40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, by Matthew Chapman

By Matthew Chapman

During this interesting tale of evolution, faith, politics, and personalities, Matthew Chapman captures the tale in the back of the headlines within the debate over God and technological know-how in America.

Kitzmiller v. Dover Board of schooling, determined in past due 2005, pitted the educating of clever layout (sometimes often called "creationism in a lab coat") opposed to the instructing of evolution. Matthew Chapman, the great-great-grandson of Charles Darwin, spent a number of months overlaying the trial from commencing to finish. via his in-depth encounters with the participants—creationists, preachers, academics, scientists on either side of the problem, attorneys, theologians, the pass judgement on, and the 11 mom and dad who resisted the fundamentalist proponents of clever design—Chapman tells a occasionally terrifying, frequently hilarious, and peculiarly relocating tale of normal humans doing conflict in the USA over where of faith and technology in sleek existence.

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Extra resources for 40 Days and 40 Nights: Darwin, Intelligent Design, God, Oxycontin®, and Other Oddities on Trial in Pennsylvania

Sample text

But if such secular ideolo- I N T R O D U C T I O N : AN E V O L U T I O N A R Y R I D D L E 15 gies perform the same functions as religious ideologies, then why did at least 50 percent of Marx-fearing Russians feel the need to preserve their belief in the supernatural (survey by Subbotsky 2000)? And why is the overwhelming majority of market believers also God-fearing (Novak 1999; Podhoretz 1999). What is it about belief in the supernatural that thwarts social defection and deception, underpinning moral orders as no secular ideology seems able to do for long?

Why did He invert the retina and give humans (but not the octopus) a blind spot? Why, in making us 34 EVOLUTIONARY SOURCES upright, did He render us so liable to back problems? Why did He give us just one head, heart, and liver instead of two? After all, having two lungs and kidneys is surely better than having one of each: if you have only one and it fails, you die; if you have two and only one fails, you live. As G. Williams (1992:80) notes, however, such mutations seem to be catastrophically disruptive for other adapted functions so that the individuals that bear such mutations cannot survive on their own.

2001). Nevertheless, as I argue later, such stages may reflect increasing complexity with respect to certain ancestral problem contexts, such as ability to negotiate predator-protector-prey relationships. Within such a context, hominids ultimately evolved conceptual abilities particularly suited to dealing with the most dangerous predator of all: other hominids. 4. Adaptations as Solutions to Ancestral Tasks Although comparative perspectives from ethology, phylogenetic analysis, and ontogeny can occasionally provide clues to whether an adaptation is likely, such clues are few and meager.

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