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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Court Case Provides Framework For Evolution Essays, February 3, 1999
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This review is from: But Is It Science?: The Philosophical Question in the Creation/Evolution Controversy (Frontiers of Philosophy) (Paperback)
This book of readings on the evolution/creationism controversy is set within the framework of the important case of McLean vs. Arkansas that overthrew an "education equal time" law in Arkansas in 1982.
As one of the reviewers who actually read the book, I will say that it is quite worthwhile. The initial article that seemed to have given one exasperated reviewer such trouble was simply Bishop Paley's famous 1805 Blind Watchmaker argument for a creator as first cause. His inclusion of the eye as an example of argument from design is famous, and has stuck with the creationists ever since. Its inclusion in the book was important.
Included articles discuss the history and development of Darwinian theory, the essence of evolutionary and creationist mechanisms (Yes, there is a creationist article in the book, by Gish), and the philosophy of science surrounding both evolution in general, and, towards the book's end, an extensive philosophical analysis of the trial arguments. I found the discussions of the trial to be fascinating.
The sophistication and topics of the essays vary widely, and I would not recommend this book as an initial introduction for the layman. An excellent book to be read first or concurrently with "But Is It Science", would be "Abusing Science", by the noted philosopher of science, Phillip Kitcher. That book covers the basic mechanics and philosophy of evolutionist/creationist theory in any easy to understand, but reasonably thorough way.
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