Kapi's Reviews > Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith

Living with Darwin by Philip Kitcher
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's review
Sep 27, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended for: scientists, philosophers, people who've heard of Intelligent Design as an "alternative" to evolution
Read in October, 2007

It's fairly evident that Kitcher is a philosopher; his writing style is sometimes a bit dense, but overall I found this book to be informative and interesting. The first chapters frame the history of opposition to Darwinism concisely. But the last two chapters are where this book really shine.

The second-to-last chapter goes through the writings of the champions of Intelligent Design (Behe, Dembski, etc.) and effectively exposes the emptiness of their arguments; no matter how cleverly constructed, they lack explanatory power. Rather than providing evidence for Intelligence, these sophisticated ID proponents are merely pointing out areas in which scientists (admittedly, too) need to do more work to understand the mechanisms in play. Great for people looking for an overview of ID arguments without having to slog through the voluminous (and frustrating) literature.

The last chapter is even more interesting. It argues religion and Darwinism can coexist, providing supernaturalism and literal reading of religious doctrines are dropped in favor of what he calls "cosmopolitan spirituality." Interesting, hopeful, and comforting for those who find themselves defending science against accusations of moral vacuity and godlessness.
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