There are some gems in Ian Hacking's essay on anti-Darwinism, "Root and Branch," in The Nation. In it he looks at Living With Darwin--"Philip Kitcher's brief and cogent manifesto"--and seeks to extol the link between democracy (which he rightly deems as good despite all its problems) and American anti-Darwinism, while lambasting anti-Darwinism itself.
...chance variation and natural selection have sufficed to produce the living world as we know it. It is an incredible doctrine. Darwin himself was pretty cautious about it. I respect anyone who says he cannot believe it. But that is where one should stay, in a state of disbelief. Once you start arguing against it, you end up being silly.
Intelligent design is silly. It is a refurbished version of the argument advanced at the end of the seventeenth century and the beginning of the eighteenth by those I call Royal Society divines--important Anglican clergymen, often fellows of the Royal Society of London, the leading scientific institution of the day.
Along the way, Hacking's helpful reminder, thus:
Theories of evolution have been evolving ever since Jean-Baptiste Lamarck began lecturing on the subject in 1800. "Founder of the evolutionary theory," it says on his grand statue at the entry to the botanic gardens in Paris. That is a good reminder that Darwin, marvelous thinker and naturalist that he was, is only part of an ongoing story. The pedigree of evolution passes through Darwin's natural selection, through the synthesis with Mendel's genetics, through the idea of mutation--but also through the statistician's observation that you can get a lot of speciation without mutation, by sheer combinatorial chance, called genetic drift.
(Image: Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, 1744-1829)