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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 (123 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #283,132 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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33 of 51 people found the following review helpful By William O. Schwennicke on June 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
Phillip Johnson's day job is teaching law at UC Berkeley. He moonlights to defend God against evolution-oriented scientists who he feels are disrespecting God by ignoring Him in doing their work and writing about it. Johnson believes "the common people" understand evolution better than scientists - who are too hung up on atheistic materialism to the detriment of God. He feels science is too important to be left up to these scientific elite, but they and the courts unfairly block anyone who wants to remedy things. Johnson aims to correct this situation in two ways: 1) Plead his case for the hand of God and against [other than minimal] evolution, partly through books like the present one, and 2) Use his knowledge of the law to get around the separation of church and state in order to insert God into schools. In both enterprises he uses the pseudonym `Intelligent Design' for God. The term fits in with his assertion that life must have been designed, and the term should be easier than `God' to place into schools.

Near the end of the book, Johnson tells why he is dedicated to disproving evolution and instead moving God to the forefront.

· Denying the reality of God is contrary to reality.
· As long as the secular intellectual world is irrevocably committed to materialism, then Christian doctrine like supernatural creation and the resurrection are false by definition and can hardly survive academic scrutiny.
· Materialism [unfortunately] sets us free from sin - by proving that there is no such thing as sin. There's just antisocial behavior. The Truth Jesus referred to was Himself, and the burden it frees us from is the sin that takes us away from our right relationship with the Father.
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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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