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Were the Darwinists Wrong? National Geographic stacks the deck

Thomas Woodward

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"Have you seen the cover of the latest National Geographic issue?"

In recent weeks, this question came to me in countless phone messages and e-mails, not to mention a dozen personal encounters. A campus worker in Berlin sent an urgent e-mail after spotting the German edition. My friends and academic colleagues are curious what I--a speaker and writer on the debate between Darwinism and intelligent design theory--thought about the magazine's provocative cover story, which boldly asks, "Was Darwin Wrong?"

Readers were jolted around the world that such a question should leap from the cover of National Geographic. Hopes surged for a few seconds among skeptics of evolution, until they turned to David Quammen's article, which answers with a loud, triumphal "No!" Quammen's piece unfolds as a glittering showcase for Darwinism, a reassuring mini-museum in print. Ten pages of text--more in the genre of high school cheerleading than sober analysis--are embedded in a lush gallery of 22 pages of glossy pictures, including an amazing array of nine separate "sidebar" mini-articles.

If we imagine the "clash of two theories"--the older notion of "separate creations" by a supremely wise designer, versus Darwin's "common ancestry" of all life, driven by natural selection--it appears here that the younger system has utterly crushed the older. Sketched in terms of a basketball tourney, Quammen paints a complete rout--a 118-0 shutout.

Read a review of Thomas Woodward's Doubting Darwin.

Read the entire article on the Christianity Today website.

Posted: 12/02/04



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