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Forbes.com Balances Darwin and Evolution Coverage With Wide Range of Thinkers on Both Sides

Over at Forbes.com they've just posted over 20 articles related to Darwin and evolution in advance of next week's hoopla around the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth. Kudos to editor Hana Alberts for compiling such compelling reading. As she notes in her introduction to the special report:

More questions than we'd like were raised long ago, and remain unanswered. Two of the biggest: If humans are no different than animals, what is the status of free will, of morality borne from the brain, not the body? Can and should we apply ideas about the "survival of the fittest" to economics, to population control, to law, to love?

These gripping uncertainties spring from our common desire to eliminate uncertainty, or the unknowns of the surrounding universe, by subjecting them to knowledge, scrutiny and documentation. And as a result, we gamely hope that we'll stumble into some unequivocal truths about our place in the world, and why we are where we are.

To their credit, Forbes solicited articles from a variety of viewpoints, and the authors include CSC Fellows John West and Jonathan Wells, as well as Darwin skeptics like Michael Egnor and Michael Flannery, along with Darwinists like Michael Ruse, Larry Arnhart, Lionel Tiger and more. Here are a few highlights.

There Is No 'Politically Correct' Science By John G. West

It's impossible to isolate Darwinian theories from their societal consequences.
Darwin also laid the groundwork in Descent of Man for the emergence of eugenics, the crusade to breed better humans by weeding out those deemed biologically "unfit." Darwin warned that civilized societies were sinning against natural selection by helping the poor, treating the sick and inoculating people against smallpox.
Alfred Russel Wallace By Michael A. Flannery
Yet Darwin and Wallace had very different views of how their respective evolutionary mechanisms worked. In the end, those differences would lead to two inherently oppositional theories--Darwin's driven by wholly random processes, and Wallace's imbued with design and purpose. Wallace eventually broke with Darwin in 1869 over the ability of natural selection to explain the human intellect. For him, nature was infused with teleological meaning.
A Neurosurgeon, Not A Darwinist
By Michael Egnor
I saw that Darwinism was a Potemkin village. But it wasn't clear to me why evolutionary biologists were so passionately devoted to such pallid science. The evidence that the Darwinian understanding of biological origins was inadequate has been in hand for quite a while.

Why, when the genetic code was unraveled, didn't scientists question Darwin's assumption of randomness? Why didn't Darwinists ask the difficult questions that are posed for their theory by the astonishing complexity of intracellular molecular machinery? Why do Darwinists claim that intelligent design is untestable, and simultaneously claim that it is wrong?

The Problem Of Evidence By Jonathan Wells
Before 1859 science meant (and still means, for most people) testing hypotheses by comparing them with the evidence. For Darwin and his followers, however, "science" is the search for natural explanations. Such explanations should be plausible--that is, they cannot blatantly contradict the facts--but instead of being based on evidence they are based on the assumption that everything can be explained materialistically.