Evolution as a Religion: Strange Hopes and Stranger Fears
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Evolution as a Religion: Strange Hopes and Stranger Fears

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  46 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Midgley exposes the illogical logic of poor doctrines that shelter themselves behind the prestige of science. Always at home when taking on the high priests of evolutionary theory - Dawkins, Wilson and their acolytes - she has described evolution as the creation-myth of our age. In Evolution As A Religion she examines how science comes to be used as a substitute for religi...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published March 29th 2002 by Routledge (first published 1985)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 150)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Ryan
I read this book as a sort of challenge to myself. This book doesn't so much challenge Evolution as a scientific principle, but all the social hoo-hah that gets built up around it. As a person who is never quite sure what to make of how Evolution gets used, but tends to side with the scientists in most battles of this kind, the book seemed provocative in all the right ways. Midgley is also the apparent philosophical adversary of Richard Dawkins, and I was intrigued to hear why.

All in all, I enjo...more
Will Napier
Midgley is a pleasure to read. Her turn of phrase is amusing and engaging. Her perspective seems very sane. The claim is that evolution is not just a parsimonious theory about origins and life, but that it functions as a metaphor, indeed a myth (in its neutral sense), that can take on a life of its own. Midgley's method of giving the thumbs down is to use amusingly gentle words such as 'odd' and 'curious' for the tendency of some scientists to become so excited about their findings in their part...more
Chris Lynch
How could I resist a book with such an inflamatory title!?

The first thing to make quite clear is that Mary Midgley isn't in any way, shape or form launching an attack on science here, nor is she making the claim that science, in itself, is a form of religious belief like any other. Nor is her viewpoint one that insists we surrender all notions of objective reality, and that science is merely a politicised or socially contextualised narrative or dialogue that we accept or reject according to our...more
Richard Newton
This is not a book about science or even really about evolution, it is about the use of scientific thinking in non scientific ways. (If you doubt Midgeley's acceptance of evolution see the quote at the start of the book - it is actually dedicated to Darwin). Reading this in 2012, some of the references seem old and with one or two major exceptions are not books that I think have a significant influence now. It might be helpful to have newer references, but the flaws and habits Midgeley criticise...more
Kevin K
This book identifies a number of quasi-religious belief systems which derive credibility from their association with science and evolution:

1) Social Darwinism
2) The "Superman" (in Nietzsche's sense), which today appears in forms like Transhumanism and the Singularity
3) The unstoppable ascent of human technical progress (what Midgley calls the "Escalator Fallacy")

These are all fascinating doctrines, and Midgely is right to draw the comparison with religion. Items 2) and 3) in particular are cl...more
Monica Perez
This is one of the books I found in the bibliography of Michael Crichton's Next. Good philosophy and I liked it until she put her politics in at the end. Basically, her point is, science is treading on the domain of religion to its peril.
Joseph Sverker
A very interesting book with many valid points. I would like to see the response from the sociobiologists. Somewhat dense in her style which makes it difficult to follow her line of thought at times.
Michael
(I don't own a Kindle; I bought the paperback version of the book...)
A.J. Jr.
One of the smartest people on the planet!
Julia
Julia marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2014
Keir Crofton-Bond
Keir Crofton-Bond marked it as to-read
May 28, 2014
Kyle Warner
Kyle Warner marked it as to-read
May 27, 2014
Kevin Holmes
Kevin Holmes marked it as to-read
May 13, 2014
Peter
Peter marked it as to-read
May 09, 2014
Shakir Zainuddin
Shakir Zainuddin marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2014
Andrew
Andrew marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2014
Joel
Joel marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2014
Johan De craene
Johan De craene marked it as to-read
Mar 08, 2014
K
K marked it as to-read
Feb 22, 2014
Pers
Pers added it
Feb 09, 2014
Pete
Pete added it
Jan 27, 2014
Artur Matos
Artur Matos marked it as to-read
Jan 16, 2014
Carlcarlin
Carlcarlin marked it as to-read
Jan 15, 2014
R.
R. marked it as to-read
Nov 19, 2013
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
98080
Mary Midgley is an English moral philosopher. She was a Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at Newcastle University and is known for her work on science, ethics and animal rights.
More about Mary Midgley...
Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature Wickedness (Routledge Classics) The Myths We Live by Science and Poetry (Routledge Classics) Animals and Why They Matter

Share This Book

“As Darwin pointed out in The Origin of Species (opening pages of chapter three), the 'struggle for existence' can often be described just as well as a mutual dependence. And harmless coexistence as parts of the same eco-sphere is also a very common relation. . . . Among social creatures, positive gregariousness, a liking for each other's company, is the steady, unnoticed background for the conflicts.” 1 likes
More quotes…