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How Nature Works

by John Farrell

Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, by Stephen C. Meyer (HarperOne, 512 pp., $28.99)

Our contemporary debates about evolution are basically an extension of the argument Christians have been having with one another since the Middle Ages, about how much autonomy God granted to the natural world. Creationists claim that it was very little.

Stephen C. Meyer, a philosopher of science at the Discovery Institute in Seattle, is not a creationist in the standard definition of the term: He does not embrace the Genesis account of the world’s origins literally, nor does he argue that God made the world in six days. What he does is reject two bedrock principles of modern evolutionary biology: the common ancestry of all living things, and natural selection as the driving force of the evolution of new species. If you reject these two notions of evolutionary biology, then by default you’re left with only one alternative: the discrete interventions of an intelligent agent, a Designer, to explain the origin and diversification of life.

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