Bulletin Banner

Return to March/April 2013 articles.

Article title

Darwinian Fairytales

by David Stove, Encounter Books, © 1995,
345 pages, $18.95 (paperback), ISBN-13: 978-1-59403-200-4

Darwinian Fairytales book coverIn the debate between creationists and evolutionists, there has been very little credible material produced by someone who does not have an ax to grind. Creationists try to discredit Darwinian evolution for religious reasons. Secular writers view themselves as defenders of Darwin with very little attempt to deal with the subject factually or logically. Many atheists believe if they can propose any model that might eliminate God that model must be right. This book shows the fallacy of that kind of thinking.

The late David Stove taught philosophy at the University of New South Wales and the University of Sidney and was considered an expert on the work of David Hume. He was not a creationist or even a Christian and says that he is of “no religion.” Stove writes, “this is an anti-Darwinism book“ and that his object is “to show that Darwinism is not true” and especially is not true of humans. Roger Kimball in his introduction says that Stove “shows that, when it comes to the species H. sapiens, Darwinism ‘is a mere festering of errors.’ ”

The book is actually a collection of essays that are handled like chapters. The material is not so much about specific scientific issues as about the illogical and philosophically unsound conclusions that have been drawn. Stove uses massive quotes from Darwin, Malthus, Dawkins, E. O. Wilson, and a variety of other experts in genetics and evolution. Those readers who have wanted to find a book that deals specifically with the religious nature of evolution will find this book very worthwhile. It is a great book to give a college student struggling with evolutionary issues, but for the average lay reader it will be a hard read because of the complexity of the discussion.