David Gelernter’s abandonment of support for modern evolutionary biology seems to be gaining support. First the Hoover Institution jumped on the bandwagon, now the conservative Catholic-tinged magazine of Christian and Jewish thought First Things is on board. An article appeared at their website yesterday by George Weigel, entitled “Getting beyond Darwin”. He offers various judgements that Gelernter is correct. Summarizing Gelernter approvingly, he writes that
The fossil record and molecular biology now suggest that Darwinian answers to the Big Questions constitute the real fundamentalism: a materialistic fideism that, however shaky in dealing with the facts, is nonetheless deeply entrenched in 21st-century imaginations. Thus, Gelernter asks whether today’s scientists will display Darwin’s own courage in risking cultural disdain by upsetting intellectual apple carts.
He also suggests that attention to Gelernter’s argument is “a potential tool in the New Evangelization”, and finishes by suggesting that
The empirical evidence suggests that the notions of a purposeful Creator and a purposeful creation cannot be dismissed as mere pre-modern mythology. That may help a few Nones out of the materialist bogs in which they’re stuck.
Many of the comments after Weigel’s post are supportive of his conclusions, though not all. You may recognize some commenters from our own comments sections. Those supporting modern evolutionary biology seem not to be intimidated by the fact that Weigel holds the position of Distinguished Senior Fellow at Washington D.C.’s Ethics and Public Policy Center.
(I heard of Weigel’s article in Denyse O’Leary’s “News” post at Uncommon Descent. Whatever the quality of her science reporting, she is certainly quick to find articles like that.)