- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Baker Academic (August 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0801031745
- ISBN-13: 978-0801031748
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #694,794 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Evolution Controversy: A Survey of Competing Theories
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From the Back Cover
In the debate surrounding evolution, it is often difficult to cut through the competing agendas to gain an unbiased understanding of the scientific issues involved. Most books on the topic are one dimensional, attempting to sway readers to join a particular camp. Thomas Fowler and Daniel Kuebler, however, take a different approach to the subject in The Evolution Controversy.
Instead of advocating a particular position, the authors present various sides in the evolution debate, leaving aside the profound philosophical and religious issues involved in the controversy in favor of a balanced and critical examination. Not only do they trace evolution's development from the ancient Greeks to the present but they also summarize and critique four leading schools of thought: Neo-Darwinism, Creationism, Intelligent Design, and Meta-Darwinism. Numerous diagrams, tables, and comparison charts are included to help readers understand, learn, and master the content. In addition, a technical glossary covers terms from abiogenesis to vestigial structures, and a helpful bibliography includes books, articles, Web sites, and organizations for further research.
About the Author
Thomas B. Fowler (Sc.D., George Washington University) is senior principal engineer at the Center for Information Technology and Telecommunications at Noblis, formerly known as Mitretek Systems, a not for profit consulting firm working in the public interest in Falls Church, Virginia. He is also an adjunct instructor at George Mason University and Christendom College. Daniel Kuebler (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley) is assistant professor of biology at Franciscan University of Steubenville in Steubenville, Ohio. He has written a number of articles for scientific journals as well as for the National Catholic Register.
Top customer reviews
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Reading through reviews, it looks like some people criticize this book because of its inclusion of ideas by people they disagree with, or its failure to stake a position that agrees with their own (or to even stake a position at all). I think some have misunderstood the authors' intent in writing this book. Some perhaps did not actually read the book's content all the way through. Before you buy this book and then complain that it wasn't what you would prefer in a book on evolution, read the following. (And before you review the book, please read it first.)
WHAT THIS BOOK IS AND IS NOT:
This book IS:
- an information resource on a controversy
- an attempt at a neutral survey of the available evidence, various arguments, and sides in a current controversy
- a starting point for those wanting a better grasp on the issues at stake
- an attempt at proposing criteria to be used by thoughtful readers in analyzing arguments for themselves
- an attempt to focus discourse on the scientific aspects of a scientific question
This book IS NOT:
- an argumentative discourse on what side in the controversy is right or wrong
- an apologetic work on Darwinism
- an apologetic work on Creationism
- an apologetic work on Intelligent Design
- a condemnation or dismissal of Darwinism, Creationism, or Intelligent Design
- an attempt to claim that all sides in the controversy have equally valid positions
- an attempt to deny the possibility that any particular side can be right
- a Christian book
- an atheistic book
If you are seeking a book which takes a strong position on the evolution controversy, a book which tells you what you ought to conclude, a book which supports your own views on the controversy, a book which champions Darwinism and discredits Creationism,a book which champions Creationism and discredits Darwinism, or a book which exposes Intelligent Design as a Creationist trojan horse, this book is NOT what you are looking for. There are other books that would suit you better.
If you seek a broader grasp of the evidence and questions at stake in the controversy and the arguments made by opposing sides, so that you can better understand the claims, news, and discourse that you encounter on the subject and make conclusions for yourself, you found the right book.
Though covering most topics, there were still some important ones left wanting. Only a passing thought on the "deficiencies" of abiogenesis. Nothing on racemization, and nothing significant on genetic limits including mutation limits. Is there a sequel in the making?
No truthful, honest writing on evolution should ever portray unity among even the true Darwinians, and this book candidly professes their extreme viewpoints. Their feverous disputations are serendipitously overshadowed by inciting arguments toward creationism and ID.
At about a twelfth grade level, the book's comprehensibility is excellent. Print quality is alright, but the tables and charts (no color through-out the book) have very small type and are most challenging to read. The authors' explanations and descriptions on the varying facets of evolution are surprisingly clear. Though their intent is with "eschewing bias and prejudice", the authors' bias still shows through. Offering many possible explanations for evolution and restricting Creation/ID possibilities to a narrow few, is a method used by many authors on evolution (conscientiously or perhaps not) as far back as Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" or even earlier. The authors speak of "the sheer numbers of laypeople who reject the established theory (Neo-Darwinism)". After referencing both the "public" and Christians, a quote on page 274 says, "But science is not a popularity contest. In fact, common wisdom is often wrong when it comes to the truth of scientific theories." The public and Christians are wrong while scientists are right. Quite a bias and bigoted statement for a book trying to be "balanced". But there are many issues out there and this book, in an extremely categorical way, does handle most of the important controversies, from both sides, in the least biased and most enjoyable presentation I've read so far. It would be wisdom to have this book available in every school library. Read it!
Most recent customer reviews
contrasting the various school of thought regarding origins and the
development of life on Earth.Read more
Though I was familiar with many concepts regarding evolution and Darwinism, this book opened my eyes to many, many other issues of evolution.Read more