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The Counter-Creationism Handbook Paperback – January 12, 2007

47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Mark Isaak's book is thorough, up-to-date, readable, well argued, and clear. It provides citations for every argument or claim that is made about the usually inaccurate claims of anti-evolutionists. Indispensable and fair, it should be welcomed by all interested in these questions." - Kevin Padian, Museum of Paleontology, University of California"

Book Description

Provides a handy resource for providing students, teachers, and parents with the most up-to-date scientific evidence to counter the most common claims made by creationists

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 362 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (January 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520249267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520249264
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.9 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #802,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 119 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The rise of creationism and ID in the US, and to a degree other societies, is alarming to say the least. People seem to want to believe in things that thay can understand with a minimum of rational thought, and Creationism certainly fits the bill in that regard. Part of the problem with common or garden creationists is that they know almost nothing about biology or science and are very vocal in their ignorance. They can throw out a dozen half-truths, urban myths and sheer nonsense very rapidly. This book provides an excellent index of the more commonly used creationist statements, and provides rebuttal, explanation and references. The topics cover geology, biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy, with a dip into philosophy and theology. I am a biologist by training and can handle most of the nonsense that impinges on my field of expertise, but once creationists start throwing out canards about sciences outside my direct sphere, this book helps point me in the right direction for rebuttal. It has joined my library and is now a well thumbed tome, which I resort to frequently in the apparently never-ending battle against fear and ignorance.
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60 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 9, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an interesting resource regarding the creationism-evolution "debate." It might usefully be read in conjunction with Eugenie Scott's "Evolution vs. Creationism," which provides quotations from major works from each sphere, to allow readers to compare arguments. This book has a perspective: it contends that standard arguments by creationists and intelligent design advocates are off the mark.

I would doubt that creationists/intelligent design advocates would even read this. However, it might be worthwhile, to engage substantive discussion. Champions of Darwinism will find this a good piece of work, a source of many counterarguments to contentions by creationists. However, this might be best of all for those who are uncertain, confused, have not thought about the issues involved.

The book's structure is quite straightforward. The author, Mark Isaac, organizes his book along a number of thematic lines (e.g., Philosophy and Theology, Biology, Geology, Physics and Mathematics, Other Creationism). He notes assertions from advocates of creationism/intelligent design. Then, he engaged in a demolition project. For the most part, his comments are not emotionally charged and are worded fairly neutrally. He says (Page xxiii): "The book replies to more than 400 of the most common claims that creationists make. Each creationist claim comes with a brief rebuttal showing faults with and, often, counterevidence against the claim."

Let's take a look at a few examples, to give a sense about this volume.

Page 9: "Fairness demands that evolution and creation be given equal time." His response? That's an erroneous equation. Evolution is a scientific approach; creationism has no scientific grounding (in its research or methodology).
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32 of 36 people found the following review helpful By D. Blankenship HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on March 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a subject that has absolutely fascinated me since I was a small boy, which was many, many years ago. First, just for the sake of background before I write a brief review, it needs to be known just what I am and what I am not. I am not a theologian and I am not a scientist. I am a Christian (admittedly, probably not a good one by many standards, but hey, I try) and I am a strong believer in evolution, ergo, Darwinism. Part of my fascination with this subject is the problem that many have with the concept of Christianity v/s evolution. I have never for the life of me been able to fathom where there is a problem in this area, nor why there should be in this day and age. I avoid arguments and even discussions in this area with most people as I have found that the creationist among us can and do become quite heated, some, almost to the point of being physically aggressive and can say some pretty nasty things. This, again, is part of my fascination with this subject. How can a discussion bring out so many supposedly non Christian characteristics in an otherwise rational individual? I also cannot stand to hurt peoples feelings and find attacking any religious beliefs quite distasteful. That being said....

I do like this book! The author has taken all the standard arguments, and some not so standard, used by the creationists and answered them one by one. Not to be cruel, but he, the author, has actually shredded these arguments, although in a civilized and gentlemanly way. So often, when I drop my guard and do get into a discussion on this subject, I simply do not know what to answer the creationist simply as I am not trained in that area, and unlike many of them, have not memorized well rehearsed party lines, i.e. dogma.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Joseph R. McFaul on July 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
There's an old joke about a new visitor to a neighborhood Irish bar. The newcomer listens as one of the regulars shouts out a number and all the others burst into laughter. Soon, another patron shouts out a number with more ensuing laughter. The newcomer asks the bartender what's going on. The bartender replies, "Everybody has come here for so long that we tell the same jokes over the years. We know the jokes so well we have a number for each joke. Instead of telling the whole joke, we just shout out a number." The newcomers nods and waits a few minutes. Then he shouts, "42!" All the regulars glare at him and mutter into their beer. "What happened?" he asked the bartender. The bartender replies, "You can't tell an Irish joke with a Scottish accent!"

Creationism is one long running joke broken into a whole series of objections to evolution. Mark Isaak has undertaken the Herculean task of categorizing each creationist objection as its own joke and assigning each its own number. Isaak has analyzed the creationist claims and broken them down into subcategories of philosophy, biology, geology, paleontology, astronomy and physics. Now, instead of wasting time describing any creationist objection, you can just shout out its number. After assigning the number, Mark Issak then delivers the punchline.

The book is set out in a carefully cross indexed and well-documented format intended as a reference book for educators, public speakers and any person interested in countering creationist arguments. Anyone familiar with Isaak's Talk.Origins site will read any creationist literature and nod knowingly, thinking "there is argument CA201 ("Evolution is just a Theory") again!
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