Science and Human Origins: An Important New Book by Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe and Casey Luskin

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Lurking behind the evolution debate is a question that is smaller than evolution as a whole, having encompassed only an exceedingly brief span of time in the more than 3-billion-year history of life. Yet in emotional terms, for Darwinists and Darwin doubters alike, this question -- the mystery of human origins -- drives the controversy around Darwinian theory as does no other point of contention.

Intensely personal in a way the bacterial flagellum never will be, it is the subject of an important new book just published by Discovery Institute Press. You will hear a lot about it from us in coming days, including from the book's scientist authors, Ann Gauger, Douglas Axe and Casey Luskin.

Science and Human Origins is a book about science yet its importance lies no less in anthropology. Not anthropology the social-science field, but the ageless enigma of what a man is. Are you a clever animal, or something incomparably other? In his Introduction, John West cites G.K. Chesterton who wrote that, "Man is not merely an evolution but rather a revolution." That frames the subject concisely.

If the book's message can be crystalized in brief, it is that the scientific mystery of man's origins remains very much a mystery. Aggressive advocates of scientism -- and some equally aggressive theistic evolutionists who claim to disavow scientism -- insist that evolutionary biology has got us all figured out. But this is a huge bluff. The highlights of Science and Human Origins include:

  • Dr. Gauger and Dr. Axe lay out the sobering evidence showing how far beyond Darwinian evolution's power the task of building a human being actually lies.
  • Ann Gauger and Casey Luskin interrogate the fossil and genetic evidence on offer that claims to trace a smooth evolutionary path from earlier primates many million years ago to Koko and Bonzo on one hand and to Bach, Beethoven and Brahms on the other.
  • Finally Dr. Gauger considers a controversy swirling in the religious and evolutionary communities: whether the origin of the first human beings could potentially go back to a single pair, or whether a "bottleneck" of 10,000 or more individuals seems required by population genetics.

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