Only A TheoryPreface
One: Only a Theory
Two: Eden's Draftsmen
Three: Embracing Design
Four: Darwin's Genome
Five: Life's Grand Design
Six: The World That Knew We Were Coming
Seven: Closing the American Scientific Mind
Eight: Devil in the Details
Kenneth R. Miller is Professor of Biology at Brown University. His research work on cell membrane structure and function has produced more than 50 scientific papers and reviews in leading journals, including CELL, Nature, and Scientific American. Miller is coauthor, with Joseph S. Levine, of four different high school and college biology textbooks which are used by millions of students nationwide. He has received 5 major teaching awards. In 2007 he was named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and received the Exploratorium's Outstanding Educator Award. He lectures widely and has appeared on NPR's Science Friday and The Colbert Report.
At the beginning of the 21st century, America is still conflicted about the theory of evolution, just as it was at the time of the Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925. One significant difference today is that critics of evolution contradict Darwin with the pseudoscientific concept of intelligent design (ID). Miller (biology, Brown Univ.), an expert witness in the 2005 evolution trial in Dover, PA, brings his same penetrating arguments against intelligent design to this book. Going beyond a mere evolution vs. ID argument, Miller examines America's role as a scientific leader in the world and how we are slipping from that position. Attempts to attack science and derail its importance lower America's standing throughout the world. Instead of painting a pessimistic view of our future, Miller shows how it is exactly the nature of America--from its beginnings as a group of revolutionary colonies--that also holds the greatest hope for ultimately retaining our position as a world leader in science. That hope will depend upon gaining public support and understanding of science, for which Miller provides a formula for achieving. Much of this book is rather technical and scientifically advanced, but it offers a unique perspective on this topic. Recommended for larger academic and public libraries.--Gloria Maxwell, Penn Valley Community Coll. Lib., Kansas City, MO Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Thoroughly enjoyable and informative, this new book by Miller (Finding Darwin's God), a Brown University biologist and leading proponent of evolution, dismantles the scientific basis of intelligent design piece by piece. He does this by taking seriously the claims of intelligent design (though with tongue often in cheek), such as irreducible complexity, and looking at the biological facts and the dubious conclusions ID concepts would lead to. He turns to the peer-reviewed scientific literature to demonstrate that the two biological phenomena ID proponents say could not have evolved--blood-clotting proteins and bacterial flagella--are now well-enough understood to fully rebut intelligent design. Looking at the underlying philosophical issues, Miller explains that ID's proponents want to replace modern science with " `theistic science'... that would use the Divine not as ultimate cause, but as scientific explanation." Miller effectively explores the devastating consequences such a change would have on both science and society. In a measured, well-reasoned book, Miller explains why evolution does not deny us our humanity or our unique place in the universe. Illus. Colbert Report appearance on June 16. (June 16) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
" Demolishes the assertions of advocates of Intelligent
-The Baltimore Sun
" A grass-roots defense of good science education . . . a useful overview of a perilous political attack on the nature of science."
-P. Z. Myers, Nature
" Powerfully argued . . . Miller's perspective as a devout believer will allow his case to resonate with believers and non-believers alike."
-Francis Collins, Director, the Human Genome Project