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The Panda's Black Box

Opening up the Intelligent Design Controversy

edited by Nathaniel C. Comfort
foreword by Daniel J. Kevles
Essays by Nathaniel C. Comfort, Michael Ruse, Scott F. Gilbert, Edward J. Larson, Jane Maienschein, Robert Maxwell Young

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The debate over Intelligent Design seemingly represents an extension of the fundamental conflict between creationists and evolutionists. ID proponents, drawing on texts such as Darwin's Black Box and Of Pandas and People, urge schools to "teach the controversy" in biology class alongside evolution. The scientific mainstream has reacted with fury, branding Intelligent Design as pseudoscience and its advocates as religious fanatics.

But stridency misses the point, argues Nathaniel Comfort. In The Panda's Black Box, Comfort joins five other leading public intellectuals—including Daniel Kevles and...

The debate over Intelligent Design seemingly represents an extension of the fundamental conflict between creationists and evolutionists. ID proponents, drawing on texts such as Darwin's Black Box and Of Pandas and People, urge schools to "teach the controversy" in biology class alongside evolution. The scientific mainstream has reacted with fury, branding Intelligent Design as pseudoscience and its advocates as religious fanatics.

But stridency misses the point, argues Nathaniel Comfort. In The Panda's Black Box, Comfort joins five other leading public intellectuals—including Daniel Kevles and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward Larson—to explain the roots of the controversy and explore the intellectual, social, and cultural factors that continue to shape it.

One of the few books on the ID issue that moves beyond mere name-calling and finger-pointing, The Panda's Black Box challenges assumptions on each side of the debate and engages both the appeal and dangers of Intelligent Design. This lively collection will appeal to anyone seeking a deeper understanding of what's really at stake in the debate over evolution.

Reviews

Reviews

A valuable source... should be required reading for zealots and is recommended for those interested in ID.

It [The Panda's Black Box] convincingly argues against the extremes of both the reductionist paradigm that is dominant today and intelligent design. As such, it adds an important and gentler dimension to the debate between intelligent design and evolutionary theory.

An accessible reader that quickly and deftly surveys the current evolution-['intelligent design'] debates from a range of philosophical and historical angles.

The Panda's Black Box is an accessible reader that quickly and deftly surveys the current evolution-ID debates from a range of philosophical and historical angles.

About

Book Details

Table of Contents

List of Contirbutors
Foreword by Daniel J. Kevles

1. Intorductions: The Panda's Black Box
2. The Argument from Design
3. The Aerodynamics of Flying Carpets: Why Biologists are Loath to "Tech the

List of Contirbutors
Foreword by Daniel J. Kevles

1. Intorductions: The Panda's Black Box
2. The Argument from Design
3. The Aerodynamics of Flying Carpets: Why Biologists are Loath to "Tech the Controversy"
4. The Classroom Controversy: A History of the Dispute over Teahcing Evolution
5. Untangling Debates about Science and Religion
6. Intelligent Design: A Sympton of Metaphysical Malaise

Notes
Futher Reading
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Scott Gilbert

Scott F. Gilbert teaches in the Department of Biology at Swarthmore College. He is the author of Developmental Biology.
Featured Contributor

Edward J. Larson

Edward J. Larson is associate professor of history at the University of Georgia. He served as associate counsel with the U.S. House of Representatives and is the author of Trial and Error: The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution.