From Publishers Weekly
Paying significant attention to creationism's newest incarnation, intelligent design, this revision of Petto and Godfrey's 1983 Scientists Confront Creationism
contains mostly new essays and some revised holdovers from the original edition. The 16 articles include contributions from some of the biggest names in the anti-creationism field: Wesley Elsberry demolishes the concept of complexity promoted by William Dembski, while several contributors demonstrate that Dembski defines his terms idiosyncratically, in a manner that scientists have not found productive, and that his mathematics and logic are wanting. Similarly, ample evidence is presented to show that Michael Behe's best examples of irreducible complexity have been found to have simpler versions indicating how they could have evolved. Individually, the chapters are well written for a general audience. Collectively, however, there is a fair amount of repetition, The best chapters directly take on the claims of creationists and promoters of intelligent design; less engaging and useful are chapters that largely ignore the controversy and present detailed evolutionary information. Nonetheless, there is much to help readers gain a robust understanding of the current controversy. Indeed, the point is very clearly made that the battle is a political one and not one of scientific substance. (Mar.)
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About the Author
Andrew J. Petto
is the editor of Reports of the National Center for Science Education
in Oakland, California, and a lecturer in anatomy and physiology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He lives in Wisconsin.Laurie R. Godfrey
is a professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives in Massachusetts.