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Debating Darwin
Debating Darwin
The theory of evolution is the flashpoint in the war between science and religion. Polls show that nearly half of all Americans believe the Biblical story of creation. Only a quarter accept evolution. And that's infuriated a lot of people. Part Four from "Electrons to Enlightenment," a compelling five-part series on the conflict between science and religion from PRI. Produced by Wisconsin Public Radio and hosted by Jim Fleming. The philosopher Daniel Dennett thinks we need to "break the spell" of religion. But creationist Paul Nelson says evolution simply can't explain certain mysteries.

Listen to "Debating Darwin"

SEGMENT 1:

Philosopher Daniel Dennett is the author of "Darwin's Dangerous Idea" and "Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon." He tells Steve Paulson why he finds ignorance of evolutionary biology so appalling. Also, Randy Olson is a Harvard-trained evolutionary biologist and creator of the documentary film "Flock of Dodos." We hear a clip, and Olson tells Jim Fleming why he has no use for the intelligent design movement. Also, Steve Paulson reports from Cambridge University in England on Charles Darwin's own views regarding whether his theory of evolution was compatible with religious faith. We hear from Paul White of the Darwin Correspondence Project.

SEGMENT 2:

Ordinary people weigh in on the evolution/creationism debate. Also, biologist Richard Dawkins (author of "The God Delusion") is the man the Intelligent Design Movement loves to hate. He explains why he thinks Darwinism leads to atheism. And creationist Paul Nelson, a fellow at the Discovery Institute, makes the case for his point of view. Also, paleontologist Simon Conway Morris talks with Steve Paulson about convergence and the evolution of intelligence. Morris is the author of "Life's Solution: Inevitable Humans in a Lonely Universe."

SEGMENT 3:

Biologist Elisabet Sahtouris is the author of "Earthdance: Living Systems in Evolution." Sahtouris has no truck with Biblical creationists but thinks the standard story of evolution has major problems. She talks with Anne Strainchamps.