Dissent Over Descent: Intelligent Design’s Challenge to Darwinism by Steve Fuller - review by John Cornwell

John Cornwell

And God Created…

Dissent Over Descent: Intelligent Design’s Challenge to Darwinism


Icon Books 272pp £12.99

These are interesting times, yet again, for creationism versus evolution. Hard on the claim that Sarah Palin once espoused lessons on creationism in Alaska’s state schools came news that Britain’s august Royal Society also advocates the airing of creationism in our classrooms. The Reverend Michael Reiss, biologist and Royal Society director of education, said recently that it was self-defeating not to treat creationism as a world-view in science classes. His reason? That teachers could then explain why evolution is sound scientific theory and creationism is not. Put that way, the proposal doesn’t sound too bad, although it’s arguable that it gives fundamentalist pedagogues a green light to teach Bible stories as biology. And would the Society advocate wasting pupils’ time by teaching astrology alongside astronomy?

At the outset, a distinction. Creationism is the belief that the world and all life are the result of God’s literal creative act, as described in the book of Genesis. This view would reject wholesale Darwin’s theory of evolution, which argues descent of life by blind natural selection and chance

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