Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose?

June 12, 2003 | Source: KurzweilAI

The “argument from design” for the existence of God has enjoyed a comeback recently in “intelligent design creationism.”

But adaptation, which has provided the basis of that argument, is not explained by God, but by natural selection, argues Michael Ruse in a new book, Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose?, reviewed by Mark Ridley in Nature, June 12, 2003 (Vol 423 No 6941 pp669-785).

Some scientists reject adaptation for its theological roots. However, “Successful adaptationist research is explanatory in a way that makes most mechanistic research look descriptive,” says Ridley. “And any big theory about life has to be able to explain adaptation.”