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Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds [Kindle Edition]

Phillip E. Johnson
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)

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Book 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.

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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. Ray Olson

Product Details

  • File Size: 324 KB
  • Print Length: 131 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0830813608
  • Publisher: IVP Books (August 20, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00436EZV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #396,416 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
113 of 170 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 stars for trying to keep the argument philosophical September 30, 2000
As a defender of creation science, Phillip Johnson is a breath of fresh air. Nowhere are there indefensible scientific arguments for a young earth, or a worldwide flood that accounts for the fossil record, or any of the other endlessly recycled Henry Morris/Duane Gish nonsense that makes up so much of the creationist "young earth" camp. Johnson frames the question more on a philosophical level, pitting the presuppositions of both camps against one another (materialistic naturalism vs. theistic supernaturalism), and attempting to show that adherents of the first camp make just as many untestable and unsupportable assumptions as the adherents of the second. Johnson is a talented writer, and presents a positive argument for "opening" the debate by forcing the evolutionists to relax their dogmatic hold on the thinking in academia, and allow for a more open and free discussion of the actual issues, including evidence for supernatural intervention in the creation and evolution of life.
Unfortunately, the only positive evidence Johnson suggests is Michael Behe's irreducible complexity argument, which is just a repackaged intelligent design model, and the conventional attack on biology's admitted problem with the incompleteness of the fossil record. Throughout the book, Johnson emphasizes the dominance of the materialistic philosophy that pervades every aspect of modern public education and academia. This predisposition, he argues, hopelessly biases any approach to scientific facts and prevents scientists from appreciating the fuller truth that's out there if only they would open their eyes (minds). Johnson repeatedly mischaracterizes the practice of science and the state of affairs in biological circles.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Phillip E. Johnson (born 1940) is a retired UC Berkeley law professor and a co-founder of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, and is one of the leading figures in the Intelligent Design movement. He has also written books such as Darwin on Trial, Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law and Education, Objections Sustained: Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law and Culture, The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism, etc.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 1997 book, "This book grew out of two conversations. The first was... with ... my usual publisher. The [InterVarsity] Press was ready for me to do another book, but I wasn't sure I was ready... however, it became clear that there was ONE book I needed to write very soon... There was clearly a need for a short book aimed at ... [those] not quite so familiar with university-level subjects. In particular, I wanted to write for late teens... That brings me to the second conversation, which occurred in the faculty club of my own university... [I realized that] If high-schoolers need a good high-school education in how to think about evolution, professors and senior scientists seem to need it just as badly. That's what this book aims to give---a good high-school education in how to think about evolution." (Pg.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Summary of Issues for High-School Students February 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Don't be put off by the cover or the title, which are both a little cheesy. This book is one of the best introductions to the questions of creation, evolution, and design for junior high and high school students. Rather than picking one viewpoint and showing why it is true, Defeating Darwinism operates by exposing kids to what the whole question is about, why it is important, and how to think more clearly about issues. It includes an exposition of Carl Sagan's "baloney detector" and how to use it, and a lot of the fallacies that people on all sides of the issue use. It also delves into the *core* issue - materialism, and shows why this is such an important and misunderstood aspect of the debate. Since it is for a general high-school audience, it does a good job of showing why these issues are relevant to them, and how to approach similar issues that they face in the future.
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78 of 121 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Button January 22, 2006
By Karl
At the heart of this book Johnson seems to be making one very basic point: Darwinism is a religion, NOT science.

Now that's pretty strong stuff - inflamatory even. So consider this comment by Richard Dawkins made, not in the heat of a debate but in the course of an ordinary interview for one of the UK TV listings magazines:

"Thanks to science we now have such an exciting grasp of the answers to such [profound] questions, it's a kind of blasphemy not to embrace them."

Radio Times, London, 7-13 January 2006. Page 27.

(We aren't told what "profound questions" Dawkins has in mind.)

This is precisely the kind of materialist argument (Johnson apparently regards "materialism", "naturalism" and "Darwinism" as being more or less synonymous) that Johnson is addressing in his book rather than evolution as such.

So what chance does Johnson have of making his point?

Going by the reviews on this page - not a lot. And for one very simple reason that was illustrated by an incident that happened to me whilst I was reading this book on the train coming home from work.

Seeing the title of the book an elderly gentleman in the seat opposite waited till the train was close to his station, then made a series of comments and promptly exited before I had a chance to reply (had I wanted to).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile reading on a vital issue.
Excellent, clear, and simple by a splendid lawyer/author
Published 2 days ago by H. E. Eslinger
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it
This book and more like it will be the norm on this issue in the years to come. I was one who accepted the teachings of evolution until I decided to read up a few years ago. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jerry k.
5.0 out of 5 stars school text
This book is required for Challenge B in Classical Conversations and covers a Christian perspective on evolution and creation. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Janice Olson
4.0 out of 5 stars Just a book.
This author has been known to make some logical fallacies, but all around a good book excellent for equipping yourself to defend your faith.
Published 8 months ago by Geartrooper
5.0 out of 5 stars satisfied
the book entitled An Easy to Understand Guide for Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds was just as described and arrived on time. Great Read!!!
Published 13 months ago by satisfied customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for high school students and parents
I highly recommend anything written by Philip E. Johnson if you want to understand the real issues in the creation/evolution debate and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds is a... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Carl Galloway
5.0 out of 5 stars Darwinism versus Science
For the lay person, Phillip Johnson clearly identifies the boundaries of evolutionary science and makes clear that Darwinism, insofar as it purports to deny intelligent design in... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Alfred J. Lindh
5.0 out of 5 stars good biology supplement
All sides of a discussion need to be addressed for good scientific method to be employed. This book is the other side of that coin
Published 20 months ago by David Brundage
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
The writing style was dry, indirect, and not persuasive. There is some science, but its scant and not well argued since it is drowned by so much whining about the state of public... Read more
Published on August 11, 2012 by Chrystal Bobbitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Perspective on Darwinism
This is a good book for students, parents and other adults alike who are looking for perspective on the claims of Darwinism. Read more
Published on March 27, 2012 by K. W. Lowery
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