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on December 30, 2014
My only real gripe against this book is that it is more or less the same FAQ from Talk Origins FAQ. The content is good and the book is put together well, but you could find it online for free already.
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on October 16, 2015
It is what I expected.
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on April 23, 2015
Negatively written from the point of 'your wrong and I'm right. Give only creedance to his point of view.
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on July 25, 2010
Isaac's Counter Creationism Handbook is an invaluable tour de force for debunking the tired, scientifically misinformed and often bizarre critiques of science made by creationists of all stripes ( I.D, young earth, day age etc.)The book provides heavily referenced, scientifically relevant, succinct rebuttals to most claims made by creationists. Although the whole text can be found online at talkorigins.org and will likely need to be revised in the not to distant future to accommodate new arguments and the growth of knowledge in all relevant areas of science, the text version has a few interesting additions and the convenience of having the book on hand is invaluable when certain door knockers come around to chat.
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on February 6, 2014
Too often the literature on evolution or creationism is bombastic and even hysterical in its tone. Proponents on either side of the debate get very worked up and the facts get buried beneath screeds of strident language.

So it's a relief to come across Mark Isaak's work. His Counter-Creationism Handbook is refreshingly civil. Isaak is unrelenting in his rebuttal of creationist claims, but he's also remarkably respectful.

The Counter-Creationism Handbook is basically a big list of creationist claims on various scientific issues (and also areas of philosophy and theology). It includes simple claims ("Evolution promotes racism") and technical ones (such as helium diffusion in zircons). For each, Isaak presents the claim (with a reference) and then provides a rebuttal drawing on scientific evidence. He also recommends sources for further reading on each issue.

The book is easy to use. It contains a section where Isaak advises how best to use the book, and an index listing all the creationist claims. The claims are grouped into broad sections (such as 'Biology', 'Geology' and 'Astronomy and Cosmology').

Because it covers so much, the book inevitably lacks depth. I agree with other reviewers who suggest using Isaak's book in conjunction with more specialised works. As Isaak says in the book's introduction, people interested in this area should take the time to focus on one specific aspect of the debate and look at the literature in more detail.

The Counter-Creationism Handbook is based on Isaak's 'Index to Creationist Claims', which is freely available online at the TalkOrigins Archive ([...]). Therefore, there's no need to buy this book unless a print copy is more useful to you than an online version (as is the case for me).

One benefit of the book is the introduction Isaak has written, which isn't available online. It contains advice from Isaak on how non-creationists can best engage with creationists. And it includes some advice for creationists, on how they might find the book useful. I'll end with a quote from Isaak's introduction:

"Check things out for yourself. I have included both creationist and scientific references for just that purpose. Use them. And do further research on your own....Consider all sides of any controversial issue. In particular, look beyond sources that feed your existing beliefs and preconceptions."

Good advice for all of us.
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on January 1, 2010
Counter-Creationism Handbook / 978-0-520-24926-4

I first encountered most of these counter-creationism arguments online, on the TalkOrigins website, and found all of the arguments to be well-reasoned, superbly researched, and very helpful. I was happy to buy this companion volume (which documents most, but not all, of the online material) in order to have a handy hard-copy reference available around the house.

I cannot help but be very grateful to this book and its authors because I must confess that I first encountered most of the actual creationism arguments provided in this book years ago, when I was a child, taught in the "Bob Jones" curriculum provided to me in the private schools I briefly attended. Although 'Creation Science' was only a small portion of the school year (indeed, the curriculum seemed desirous to speed through the whole messy business as quickly as possible), it was defined largely in terms of what it *wasn't* - i.e., not evolution. Most of the arguments refuted in this book were provided as 'evidence' against evolution, including the 'Darwin's Complex Eye' dilemma - an argument which I can only assume now is perpetuated in ignorance or duplicity. It is distressing to see that so many of the arguments and quotes provided to me as a child were taken so blatantly out of context, and I extend my thanks to Mark Isaak and the TalkOrigins authors for helping to set me straight on so many levels.

This book is a fantastic resource for learning more about evolution for anyone coming from a creationism back-ground who has heard only half the story so far.

~ Ana Mardoll
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on January 31, 2009
This is a really good resource for answers to the arguments of both sides. I can easily look up any creationist or evolutionist theory and find information on how science supports evolution.
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This is an interesting resource regarding the creationism-evolution "debate." It might usefully be read in conjunction with Eugenie Scott's "Evolution vs. Creationism," which provides quotations from major works from each sphere, to allow readers to compare arguments. This book has a perspective: it contends that standard arguments by creationists and intelligent design advocates are off the mark.

I would doubt that creationists/intelligent design advocates would even read this. However, it might be worthwhile, to engage substantive discussion. Champions of Darwinism will find this a good piece of work, a source of many counterarguments to contentions by creationists. However, this might be best of all for those who are uncertain, confused, have not thought about the issues involved.

The book's structure is quite straightforward. The author, Mark Isaac, organizes his book along a number of thematic lines (e.g., Philosophy and Theology, Biology, Geology, Physics and Mathematics, Other Creationism). He notes assertions from advocates of creationism/intelligent design. Then, he engaged in a demolition project. For the most part, his comments are not emotionally charged and are worded fairly neutrally. He says (Page xxiii): "The book replies to more than 400 of the most common claims that creationists make. Each creationist claim comes with a brief rebuttal showing faults with and, often, counterevidence against the claim."

Let's take a look at a few examples, to give a sense about this volume.

Page 9: "Fairness demands that evolution and creation be given equal time." His response? That's an erroneous equation. Evolution is a scientific approach; creationism has no scientific grounding (in its research or methodology).

Page 18: "Evolution is only a theory." Duh! A theory is a terrific thing. Those who make this assertion simply do not understand science. A theory is special, because it helps to explain facts. Only a theory? Only someone innocent of an understanding of science would assert that.

Page 191: "The second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution." I have read this assertion many times. It's a head scratcher to me. And Isaak points out that this statement is simply inaccurate--and creationists often make statements that violate the second law.

Page 242(Young-Earth Creationist statement): "Man and dinosaurs coexisted." Isaak notes that this is simply incorrect. Moreover, for this to be true, we would have to trash theories and findings from multiple scientific disciplines, such as paleontology, chemistry, physics.

Anyhow, this is an interesting volume, laying out what the disputes are (although not exhaustive, I am sure) and what science says. Of course, if someone does not believe in the scientific method, his points will not be taken seriously. Whatever one's views, this is a useful volume in directly addressing key points in the "debate."
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on March 31, 2010
I found this book to be well-written and informative. It will be invaluable in combating the forces that want to put creationism, regardless of which flavor it is, in our school science classes. The only criticism I have to this edition is that the typing is inconsistent. Some lines wander a bit looking like the foot prints of a drunk staggering along the sidewalk. Character spacing varies and the type face is crude. It's almost as if the manuscript was typed on a mechanical typewriter badly in need of maintenance and then copied in toto.
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on September 7, 2008
The format of this book is an outline. It's a sourcebook to argue against creationism. Of course, ultimately the best argument against creationism in the classroom is that creationism isent science, therefore science teachers should not teach it. (Just like they shouldn't teach literature or politics)
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