by Denyse O'Leary
The ID controversy could only grow. That was partly due to demographics. As demographer Phillip Longman has pointed out, religious people have most of the kids.
And, of course, religious people are the ones most likely to noticethis sort of message being taught to their children in the tax-supported school system to which they are compelled to send them:
"Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned." (George Gaylord Simpson [major mid-20th century Darwinian evolutionist], The Meaning of Evolution, revised ed. (Yale University Press, 1967), p. 345.)
And that type of sentiment, by the way, does find its way into biology teaching.
Evolution "has no specific direction or goal, including survival of a species."
â€“ U.S. National Association of Biology Teachers
The conflict was clearly sharpening by the early years of the millennium:
The popular media were under siege from nonsense generated by the supposed new discipline of evolutionary psychology - an attempt to explain human behaviour based on the idea that the way our proto-human ancestors supposedly thought has been transmitted in our genes through evolution.
But the trouble is, no one knows what our proto-human ancestors actually thought, or even if they actually thought, in the modern human sense. The useful information about what our ancestors might have thought comes from periods in which they appear fully human, for example the Lascaux Cave, the Willendorf Venus, and Neanderthal burials. (Neanderthals are a (possibly) separate but now extinct species of modern human.)
So evolutionary psychology is, in the first place, a psychology without a subject.
In any event, the number of early humans who became the common ancestors of humans living today is apparently quite small compared to all who have ever lived. That means that we don't know whether the reaction that a majority of protohumans might have had to this or that circumstance would make any difference today. We don't know if we are descended from a majority or from a minority who did things differently, or from a mixture that eliminates any distinctives. We certainly don't know whether broad human behavior patterns are really coded in our genes. But evo psycho is a favorite with the pop science media, and likely to continue to be so. It is the primary way many moderately educated people learn and practice their Darwinism.
Eventually, and probably sooner than later, people would start to figure this stuff out.
Anyway, I started by writing a 48-page booklet called "Intelligent Design", in which I played a bit with the concepts. Later I found a publisher, the Minneapolis-based liberal Lutheran publisher Augsburg, via a friend in the business, and went to work on the book in the fall of 2002. In May 2004, the Canadian edition appeared, followed hard upon by the US edition, with a second edition to appear, probably some time in 2008. (Note: The two editions are identical, but the US head office wanted to publish a much bigger print run than we Canadians had anticipated.)
Go to Part Three
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).
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