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Thoughts on ID and “Politics and the Life Sciences”

December 30, 2009

I hadn’t heard of Politics and the Life Sciences before encountering Skell’s “review” that I mention below. In the same issue there are a number of other creationism-related reviews. Angus Menuge (philosophy, Concordia University) reviews the excellent Why Intelligent Design Fails and the Denyse O’Leary co-authored The Spiritual Brain. In addition, Richard Sherlock (philosophy, Utah State University, with areas of specialization in “Medical and Applied Ethics and Policy, Moral Philosophy and Theology, Philosophical Theology”), reviews the Ruse/Dembski volume, Debating Design: From Darwin to DNA.

Mengue received a grant from the Discovery Institute to complete his book, Agents Under Fire: Materialism and the Rationality of Science (2004) while Sherlock has in the past come out in support of ID:

In my view, Latter-day Saints as well as serious Christians generally should be sympathetic to and supportive of intelligent design. We must reject materialism. We must accept God’s intervention in nature. Finally, we must hold that God’s action in nature is at times plainly visible. Once these core convictions are held as control beliefs, intelligent design cannot be denied.

(As an aside, see here for an LDS critique of Sherlock’s position.)

I’m suspecting that Mengue’s two reviews were respectively negative and positive – the former given that he has in the past referred to “the Darwinian inquistion [sic]” and the latter given that O’Leary describes him as a friend who “is greatly indebted to Mario Bearegard [sic] and me” and his recommendation of the book during his debate with PZ Myers (Mengue’s account is here).

I also suspect that the book review editor for Politics and the Life Sciences (a political scientist at Baylor University) had somewhat of an agenda considering there are many qualified – and potentially critical – reviewers beyond the three he had chosen to discuss this issue.

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  1. Michael Fugate
    December 31, 2009 at 10:14 am

    I had not heard of the journal either. In a cursory view of the journal page, the book review editor (Bradley Thayer) is from Baylor and has written several titles purporting to explain global conflict evolutionarily. Strangely, his bio is missing from the Political Science Dept page.

    I asked Skell if he would teach Chemistry without atomic theory, but, as with all of my other questions, he ignored it.

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