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Reflections on a new book about C.S. Lewis, science, and society.

Tom Bethell



We normally associate C.S. Lewis with Christian apologetics, English literature, and the Narnia stories; less so with science and questions about evolution. But as the Discovery Institute's John G. West points out in The Magician's Twin, throughout his life Lewis was concerned about the abject submission of culture and politics to the growing authority of science. Lewis respected science, but he rejected the idea that it is the only reliable method of knowledge about the world. He called that error scientism. As for evolution, his skepticism about it increased over the years.


In this anthology, John West and his co-authors gather material primarily from four books by Lewis: Miracles, The Abolition of Man, That Hideous Strength and The Discarded Image. Their findings are enhanced by West's research into Lewis's papers and correspondence, now at Wheaton College in Illinois. He also made good use of unpublished annotations and underlined passages in books preserved from Lewis's own library.


Lewis well understood the cultural dominance of the theory of evolution in his day and was at first reluctant to criticize the theory. He also tended to assume, as so many others have since, that Darwinism was better confirmed than it really was (or is). In fact, since Lewis's death in 1963, the new findings of molecular biology have made the theory look a good deal less plausible than it did 50 years ago.




The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society.

Edited by John G. West

(Discovery Institute Press, 350 pages




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