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The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design, Expanded Edition Paperback – October 24, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Historians of science and religion have long recognized The Creationists as the finest historical examination of the intellectual origins and development of anti-evolutionism in America. In this expanded edition, Numbers has brought this important book up-to-date by recounting the rise and influence of Intelligent Design and its proponents, and documenting the spread of a new global creationism. The Creationists will remain the benchmark book in its field. (Edward J. Larson, author of Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory, and winner of the 1998 Pulitzer Prize in History)
Ronald Numbers's book, The Creationists, is a modern classic. Deep sympathy combined with critical objectivity gives great insight into the thinking of those who reject evolution in favor of a narrow, literalist reading of Genesis. Now Numbers has updated his work, discussing the new approach of so-called Intelligent Design Theory and again showing how it is that so many continue to reject basic science. Ending with a frightening survey of the world-wide success of Creationism, this work is as important as it is a sheer delight to read. (Michael Ruse, Florida State University, author of The Evolution-Creation Struggle)
A classic text, now updated and expanded to take into account the latest trends among anti-evolutionists, Numbers's carefully researched history is required reading to understand the current controversy. (Alan Cane Financial Times 2006-12-09)
Ronald Numbers is in a unique position to offer some answers. His 1992 book, The Creationists, which Harvard University Press has just reissued in an expanded edition, is probably the most definitive history of anti-evolutionism. Numbers is an eminent figure in the history of science and religion--a past president of both the History of Science Society and the American Society of Church History. But what's most refreshing about Numbers is the remarkable personal history he brings to this subject. He grew up in a family of Seventh-day Adventists and, until graduate school, was a dyed-in-the-wool creationist. When he lost his religious faith, he wrote a book questioning the foundations of Adventism, which created a huge rift in his family. Perhaps because of his background, Numbers is one of the few scholars in the battle over evolution who remains widely respected by both evolutionists and creationists. In fact, he was once recruited by both sides to serve as an expert witness in a Louisiana trial on evolution. (He went with the ACLU.) (Steve Paulson Salon.com)
[An] informative, well-researched intellectual history of the origins of the contemporary creation science movement...Numbers offers a historical analysis of the various permutations in creation science thought, starting with the original response in 1859 to Charles Darwin's Origin of Species and ending with creationism's spread across the globe during the 1990s. (Pius Charles Murray Library Journal 2007-01-15)
This book is an intellectual history of religiously inspired anti-evolutionism, primarily in the US, since the latter 19th century. It is a meticulous work by a distinguished historian--with 431 pages of text, followed by 133 pages of detailed notes on sources. Some readers might find it heavy going, but Numbers writes in an engaging style and keeps the narrative moving briskly, writing about the human qualities as well as the theology of leading creationists. (Francis B. Harrold Reports of the National Center for Science Education)
A great reference work. (Ian Hacking The Nation 2007-10-08)
A welcome addition to the burgeoning scholarship on contemporary interactions between science and religion. Since the first edition of The Creationists was published fourteen years ago, conflicts involving evolution have continued to make news; so much has happened, in fact, that a new edition is sorely needed. (Stephen P. Weldon Isis 2007-12-01)
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite how many fundamentalist creationists and humanists view the controversies over creation and evolution, the issue is not either a simple religion vs. humanism or religion vs. science struggle. As the author points out,
"Rather than finding clerics arrayed in simple opposition to scientists, we discover conflicts of a different sort: psychological, as creationists struggled to reconcile the apparently conflicting claims of science and Scripture; and social, as they quarreled with one another over competing scientific and biblical interpretations or contested the boundaries of science and religion with evolutionists in courthouses, legislative halls, and school-board rooms." (p. 10)
And, despite the ad hominem arguments employed by some earlier customer reviews, that is what Numbers deals with in an objective, historical fashion. He seldom betrays his own sympathies, and has received compliments from eminent creationists as well as historians and scientists.
It is eminently clear that the creationists have never been able to agree on their interpretations of the first creation story in Genesis. These disagreements between the young earth and old earth creationists are delineated in great detail. From my point of view, I should also point out that they do not agree with competent biblical scholars, either, who will place Genesis in the cultural context of the ancient Middle East. The first creation story in Genesis is fairly obviously a religious counterstatement to other ancient myths, not a scientific treatise.Read more ›
In "The Creationists" Numbers pulls back the curtain beyond the high-profile Scopes Trial of 1925 and the recent textbook battles to focus on a less well-known but a remarkably interesting and complex story of how those firmly believing in the inerrancy of the Bible sought to deal with Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory. There is an extraordinary cast of characters in this effort ranging from George Frederick Wright, who published "Man and the Glacial Period" in 1892, to Wendell R. Bird who developed a political strategy to demand the teaching of creationism alongside evolution in the public schools in the 1970s. These divergent characters, the organizations they created, and the religious traditions they represented all competed amongst themselves on how best to counteract the effects of evolution.Read more ›
For anyone who wants to know about this peculiarly American movement, Numbers is the place to start. Extensive bibliography for further reference
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written by a former YEC 7th Day Adventist, so a bit of bias there. Nevertheless, very interesting discussions as how the theories play out in 20th century american evangelicalism... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Consumer
This book is by far the best and most complete historical description of creationism in existence. Though the author is an agnostic, his father was a Seventh-day Adventist... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Anson Cassel Mills
THIS IS A VERY GOOD BOOK FOR LEARNING THE HISTORY BEHIND THE YOUNG-EARTH CREATIONIST MOVEMENT. IT IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE ON EITHER SIDE OF THE FENCE.Published 20 months ago by J. Steave Conley
This does excellently in extensively conveying names, dates, and items along with a huge number of references (144 pages) and excellent index (28 pages). Read morePublished 22 months ago by Mark Bassett
I am a Catholic priest and a retired chemistry senlor lecturer from the University of Benin. I knew a lot about creationism and my knowledge of the subject was great;y enanced by... Read morePublished on August 21, 2013 by Bob Dundon
Ronald L. Numbers (born 1942) is an American historian of science, who has also written Prophetess of Health: A Study of Ellen G. Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Steven H Propp
Arrived as advertised and in great shape. It is already on the shelf for our patrons to check out and read.
Numbers provides an unusual historical perspective on the social phenomenon, that takes on a religious character, or uses religion categories for dealing with the questions. Read morePublished on January 31, 2011 by Orville B. Jenkins
This is a very well researched and well written account of the development of creationism over the course of the 20th century. Read morePublished on November 15, 2009 by R. Albin