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Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design by Michael Shermer
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“Finally, from what we now know about the cosmos, to think that all this was created for just one species among the tens of millions of species who live on one planet circling one of a couple of hundred billion stars that are located in one galaxy among hundreds of billions of galaxies, all of which are in one universe among perhaps an infinite number of universes all nestled within a grand cosmic multiverse, is provincially insular and anthropocentrically blinkered. Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Accepting evolution does not force us to jettison our morals and ethics, and rejecting evolution does not ensure their constancy.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“How can we find spiritual meaning in a scientific worldview? Spirituality is a way of being in the world, a sense of one’s place in the cosmos, a relationship to that which extends beyond oneself. . . . Does scientific explanation of the world diminish its spiritual beauty? I think not. Science and spirituality are complementary, not conflicting; additive, not detractive. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality. Science does this in spades. (158-159)”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Perceiving the world as well designed and thus the product of a designer, and even seeing divine providence in the daily affairs of life, may be the product of a brain adapted to finding patterns in nature. (38)”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Believers can have both religion and science as long as there is no attempt to make A non-A, to make reality unreal, to turn naturalism into supernaturalism. (125)”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Evolution provides a scientific foundation for the core values shared by most Christians and conservatives, and by accepting–and embracing–the theory of evolution, Christians and conservatives strengthen their religion, their politics, and science itself. The conflict between science and religion is senseless. It is based on fears and misunderstandings rather than on facts and moral wisdom. (138)”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“There is no such thing as the supernatural or the paranormal. There is only the natural, the normal, and mysteries we have yet to explain.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Intelligent Design is a remarkably uncreative theory that abandons the search for understanding at the very point where it is most needed. If Intelligent Design is really a science, then the burden is on its scientists to discover the mechanisms used by the Intelligent Designer. (80)”
michael shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“What science tells us is that we are but one among hundreds of millions of species that evolved over the course of three and a half billion years on one tiny planet among many orbiting an ordinary star, itself one of possibly billions of solar systems in an ordinary galaxy that contains hundreds of billions of stars, itself located in a cluster of galaxies not so different from millions of other galaxy clusters, themselves whirling away from one another in an expanding cosmic bubble universe that very possibly is only one among a near infinite number of bubble universes.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Finally, from what we now know about the cosmos, to think that all this was created for just one species among tens of millions of species who live on one planet circling one of a couple of hundred billion stars that are located in one galaxy among hundreds of billions of galaxies, all of which are in one universe among perhaps an infinite number of universes all nestled within a grand cosmic multiverse, is provincially insular and anthropocentrically blinkered. Which is more likely? That the universe was designed just for us, or that we see the universe as having been designed just for us?”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Evolution does not just produce new species; it produces an increasing number of new species.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Well, which is the most rational theory about these ten millions of species? Is it most likely that there have been ten millions of special creations? or is it most likely that, by continual modifications due to change of circumstances, ten millions of varieties have been produced, as varieties are being produced still?”4 It’s a good question.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Burden of Proof, or, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“According to Dembski, for example, “scientific creationism has prior religious commitments whereas intelligent design does not.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Modern whales retain a tiny pelvis for hind legs that existed in their land mammal ancestors but have disappeared today.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“[A]s often as not, science is not under debate; it is under attack.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“This is what bothers people about evolutionary theory, not the technical details of the science. Most folks don’t give one whit about adaptive radiation, allopatric speciation, phenotypic variation, assortative mating, allometry and heterochrony, adaptation and exaptation, gradualism and punctuated equilibrium, and the like. What they do care about is whether teaching evolution will make their kids reject God, allow criminals and sinners to blame their genes for their actions, and generally cause society to fall apart. Where did they get such an idea?”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“In the memorable observation by geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design
“Ernst Mayr asserted that “it would be difficult to refute the claim that the Darwinian revolution was the greatest of all intellectual revolutions in the history of mankind.” Stephen Jay Gould called the theory of evolution one of the half dozen most important ideas in the entire history of Western thought. Richard Dawkins inquired what common ground we could find for conversation with an extraterrestrial intelligence, and answered “evolution”—because it is “a universal truth” that is common throughout the cosmos.”
Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design