The Atheist Missionary just forwarded to me the following tweet from Christian philosopher Douglas Groothuis:
@DougGroothuis: I just reviewed: ‘On the Origin of Species’ by Charles Darwin via @amazon http://t.co/k55mF88XMO
If you read through Professor Groothuis’ review you’ll quickly discover that it isn’t a review at all. Rather, it is (as his title states) “A Moral Argument Against Darwinism”. This irritates me. Amazon reviews are not meant to be like stumps at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park where anybody can climb up and begin pontificating on whatever they like. Rather, they are meant to provide reviews of books. This isn’t a review of Darwin’s Origin of Species. It’s an argument against what Groothuis calls “Darwinism”. I am guessing that Professor Groothuis would not like it if people published Amazon “reviews” of his books that had nothing to do with the books themselves.
And this moral argument certainly has nothing to do with the scientific theory presented in Origin of Species. In that book Darwin presents a view which is not only consistent with theism but which even seems tacitly to assume the existence of God. As Darwin famously wrote: “There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
Of course naturalists would like to dismiss this statement as a poetic flourish, but that is far from clear. What is clear is that the picture of “Darwinism” that Groothuis presents is simply not relevant to Darwin’s Origin of Species.