by Denyse O'Leary
He offers a thoughtful and often ironic look at this curious moment in Western history when a culture that was not founded on materialism has recently become completely obsessed with protecting it from inevitable disconfirmation. Darwinism, the creation story of materialism, has become the flashpoint of the battle to save materialism in a universe that, in the words of physicist Sir James Jeans, is more like a great thought thought than a machine. Not surprisingly - most people actually sense that, and the committed Darwinists intellectual establishment simply cannot make North Americans accept their most fundamental ideas, such as evolution as a as an "unsupervised" and "impersonal" process, humans as mere animals, and concern for others simply a way to spread "selfish genes."
Wells, of course, had a front row seat for such recent controversies as the Smithsonian uproars (both the persecution of scientist Rick Sternberg and The Privileged Planet showing), and his style is easy and uncluttered. But what really makes the book both fascinating and funny is the frantic quotes from obsessed Darwinists who make quite clear that they will stop at nothing in their attempts to impose materialism on an unbelieving public. And yet they attempt to portray their victims as "horribly frightening" (a quote).
The ID guys are "horribly frightening"? Yes, but not because they wish or do any harm. But rather because more and more people are beginning to figure out what is going on. There will be an accounting. For the Darwinists, given the number of careers of honest. Thoughtful scientists that they have wrecked, that will be something like what happens when the judge hears the victim impact statement.
Two things about Wells' book unsettle me, however:
First, when people realize the extent to which the science establishment has been coopted by a sort of mindless materialism, far more scandals may come to light than we can easily handle. I am thinking, for example, of the Smithsonian's shameless cooperation with a pressure group in order to persecute Rick Sternberg. That makes me wonder how many areas other than origins studies have been corrupted by materialist nonsense. (I know of at least one other - neuroscience - and what unsettles me here is the fact that neuroscience is the only one I have had the chance to look into.)
Second, Wells says relatively little about the major role played by co-opted Christian churches in a relatively religious country like the United States. He quotes Darwin lobbyist Eugenie Scott as saying that "One clergyman with a backward collar is worth two biologists at a school board meeting any day!" But when people begin to piece together what happened, what about these clergymen who sold their flocks a theory that made them a little lower than the animals (not the angels)? Isn't there certain to be an accounting?
But none of that is Wells' fault (though I've no doubt some will attempt to make out that it is).
Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O'Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada's Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of the forthcoming The Spiritual Brain (Harper 2007). /blockquote>
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