“Purpose and Desire”: a misguided biology book that got a starred review on Kirkus

Why Evolution Is True

On November 7,  I called attention to a new book by biology professor J. Scott Turner, “Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something ‘Alive’ and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It,” and how the book got a starred Kirkus review despite its avowed intent to put teleology (goal-directed evolution) back into biology.  Turner works at the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, so he’s got biology cred. But he also admits he’s a Christian, the book’s production was funded by the Templeton Foundation, the book defends intelligent design pretty strongly at the end, and Purpose and Desire was endorsed on the Amazon page by Discovery Institute IDers Douglas Axe and Stephen Meyer.

I questioned the book’s credibility based on these summaries and a bit of other stuff I read, but since Turner beefed about my criticisms, saying I…

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