A review of The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry by Suzan Mazur
North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, CA, 2010
reviewed by Walter J. ReMine
Because this book was written by an evolutionist, creation scholars will especially love it. The Altenberg 16 looks at the rivalry in science today surrounding attempts to discover “the elusive process of evolution”. Its centerpiece is the by-invitation-only symposium held at Altenberg, Austria, in July 2008, attended by 16 evolutionary scientists, called the Altenberg 16 (figure 1).
“[W]hile the Altenberg 16 have roots in neo-Darwinian theory, they recognize the need to challenge the prevailing Modern Synthesis,because there’s too much it doesn’t explain[emphasis added]” (p. vii).
“The Altenberg 16 … recognize that the theory of evolution which most practicing biologists accept and which is taught in classrooms today, is inadequate in explaining our existence [emphasis added]” (p. 19).
“A wave of scientists now questions natural selection’s role, though fewer will publicly admit it” (p. 20).
“Evolutionary science is as much about the posturing, salesmanship, stonewalling and bullying that goes on as it is about actual scientific theory. It is a social discourse involving hypotheses of staggering complexity with scientists, recipients of the biggest grants of any intellectuals, assuming the power of politicians while engaged in Animal House pie-throwing and name-calling: ‘ham-fisted’, ‘looney Marxist hangover’, ‘secular creationist’, ‘philosopher’ (a scientist who can’t get grants anymore), ‘quack’, ‘crackpot’ …
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