Intelligent Thought

Intelligent Thought : Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement

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Description

Evolutionary science lies at the heart of a modern understanding of the natural world. Darwin's theory has withstood 150 years of scientific scrutiny, and today it not only explains the origin and design of living things, but highlights the importance of a scientific understanding in our culture and in our lives. Recently the movement known as "Intelligent Design" has attracted the attention of journalists, educators, and legislators. The scientific community is puzzled and saddened by this trend-not only because it distorts modern biology, but also because it diverts people from the truly fascinating ideas emerging from the real science of evolution. Here, join fifteen of our preeminent thinkers whose clear, accessible, and passionate essays reveal the fact and power of Darwin's theory, and the beauty of the scientific quest to understand our world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 157.48 x 231.14 x 33.02mm | 2,630.82g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0307277224
  • 9780307277220
  • 755,801

Review quote

"Evolutionary biology certainly hasn't explained everything that perplexes biologists, but intelligent design hasn't yet tried to explain anything at all." -Daniel C. Dennett, Philosopher "Natural selection is not some desperate last resort of a theory. It is an idea whose plausibility and power hits you between the eyes with a stunning force, once you understand it in all its elegant simplicity." -Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary Biologist "An evolutionary understanding of the human condition, far from being incompatible with a moral sense, can explain why we have one." -Steven Pinker, Psychologist Not only is ID markedly inferior to Darwinism at explaining and understanding nature but in many ways it does not even fulfill the requirements of a scientific theory. -Jerry A. Coyne, evolutionary biologist The geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously declared, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." One might add that nothing in biology makes sense in the light of intelligent design. -Jerry A. Coyne, evolutionary biologist Evolutionary biology certainly hasn't explained everything that perplexes biologists, but intelligent design hasn't yet tried to explain anything at all. --Daniel C. Dennett, philosopher and cognitive scientist A denial of evolution-however motivated-is a denial of evidence, a retreat from reason to ignorance. --Tim D. White, paleontologist Natural selection is not some desperate last resort of a theory. It is an idea whose plausibility and power hits you between the eyes with a stunning force, once you understand it in all its elegant simplicity. --Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist The supernatural explanation fails to explain because it ducks the responsibility to explain itself.--Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist Nothing indicates that people who believe that life arose by chance also believe that morality is haphazard. --Scott Atran, anthropologist and psychologist An evolutionary understanding of the human condition, far from being incompatible with a moral sense, can explain why we have one. --Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist To state that a given organ is so improbable that it requires design is just ill founded. The argument uses standard probability, which does not apply to the evolution of the biosphere. --Stuart A. Kauffman, theoretical biologist We don't have an intelligent designer (ID), we have a bungling consistent evolver (BCE). Or maybe an adaptive changer (AC). In fact, what we have in the most economical interpretation is, of course, evolution. --Lisa Randall, physicist What counts as a controversy must be delineated with care, as we want students to distinguish between scientific challenges and sociopolitical ones. --Marc D. Hauser, evolutionary psychologist Incredulity doesn't count as an alternative position or critique. --Marc D. Hauser, evolutionary psychologist Rather than removing meaning from life, an evolutionary perspective can and should fill us with a sense of wonder at the rich sequence of natural systems that gave us birth and continues to sustain us. --Scott D. Sampson, paleontologist
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About John Brockman

John Brockman is a writer, agent, and publisher of Edge, the "Third Culture" website (www.edge.org), the forum for leading scientists and thinkers to share their research with the general public. He is the author of By The Late John Brockman and The Third Culture and has edited several previous anthologies including The Next Fifty Years, Curious Minds, and My Einstein. He lives in New York City.
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Table of contents

John Brockman Introduction

Jerry A. Coyne Intelligent Design: The Faith That Dare Not Speak Its Name

Leonard Susskind The Good Fight

Daniel C. Dennett The Hoax of Intelligent Design and How It Was Perpetuated

Nicholas Humphrey Consciousness: The Achilles Heel of Darwinism? Thank God, Not Quite

Tim D. White Human Evolution: The Evidence

Neil H. Shubin The “Great” Transformation

Richard Dawkins Intelligent Aliens

Frank J. Sulloway Why Darwin Rejected Intelligent Design

Scott Atran Unintelligent Design

Steven Pinker Evolution and Ethics

Lee Smolin Darwinism All the Way Down

Stuart A. Kauffman Intelligent Design, Science or Not?

Seth Lloyd How Smart Is the Universe?

Lisa Randall Designing Words

Marc D. Hauser Parental Guidance Required

Scott D. Sampson Evoliteracy

Appendix Excerpt from the Memorandum Opinion of The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, December 20, 2005
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Review Text

"Evolutionary biology certainly hasn't explained everything that perplexes biologists, but intelligent design hasn't yet tried to explain anything at all." -Daniel C. Dennett, Philosopher

"Natural selection is not some desperate last resort of a theory. It is an idea whose plausibility and power hits you between the eyes with a stunning force, once you understand it in all its elegant simplicity." -Richard Dawkins, Evolutionary Biologist

"An evolutionary understanding of the human condition, far from being incompatible with a moral sense, can explain why we have one." -Steven Pinker, Psychologist

Not only is ID markedly inferior to Darwinism at explaining and understanding nature but in many ways it does not even fulfill the requirements of a scientific theory. -Jerry A. Coyne, evolutionary biologist

The geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky famously declared, "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution." One might add that nothing in biology makes sense in the light of intelligent design. -Jerry A. Coyne, evolutionary biologist

Evolutionary biology certainly hasn't explained everything that perplexes biologists, but intelligent design hasn't yet tried to explain anything at all. -Daniel C. Dennett, philosopher and cognitive scientist

A denial of evolution-however motivated-is a denial of evidence, a retreat from reason to ignorance. -Tim D. White, paleontologist

Natural selection is not some desperate last resort of a theory. It is an idea whose plausibility and power hits you between the eyes with a stunning force, once you understand it in all its elegant simplicity. -Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist

The supernatural explanation fails to explain because it ducks the responsibility to explain itself.-Richard Dawkins, evolutionary biologist

Nothing indicates that people who believe that life arose by chance also believe that morality is haphazard. -Scott Atran, anthropologist and psychologist

An evolutionary understanding of the human condition, far from being incompatible with a moral sense, can explain why we have one. -Steven Pinker, a cognitive scientist

To state that a given organ is so improbable that it requires design is just ill founded. The argument uses standard probability, which does not apply to the evolution of the biosphere. -Stuart A. Kauffman, theoretical biologist

We don't have an intelligent designer (ID), we have a bungling consistent evolver (BCE). Or maybe an adaptive changer (AC). In fact, what we have in the most economical interpretation is, of course, evolution. -Lisa Randall, physicist

What counts as a controversy must be delineated with care, as we want students to distinguish between scientific challenges and sociopolitical ones. -Marc D. Hauser, evolutionary psychologist

Incredulity doesn't count as an alternative position or critique. -Marc D. Hauser, evolutionary psychologist

Rather than removing meaning from life, an evolutionary perspective can and should fill us with a sense of wonder at the rich sequence of natural systems that gave us birth and continues to sustain us. -Scott D. Sampson, paleontologist
show more

Rating details

210 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 28% (58)
4 43% (91)
3 23% (48)
2 5% (10)
1 1% (3)
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