Item description for Darwin And Intelligent Design (Facets Series) by Francisco J. Ayala...
Overview In this short but illuminating piece, world-renowned biologist Francisco Ayala addresses the notion of intelligent design-the notion that individual species are too complex to have developed through evolution and therefore must be the work of an intelligent designer, God. Ayala shows first just what the theory of evolution claims, and the range of questions it can answer. He then turns to the notion of intelligent design, as it is expounded today, and its weaknesses as a scientific or even a theological explanation of the complexity of the universe and all its creatures. Ayala's treatment is especially valuable for its clarity about the respective roles and provinces of science, faith, and theology.
Publishers Description In this short but illuminating piece, world-renowned biologist Francisco Ayala addresses the notion of intelligent design?the notion that individual species are too complex to have developed through evolution and therefore must be the work of an intelligent designer, God. Ayala shows first just what the theory of evolution claims, and the range of questions it can answer. He then turns to the notion of intelligent design, as it is expounded today, and its weaknesses as a scientific or even a theological explanation of the complexity of the universe and all its creatures. Ayala's treatment is especially valuable for its clarity about the respective roles and provinces of science, faith, and theology.
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Studio: Fortress Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.12" Width: 4.4" Height: 0.36" Weight: 0.29 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2006
Publisher AUGSBURG FORTRESS PUB. #99
ISBN 0800638026 ISBN13 9780800638023
Availability 0 units.
More About Francisco J. Ayala
Camilo J. Cela-Conde is Director of the Laboratory of Human Systematics and Professor at the University of Islas Baleares (Spain). He is a Fellow (elected 1999) of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is author of two books on human evolution, plus a dozen more books on fiction, biography, essay, and science. He has published numerous articles in scientific journals, mostly related to anthropology and human evolution Francisco J. Ayala is University Professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. He was awarded the U.S. National Medal of Science for 2001. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and of Academies of Science from Italy, Russia, Spain and other countries. He has received numerous awards and gold medals, as well as honorary degrees from six countries.
Francisco J. Ayala currently resides in the state of California. Francisco J. Ayala has an academic affiliation as follows - University of California, Irvine, USA University of California, Irvine.
Reviews - What do customers think about Darwin And Intelligent Design (Facets Series)?
Excellent book - well written and a great read Mar 29, 2007
The well thought out arguments and logical way of looking at things should bring comfort to those who are religious and irreligious alike. I am half way through the book and am thoroughly enjoying every bit of it. It is very well written and it is on a short list of books that have changed the way I look at an issue. The basic premise is that religion and science can (and should) co-exist, but that they each occupy separate spheres of thought. Ayala draws a clear line between the roles of science and religion in a way that allows one to believe in both and avoids confusion between what they can and cannot explain. As a non-scientist, I thought this was written at just the right level.
As an aside, I was dumbfounded at some of the negative reviews, but if you bother to check (I did), some of these guys write negative reviews about lots and lots of science related books - not just this one. Don't be turned off, this is a great book dealing with a controversial subject. You will enjoy reading it.
Excellent book on a complex subject for a general audience Jan 10, 2007
I am grateful for a book on the evolution/ID controversy that is so clearly and understandably written for a general audience. This is a complex subject that often goes over the heads of those without an extensive scientific background. The message presented over and over again is that scientific laws and "theories" are not in conflict with personal religious beliefs. I was particularly taken with the idea that a benevolent and loving God could not be held responsible for the deformities of newborn children or the ravages of disease. This book and those listed in the "Additional Resources" give rational and reasoned approaches to scientific issues as they relate to religious beliefs and vice versa. I, for one, am weary of the fundamentalist drumbeat regarding evolution, stem cell research, global warming, and other hot-button issues. I find peace and comfort in the ideas and arguments outlined in this book: religion and science can not only coexist, but complement each other; religious beliefs should not curtail the pursuit of scientific explanations for the natural world; acceptance of scientific laws and theories need not exclude belief in God and the richness of religion. This makes common sense to me.
This book is terrible Jan 3, 2007
I agree with the two other reviewers. This book is terrible. Ayala quotes approvingly of Judge Jones' claim that "irreducible complexity has been refuted in peer-reviewed research papers and has been rejected by the scientific community at large" Oh really? Has gravity also been refuted? Ayala quotes Behe as defining irreducible complexity as a system that requires two or more parts to function, and if one of those parts is removed the system will no longer function. A clear example is carbon. A carbon 12 atom (not an ion) must have 6 protons, 6 neutrons, and 6 electrons to function as a carbon 12 atom. If it loses a proton, it becomes an ion of boron 11, and will not function as a carbon 12 atom. There is no way you will ever get any carbon isotope with 5 protons. You must have 6 protons. The only things in the universe that are not irreducibly complex are the fundamental particles (quarks, leptons, bosons etc, and even these particles may not be fundamental). To claim that nothing is irreducibly complex says one can get anything and everything from a single fundamental particle. I would like to see a Jaguar made from a single quark. Or better yet a human. True, as Dawkins says, I am arguing from ignorance, because it may be possible, but I really think if I applied for a grant to achieve these goals I would be flat out rejected. This book is full of such claims. I have to face students every day that have little respect for scientists because of such reasonings.
irresponsible Dec 29, 2006
This is by far one of the worst books on ID that I have ever read (and I have read most of them). On page 83 Francisco Ayala quoted Judge Jones. The Judge lifted the quote from the ACLU brief. The only problem is the quote is not accurate, as can easily be determined by reading the court transcript. This is a good example how incorrect information gets spread around. It was irresponsible for the ACLU, Judge Jones and Francisco Ayala not to check the original source. One always checks the original source, if possible, and in this case the court transcript is on the internet and would take a few seconds, yet none of these people bothered to do so. The original quote is in the Michael Behe transcript, afternoon session, October 19, 2005. This is only one of dozens of sloppy journalism examples that I noted in this short book. I once respected Francisco Ayala's work, but this book has caused me to seriously question all of his work. I know he had a bad experience as a Catholic Priest, but this is no excuse for his obvious ax to grind that resulted in this irresponsible work. All I can say is ID advocates will have a field day with this embarrassing book. It has a nice cover, though, but for SEM scans I do not like the artificial color technique used.
Didn't do what his publisher asked him to do... Oct 29, 2006
On page 105 the author writes, "Michael West, editor-in-chief, Fortress Press...asked me to consider crafting a short book for intelligent lay persons, explaining the role and status of evolutionary theory...and how that contrasts with the assertions and status of the intelligent design proponents."
Had the author complied with this request, this book might have been useful.
Instead, the author devotes most of the book to outlining evolutionary theory at the junior-high level, shorn of all nuance, ambiguity, and the deep controversies among evolutionists themselves (see, for example, Margulis, "Acquiring Genomes," or Gee, "In Search of Deep Time").
Although the author takes several potshots at the ID movement during the first five chapters of his book, he does not address "ID" directly until chapter 6; there he devotes less than 20 pages to something which he refers to as "Intelligent Design," but which he nevertheless entirely misunderstands and conflates with folk creationism.
The field of "Intelligent Design" covers a lot of ground, and there are many folks who fancy themselves as proponents of the theory; still, a distinguished scholar such as Ayala ought to be able to pick his opponents carefully enough to avoid the chaff. When the author does mention the name of an actual scholar such as Dembski or Behe, he wrongly attributes to them views they do not hold while wrongly chiding them for denying facts which, of course, they do accept. ID scholars accept, for example, descent with modification, and they deny that all biological diversity must be the result of intelligent activity as opposed to random. This sort of sloppy "attack scholarship" from someone such as Ayala is most disturbing, considering the stakes in this issue for public education.
Interestingly, the two times in the book (pp. 82-83) that Ayala addresses actual items of concern for Intelligent Design scholars, Ayala simply dismisses the flagellum issue with a wave of his hand, and then goes on to reference a second-hand source on Russell F. Doolittle (both Ayala and his second-hand source seem to be unaware that Dr. Doolittle--yes, that is his real name--had misread a scholarly report on blood-clotting).
As a result, in a book of 116 pages, Ayala does not give the readers even one example in which an actual item of concern for Intelligent Design scholars has been adequately addressed by any evolutionist in the entire world. The only thing Ayala does is poison the well of debate on this issue, and cause ID sympathizers to suspect that Ayala, deep down, knows that he has no answer to the claims of ID scholars.