||July 17, 2009
Who Darwin was, what he said and what scientists have discovered about biological evolution.
Darwin, Then and Now
Darwin Then and Now
With over 1,000 references from Darwin and scientists, Darwin The and Now is an indepth expose on who Darwin was, what Darwin actually said, and what scientists have discovered over the past 150 years. In retracing the roots of evolution back to Greek philosophers, the beek set the nineteenth century stage for the development of one of the wold's most contencious and revolutionary theories- evolution.
"I am quite conscious that my speculations run quite beyond the bounds of science." Charles Darwin, 1857
Darwin, Then and Now. The Most Amazing Story in the History of Science
Looking for a textbook that teaches your high school science students about the fallacies of the theory of evolution? Darwin, Then and Now challenges the evolutionary theory with a critical examination of the science and history of evolution. Written by Professor Richard William Nelson, this book is an in-depth study of the most amazing story in the history of science, the rise of the evolutionary theory. Darwin, Then and Now, is a must-read for the home school science student.
In this recently published book, Darwin, Then and Now, Nelson gives a complete analysis of evolution’s entire history from before Darwin to the times of Neo-Darwinism. Nelson shows that the evolutionary theory originated in Greek Philosophy, such as the works of Aristotle and Heraclitus of Ephesus, and rose to prominence in the wake of the Scientific Revolution during the Victorian times. Then, Nelson discusses whether or not evolution is based on science or philosophy. Further, after finding that Darwin’s arguments use deductive, not inductive reasoning, Nelson answers the question of whether or not the basis of evolution is a subjective viewpoint or scientific investigation.
Darwin, Then and Now opens with an account of Darwin’s early life and the lives of his naturalist friends and geology professors who mentored him. In complete detail, Nelson recounts the celebrated voyage of the Beagle and Darwin’s time on the Galäpagos Islands. Nelson proceeds to analyze the rest of Darwin life and writings, his admirers and critics, and most importantly his famous work, The Origin of Species, which changed the world and influenced modern society. Quoting from Darwin’s own works, as well as works of his contemporaries, Nelson reveals what makes Darwin one of the most remembered figures in the history of science.
Continuing, Nelson makes a thorough investigation of whether or not there is evidence that supports evolution, the Origin of Species, and Darwin’s theories about Natural Selection. Nelson examines the alleged evidence for evolution found in the fossil record, such as Piltdown man and Lucy, as well as that seen in geological columns, such as the Burgess Shale of British Columbia and the Ediacara Hills of Australia. Also, Darwin, Then and Now has in-depth discussions of molecular biology, chemical evolution, embryology, and genetics to see whether or not evolution has revealed the origins of life. Further evolutionary evidence is examined: peppered moths, Darwin’s finches, mutations in species. Throughout Darwin, Then and Now, Nelson carefully analyses over one thousand quotations from Darwin’s works and the writings of other scientist and historians. Nelson clearly and thoroughly answers the question of whether or not there is any scientific evidence for evolution.
Darwin, Then and Now allows the home school high school student to understand the errors in one of today’s most commonly accepted theories: evolution. Darwin, Then and Now should be an essential book for every high school science class. Combine science, history, and philosophy into an amazing story, the Most Amazing Story in the History of Science: Darwin, Then and Now. By Lisa Lewis
Darwin, Then and Now. The Most Amazing Story in the History of Science
Everybody recognizes the Jesus Fish on the back of a car; a legged version with “Darwin” on the fish’s belly instead of “Jesus” is also available. Continuing the clash between creationists and evolutionists is an even larger Jesus Fish, swallowing the Darwinian critter head first. It is in this spirit that Darwin, Then and Now is presented.
This point of view is not evident from the book’s cover, which trumpets the sub-title, “The Most Amazing Story in the History of Science,” but on the first page Nelson provides an arresting comparison of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin, who shared the same birthday, February 12, 1809. “Lincoln sought the emancipation of men from men,” Nelson writes, “and Darwin sought the emancipation of men from God.” Most scholars and biographers of Darwin would disagree with this statement, noting that he was reticent about publicly disavowing the religious tenets he studied as a Cambridge theology student. Rather, he was focused—some might say obsessed—on refining his evolutionary theories in an effort to understand how the natural world works.
The first section of the book offers an overview of Darwin’s life, as he evolved from an adolescent obsessed with shooting birds to a young man engrossed in the studies of geology and natural history. Nelson selects biographical snippets that highlight Darwin’s faults, giving readers the impression that Darwin was a lazy and dissolute rich boy and an indifferent student at an elite university that catered to “young men just like Darwin who had probably too much money and too little discipline.” Nelson also argues that “the Darwin’s [sic] were the Kennedy’s [sic] of the 19th century.” The Kennedy comparison is repeated at least twice, and other code phrases—like referring to “The Origin of Species” as the Harry Potter of its day—cue the reader about the book’s target audience.
The book’s middle section analyzes the author’s view that there are many contradictions and faults inherent in Darwin’s theories of natural selection and adaptation and here the simple, direct prose changes tone to become almost like a legal brief. For diehards in search of talking points to rebut Darwinian theories, there is much meat here, though the meat is dry.
Nelson’s book continues with a critical examination of Darwin’s theories, peppered with many short quotations from scientists and writers throughout the 150 years since The Origin of Species was published. Again, the back and forth style of writing will be of limited appeal to a general audience of popular science readers. Only an impassioned Darwin fan or foe would likely consume the chapters on paleontology, molecular biology, embryology, and genetics, though the author gets points for his extensive research and footnotes.
Darwin, Then and Now provides a counterpoint to the largely adulatory publications and events surrounding the sesquicentennial of The Origin of Species. It offers a clearly written, if sometimes densely outlined, perspective on Darwin’s scientific legacy, though its appeal seems limited to a conservative Christian readership. By Rachel Jagareski
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