EPPC Briefly: Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness

Published February 23, 2012



Evolution and the Illusion of Randomness

Are mutations random and meaningless? In the “survival of the fittest,” what counts as “fitness”? In this essay from EPPC’s journal The New Atlantis, Stephen L. Talbott explains that the scientific literature shows scant evidence for the randomness of mutations, and argues that the notion of “fitness” raises more questions than it answers. Read more>>

This essay is the fourth in a series by Mr. Talbott, a New Atlantis contributing editor, explaining recent developments in molecular biology. The previous installments were “Getting Over the Code Delusion” (Summer 2010), “The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings” (Fall 2010), and “What Do Organisms Mean?” (Winter 2011).

For more on evolution and other controversies in the religion-and-science debates, see this presentation by theoretical physicist Dr. Ard Louis at the most recent session of EPPC’s semi-annual Faith Angle Forum on Religion, Politics, and Public Life.


EPPC scholars continue their leading role in exposing how the HHS mandate on contraceptives, abortifacients, and sterilization is a dangerous assault on religious freedom.

In a series of articles, EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel:

Exposes the “soft totalitarianism” of the Obama administration’s determination to “define religious freedom down” to privatized worship;

Celebrates the impressive unity that the American bishops have displayed, a unity “based on a common understanding” that this is a fight “they can and must win, for their own institutions and congregants, but also for all Americans”;

Laments that Catholic liberals, in order to “play court chaplain to overweening and harshly secularist state power,” are “betraying their own noblest heritage” by jettisoning a “robust concept of religious freedom”; and

Highlights that the Komen/Planned Parenthood and HHS mandate battles “ought to have made clear that 2012 is, domestically, an election about the survival of civil society.”

In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, EPPC President Ed Whelan (with co-author David Rivkin) explains how the HHS mandate blatantly violates both the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.

Please support EPPC’s ongoing efforts to protect religious freedom.


Walk Back to the Right Road to Marriage and Parenthood

EPPC Senior Fellow Peter Wehner warns that “the consequences of living in a society in which marriage is devalued and out-of-wedlock births are normative are not good, especially for the most vulnerable members of the human community.” Read more>>

The President’s Plan: Higher Taxes, Deep Defense Cuts, and the Entitlement Status Quo

Reviewing President Obama’s proposed budget, EPPC Fellow James C. Capretta finds that the president has “once again chose[n] to placate constituencies and promote an activist government agenda at the expense of getting the nation’s fiscal house in order.” Read more>>

Republicans Need to Make the Common-Good Case for Conservatism

In order to win in 2012, argues EPPC Fellow Stephen P. White, “the GOP must rediscover a way of speaking persuasively about how personal liberty, limited government, and yes, free markets, benefit America as a whole.” Read more>>

The Top Five Flawed Arguments Against Premium Support

EPPC Fellow James C. Capretta debunks the arguments against converting Medicare into a premium-support program. Read more>>

Vatican III? Where?

Among the “many good arguments against quickly convening a Third Vatican Council,” notes EPPC Distinguished Senior Fellow George Weigel, is the fact that the doubling of the episcopate over the past fifty years means that there may be no church in the world large enough to serve as a council hall. That problem raises the broader question whether there are too many bishops to function as the Church’s episcopal “college.” Read more>>

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