I just finished reading Philip Kitcher’s Living With Darwin, and let me say that if you are going to read just one book on the God vs. science controversies, skip over Dawkins and Hitchens and read this one. The first four chapters explain, patiently and persuasively, what is wrong with intelligent design “theories” and why they don’t really provide a substantive alternative to Darwinism. The true gem, though, is chapter 5, where Kitcher very sympathetically explores what motivates some of us to try to hold onto religion despite the apparent success of Darwinism, and despite all the historical evidence which suggests (I would say “proves”)that the Bible really doesn’t convey more than a fascinating and powerful ancient mythology. The deep question: is there anything religion can provide, once providence and purpose are banished from the universe? His answer is a thoughtful and nuanced “yes,” though perhaps not one that will satisfy most religious folks.
(That’s all from me for a few days. I’ll be back to blogging after 8/18.)