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

Beloved for his Narnian tales for children and his books of Christian apologetics for adults, best-selling author C.S. Lewis also was a prophetic critic of the growing power of scientism in modern society, the misguided effort to apply science to areas outside its proper bounds. In this wide-ranging book of essays edited by John G. West, contemporary writers probe Lewis’s warnings about the dehumanizing impact of scientism on ethics, politics, faith, reason, and science itself. Issues explored include Lewis’s views on bioethics, eugenics, evolution, intelligent design, and what he called “scientocracy.” Contributors include Michael Aeschliman, author of C.S. Lewis and the Restitution of Man; Victor Reppert, author of C.S. Lewis’s Dangerous Idea; Jay Richards, co-author of the New York Times bestseller Indivisible; and C. John Collins, author of Science and Faith: Friends or Foes

About the Editor

John G. West is a Senior Fellow at the Discovery Institute. He is co-editor of the award-winning C.S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia and author of The Politics of Revelation and Reason and Darwin Day in America. He has been interviewed by Time, Newsweek, USA Today, and The New York Times, as well as appearing on CNN and FoxNews. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Claremont Graduate University and formerly was the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University.

Praise for The Magician’s Twin

“This outstanding book will be of interest not just to C.S. Lewis readers but to anyone following the latest controversies surrounding intelligent design, reason and the mysterious history of human life.”
Tom Bethell, Senior Editor of The American Spectator and a Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

The Magician’s Twin elucidates C. S. Lewis’s profound contribution to our understanding of the natural world, its design and its functions, and its relationship to the supernatural world, two worlds that we inhabit simultaneously, if somewhat obliviously. This collection of essays shrewdly corrects some misapprehensions of Lewis’s views on evolution, the character of reason, and the role of empirical science in adjudicating the answers to life’s most important questions. Its greatest service, nevertheless, is foregrounding for 21st Century readers the threats to freedom that unchecked scientism engenders (the “twin” referred to in the title)—threats that Lewis so relentlessly and prophetically and bravely warned us about in his era.”
Bruce L. Edwards, Ph.D., Professor of English and Associate Dean for Distance Education and International Programs, Bowling Green State University, and author of Not a Tame Lion, A Rhetoric of Reading: C.S. Lewis’s Defense of Western Literacy and other books.

The Magician’s Twin draws together 10 top thinkers with keen interest in science and scientism. It is solid food for thought for both the professional and the layman, worthy of a careful read for anyone who wishes to consider in detail the important and on-going debate about the appropriate role of science in society… The book makes the case that C.S. Lewis, in contrast to many of his critics, had a detailed and consistent view of science and its impact on culture. Lewis was not anti-science; he was anti-scientism, the belief that modern science supplies the only reliable method of knowledge. Lewis and these authors make a strong case that there is a long and important list of crucial values (including truth, meaning, purpose, morality, freedom/dignity and religious faith) that are the necessary presuppositions for science to be an adequate and ultimate asset. Thus, the book is especially important for Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant Christians. It points to the battle lines in the science, faith and society debate that in the end is a matter of life and death.”
Michael H. Macdonald, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor of European Studies, German and Philosophy, Seattle Pacific University and co-editor of G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis: The Riddle of Joy.

“C. S. Lewis’s many admirers will be eager to read this collection of articles… The book contains a timely and well-reasoned chapter about Lewis and intelligent design.”
Phillip E. Johnson, Jefferson E. Peyser Professor of Law (Emeritus) at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and author of Darwin on Trial and other books.

“As The Magician’s Twin reveals, C.S. Lewis was a healthy skeptic of mainstream science, unwilling to accept its pronouncements uncritically, especially when science was used to cloak an ideological agenda.”
William Dembski, Ph.D., author of The Design Revolution and other books.

“Some Darwinians… claim that C.S. Lewis is fighting alongside them. The Magician’s Twin proves that he is not.”
Dr. Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-Chief, World News Group