Category Archives: Terry Scambray

Book Review: A Genius for Destructive Change

by Terry Scambray // New Oxford Review, May 2014 

Darwin: Portrait of a Genius. By Paul Johnson   Viking. 176 pages. $25.95.

download (7)  It is a measure of the cultural contamination of materialism, given great impetus by Charles Darwin, that even a giant like Paul Johnson can be infected and attenuated by it. For Johnson is one of the magisterial writers of our time whose erudition and immense energy have enlightened so many of us for so many years. Yet this biography is a disappointment in contrast to most all of his previous work. Indeed it is unfortunate that Johnson did not apply his wit and critical talents, as shown in his masterful Intellectuals, to his present subject, Charles Darwin. Oh, what a penetrating study it would have made!

Despite my predilections, Johnson moves in the opposite direction in this book, attempting to lay on yet another coat of bronze to the iconic figure of Darwin. But like all carriers of what Raymond Tallis calls Darwinitis, Johnson never gets around to explaining exactly what was Darwin’s genius. Though there are plenty of sputtering attempts at it, all that the book presents are the usual empty generalities about “Darwin the scientist” and “Darwin the humble self-critic” in addition to the conventional contradictions and misunderstandings about Darwin’s ideas.

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Book Review: Intelligent Design or Unintelligent Design?

by Terry Scambray // New Oxford Review, October 2013 

Darwin‘s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design, Stephen C. Meyer. Harper One, 2013. 412 pp.

 Stephen Meyer has followed his highly acclaimed, Signature in the Cell, with a worthy sequel.   The sequel, Darwin’s Doubt, blends the findings from molecular biology found in his first book with discoveries in paleontology, anatomy and other 9780062071477_p0_v3_s260x420disciplines in order to make the case for intelligent design as the best scientific explanation for life’s origin and development.  And Meyer does this in his usual clear and composed voice while explaining some complicated material without the distracting emotion that often distorts the study of origins.

 “Darwin’s Doubt” refers to Charles Darwin’s admission in his consequential book, On the Origin of the Species, that the fossil record contradicted his theory that life began with simple organisms and it then progressed through endless transitions on up to the present.  As he admitted: “The abrupt manner in which whole groups of species suddenly appear in certain formations has been urged by several paleontologists – for instance Agassiz, Pictet, Sedgwick – as a fatal objection to the belief in the transmutation of species.  If numerous species belonging to the same genera or families have really started into life all at once, the fact would be fatal to the theory of descent with slow modification through natural selection.” Read more →

The Orthodoxies of a Cult

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

Faith, Resistance, and the Future: Daniel Berrigan’s Challenge to Catholic Thought.  Edited by James L. Marsh and Anna J. Brown. Fordham University Press. 416 pages.  Read more →

Can the Human Mind Explain Itself?

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

A Review of Mind & Cosmos: Why the Materialist Neo-Darwinian Conception of Nature Is Almost Certainly False, Thomas Nagel. Oxford University Press, 2012.  128 pages.  $24.95 Read more →

The Orientalism of Barack Obama

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

Of course the documentary movie, 2016: Obama’s America, was timed by the conservative, Dinesh D’Souza, to discredit the president. Nonetheless, there can’t be much doubt that the president’s vision of America is driven by his attitude toward the perceived sins of European colonialism and his fear that America has now assumed that mantle. Read more →

Silenced Partner: Two Books on Alfred Wallace

by Terry Scambray


A review of:

Alfred Russel Wallace’s Theory of Intelligent Evolution: How Wallace’s Theory of Life Challenged Darwinism by Michael A. Flannery (Erasmus Press, 2008.  216 pp.) Includes an abridged version of Wallace’s The World of Life, with an Introduction by Flannery and a Forward by William A. Dembski. Read more →

Appeasement Bode War Not Peace

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

A review of The Wages of Appeasement: Ancient Athens, Munich, and Obama’s America by Bruce S. Thornton. (Encounter Books, 2011 pp. 283) Read more →

A Eulogy for “Selective Death”

by Terry Scambray

New Oxford Review

A review of What Darwin Got Wrong by Jerry Fodor and  Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini (Farrar, Straus & Giroux. 179 pp.) Read more →

God Is Not Dead

A Review of Cornelius Hunter’s trilogy.

by Terry Scambray

The Chesterton Review

Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil (Brazos Press, 2001, 189 pp.)
Darwin’s Proof: The Triumph of Religion over Science (Brazos Press, 2003, 168 pp.)
Science’s Blind Spot: The Unseen Religion of Scientific Naturalism (Brazos Press, 2007, 170 pp.) Read more →

The War against Real but Forgotten Evil

by Terry Scambray

Private Papers

A review of Moral Combat: Good and Evil in World War II, by Michael Burleigh (Harper Collins, 2011, 562 pp.) Read more →

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