Doubts About Darwin: A History of Intelligent Design
by Thomas Woodward
304 page hardcover. 2003
Deep in the halls of scientific academia, a debate has been quietly raging between Darwinian macroevolution and the theory of Intelligent Design. Doubts About Darwin follows the key players in this debate, confronts the challenge of scientific naturalism and provides a stirring overview of this growing movement. Armed with lucid, scientifically grounded arguments, proponents of Intelligent Design have put evolutionists on the defensive. Who are the adherents of this emerging movement? Author Thomas Woodward traces events, personalities, and sociocultural factors that contributed to its growth; and examines the rhetorical dimensions that continue to fuel it. Doubts About Darwin shows that the erosion of certainty about the factual truth of Darwinism is the product of a rhetorical onslaught - the persuasive case making by highly accredited critics like Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, and William Dembski. Accessible and compelling, Doubts About Darwin opens a dramatic door to moral and intellectual reformation.
Doubts about Darwin is based on the doctoral dissertation by Tom Woodward in which he documents the rhetorical history and development of the ID movement. As a participant in the movement himself, Dr. Woodward provides an insider view of key events and personalities over the past twenty years. What readers will find most useful about this book is the succinct summary of key arguments and books by Michael Denton, Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe and William Dembski. You could consider it the 'Cliff Notes' of the Design Movement. Another fascinating aspect of the book is the description of key historical events like Phillip Johnson's initial faculty colloquium at Berkeley where he first circulated and 'tested' his Darwin on Trial manuscript, or the Campion Debate, a private meeting of twelve heavyweights to discuss the teaching of origins in the public schools, which turned in to a 4 hour emotionally-charged debate between Stephen Jay Gould and Phillip E. Johnson. Those attending called it a draw, but for Phillip Johnson, standing toe-to-toe in the ring for twelve rounds with Gould, and living to tell about, it was a major victory.
"Because of intelligent Design's snowballing popularity, critics are now eager to rewrite its history. Thomas Woodward's rhetorical history of the Intelligent Design movement therefore comes at an opportune time, masterfully disentangling the scientific, philosophical, and cultural impulses that drive the movement." --William A. Dembski, author of No Free Lunch.
"Thomas Woodward's Doubts about Darwin is a fascinating, faithful, and trenchant analysis of the critical role of rhetoric in the rise of the modern intelligent design movement. To understand the public battle over evolution, you must read this book." --Michael J. Behe, Department of Biology, Lehigh University.
"Tom Woodward's book--a vigorous and lively history of the Intelligent Design movement--is must reading for parents, educators, scientists, and informed citizens. Woodward provides crucial insights into the rhetorical dynamics of the Design Movement and the reasons why it resonates both with scholars and the broader public." --John Angus Campbell, professor of communication, Memphis State University.
"Know anyone who's curious about the Intelligent Design controversy? What's the fuss about? Who are the key players? What are they saying and why? Doubts About Darwin is not only the best available guide to the ID movement's brief but eventful history; it's probably also the best available primer on the issues and arguments at stake in the debate." --Duane Litfin, president, Wheaton College.