July 31, 2008
Ken Miller's "Only a Theory" reviewed in Nature
NCSE Supporter Kenneth R. Miller's new book, Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul," is reviewed in the July 31, 2008 issue of Nature. PZ Myers writes that "Miller is a fine writer who sharply addresses the details of the arguments about intelligent design creationism. When tackling old chestnuts such as the 'only a theory' complaint, or Michael Behe's argument for a maximum limit for the number of genetic mutations, or William Dembski's rehash of William Paley's watchmaker argument for complexity, Miller discusses the contemporary biological explanations while refuting the errors."
Myers notes that Miller's "religious leanings … give him insight into both sides of the struggle." While he finds Miller "sympathetic to the creationists' perspective," Miller also "opposes them uncompromisingly. … Miller does not confuse sympathy for the intent of creationists with sympathy for its effects. The conflict has wider consequences than the teaching of one discipline in US public schools - the creationists aim to revise what science means, discarding rationalism, naturalism, materialism and other Enlightenment values to incorporate the supernatural and loosen the rigour of all sciences."
While Myers finds reason to disagree with Miller about the social forces driving creationism in America, he concludes: "Only a Theory is a useful overview of a perilous political attack on the nature of science."