publications

Darwin on Trial (Book Review)

Darwin on Trial - Phillip Johnson - Monarch Publications 1994 - £7.99 Pb 320 pp

For many people, Christian or atheist, the theory of evolution is perceived as a major challenge to the Christian faith.

Copious amounts of ink have been spilt in reconciling the theology of creation with the 'fact' of evolution. This is not one of those books. Having stated that he is a 'philosophical theist and a Christian', the author leaves theology aside. Using his skills as a law professor specialising in the logic of arguments, Phillip Johnson dives into the debate.

The book's attention is focused on the truthfulness of evolutionary claims. Not only Darwin stands on trial: Huxley, Stanley, Gould and Dawkins enter the dock too. To this end, the arguments are carefully examined to ensure no tricks are being pulled; the evidence is pored over in systematic detail. Johnson's style is succinct and to the point but technical terms and difficult concepts are clearly explained.

The first chapter sets the scene and raises the issues by describing a 1981 court case between Darwinists and creationists. Both Darwin's original idea of natural selection and more modern variations of this theory are put under the spotlight. The following chapters examine several different lines of evolutionary evidence. Johnson describes the normal rules that science follows, then explains how they differ from Darwinist practice.

The last few chapters describe the triumph of Darwinism over religion in the battle for the public's trust. He describes scientists' attempts to fill the moral vacuum and promote Darwinism.

This extremely valuable book is the little boy who exposes Emperor Darwin's clothes for what they are, a theory based on selective evidence and deceitful thinking. It is both exciting and challenging that the scientific evidence indeed shows that 'the living God, who made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them...has not left himself without testimony' (Acts 14:15-17).

Reviewed by:
Malcolm Savage

More from nucleus: spring 1998

  • Editorial
  • Do Fetuses Feel Pain?
  • Personal Agendas in Research
  • The Power of the Pen
  • News Review
  • Donor Kidneys - an Ethical Way of Increasing Supply?
  • Doctors Involved in Torture - a Christian Response
  • Medical Student Debt
  • Deadly Questions - on Abortion
  • Differential Diagnosis 23
  • Fishing the Net
  • Darwin on Trial (Book Review)
  • Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (Book Review)
  • Lemuel's Limericks
  • Know Your Bible 25