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Darwin’s Pious Idea announced by Eerdmans

[1]Eerdmans Publishing Company [2] has announced Conor Cunningham’s Darwin’s Pious Idea: Why the Ultra-Darwinists and Creationists Both Get It Wrong [1] (forthcoming in the Interventions [3] series Fall 2010).

Below is a sampling of endorsements. (Remaining blurbs can be found here [1].)

“This work of stunning scientific erudition and critical insight differs from the common polemics with Dawkins’ and Dennett’s theories which, while accepting their extreme Neo-Darwinist thesis, isolate it from their atheist conclusions. Professor Cunningham shows on a wealth of scientific and philosophical evidence how vulnerable the thesis is that lies at the root of those conclusions and how its genetic one-sidedness undermines the ground of Darwin’s evolutionary biology.”

Louis Dupré — Yale University

“Writing with engaging humor that betrays an extraordinary energetic intelligence, Conor Cunningham shows us why, given the Christian God, an evolutionary account of life is necessary. In the process he negotiates the philosophical controversies intrinsic to evolutionary science in a manner that illumines how some of the implications of that science mimic Christian heresies. This theological account of creation, I believe, will become a classic.”

Stanley Hauerwas — Duke University

“This is an excellent book! Very well informed and written in an accessible style, it will be easily understood by lay readers, especially thanks to the beautiful, simple examples, stories, and quotations that Cunningham employs. In addition, his interpretation of genetic science is faultless. I learned a great deal from this book!”

Michel Morange — Center for the Study of the History of Science, École Normale Supérieure, Paris

“Conor Cunningham established his reputation with the original and profound Genealogy of Nihilism. In recent years a handful of ‘sand-box’ atheists, prominent in the media, have invoked Darwin and evolution when defending their positions. In this sparkling yet rigorous book Cunningham deals with the philosophical dimensions and theological implications of evolutionary theory. Anyone who longs for this debate to be taken to a proper, intellectually challenging level needs to read Cunningham.”

Ken Surin — Duke University

“The last couple of decades have witnessed a dismal and hopelessly polarized confrontation between literalist Christians and equally fundamentalist ultra-Darwinians. Darwin would have been appalled. Here at last is a judicious and fascinating book that elegantly shows the artificiality of this mutually debilitating conflict, and tells us a lot about both evolution and belief in the bargain.”

Ian Tattersall — American Museum of Natural History, New York

“This book attempts to connect the debate about the nature of Darwinian evolution to the Christian theology of creation. The latter is often implicitly invoked — as, for instance, when the claim is made that Darwin has shown that God cannot exist — but rarely clearly discussed. Cunningham shows that the picture of God as the great Designer of artifacts, espoused by Paley and common to both ultra-Darwinians and Creationists, is profoundly at odds with Christianity. The battle between these last two is another of those incidents foreseen by Arnold in his ‘Dover Beach,’ where ‘ignorant armies clash by night.’ ”

Charles Taylor — McGill University, author of A Secular Age

“Even those sympathetic to the recent wave of evolutionary attacks on religion cannot help feeling that something is missing there: Dawkins and company lack a minimum of understanding of what religion is about, of how it works. Cunningham’s book is thus obligatory reading for all interested in this topic: while fully endorsing the scientific validity of Darwinism, it clearly brings to light its limitations in understanding not only religion but also our human predicament. A book like Cunningham’s is needed like simple bread in our confused times.”

Slavoj Žižek

“In this magnum opus Cunningham steadily pushes ultra-Darwinism and reductionist materialism for their self-undermining inconsistencies, in extremes neither permitting enough logic for understanding life. Exposing these sciences turned into scientism, he then embraces, complementary to the sciences, a deeply Christian account of creation, of both nature and human life enriched in encounter with Christ. A provocative, moving, and stimulating account.”

Holmes Rolston III — Colorado State University

Click on the following links to to see the book description [4], remaining blurbs [1], and author description [5].

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