As simple as this book is, it's a book for thinkers, i.e. a book for someone who is objective and open minded. If you've been fully indoctrinated (sorry, I mean educated) in the public school system where (by law... bet you didn't know that) they do not allow any criticism of the theory of (sorry, we don't use the word theory anymore when speaking about "theory" of evolution... even though it is still a theory) Darwinian evolution, and you've made up your mind that evolution is incontrovertible, even though you've never heard the other side of the argument in the other side's words (and not the inaccurate straw men arguments tossed out by the establishment), then by all means don't buy and don't read this book. But, if you can put aside your public school "training" for a moment, you might find yourself saying that Phillip Johnson makes some real good points. And, how come I've never heard this kind of argumentation before? And, why not? Is one side of this debate afraid to compete in the free market place of ideas? Surely, science isn't afraid of the scientific method. Surely, science doesn't declare axioms (self-evident truths) without rigid scientific analysis. Does it? You might be surprised! Let me close with a few quotes from prominent evolutionists:Charles Darwin: why if species have descended from other species by insensibly fine gradations, do we not everywhere see innumerable transitional forms? Niles Eldredge: We paleontologists have said that the history of life supports [the story of gradual adaptive change], all the while really knowing that it does not exist.Sir Julian Huxley: I suppose the reason we leaped at The Origin of Species [Darwin] was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores.Sir Arthur Keith: Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it because the only alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable.Never heard these quotes before? Why am I not surprised?
Following Johnson's other books (including "Darwin on Trial"), this is actually the book that caused me to first consider evolution's validity. Why? Because Johnson far too simplifies very complex issues I now know he certainly does not understand, or at least fully comprehend. (Of course, why should he? It takes graduate-level specialized training for most to get it.) Before, it was obvious to me intuitively. Later, I found his misinformation and misrepresentation of the issues and evidence so wide-ranging that it all but cost me my faith. Why? Because so many like Johnson appear to fear the truth and, at least imply, especially in books like this, that belief in evolution is tantamount to atheism or materialistic philosophy. Of course, nothing of the kind is at all true as many Christians throughout the ages (especially in Europe) testify--the so-called "silent majority" of believing evolutionists. Therefore, this is a book for those unwittingly seeking a bandaid for the cuts and bruises normally experienced by many healthy critical-thinking and deep-searching adolescents. On the one hand, one may take Johnson seriously and retain their traditional "faith." On the other, one may be more intelligent and open-minded than most, as well as informed and determined enough to do their own research--all with intellectual integrity. Hopefully, if the latter is the case, such individuals will continue far enough to reconcile their faith with the sheer mass of scientific data favoring evolution's veracity. And fortunately, there are many very qualified and able persons to help them such as Howard Van Till, John Polkinghorne, Walter Peacocke, Ian Barbour, Kenneth Miller, Wolfhart Pannenberg, Jurgen Moltmann, Nancey Murphy and a variety of others, including even the prestigious Vatican Council on the Natural Sciences.
This is a great toned down version of Johnson's other books. He lays out the histories, issues and presents challenges to secularists and christians alike. A great book for Christian parents and great to share w/ teachers if you have a friendly relationship w/ them.
Mere rhetoric. Such wins arguments but does nothing in terms of understanding the issues. For the Christian, the latter not the former should be the goal. For an "enlightened" understanding see "Finding Darwin's God" by Kenneth Miller.