Darwinism and its Discontentsby Michael Ruse
Pub. Date: 08/28/2006
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book presents an ardent defense of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution against its many critics by one of the leading experts on this subject. Offering a clear and comprehensive exposition of the thinking of Darwin, Michael Ruse brings the story up to day, examining important issues such as the origins of life, the fossil record, the mechanism of natural selection, and rival theories such as punctuated equilibrium, the story of human evolution (including the recently found “hobbits,” Homo floresiensis), fraud in biological science, literary approaches to evolution, and the philosophical and religious implications of Darwinism, notably a discussion of Creationism and its modern day offshoot, Intelligent Design Theory. Ruse draws upon the most recent discoveries, but writes with a minimum of jargon. His book will appeal to many readers, from professional biologists to concerned citizens who worry that Darwinism is a naturalistic religion that is forced on school children in face of their own deeply held Christian convictions. Openly revealing his own beliefs, Ruse ‘s aim throughout is to present information and critical tools so that the reader can make informed decisions for him or herself.
- Cambridge University Press
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Table of Contents1. Charles Darwin and his revolution; 2. The fact of evolution; 3. The origin of life; 4. The path of evolution; 5. The cause of evolution; 6. Limitations and restrictions; 7. Humans; 8. Fact or fiction?; 9. Dishonest science; 10. Philosophy; 11. Literature; 12. Religion.
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There is much to be learned from this book. It is extremely well annotated. Michael Ruse quotes others liberally, giving credit where credit is due. To others he extends the benefit of doubt. Ruse is careful not to offend those who discontend. We applaud him for that. In less than 300 pages of paperback, Ruse presents both sides of the Darwin question. He does a remarkable and even-handed job in recreating Darwin's thinking. He also illustrates well what biological science is really about.