Only A Theory

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Only A Theory
Author Kenneth R. Miller
Original title Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul
Country United States
Language English
Subject Creationism and evolution
Publisher Penguin
Publication date
12 June 2008
Published in English
12 June 2008
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 256
ISBN 978-0-670-01883-3
Preceded by Finding Darwin's God

Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul is a 2008 book by the American cell biologist and Roman Catholic Kenneth R. Miller.[1] In the book, Miller examines the battle between evolution and intelligent design (ID), and explores the implications of science in America. The title of the book comes from a misconception of what "theory" means in the context of science and evolution.

Glenn C. Altschuler reviewed the book saying "Though I.D. trumpets its connections to information theory, biochemistry and molecular biology, Miller concludes, as did Judge John Jones in Kitzmiller v. Dover, it rests, ultimately, on ignorance. Extending an olive branch to religious Americans, Miller suggests that evolution and faith aren't really in conflict because all of nature is part of God's providential plan."[2]

Biologist PZ Myers wrote "Miller is a fine writer who sharply addresses the details of the arguments about intelligent design creationism. When tackling old chestnuts such as the 'only a theory' complaint, or Michael Behe's argument for a maximum limit for the number of genetic mutations, or William Dembski's rehash of William Paley's watchmaker argument for complexity, Miller discusses the contemporary biological explanations while refuting the errors."[3]

A number of reviewers have pointed out a single factual inaccuracy in the book: on page 149, Miller refers to the Dingo as a marsupial, when in fact Dingos are feral dogs.[4] In his list of errata, published online, Miller gives a correct reading of the passage: "It produced hunter-predator marsupials like the dingo and the Tasmanian tiger," should read "It produced hunter-predator marsupials like the tiger quoll and the Tasmanian wolf."[5]

On June 16, 2008 Miller was interviewed on The Colbert Report discussing the book.[6]


  1. ^ "Only a Theory". Penguin Group. Retrieved 2008-05-02. 
  2. ^ Altschuler, Glenn (June 15, 2008). "A counterattack for evolution". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2014-09-14. 
  3. ^ Myers, PZ (454, 581-582 (31 July 2008)). "BOOK REVIEWED: Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America's Soul". Nature. Retrieved 2008-08-17.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  4. ^ Bottaro, Andrea (May–June 2009). "Review: Only a Theory". Reports of the National Center for Science Education. 29. National Center for Science Education. pp. 40–41. Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  5. ^ Kenneth R. Miller (2009-01-06). "Only A Theory: Errata" (pdf). Retrieved 2009-11-05. 
  6. ^ "Ken Miller". The Colbert Report. June 16, 2008. Archived from the original on December 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-15. 

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