James Le Fanu

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James Le Fanu (1950–) is a British physician and medical journalist known for his criticism of evolution and science and his support for vitalism.


In his book The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine, Le Fanu criticised modern medicine and sciences for focusing on genetics which Le Fanu claims is wrong as in his opinion genes have nothing to do with disease and little to do with biology. In the book Le Fanu also attacks evolution and quotes from Michael Denton, an intelligent design proponent, and others in an attempt to prove that evolution is limited and that evolution fails to explain the mysteries of biology.[1] Le Fanu says he is not a creationist but proposes that science is limited only to the material and that a non-physical cosmic force exists which explains consciousness which science has not yet explored.[2]

In Le Fanu's next book Why Us?: How Science Rediscovered the Mystery of Ourselves he writes that Darwin's theory of evolution is a materialistic theory that fails to explain consciousness and the experience of the human being, instead of supporting creationism Le Fanu further advocates vitalism the belief that an immaterial "life force" is directing evolution and life and supports other fringe thinkers in defence of his worldview, he also spends many pages attacking genetics and the gene-centric view of evolution. The main claim of Le Fanu is that materialism cannot explain consciousness.[3]


Critics have pointed out that Le Fanu has used many arguments similar to creationists and that his immaterial force is little different from the God of the gaps argument.[4]

See also[edit]