Mortimer Adler was one of the great intellectual giants of the 20th century.  Among his credits were Chairman of the Board of the Encyclopedia Britannica and compiler of the Great Books of the Western World.  This set of 54 volumes of intellectual literature ranging from the Greeks to the early 20th century has sold half a million copies; it graces many a scholarly home’s library and university philosophy department.  In addition, Adler wrote 45 successful books of his own, like How to Read a Book and The Difference in Man and the Difference it Makes (see bibliography at The Great Ideas website).  Adler was a lifelong opponent of Darwinism.

Dr. Adler received a PhD in Psychology from Columbia University, but was primarily a scholar in intellectual history and philosophy and an advocate for liberal arts education, which should include familiarity with the long intellectual tradition of the Western world.  It’s important for observers of the creation-evolution controversy to recognize that great thinkers like Dr. Adler, not just religious fundamentalists, have stood against Darwin’s views.  Adler was familiar as few others with the range of philosophical and scientific ideas about man and his place in the cosmos; he himself recast the cosmological argument for the existence of God in 20th-century dress.  That a man of his erudition and eminence would oppose the scientific consensus regarding evolution is telling.

Adler argued against Darwin’s views on both scientific and rational grounds – not religious dogma (he did not become a Christian himself till age 82, long after most of his books were written).  He observed that Darwin’s theory was nothing more than historical mythmaking, and the evidence opposes it.  With debaters the likes of Mortimer Adler standing in their way, Darwinists cannot charge that their opponents are ignorant or religiously motivated.  Dr. Adler further argued that Darwin’s theory is intellectually bankrupt because it dehumanizes man and makes his intellectual faculties no different from those of the animals.  The Darwinian view of man, he argued, undermines all claims to rationality….

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