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An Easy-to-Understand Guide for Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds Paperback – July 7, 1997

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 131 pages
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press (July 7, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0830813608
  • ISBN-13: 978-0830813605
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

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 Darwin on Trial, Reason in the Balance and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds.

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Customer Reviews

I enjoyed reading this book, having purchased it 2 days ago and finishing it last night.
Michael Trapp
Not content with lies, misrepresentations and fact twisting, Johnson attempts to portray scientists as purveyors of a harsh soulless enterprise.
The auther suggests no evidence why the theory of evolution is wrong nor why we have to accept the story (not theory) of creation.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

113 of 170 people found the following review helpful By John Rummel on September 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
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 By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
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 By Jonathan Bartlett on 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 By Karl on January 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
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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