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Scientists Confront Creationism: Intelligent Design and Beyond Paperback – January 17, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Andrew J. Petto is the editor of Reports of the National Center for Science Education in Oakland, California, and a lecturer in anatomy and physiology at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. He lives in Wisconsin.

Laurie R. Godfrey is a professor of anthropology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She lives in Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (January 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393330737
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393330731
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carl Flygare on January 10, 2008
Format: Paperback
This review was written after reading the hardcover edition - pick up the paperback now that it is available!

Fervent fundamentalist religious groups (Jewish, Christian, or Islamic), have exhibited chronic allergies to science ever since Charles Darwin's "The Origin of Species" convincingly presented his theory of evolution by natural selection. Unweaving rainbows could be tolerated - but dismantling cherished creation myths spawned an array of pseudoscientific hives and rashes ranging from 'creation science' to 'Intelligent Design.'

Faith-based resistance to evolution - a theory supported by an overwhelming and extraordinary consilience of scientific evidence - has deleteriously impacted everything from separation of church and state to economic competitiveness as science, and science education, became essential prerequisites for information age economies and political systems. "Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism" thoroughly and convincingly deconstructs the all dog, no pony, creationist and ID sideshow with sixteen essays by prominent scientists, historians, and educators.

PART ONE focuses on the origins of 'scientific creationism' and 'Intelligent Design.' Ronald L. Numbers unmasks the shell-game strategies employed by creationists attempting to substitute religious dogma for science in American classrooms. Shortly after the Supreme Court rejected 'scientific creationism' in the 1987 Edwards v. Aguillard ruling 'Intelligent Design,' chronicled by Eugenie C. Scott, whelped into view. Sired by an unremarkable claque of born again lawyers, underachieving academics, and a Moonie; 'Intelligent Design' was accompanied by a strident but content-free PR initiative from The Discovery Institute for the Renewal of Science and Culture. John R.
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Format: Paperback
"Scientists Confront Creationism: Intelligent Design and Beyond" is an important updated edition of an earlier volume focusing on the history and claims made by "scientific creationists" back in the 1980s. This recently expanded edition, edited by Andrew J. Petto, editor of the Reports of the National Center for Science Education, and Laurie R. Godfrey, the editor of the original edition, takes a long, hard look at the history, scientific claims and educational implications of creationism, especially in its latest, most virulent, flavor, Intelligent Design. This superb tome is subdivided into three parts; the first is a historical and philosophical survey of creationism. The second part explores its most important scientific claims in ample detail. The third section examines creationism from the perspective of trying to understand science, discussing how and why it fails to meet the rigorous self-imposed centuries-old standards of peer-reviewed scientific research. The sixteen contributors include a diverse group of scientists, philosophers, and other educators, including such luminaries as philosopher of science Robert Pennock, geochronologist G. Brent Dalrymple, vertebrate paleobiologist Kevin Padian and historian Ronald Numbers. This is truly an important, exceptional book which deserves a place on the bookshelves of anyone seeking to understand the history and aims of American creationist movements, especially that of Intelligent Design.

The opening section on the history and philosophy of creationism features superlative essays written by Ronald Numbers and National Center for Science Education executive director Eugenie Scott. Numbers' essay starts this section with a terse, but vivid, account of the history of American creationism.
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Editor Andrew Petto teaches Anatomy and Physiology at the University of Wisconsin, and Editor Laurie Godfrey teaches anthropology at the University of Massachusetts. This 2007 book (originally published as `Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism') contains essays by writers such as Ronald Numbers; Eugenie Scott; Victor Stenger; G. Brent Dalrymple; Robert Pennock, and others (including the editors).

They note in the "Acknowledgements" section, "It is because we hear questions and concerns from parents, teachers, journalists, clergy, and school administrators that we have such an extensive knowledge of anti-evolutionary pseudoscience. Without them, most of us in the sciences and related fields would spend our time on our own narrow specialties. Because of these people and the challenges that are being raised against evolution in their own communities, we knew we had to bring the original 1983 book---Scientists Confront Creationism---up-to-date, and it is for them that we knew we had to succeed." (Pg. 9)

They add in the Preface, "Anti-evolutionism is back, and it has new aliases. But, as many chapters in this book will show, these aliases are little more than new labels for the same tired arguments... The substance of the argument has changed little in the years since this book's first edition... We seek here to address the newer `alternatives' and approaches, such as `intelligent design theory,' and (1) to show explicitly their links to the `creation science' that motivated the first edition; and (2) to provide a critique of more recent anti-evolutionist materials and formulations... Anti-evolutionism is...
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