommend the book as another significant contribution to the program of freeing science from the outdated dogmatism of materialism.

-Phillip Johnson, author, Darwin on Trial

Some science popularizers aggressively push the notion that life is at root the result of blind chance. With admirable clarity and force, Neil Broom shows that is science fiction.

-Michael J. Behe, Lehigh University

This is a wonderful book. Neil Broom plants the seeds of a richer conception of biology, one found beyond the unreasonable limits of materialistic reductionisma new biology that, with some careful nurturing, should grow into a powerful new science of Intelligent Design.

-Paul Nelson, Senior Fellow, The Discovery Institute

Coming against popular ideas that science can do all things, Broom makes strong logical and critical commentary on the reductionistic deflation in scientific materialism and shows how the world is much richer and more complex than scientific reductionism will permit.

-James E. Loder, Princeton Theological Seminary

To view the table of contents or order a copy of this book go to:

“THE WEEKLY WEDGE UPDATE” New feature on the ARN home page.

Weekly commentary on the Intelligent Design movement by Phillip Johnson ==============================================================================

A positive article about Intelligent Design on the front page of the Sunday New York Times ( was one of the signposts that Phillip Johnson had been waiting for. ID was now legitimately on the intellectual table and could no longer be ignored by the Darwinist majority. This event caused Johnson to issue his Intelligent Design Progress Report (

This report became the first installment of a newsy weekly web column by Johnson on happening in the ID movement. In the April 23 column he takes Jerry Coyne to task for his thoroughly nasty review in Nature of Jonathan Well's book Icons of Evolution and shows how Robert Write missed the mark in his web article “The New Creationism.”

To view Phil’s Weekly Wedge Update column go to:


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