by Denyse O'Leary
This question started out as "science and religion" at another list but the religion part got lost somehow, not because I am unreligious but because I wasn't sure how much religion, as such, you can learn from a serious exposition of the reasons for thinking that design is a feature of our universe.
All you can really learn from books about design is that materialist atheism is nuts.And, not surprisingly, all the materialist atheist mooches and tax burdens do everything they can to try to sink such books in the ratings. Don't usually succeed, of course, but can't blame 'em for trying.
Anyway, here are my five top picks (exempting any book for which - so far as I know - I had anything to do with the text):
1. Michael Denton's Nature's Destiny: Denton discusses the world I know, all the more authentically because he addresses the southern cone, not my beloved northlands. I first got interested in design issues about a decade ago, and Denton's book was a key reason. I was sitting in a bookstore cafe in a northern city, and my brother saw I was interested, so he bought me a gift certificate so I could buy the book. The book just made so much sense. It describes the world I know, where things do not happen simply by chance or survival of the fittest.
2. Michael Behe's Darwin's Black Box. When I first encountered the book, I was flush with the success of having landed a science and faith column in a Canadian Christian publication (since, abruptly cancelled). When I first read Behe's book, I was astonished to discover that there is a lot of evidence against Darwinism and little for it - despite endless local obsequious coo's from bible school profs that "there is no conflict between science and religion (even though I knew of theist profs who were at that very time under serious threat.).
The "no conflict" profs really meant, of course, that there is no conflict between Darwinism and Christianity, as the Biologos Institute would have us believe. But, of course, "survival of the fittest" and Christianity are irreconcilable, as I noted when I saw former Biologos golden boy - and still a golden boy in many Christian circles - beaming with joy over human embryonic stem cell research.
I myself was astonished to discover, in interview, how foolish Christian women abandon live human embryos (their early stage children) in fertility clinics, so the kids end up getting processed for - whatever.
And if that is the "religion" part of "no conflict between ...", deal me out right now! Elsewhere, it is called being a "useful idiot." But you will see a lot of it in the Christian press these days.
3. Phillip Johnson's Darwin on Trial: Still a classic in asking the right, serious questions, principally about the way in which Darwinism became popular culture's icon, and what that actually means.
You can see it if you travel the subway in a major city today - full of tattooed, pierced, unemployable people, absolutely convinced that the "government" owes them a living, because they are the somehow surviving apes. It is hard to know where to begin, in countering this view because it is implicit in their education. Johnson was especially good at skewering "theistic evolution" (= how to sell out to atheism without openly admitting it).
4. Steve Meyer's Signature in the Cell (Harper One, 2009). Meyer explains how new information about the cell shows that Darwinists and "Christian" Darwinists are simply wrong in supposing that Darwin's ingenious "survival of the fittest" explanation shows how intricate machinery can occur with no design at all. Darwin's claim is a complete imposture, and should have occurred to anyone who works for a living, but many British aristocrats like himself in his day and many civil servants and lobbyists today never did practical work, and wouldn't really know why we cannot create intelligence from mere matter by accident.
5. Alfred Russel Wallace's Theory of Intelligent Evolution was one of those books everyone heard of - if they work this beat - but no one had read. After all, Darwin's mob did a pretty good job of wasting his co-theorist Wallace, right? And Wallace's only serious crime was not to be a materialist atheist.
In the world according to Darwin, you are either a materialist atheist or a useful idiot for same.
Wallace understood the world I know much better - not at all surprising, because he was a much better naturalist than Darwin. In the world I know, co-operation matters.
Eighty-five years ago, my devout grandmother told my five-year-old father to follow a turkey hen up into the hills and find out where she was caching her eggs. The trouble was, a coyote could get them. The boy - not much taller than a turkey hen himself - had to follow the hen discreetly, because she would turn around and look at him. But he found the eggs, and his mother promptly put them under a broody chicken hen, in the henhouse, so they could be safely hatched.
(Note: Obviously, I have avoided speaking of any book with which I was in any way involved - so far as I know. Because I work in publishing, it is always possible for some Darwinist sponge or tax burden, with no more useful activities to occupy his time, to pretend some case for my involvement with a book, but, as I always say in such cases, ... pffft.
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 Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (Harper 2007).
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