A positive case against Darwinism by a co-belligerent
Reviewed by David Snoke
The Discovery Institute has a long history of sponsoring and collaborating with a large number of highly intelligent, fascinating scientists who stand outside traditional Christian belief as well as outside the mainstream of evolutionary science. In keeping with this tradition, they have recently published Evolution: A Theory Still in Crisis, by Michael Denton, a followup to his famous book thirty years ago, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, which influenced a whole generation of scientists to question the standard paradigm of evolution. In this book, Denton is not mainly just updating his previous arguments with data from the past three decades in the rapidly advancing fields of evolutionary and developmental biology (“evo-devo”) and genetic paleontology. His main purpose in the book is to present a comprehensive, positive case for his own view of how the diversity of life came about. His view is not the same as the intelligent design view promoted by the Discovery Institute, but many of his points could be equally seen as supportive of intelligent design.
In short, his view is that there are pan-phylogenic Types, or Forms, which exist in nature, to which life spontaneously conforms. This view sounds a lot like neo-Platonism, which, following Plato, posits a spiritual world of Ideals which then instantiate themselves in nature. But Denton explicitly avoids spiritual implications and insists on this view as a purely physical and materialist theory. His hero is Richard Owen, an early pre-Darwinian evolutionist, who posited the same view.
See more of this article: Review of Denton’s Evolution: A Theory Still in Crisis | The Christian Scientific Society