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Scientists Confront Creationism Paperback – April 17, 1984

3.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A fascinating and timely book which demonstrates once and for all why 'scientific' creationism is not only bad science but also bad theology---and in the process spells out the principles that guide genuine discovery. Basically, an expose of all pseudo-science. A badly needed overview of the scientific view of evolution, explaining clearly and straightforwardly exactly what scientists think and why.

About the Author

Laurie R. Godfrey is a professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives in Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Later prt. edition (April 17, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393301540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393301540
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,260,326 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I've tried to take as much of an unbiased stance in the creation or evolution argument, and reading this book did draw out alot of problems that are found in creationist circles. I find it unfortunate that so many creationist arguments appear well-founded when in reality there is often a much larger picture many creationists do not see. This book does a good job in showing more of the picture, albeit it is not a perfect book and it is a little technical (but what do you expect when trying to learn scientific findings or terminology?) Of particular interest is the chapter by George Abell concerning problems with common creationist arguments for a Young Earth, as well as the chapter 'Creationism and Gaps in the Fossil Record' by Laurie Godfrey. Anyone who is TRULY interested in learning more about the two sides debate should read this with an open mind. It does not have all the answers you'll ever want but has compelling arguments from which one can learn a lot.
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Laurie Godfrey has compiled essays by some of the biggest names in evolution and science in the world today: Stephen J. Gould, C. Loring Brace, Russel Doolittle, Stephen Brush, Frederick Edwords and David Raup just to name a few. Some readers may only recognise the first name in the list, however be assured that the others are not only top scientists in their respective fields but also have experience in debating and refuting creationsts.
As other reviewers have noted, some of the articles in this volume get quite technical. Nonetheless, readers are treated to a feast of information that annihalates some of the most common creationist arguments. This book was written in 1984, around the time of great creationist upheaval. It served its purposes quite well, however readers should be aware that much has changed in the creationist arsenal and it may be wise to examine some of the latest offerings debunking creationist claptrap i.e. _Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism_. Having said this, the current book should still be considered as an authoritative book when dealing with the Creation-Evolution phenomenon.
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"They [the 'scientific' creationists] pretend that biblical literalism is the logical alternative to evolution. They mold the 'facts' of science according to their needs. They distort the meanings of 'fact' and 'theory.' Cloaked in scientific jargon but uninformed by the scientific developments of the past one hundred fifty years, the arguments of the scientific creationists demand a response." --Laurie R. Godfrey, Preface, Scientists Confront Creationism
The editor of this collection of 15 essays, Laurie R. Godfrey, also contributed the essay, "Scientific Creationism: The Art of Distortion," in a similar book, Science and Creationism (New York: Oxford UP, 1984), that was edited by Ashley Montagu. Godfrey is a professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University. The relatively successful lobbying of creationists compelled the generation of books of this kind.
In Epperson v. Arkansas (1968), for example, the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Arkansas' 1928 statute making the teaching of evolution unlawful. Thus, the eventual failure of creationists to censor evolution from public schools via legislation resulted in efforts to mandate "equal time" in science curricula for creationism. However, District Court of Arkansas Judge Overton, in a well-written ruling, struck down as unconstitutional an "equal time" law in McLean v. Arkansas (1982). The Supreme Court also struck down a Louisiana "equal-time" law in Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), four years after the publication of this book. In addition to activism via litigation and legislation, creationists specialize in knocking down straw-man versions of science.
Dr. Steven D.
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This book gives a good overview of the creationists and their brand of pseudoscience.
It includes chapters the history of creationism and the Scopes trial and then has chapters written by different scientists discussing various creationists claims. The writing style varies of course from chapter to chapter and some are easier to read than others. Each chapter does a fairly good job of refuting and debunking creationism. The best part of this book is the references found at the end of each chapter. This is where the real wealth of information is at and allows anyone to research the scientific data themselves and easily debunk creationism.
The next to last chapter was my favorite where it compared the psuedosciences of creationism to people who believe the Earth is flat (yes there are some people who still believe this). It listed quotes and tactics of the two groups and the similarities were amazing. Psuedoscience is psuedoscience no matter how normal or rediculous it sounds.
The last chapter gives the real message of this book. Creationism does not belong in the science classroom. It is theological not scientific and either 1) belongs in churches and homes or 2) belongs in a comparative religion class along with other creation myths.
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