Re: Impact of Denton's "Nature's Destiny"

Date: Tue Jun 05 2001 - 07:45:13 EDT

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    James Mahaffy wrote:
    >I am thinking of annotating this book for my bibliography but I would
    >like feedback from anyone who has an idea of the impact of this book
    >on the broader scientific community. Is it taken seriously by the
    >scientific community?

    Generally speaking, no. Should it be? Not based on my reading of the book.
    What do you think of the "tests" he proposed for invalidating his hypothesis?

    Now, is Denton's work taken seriously by anyone within the scientific
    community? That's a different question. I only know that it's taken
    seriously by at least by one person: Denton.

    FWIW, Denton's _Evolution: A theory in crisis" wasn't taken seriously by
    the general scientific community, either. Most biochemists that I've known
    haven't heard of him. Two post-docs I knew who had worked in the same
    department as Denton in New Zealand and had attended his lectures weren't
    even aware that he'd authored such a book. Basically, Denton didn't write
    anything that hadn't already been published and discussed elsewhere. Further,
    his description of molecular homology data was outdated and countered
    probably before he'd set pen to paper. You might note that Denton did some
    serious backpedalling WRT the data affirming common descent in this latest

    Here's a potentially illuminating question: Why isn't Denton's latest book
    -- in which he declares the evidence for common descent to be conclusive --
    broadly discussed within the ID community, which had so solidly embraced his
    first book? Is his scientific acumen less powerful today?

    >He is really saying the world is designed for the life it has (in fact he
    >sees himself doing something similar to natural theology) - but does not
    >want as far as I have read (and I have not read all of it) and designer.

    I thought he had a decidely deistic slant.

    Tim Ikeda

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