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Unintelligent Design

Unintelligent Design

Spurred on not only by the quasi-scientific agenda of the so-called intelligent design theorists, who seek to prove the existence of God mathematically, but also by his personal contact with otherwise rational scientists, physicist Mark Perakh sets out to reveal the falsity of the claims of neocreationism with a thorough, carefully-detailed series of arguments aimed at the very heart of those who would see evolutionary theory discarded. Perakh strips away the reader-unfriendly “mathematizing” present in the neocreationist theses in order to reveal their flawed logic and meaninglessness.

His work is divided into three parts: first, an attack on the specifics of intelligent design, a theory spearheaded by the writings of William Dembski (The Design Inference, Intelligent Design, No Free Lunch), Michael Behe (Darwin’s Black Box), and Phillip Johnson (Darwin on Trial, The Wedge of Truth, Defeating Darwinism By Opening Minds); second, a critical dismantling of several arguments closely related to the intelligent design movement, such as attempts to “harmonize” the Bible with modern scientific understanding of the universe, the anthropic principle, and nonrandom evolution; and finally, a discussion of proper scientific method and probability theory, as well as an infamous account of science gone bad for the sake of religion–the Bible code theory propagated by Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips, and Yoav Rosenberg.

This thoughtful and incisive critique from a veteran scientist genuinely concerned about the integrity of the scientific enterprise wastes no diplomacy on those who would see its purpose twisted to ideological ends. Perakh successfully ties his opponents’ arguments together by demonstrating how most of them are based on the same mistaken view of probability theory and the same disregard for impartial objectivity in testing hypotheses.

This is a must-read for anyone interested in separating scientific facts from religion masquerading as science.

Selected Comments

Reports of the National Center for Science Education, May-Aug., 2004: “A devastating refutation of ID nonsense in all its forms.”

Quarterly Review of Biology, September 2004
“It would be a real service … if the book was required reading for school board members and teachers.”

Australian Humanist, Winter 2004: “If you enjoy watching a first-rate mind at work, you will get a lot of pleasure from reading this book.”

Fortean Times, May 2004: “This book would be useful for those wishing to sharpen their critical thinking skills generally.”

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