Readers’ Feedback – Yonatan

Yonatan 

Hi there- hope life finds you well. 

I am reading this [Genesis and the Big Bluff] with interest. 

Although I am not finished reading, Yoram, I notice that you still refer to Michael Denton’s 1986 critique on evolution. Are you aware that he has apparently modified his views in a 1998 book called Nature’s Destiny?  I say “apparently” because I have admittedly read neither book, but this appears to be clear from critiques of the later book which contain quotes which signify his change of stance. Since it is clear that source material is everything (and I suggest nothing sinister by this), don’t his later views, being later views deserve a mention? 

Regards  

“Yonatan” 

 

RESPONSE 

Dear “Yonatan”, 

It is always wonderful to hear from you. I hope that you and your family are well. 

Thank you for reading the critique. I hope that you will benefit, and I am sure that I will benefit from your comments. 

As far Dr. Denton is concerned, the following points are relevant: 

1. In Genesis and the Big Bluff, I mention Dr. Denton once, in a footnote. The footnote cites a number of publications that I recommend as an introduction to the evolution debate. In no way is Dr. Denton central to any point made in the critique. I could have mentioned any number of books critical of the evolutionary dogma. In the footnote, I limited myself to Icons of Evolution, Darwin on Trial, Why Us and Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, because they are comprehensive, well-written and easily available.

2. Dr. Denton is one of the finest writers in this genre. Consequently, I own and have read both Evolution: A Theory in Crisis and Nature’s Destiny. I have also read his autobiographical essay in Uncommon Dissent (I highly recommend all three books). The change from Evolution to Nature’s Destiny is subtle, and he devotes much of his essay in Uncommon Dissent to explain it. The key point in our context is that in Nature’s Destiny he does not address any of the fundamental problems with evolutionary biology that he raised in Evolution. He freely admits that his critique is still perfectly valid. Thus, on page 175 of Uncommon Dissent he writes: During the course of this journey I wrote two books: Evolution: A Theory in Crisis and Nature’s Destiny. Evolution was written while I still adhered to the superwatch model of nature. Despite this, I still believe it presents one of the most convincing critiques of the assumption that the organic world is the continuum that classical Darwinism demands… Such a view [the one he holds currently, which he refers to as lawful biology, and which is really a form of theistic evolution] is intellectually exciting because it holds out the prospect of a final union of biology and physics, and thus of a fully rational and lawful biology. Such a biology would be as profoundly anti-Darwinian as could be imagined, as it would banish forever contingency as a major determinant of biological order…”

3. It seems clear to me that I am justified in not mentioning Dr. Denton’s current views. I stressed in Genesis and the Big Bluff that I do not purport to present a comprehensive review of the entire evolution debate. I only touch on the icons of evolution mentioned by Dr. Schroeder. Dr. Denton’s views are irrelevant to that discussion.

Sincerely, 

Yoram.

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