Special Magazine Issues on Darwin, Evolution, ID Creationism

The most recent issues of Natural History and Skeptical Inquirer magazines feature articles on Darwin, evolution, and, as SI puts it, the ID wars.

Skeptical Inquirer. As of this writing, the November-December 2005 issue of SI has not been posted on their Website. It is called “Evolution and the ID Wars.” Here is a partial list of contents. (http://www.csicop.org/si/)

“Does Irreducible Complexity Imply Intelligent Design?” by PT regular Mark Perakh. Professor Perakh here outlines his contention that, in disagreement with William Dembski and Michael Behe, good design is simple, not complex, and redundant, not irreducible.

“Only a Theory? Framing the Evolution/Creation Issue,” by David Morrison. We need better slogans.

“Endless Forms Most Beautiful,” by Sean Carroll. Embryology and evolutionary developmental biology, and how they have “reshaped our picture of how evolution works.”

“Harris Poll Explores Beliefs about Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design,” by anonymous. Scary. Also, at least one of the questions is wrong in its implications; “Darwin’s theory of evolution” is not proved by “fossil discoveries,” and people are justified in disagreeing with the statement that it is so proved.

Natural History. You may get the complete contents of the November issue of NH and some of the articles here: http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/

“The Perimeter of Ignorance,” by Neil deGrasse Tyson. How the argument from ignorance actively impedes scientific progress.

“Evolution in Action,” by Jonathan Weiner. Mr. Weiner has fallen victim to a bit of creationist disinformation: His otherwise excellent article is marred by his statement that the story of the peppered moth has fallen. See “Why the Peppered Moth Remains an Icon of Evolution,” by Matt Young, and references therein ( http://www.pandasthumb.org/pt-archives/000886.html ).

See also the box, “Evolution That’s Fast Enough to Watch,” associated with Mr. Weiner’s article.

“The Fossils Say Yes,” by Donald Prothero. How transitional forms have filled in the gaps in the fossil record.

“The Origins of Form,” by Sean Carroll. Another article on evolutionary developmental biology but worth reading even if you have read Professor Carroll’s article in SI.

“The Galaxies, They Are A-Changin’,” by Charles Liu. An interesting article, but I wish he hadn’t used the term “evolution” for the gradual development of the universe – as Professor Liu himself says, it is nothing like biological evolution.

There are many more articles than I have mentioned here, and I found virtually all interesting. If you are in New York or get there, don’t miss the exhibit, “Darwin,” November 19 through May 29, at the American Museum of Natural History, the publishers of NH.

Finally, one criticism. SI articles are well documented, but I found neither reference nor bibliography in the special section of NH.