Item description for Darwinism Defeated?: The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins by Phillip E. Johnson, Denis O. Lamoureux & J. I. Packer...
Darwinism Defeated? by Phillip E. Johnson
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Studio: Regent College Publishing
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.08" Width: 6.2" Height: 0.47" Weight: 0.7 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 1999
Publisher Regent College Publishing
ISBN 1573831336 ISBN13 9781573831338
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More About Phillip E. Johnson, Denis O. Lamoureux & J. I. Packer
Phillip E. Johnson taught law for more than thirty years at the University of California--Berkeley where he is professor emeritus. He is recognized as a leading spokesman for the intelligent design movement, and is the author of many books, including Darwin on Trial, Reason in the Balance and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds.
Phillip E. Johnson currently resides in the state of California. Phillip E. Johnson was born in 1940.
Phillip E. Johnson has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Darwinism Defeated??
An Excellent Survey of the Best of the Best of Both Camps Feb 10, 2007
I give this a five not because of the quality of the essays, but as a recommendation to read the book. Some of the essays are excellently crafted; others horribly so. But this book gives a very good overview of the quality of the arguments out there, by the proclaimed best in the respective fields.
Darwinism Defeated is basically a critique of Johnson's Defeating Darwinism. In this Lamoureux does a superb job, with many cogent, coherent arguments that frankly demolish Johnson's position. Lamoureux begins with some rather intriguing and provocative ideas of advocating a difference between cosmological intervention and personal intervention- thus that God intervenes miraculously in personal lives of intelligent beings, but that it diminishes his character to state that He must do so in the creation of the universe as He is evidently incapable of setting up a working system. I must admit this idea is very persuasive to me.
Lamoureux's treatment of Johnson is particularly glaring when he points out Johnson's complete lack of understanding of basic biology and the meaning of evolution, as well as Johnson's personal attacks on his opponents. One can tell Lamoureux spent a fair bit of time to politely and kindly review Johnson's thoughts and works.
The reason Darwinism Defeated is a critique rather than an actual dialouge on the subject is wholly at the feat of Johnson. His responses to Lamoureux are extremely terse and very off point, with the typical requisite quote mining. He explicitly states that he has no interest in addressing most of Lamoureux's points, and that he doesn't want to write that much- either because he feels it's beneath him or because he doesn't have much to say. Thus it is solely because of Johnson's lack of care for the interchange that Lamoureux clearly wins the day. It's a pity, as it would have been interesting to read an honest interchange of the best and the brightest on this contentious subject.
The rest of the book follows after the two, as those of Intelligent Design and the Evolution camps make their case and critiques of Johnson and Lamoureux. All participants do so from the perspective of affirming the centrality of Jesus Christ. Most of the IDers present old arguments long ago refuted or rehashed misunderstandings of Information Theory. The ironic exception is Wells essay which actually gets at some of the guts of the controversy. But it is ironic because his essay is only three pages long, with therefore undeveloped arguments.
In contrast, most of the essays from an evolutionary perspective present arguments that fully address their opponents and fully conteract them. Till and Wilkinson have some rather strong cases for the inherent Deism present in Intelligent Design, as this hypothesis ultimately argues that God is fully present only at unique times, and not seamlessly immanent in all of creation- it is a form of punctuated naturalism. Rather it is important to affirm God is present at all moments of creation- something missing from Intelligent Design, Literal Creationism, and atheistic Evolution.
Of particular interest, and in a completely separate category, is Denton's essay. Michael Denton started off a lot of the Intelligent Design movement with his book, Evolution: A Theory In Crisis, a work rightfully widely panned by scientists. There Denton seems to make a strong case against evolution and for proto-Intelligent Design. However, in this essay he has completely changed track. Either his views have radically changed over the years, or he simply radically miscommunicated them previously. (He seems to indicate some support for the latter idea in this essay.) For here he unequivocally affirms that God is present in creation, but that it happened entirely through naturalistic means- that all life evolved without the necessity of intervention by God. However, as in his landmark book, he states that he feels there are major problems with the Gradualistic theory of evolution (what he here calls Darwinism). What is new is he argues that it happens not through miraculous intervention, but rather that there are sudden changes between classes and orders through homeobox genes. While I think this will expose him to the same critiques of Stephen J. Gould's Puctuated Equilibriuim- namely that he is conflating time and not giving full allowance for what can happen in a short time span of 100,000 years- it certainly places Denton in a new light, and indeed, on the opposite side of the camp as where he has usually been claimed- in the bosom of the Literal Creationists.
I recommend this book because it will show you what is being said out there, on both sides. Darwinism Defeated is rather indicative of the controversy as a whole- the Theistic Evolutionists state their arguments with evidence, and respond to those of the Intelligent Designers and Literal Creationists. The latter groups skirt the arguments of evolution, lack sufficient experience and understanding of the issues, and avoid actually engaging their opponents.
Leading Scholars and Scientists Debate Darwinism and Intelligent Design Jun 22, 2006
This volume contains a debate between design advocate Phillip E. Johnson and evolutionary biologist Denis Lamoureux. Though differing in opinion over evolution, both sparring partners are Christians. Lamoureux asks challenging questions of Johnson, asserting that Johnson's position is based upon "God-of-the-gaps" type arguments. Lamoureax also challenges Johnson's arguments on the fossil record, claiming that there are examples of transitional forms. Lamoureax ends by pressing Johnson to list "how many university-level courses you have successfully completed in biology, and could you be specific in your answer indicating what type of biology these were."
Johnson's replies that from a Christian perspective, we have good reason to expect that God has revealed himself in the natural world. Romans 1:20 explains that God's work has made Him "clearly seen." In contrast, Darwinism tells us that all the design in the world is merely an illusion. Assigning God a detectable role is not bad science or theology, according to Johnson. Johnson also points out that many of Lamoureax's arguments focus on Johnson's scientific qualifications. Regarding alleged evolutionary transitions, Johnson points out that he addresses these issues in his other books, such as Darwin on Trial (which apparently was well-liked by some Darwinist paleontologists, such as David Raup).
The other contributions in this book also debate whether it is theologically appropriate to give God a role in the creation. Discovery Institute fellows Steve Meyer and Michael Behe argue that design is detectable. Keith Miller argues that fossil evidence of transitional forms supports common descent, and implies that design is wrong. This is an intriguing exchange between various scientists on both sides of this debate.
Johnson takes a beating! Aug 31, 2001
"Darwinism Defeated? The Johnson-Lamoureux Debate on Biological Origins" is a discussion between the darling of conservative Christianity, Phillip E. Johnson, and evangelical Christian Denis O. Lamoureux, commented by scientists on both side of the issue (Behe, Van Till, Denton, etc.). Although much of the discussion is about whether one can be a Christian and still accept "Darwinism", I can still recommend it to atheists and people who's more concerned about the scientific merit of IDism.
Johnson gets beat up like you wouldn't believe it. First, Lamoureux delivers a 40-page critique of Johnson, his arguments, and his books. He even uses Johnson's own "baloney detector" (stolen from Sagan) to show why Johnson's books are full of BS. Johnson answers by saying that he's only interested in answering the main points, and then presents a rebuttal only 8 pages long, where he manages to completely evade all of Lamoureux's points, and instead talk about how evil atheism is.
Lamoureux notes how disapointed he is with Johnson's behaviour, and then repeats the many points of his that Johnson "forgot" to adress. Johnson's response? To offer a transcript of a radio interview by Dobson, interviewing Johnson on his influence on evangelism!
It is hardly surprising that the IDists, supposed to comment on the debate, all refuse to actually talk about Lamoureux's trashing of Johnson, but instead starts discussing the origin of life and Dembski's filter. As icing on the cake, Denton (author of "Evolution: A Theory in Crisis") appologizes for confusing "Darwinism" with "evolution", then proceeds to talk about biogeography and the molecular data, and how silly it makes "special creation" look.
Just when you thought it was safe ... Aug 10, 2001
Great subject for a book, but I would have preferred more critical commentary from qualified scientists and educators. This book does a great job in covering the theological debate over evolution, but is short on biogenesis, how life first formed.
Johnson on Trial Aug 16, 2000
I cut my theological teeth on the Origins debate. As an Evangelical and a student of biological science, I soon supped upon a steady diet of Phillip Johnson and Michael Behe. I shared Johnson's outrage at an academic world with atheistic assumptions. I revelled in his out-sciencing the scientists; he was winning back atheistic turf! I fretted over the dismissal of his arguments by Stephen Jay Gould and the rest of the scientific community. I wheeled out Johnson to defeat the lecture notes of my biology professors and former high school teachers. I looked forward to the fall of Darwin.
But I began to read criticism of Johnson. I found counter-arguments that were often as convincing and as rhetorically powerful as Johnson himself. I became increasingly aware of questions that were never addressed by the good guys: If life evolved, is Christianity false? Does the Bible demand what Lamoreux calls "cosmological concordance"? Does Johnson have a plausible Christian alternative origin model makes sense of the fossils? Is it even desirable to have a supernatural scientific methodology?
The answer to all these questions is no. For those would-be Darwin Defeaters, examine Lamoureux. Question your own objectivity. Don't be afraid that any questioning is compromise, or that your whole Christian world will crumble. Contrary to popular belief, history is full of orthodox Christians who supported evolutionary creationism. Lamoreux's arguments resonate deeply with my own conclusions and intellectual development. I didn't compromise. I refused to compromise in the pursuit of truth, and it led me to the ministry.
This is a wonderful book because it finally calls Johnson to some intellectual accountability. Johnson is forceful and rhetorically powerful in his own books. But force and power is not truth. Johnson's failure here is a testimony to that.