Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Colson on Uncommon Dissent

Charles Colson has weighed in with a review of sorts about William Dembski's anthology Uncommon Dissent. He thinks it's pretty nifty:

And so in the Scopes trial, scientists managed to present their case for evolution without any challenge. In fact, the Scopes trial is a metaphor for the whole debate over evolutionary theory. It has continually evaded critical scrutiny and proper cross-examination. But no longer. Scientists and scholars in the intelligent design movement are mounting a concerted effort to force Darwinists to open up and discuss the weaknesses of evolutionary theory.

In this regard, Dr. William Dembski has edited a fascinating new book titled Uncommon Dissent. This book features fourteen essays by intellectuals who find Darwinism unconvincing. Their dissent is “uncommon” because the majority of intellectuals in the West have completely bought into Darwinian evolution. But with books like this, we can expect to see that majority erode, and quickly.

Of course, no evidence for or against evolution was presented at the Scopes trial. Darrow wanted to put scientific experts on the stand to testify, but the judge ruled that any such testimony would be irrelevant. What Colson means is that Darrown was allowed to question (and humiliate) William Jennings Bryan, but that Bryan was not allowed to subsequently question Darrow. To people like Colson, challenging creationism is the equivalent of endorsing evolution.

Colson singles out Edward Sisson's essay for favorable mention. Why am I not suprised? He also mentions David Berlinski's contribution, though he neglects to point out that it is a reprint of his 1996 article from Commentary.