Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Front Line
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Why do so many Americans reject the modern theory of evolution? Why does creationism, thoroughly refuted by scientists, retain such popularity among the public? Is the perceived conflict between evolution and Christianity genuine, or is it merely an illusion peculiar to Protestant fundamentalism?
Seeking answers to these questions, mathematician Jason Rosenhouse became a regular attendee at creationist conferences and other gatherings. After ten years of attending events like the giant Creation Mega-Conference in Lynchburg, Virginia, and visiting sites like the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, and after hundreds of surprisingly friendly conversations with creationists of varying stripes, he has emerged with a story to tell, a story that goes well beyond the usual stereotypes of Bible-thumping fanatics railing against coldly rational scientists. Through anecdotes, personal reflections, and scientific and philosophical discussion, Rosenhouse presents a more down-to-earth picture of modern creationism and the people who espouse it. He is neither polemical nor insulting, but he does not pull punches when he spots an error in the logical or scientific reasoning of creationists, especially when they wander into his own field, mathematics. Along the way, he also tells the story of his own nonbeliever's attempt to understand a major aspect of American religion. Forced to wrestle with his views about God and evolution, Rosenhouse found himself drawn into a new world of ideas previously unknown to him, arriving at a sharper understanding of the reality of science-versus-religion disputes, and how these debates look to those beyond the ivory tower.
A personal memoir of one scientist's attempt to come to grips with this controversy-by immersing himself in the culture of the anti-evolutionists-Among the Creationists is a fair, fresh, and insightful account of the modern American debate over Darwinism.
for me to discuss his ideas further. The most comprehensive presentation of his views is found in his book Perceiving God (1991). Alston’s arguments have been strongly criticized by a number of philosophers, with Kretzmann (1994) being one helpful reference among many. Chapter 19 1. As always, the literature in this area is vast. Among philosophers, William Lane Craig has been the most passionate defender of the Kalām argument, while Quentin Smith has been one of its most vocal critics.
the language of myth and metaphor and, 171 Genesis Flood, The, 47, 87, 211 gene duplication, 64–66 genetic code, 61, 63 genetic drift, 32 genetics, 18 genome, 31–32, 54, 65 geology, 4, 18, 36, 45, 57, 75, 81, 87, 165, 189 Gestapo, 198–199 Giberson, Karl, 171 Gilkey, Langdon, 160, 168–169 Gish, Duane, 44 Gitt, Werner, 61–66 Glick, Thomas, 79 God, as explanation for the universe, 11, 20–26 as basis for morality, 24–25, 37 at war with Satan, 4, 36 attributes of, 142 best evidence
while entirely correct, is rhetorically weak. It makes you look evasive in debate. Personally, I have always found the fossil record compelling. Each fossil is a snapshot telling us that an animal possessing certain anatomical features existed at some point in our distant past. When these fossils are arranged in chronological order, we notice two things.2 With literally millions of fossils to examine, not a single one is out of place from an evolutionary standpoint. The simplest fossils appear
The Church hierarchy, still haunted by its poor treatment of Galileo, was reluctant to take a clear, public stand against Darwinism. The closest they came was in their decision to ban a book by Raffaello Caverni, a priest who defended a circumscribed version of evolution. It is interesting that Caverni explicitly excluded humans from the evolutionary process and rejected any nonteleological version of the theory (ibid., 35). This was still too much for the Congregation of the Index. Given the
amounts to blasphemy. (Ayala 2007, 159–160) We can certainly agree that ID has a serious theodicy problem. Its proponents have not been entirely silent on the question (Dembski 2009), but I feel no desire to help them make their case. The trouble is that as things stand Ayala has only pushed the problem back one level. Instead of wondering why God directly produces so many instances of poor design, we now wonder why He set in motion a process that inevitably leads to poor design. Following its