Why Darwin Matters

The Case Against Intelligent Design

Michael Shermer

Times Books

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A creationist-turned-scientist demonstrates the facts of evolution and exposes Intelligent Design’s real agenda

Science is on the defensive. Half of Americans reject the theory of evolution and “Intelligent Design” campaigns are gaining ground. Classroom by classroom, creationism is overthrowing biology.

In Why Darwin Matters, bestselling author Michael Shermer explains how the newest brand of creationism appeals to our predisposition to look for a designer behind life’s complexity. Shermer decodes the scientific evidence to show that evolution is not “just a theory” and illustrates how it achieves the design of life through the bottom-up process of natural selection. Shermer, once an evangelical Christian and a creationist, argues that Intelligent Design proponents are invoking a combination of bad science, political antipathy, and flawed theology. He refutes their pseudoscientific arguments and then demonstrates why conservatives and people of faith can and should embrace evolution. He then appraises the evolutionary questions that truly need to be settled, building a powerful argument for science itself.

Cutting the politics away from the facts, Why Darwin Matters is an incisive examination of what is at stake in the debate over evolution.

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Book Excerpts

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Prologue
Why Evolution Matters
 
Hence both in space and time, we seem to be brought somewhat near to that great fact—that mystery of mysteries—the first appearance of new beings on this earth.
 
—Charles Darwin, Journal of Researches, 1845
 
In June 2004, the science historian Frank Sulloway and I began a month-long expedition to retrace Charles Darwin’s footsteps in the Galápagos Islands. It turned out to be one of the most physically grueling experiences of my life, and as I have raced a bicycle across America five times, that is saying something special about

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Praise for Why Darwin Matters

“The idea that evolution and God should be at odds is among the strangest of doctrines, an attempt to make the divine follow our particular notions of how He should operate. Michael Shermer explains what really happened, in terms that should be accessible to any faithful reader.”—Bill McKibben
 
“Michael Shermer is one of America's necessary minds. A reformed fundamentalist who is now an experienced foe of pseudo-science and superstition, he does us the double favor of explaining exactly what creationists believe, and then of demonstrating that they have no case. With his forensic and polemical skill, he could have left them for dead: instead he generously urges them to stop wasting their time (and ours) and do some real work.”—Christopher Hitchens
 
"A readable and well-researched book on what is perhaps the most vital scientific topic of our age. Anyone who has been snowed into thinking that there is a real scientific controversy over evolution by natural selection will be enlightened by Why Darwin Matters, which is both genial and intellectually uncompromising."—Steven Pinker

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About the Author

Michael Shermer

Michael Shermer is the author of The Believing Brain, Why People Believe Weird Things, The Science of Good and Evil, The Mind Of The Market, Why Darwin Matters, Science Friction, How We Believe and other books on the evolution of human beliefs and behavior. He is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, the editor of Skeptic.com, a monthly columnist for Scientific American, and an adjunct professor at Claremont Graduate University. He lives in Southern California.

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Available Formats and Book Details

Why Darwin Matters
The Case Against Intelligent Design
Michael Shermer

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Times Books
April 2007
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429900904
ISBN10: 1429900903
224 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Henry Holt and Co.
Holt Paperbacks
July 2007
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780805083064
ISBN10: 0805083065
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 224 pages
$14.99
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