Draft Author: Chris Stassen This is a list constructed to balance the creationist reading

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============================================================================= Draft Author: Chris Stassen ============================================================================= This is a list constructed to balance the creationist reading list written for soc.religion.christian. I apoligize if it ended up a little longer than the other. I think the total number of titles recommended is less. NOTE: Several of these titles amount to attacks on creationism. All are careful to note that they are attacking young-earth Bible literalists' claims that their position is supported by legitimate scientific inquiry. None of these titles are anti-Christian or anti-creationism-as-a-religious-belief. In fact, a section is devoted to old-earth creationists' attacks on "creation science." The publications have been grouped into a handful of categories, as follows: 1. Periodicals and organizations of interest 2. Books that counter "creation science" 3. Old-earth creationists on young-earth creationism 4. Science materials not aimed directly at creationism 5. The Arkansas Trial of Act 590 6. Other interesting stuff ===================================================================== 1. Periodicals and organizations of interest There are about a half-dozen popular creationist periodicals in the USA, but really only one organization aimed at countering creationism. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE / P.O. Box 9477 / Berkeley, CA 94709) publishes the semi-annual technically oriented _Creation/Evolution Journal_ and the quarterly newsletter _NCSE Reports_. Membership is $18 per year and does not require signing a "statement of faith" (unlike all major creationist organizations). Members receive _C/E Journal_, _NCSE Reports_, and a discount of 15-20% on all books offered for sale by the organization (including those below marked '*'). The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA / 55 Market Street / Ipswich, MA 01938) is a Christian organization that takes no official position on the creation/evolution controversy. Their journal, _PERSPECTIVES on Science and Christian Faith_, is intended as a forum for discussion of such issues from a Christian perspective. Subscription rate is $25 per year, for the quarterly journal. Membership is $40 to $45 per year; members must sign a statement of faith, and receive also a bimonthly newsletter, a member directory, and other benefits. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 2. Books that counter "creation science" Most scientists ignored "creation science" until pressure was placed, both through grassroots activism and through legislation, to get it into the public school science classroom. A number of books then appeared, aimed at deflating creationists' "science" arguments. * _Science and Earth History_, Arthur N. Strahler (New York, Prometheus Books, 1987, 552 pp., $47). It is rare to see a creationist argument that is not covered in detail in this tome. It is an excellent place to start research, and probably the most heavily used book (when it comes to creationist claims) in my science library. * _Scientists Confront Creationism_, Laurie Godfrey, Editor (New York, W. W. Norton & Co., 1983, 324 pp., $10). A series of essays written by experts in diverse scientific fields aimed specifically at explaining where many creationist arguments are incorrect. * _In The Beginning... A Scientist Shows Why the Creationists Are Wrong_, Chris McGowan (New York, Prometheus, 1984, 208 pp., $18). A little expensive for the information content, but written at a much less technical level than any other book in this section. * _Evolution and the Myth of Creationism_, Tim M. Berra (California, Stanford University Press, 1990, 198 pp., $8). A relatively basic introduction, both to evolution and to arguments against creationism. Only enough to whet the appetite of any serious mind, but it's cheap. Other interesting titles: * _Creation and Evolution_, Norman D. Newell; Columbia, 1982, 199 pp. _The Creation Controversy_, Dorothy Nelkin; W.W. Norton, 1982, 242 pp. _Science and Creation_, R. Hanson, Ed.; Macmillan, 1986, 224 pp. _Science on Trial_, Douglas Futuyma; Pantheon, 1982, 251 pp. _The Monkey Business_, Niles Eldredge; WSP, 1982, 158 pp. Philosophers of science and/or sociologists' commentaries: _Abusing Science_, Philip Kitcher, MIT Press (I think it's out of print) * _But Is It Science?_, Michael Ruse, Editor; Prometheus, 1988, 406 pp. * _The Creationist Movement in Modern America_, Eve & Harrold --------------------------------------------------------------------- 3. Old-earth creationists on young-earth creationism It is a common charge of "scientific creationists" that the geologists' long history for the earth is a position unrelated to the evidence and only held to give the biologists time for evolution. These titles, written by anti-evolutionists, comment on standard young earth arguments without possibility of that alleged bias. _Christianity and the Age of the Earth_, Davis Young (California, Artisan Press, 1982, 188 pp., ~$9). Young presents the age of the earth through Church history, scientific evidence for the earth's age, and ends with the conclusion that "creation science" is likely bad for Christianity. (Davis Young is professor of Geology at Calvin College.) + _The Fingerprint of God_ Second Edition, Hugh Ross (California, Promise Publishing Company, 1989, 234 pp., $11). Ross argues that the universe shows strong evidence that God exists -- but that there is no evidence it is as young as "scientific creationists" claim. Ross presents modern cosmology at an understandable level and never strays far from his field of expertise (astrophysics). + _Neglect of Geologic Data: Sedimentary Strata Compared with Young-Earth Creationist Writings_, Daniel Wonderly (IBRI, 1987, 130 pp., $7). Billed as an "evaluation of problematic statements made by young-earth creationists in the light of well-established data and principles of sedimentary geology." Lives up to that billing. * _Science Held Hostage: What's Wrong with Creation Science AND Evolutionism_, Howard J. Van Till, Davis A. Young, and Clarence Menninga (Intervarsity Press, 1988, 189 pp., $10). Argues that "creation science" is bad science, and that naturalism is bad philosophy often shoe-horned in with science. All of the above texts which are marked '+' are available through the Interdisciplinary Bible Research Institute (IBRI / P.O. Box 423 / Hatfield, PA 19440). Also of interest: + _God's Time-Records in Ancient Sediments_, Wonderly; Crystal, 1977, 258 pp. + _Coral Reefs and Related Carbonate Structures as Indicators of Great Age_, D. Wonderly; IBRI, 1983, 19 pp. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 4. Science materials not aimed directly at creationism It is not the primary purpose of this list, but it is a good idea to grasp mainstream science's own position (other sections concentrate on the "creation science" position). This is a mix of relatively technical (college-level) works and "popular science" level texts (labeled "(T)" and "(P)" respectively). (?) * _The Age of the Earth_, G. Brent Dalrymple (1991, $50). A comprehensive and readable account of methods scientists use to calculate the age of the earth. (T) _Evolutionary Biology_ Second Edition, Douglas Futuyma (Sinauer Associates, 1986, 600 pp., ~$50). The most regularly recommended college biology textbook in talk.origins. (T) _Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution_, Robert L. Carroll (Freeman, New York, 1988, 698 pp.). This book (or an equivalent from the list below) is a must-read for anyone who wishes to understand what one finds in the fossil record. Other resources which are also useful: (It isn't necessary to read them all; there is much overlap. Alternate titles are useful to those who depend on library availability for reading materials.) Biology: (T) _Life on Earth_, Wilson et al.; Sinauer, 1985(?), 805 pp. (T) _The Evolution of Life_, Gamlin & Vines; Oxford U., 1991, 249 pp. (P) _Life on Earth_, D. Attenborough; Little, Brown, 1979, 319 pp. (P) _The Blind Watchmaker_, R. Dawkins; Norton, 1986, 332 pp. (T) _Evolution_, Dobzhansky et al; Freeman, 1977, 572 pp. (P) _Blueprints_, Edey & Johanson; Penguin 1989, 418 pp. (P) _Evolution_, Peter Bowler; U. California, 1989, 432 pp. (P) _Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes_, S. J. Gould; Norton, 1983, 413 pp. (Gould has also published several other excellent collections of essays, including _The Panda's Thumb_ and _Wonderful Life_) Paleontology: (T) _Evolution of the Vertebrates_, Colbert; Wiley & Sons, 1980, 511 pp. (T) _Vertebrate Paleontology_, A. Romer; U. of Chicago, 1966, 468 pp. (T) _Principles of Paleontology_, Raup & Stanley; 1978, 481 pp. (P) _The Fossil Record and Evolution_, Scientific American, 1982 Historical geology: (T) _A Trip Through Time_, Cooper et al.; Merrill, 1990, 544 pp. (?) _Earth and Life through Time_, S. Stanley; Freeman, 1987, 689 pp. Geology: (T) _Principles of Isotope Geology_, G. Faure; Wiley & Sons, 1986, 589 pp. (T) _The Evolution of the Earth_, Dott & Battin; Macmillan (P) _Planet Earth_, J. Weiner; Bantam Books, 1986, 370 pp. (P) _The Making of a Continent_, R. Redfern; Times, 1983, 242 pp. (P) _In Suspect Terrain_, J. McPhee; McGraw-Hill, 1983, 210 pp. --------------------------------------------------------------------- 5. The Arkansas Trial of Act 590 By placing well-organized pressure, creationists succeeded in getting a piece of legislation passed in Arkansas in 1980 which mandated equal time in public school science classes for "creation science." The law was challenged on constitutional grounds (and overturned); the trial to overturn the law was dubbed "Scopes II." * _Science and Creationism_, Ashley Montagu, Editor (Oxford University, 1984, 415 pp., $16). A collection of essays on the trial and related topics, several by "science witnesses" at the trial. _Creationism on Trial_, Langdon Gilkey (Winston Press, 1985, 301 pp.). A description of the trial from the viewpoint of a liberal theologian who was a "theology witness" for the plaintiffs. * _Trial and Error_, Edward J. Larson (Oxford University Press, 1989, 243 pp. $10). A detailed history of the legal aspects of the teaching of evolution and creationism in the United States. Covers roughly 1920 through the Supreme Court decision on the Louisiana Balanced Treatment Act. (An earlier edition of this book was written before Arkansas Act 590 was struck down.) --------------------------------------------------------------------- 6. Other interesting stuff * _Voices For Evolution_, Betty McCollister, Editor (NCSE, 1989, 141 pp., $5). A collection of "position statements" of various religious, scientific, and educational organizations, all against the inclusion of "creation science" in public school science classes. _Is God a Creationist?_, Ronald M. Frye, Editor (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1983, 205 pp.). A collection of essays on theological aspects of "creation science." The only title in this lists that comments on theology. _Four Billion Years_, William F. Loomis (Sinauer, 1988, 286 pp.). Abiogenesis has nothing to do with evolution (which assumes the existence of life), but it is a common point of creationist attack. Loomis presents relatively up-to-date information on the topic. _The Cartoon Guide to Genetics_, Gonick and Wheelis (Harper Perennial, 1991, 215 pp.). Gonick is the author of the "science cartoons" that frequently appear in _Discover_ magazine. A highly recommended introduction to the history of genetics and biology. Now being used as a text in some college courses.


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