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Science and Creationism (Galaxy Book, Gb 721) Paperback – March 8, 1984
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Kenneth Miller's essay notes that Judge William Overton noted in his 1984 ruling against creationism, "Some of the state's witnesses suggested that the scientific community was 'close-minded' on the subject of creationism and that explained the lack of acceptance of the creation-science arguments. Yet no witness produced an article for which publication had been refused." Miller comments, "Obviously, Dr. [Duane] Gish and his associates have not availed themselves of the open platforms of scientific meetings and societies... but have taken their case to the general public." (Pg. 20)
Another essayist notes, "Twenty years after the publication of 'On the Origin of Species,' one might have thought that a form of theistic evolution was well on its way to acceptance among Bible-believing American Protestants... No better evidence of this can be found than the fact that in The Fundamentals... that gave the name to the fundamentalist movement, two of the three major discussions of science and religion allowed that the earth was far older than suggested by literal readings of Genesis, and that limited forms of evolution were compatible with design and theism." (Pg. 102)
Gould argues against the "sorting" of fossils proposed by Flood Geologists such as Henry Morris ], "The lower strata abound in delicate, floating creatures, as well as spherical globs. Many oceanic creatures---whales and telost fishes in particular---appear only in upper strata, well above hordes of terrestrial forms. Clumsy sloths (not to mention hundreds of species of marine invertebrates) are restricted to strata lying well above others that serve as exclusive homes for scores of lithe and nimble small dinosaurs and pterosaurs." (Pg. 132)
Against Gish's contention that "Not a single, indisputable, multicellular fossil has ever been found in Precambrian rocks," an essayist points out, "This statement is entirely incorrect. The stromolites formed by ancient blue-green algae of the early Precambrian are well known throughout many sequences of Precambrian rocks from Australia, Canada, China, and many other regions. The later Precambrian is represented by a whole suite of multicellular animals... Precambrian fossils most definitely do exist." (Pg. 249)
Of the Creation/Evolution debates, "Afterward, Montagu said that he would never again engage in debate with any creationist. Why? 'Gish had agreed to limit his discussion to scientific "facts." Yet it was clear to everyone that what he was attempting was conversion to creationism---to prove his belief. This is neither honest nor scientific.' ... University of California geneticist G. Ledyard Stebbins also says that he will never debate ICR people again, particularly Morris and Gish. One reason---they are highly skilled and practiced debaters, and Stebbins admits that he is not. Another is that the house is usually packed with fundamentalist supporters carrying Bibles and frequently shouting 'Amen!' whenever ICR seems to score a point, an observation also made by Montagu." (Pg. 302)
This book is an excellent resource for anyone studying the Creation/Evolution issue.
Robert Root-Bernstein then has a fine article on what a scientific theory is. George Marsden explains the nature of fundamentalist views of science. And Stephen Jay Gould has two short articles, where he explains that evolution is indeed a fact. By contrast, the precise mechanisms for evolution, including the exact role of natural selection are still being debated. Laurie Godfrey's article shows the amount of distortion in creationist arguments.
Isaac Asimov has an excellent article on why creationism is indeed a threat. As he puts it, "there are numerous cases of societies in which the armies of the night have ridden triumphantly over minorities in order to establish a powerful orthodoxy which dictates official thought. Invariably, this triumphant ride is towards long-term disaster." If it happens here, American science will wither, and "we will inevitably recede into the backwater of civilization."
Sidney Fox has a superb article on evolutionary protobiogenesis. It has some reasonable and detailed ideas on how life may have arisen on Earth. In addition, there is mention of the creationist view that life could not have arisen by chance. Fox quotes Thomas Hunt Morgan here, who in 1932 pointed out that we are dealing with large-scale processes that are effectively deterministic, and "we get a picture of necessity rather than chance."
L. Beverly Halstead studies fossils professionally, and has a powerful article showing how the fossil record does indeed support the theory of evolution. And the rest of the articles are extremely good as well.
One interesting point is the nature of debates about evolution. Here, one person related "The debates I have had were not debates. The creationists come with a script they present come hell or high water." I think that's worth reflecting on. Genuine debates ought to have some standards associated with them, including some semblence of academic honesty and no falsification of facts. They ought not be totally ad auditores attempts to have lies accepted as truth. Unless such standards are met, I think we're dealing with something other than debates here.
I highly recommend this book.