The author of NATURAL GOD – Deism in the Age of Intelligent Design, Beth Houston, is a professor of creative writing and literature at the University of California and several other universities. She covers a lot of material rarely reviewed in books critical of molecules to man evolution. What does she offer to the creation-evolution debate? The answer is a fresh approach, written in an engaging style, that reflects a good understanding of psychology, logic, biology and history. She stresses that science, especially Darwinism, has become a form of dogmatism the needs to be challenged.
One point documented is that Darwin’s central ambition was not to explore the world to let it reveal itself, but to become famous. Houston also carefully documents her position that evolution theory (no meaning, no purpose, no Creator) caused its developer to lose both his aesthetic sensibility and his appreciation of aesthetic beauty. Darwin openly admitted that his appreciation of aesthetics had dynamically changed.
“Up to the age of thirty ….poetry….such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Shelley, gave me great pleasure and even as a schoolboy I took great delight in Shakespeare. I have also said that formerly art and pictures gave me considerable pleasure and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also lost my taste for art and music.”
Darwin admitted that the ” loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probable to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of nature.”
Beth Houston concludes that what was wrong with Darwin was that “the dimension that gives life lived to the fullest its zing” was gone.
“By the time he had finished ORIGIN and certainly his later Autobiography, beauty had ceased to be beauty at all ….beauty was observed and used like a prostitute for a distant satisfaction of an immediate need, never for love of beauty for its own sake, never for the pleasure of intimate contact (with nature).
She goes on to say, “Mechanistic agnostics like Darwin…. know intellectually that nature is beautifully constructed while emotionally denying that it is. The aesthetic atrophies when the spirit does, or when the spirit lies dormant and inactivated. It is … mechanistic determinism and Darwinian natural selection.
There is never any death of God, only murder or suicide of the killer’s own God – given faculties.”
Houston speculates that: “Darwin’s insistence that natural selection is ultimately brutal is a projection of …. the brutal side of his own nature. Natural selection justifies brutality and sanctifies the guilt. The brutal cannot face a God who might not condone brutality. Therefore, religions create their gods in the image of their own brutality to justify and sanctify brutality, and science creates its god, natural selection, the shadow of civilized man, for the same purpose.
Summary: Professor Houston makes a convincing case that the natural world provides clear evidence for a creator. She also documents the adverse effects of Darwinism on society and persons using Darwin himself as a prime example.
Extract from book review by Jerry Bergman, Journal of Creation Vol 29, 2015