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Good content, but disappointing theologically - nothing new here.
on November 15, 2015
Let me be clear, E. O. Wilson is a gifted writer, a passionate scientist, and positive force for science and social change, but this work is not his strongest. Here's why: while the content was supposed to be geared towards a generic or un-named Baptist minister, the only real illusions to religion happen rather early in the text, and then at the beginning of each chapter beginning "Dear pastor" or something to that extent, and then proceeds into why conservation and biodiversity is important on a global scale. His early comparisons to the "creation" and preservation thereof as something man is divinely commanded to carry out is a refreshing take on the Genesis accounts and standard "take dominion over the earth" narrative so common in Christianity, but I felt as if the text was too dismissive of religious fundamentalists - no matter how ignorant or incorrect their scientific understanding.
If you've read some of his other works (Naturalist, Letter to a Young Scientist, etc.) I'm not sure there will be much earth shattering information in this text - but it's a quick read, a rather short book, and there are some good anecdotes and a few positive theological notes, but sadly not many. I guess in sum, the content is good, but the title feels misdirected - this is really a treatise on why conservation is important to us all, not necessarily a specific appeal to the religious community for a theological change of heart. Not a wasted afternoon having read this, but I don't think this is the book to give any of the Baptist ministers I know.