Intelligent Thought: Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement

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John Brockman
Vintage, 2006 - Science - 256 pages
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Evolutionary science lies at the heart of a modern understanding of the natural world. Darwin’s theory has withstood 150 years of scientific scrutiny, and today it not only explains the origin and design of living things, but highlights the importance of a scientific understanding in our culture and in our lives.

Recently the movement known as “Intelligent Design” has attracted the attention of journalists, educators, and legislators. The scientific community is puzzled and saddened by this trend–not only because it distorts modern biology, but also because it diverts people from the truly fascinating ideas emerging from the real science of evolution. Here, join fifteen of our preeminent thinkers whose clear, accessible, and passionate essays reveal the fact and power of Darwin’s theory, and the beauty of the scientific quest to understand our world.

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Intelligent thought: science versus the intelligent design movement

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Writer and editor Brockman (What We Believe but Cannot Prove), who publishes the online magazine Edge, has assembled sixteen short essays by prominent scientists on current thinking about evolution. A ... Read full review

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As with a lot of essay collections, its a mixed bag and you won't find a lot of surprises if you've already done the basic reading in the area. Tim White's discussion of the evidence for human evolution is delightful to read, full of evocative descriptions of the locations where fossils are sought and passionate defence of the work in the area. Dawkins does his usual middling job of complicating the uncomplicated while making his points. Frank Sulloway's brief review of Darwin's journey from Paley's fanboy to foe was a delightful thumbnail biography. Scott Sampson's chapter was interesting but ultimately in the wrong collection - it would have been quite propos for a focussed discussion of how to teach high school biology (where it would have been an out-of-the park home run). Not bad, not fantastic, not really worth it unless you're really interested.  

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About the author (2006)

John Brockman is a writer, agent, and publisher of Edge, the "Third Culture" website (, the forum for leading scientists and thinkers to share their research with the general public. He is the author of By The Late John Brockman and The Third Culture and has edited several previous anthologies including The Next Fifty Years, Curious Minds, and My Einstein. He lives in New York City.

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