Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds (Paperback)   -     By: Phillip E. Johnson
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Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds (Paperback)

InterVarsity Press / 1997 / Paperback

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Product Description

What's the best way to discern and defeat the false claims of Darwinism? By developing solid critical-thinking skills, says Johnson. His non-technical discussion of Darwinism versus creationism gives you sound advice on spotting deceptive arguments, grasping scientific issues, understanding the impact of the Scopes trial, and more. Ideal for high school students, teachers, pastors, or anyone concerned about the creation-evolution debate. 132 pages, softcover from InterVarsity.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 132
Vendor: InterVarsity Press
Publication Date: 1997
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.5 (inches)
ISBN: 0830813608
ISBN-13: 9780830813605

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Publisher's Description

Voted one of Christianity Today's 1998 Books of the Year! For decades, Christians have felt voiceless in the critical debate over evolution. Until now. Finally, ordinary Christians have the opportunity and the resources to defeat the false claims of Darwinism. With all of the complicated scientific debate swirling around the topic of evolution, Christians need an easy way to understand the basic issues without oversimplifying. Phillip Johnson has the answer: the key to defeating the false claims of Darwinism is to open our minds to good thinking habits. Here is first-rate advice on avoiding common mistakes in discussions about evolution, understanding the legacy of the Scopes trial, spotting deceptive arguments, and grasping the basic scientific issues without getting bogged down in unnecessary details. In the bestselling and critically acclaimed Darwin on Trial and Reason in the Balance, Phillip Johnson took on the academic elites and exposed the misleading claims of evolutionary naturalism. Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds provides a new and powerful treatment of these issues for high-school students, parents, teachers, pastors, youth advisors and ordinary readers. Johnson aims not just to defeat a bad theory, but to defeat it in the right way-by opening minds to the truth.

Author Bio

Phillip E. Johnson taught law for more than thirty years at the University of California--Berkeley where he is professor emeritus. He is recognized as a leading spokesman for the intelligent design movement, and is the author of many books, including and

Editorial Reviews

"By profaning the scientific establishment's most sacred cows, U.C.-Berkeley law professor Johnson has earned critical acclaim and brisk sales. Now, the witty iconoclast who questioned the scientific evidence for Darwinian evolution in his Darwin on Trial (1991) provides a short, simple manual to help students, parents, teachers and pastors debate evolution, 'a subject,' Johnson says, 'that has for too long been protected from critical thinking by law and academic custom.' Included in the book are tips for using what Carl Sagan once called a 'baloney detector kit' to verify the evidence used by opponents in an argument, as well as tips for detecting ad hominem and straw man arguments. Johnson's greatest contribution, however, is that he helps non-scientists distinguish between scientific fact, like microevolution within species, and unproved scientific theories, like macroevolution, which claims that molecules became men. He is also adept at exposing philosophical bias behind ostensibly 'objective' scientific arguments. With measured prose and systematic thinking, Johnson uses his legal expertise to demonstrate the ways in which arguments about evolutionary theory may be conducted."
"Johnson feels his successful antievolution books, Darwin on Trial (1991) and Reason in the Balance (1995), are more complicated than parents and teachers need to prepare students to take on the evolutionists. Hence, this shorter version of his overall thesis that also advises how to debate evolution. Johnson first makes clear what he perceives the real adversary to be: a dogma that insists life arose solely by chance and that denies contrary evidence a hearing. He then counsels believers to avoid such common mistakes as retreating from theism to deism (and so transforming a continuously creative God into an uninvolved First Cause), to learn to spot faulty analogies and other forms of poor logic, to know the soundest scientific data casting doubt on classical evolution, and to persist--for, he says, the days of Darwinian hegemony are numbered. He firmly believes and seeks to persuade readers that his ultimate causes, aside from religious faith, are freedom of inquiry and the opening of now closed minds."

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  1. Baltimore, MD
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Nice try, Stephen!
    January 29, 2015
    AR Reid
    Baltimore, MD
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: Male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    The two star reviewer, Stephen, dismisses Johnson's book as "Mere rhetoric," which he admits, "wins arguments," but which he obviously thinks is a waste of time. Then he presumes to advise all of us unenlightened Christians (including Phillip E. Johnson?) as to what our goal ought to be when it comes to the evolution debate (Stephen actually goes so far as to offer pseudo-Christian Kenneth Miller's book "Finding Darwin's God" as a supposed cure for all of Johnson's misguided views).

    It is obvious that Stephen missed the point of Johnson's book. "Defeating Darwinism" is designed to do exactly what Stephen admits it does---it wins arguments. To dismiss the book as "Mere rhetoric" shows that Stephen either did not read Johnson's book, or that his deep-seated anti-creationist bias was directing his thinking.

    Anyway, if you are looking for an excellent book that explains the logical inconsistencies of macroevolution, then "Defeating Darwinism" is it. Make no mistake; this book is all about equipping Christians to win the argument against evolution's logical fallacies. If that is what you are looking for, do not hesitate to buy this excellent little book, then find a quiet place to sit and read it and be ready to have your "baloney detector" calibrated. Happy reading.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 23, 2009
    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?
  3. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    August 27, 2008
    I great read in beginning to understanding the basics of the philosophical presuppositions that shape science and culture.
  4. 1 Stars Out Of 5
    December 26, 2001
    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.
  5. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    September 10, 2001
    Chris S
    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.
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