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Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics: Philosophical, Theological, and Scientific Perspectives [Paperback]

Robert T. Pennock
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 21 2001 0262661241 978-0262661249

The last decade saw the arrival of a new player in the creation/evolution debate--the intelligent design creationism (IDC) movement, whose strategy is to act as "the wedge" to overturn Darwinism and scientific naturalism. This anthology of writings by prominent creationists and their critics focuses on what is novel about the new movement. It serves as a companion to Robert Pennock's Tower of Babel, in which he criticizes the wedge movement, as well as other new varieties of creationism.The book contains articles previously published in specialized, hard-to-find journals, as well as new contributions. Each section contains introductory background information, articles by influential creationists and their critics, and in some cases responses by the creationists. The discussions cover IDC as a political movement, IDC's philosophical attack on evolution, the theological debate over the apparent conflict between evolution and the Bible, IDC's scientific claims, and philosopher Alvin Plantinga's critique of naturalism and evolution. The book concludes with Pennock's "Why Creationism Should Not Be Taught in the Public Schools."


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Review

"This book is a terrific one-volume summary of the scientific, philosophical and theological issues." Scientific American

About the Author

Robert T. Pennock is Professor in the Lyman Briggs College and the Departments of Philosophy and Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University. He is a Co-PI of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Paperback
This rather large book consists of a series of essays detailing the perspective of Intelligent Design Theory from the Christian point of view and a series of contrasting essays from Darwinian orthodoxy opposing this theory. One unfortunate aspect of this book, which consists otherwise of some rather interesting essays, is that the essays are selected in such a manner so as to make the ID perspective look ridiculous at every point. Thus, after every issue is dealt with from the perspective of ID two subsequent essays appear which are supposed to refute the ID perspective from the Darwinian. In practice, this amounts to little more than overkill which makes one wonder, what is the point of having a debate if you are going to stack the cards beforehand. Also, many of these so- called "objective" scientists and philosophers seem to be engaging in little more than name calling and credential comparing. One example of this is the essay of the popularizer Richard Dawkins who appears to be interested very little in the actual content of an essay by Philip Johnson and more interested in the fact that this individual happens to be a lawyer, cashing in on the near universal animosity felt towards lawyers among the populist masses. This isn't to say that Johnson's essay is particularly good or rings true, but the fact that Dawkins cannot control his juvenile tendencies here is really a good indication of the knee jerk reactionism of the Darwinian Left. Of course, the issue of Intelligent Design is a complicated one, one that is not fully worked out here. In addition, the compiler Pennock seems to be under the impression that "creationism" is strictly a Protestant phenomenon. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Design is a bogus theory April 29 2003
Format:Paperback
Rob Pennock has done a great job with this book. Apart from presenting his own philosophical arguments he has brought many scientists into the debate over evolution. Actually the term debate is inaccurate. This is not a squaring off of two schools of thought or opinion; both of whom have done a comparable amount of work on the topic. On the one hand you have the entire corpus of scientific endeavour of most of humankind's recorded history. On the other you have a bunch of naysayers who too lazy to investigate their own claims have taken to brandishing their academis qualifications and belive that that alone is sufficient to establish their flimsy arguments. It is more a case of mudslingers trying to besmirch the moon. The target is too far away; massive (though apparently small); and will result only in their getting besmirched! The pompous Dembski complains that his work has not been given prominence. Unfortunately Dembski has little to say as Ken Miller conclusively demonstrated at the AMNH last year; when Miller left Dembski speechless with his arguments and questions. Plantinga is a big disappointment. I have heard much about this philosopher and was disappointed to see that the best he has to offer is a stubborn "it is wrongheaded theory" etc. The ID Creationists' movement looks like it is ready to draft anyone even one who is utterly incapable of understanding even the basics of biology. Plantinga should return to religious philosophy and arcane debates about how many angels can dance on a pinhead!!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Creationism will always remain with us April 28 2003
Format:Paperback
This is an interesting collection of articles that deserves some general comments. It surely isn't meant to discuss flat earth theories. Intelligent design should be seen most of all as a legitimate conclusion derived from the application to nature of generally accepted means to detect design everywhere else. ~
One should notice the deliberate attempt to link the intelligent design movement with creationism. This attempt is misguided at least for three reasons:
1) it ignores that for many theistic evolutionists, evolutionism is also a form of creationism, since they believe that God created matter and life and then put the evolutionary process in motion. So why not speak also of evolutionistic creationism? Evolutionists have not yet provided a convincing case of spontaneus generation of matter and life, from nothing and non-life respectively;
2) it ignores the fact that the intelligent design movement is very different from biblical creationism, since it doesn't start from the biblical model of creation / fall / curse / flood / Babel / etc., but merely attempts to detect design when it sees irreducible complexity or complex specified information, by means of generally accepted ways (v.g explanatory filters) of detecting and measuring design in multiple fields of life. If matter shows indeed signs of design, it is unscientific not to account for those signs. There is no truly scientific a priori requirement to keep turning our heads pretending we just don't see design in nature.
3) it assumes that biblical creationism is all about religion and not about science. One has only to read Gish, Morris, Humpreys, Ham, Safarti, among many others, to realize that this assumption is false.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Is this the best case for Darwinism?
As a professor (I teach cell and molecular biology), this volume was of much interest to me and contains much good material. Read more
Published on March 5 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars To correct some of the negative reviews
<<In fact of 37 chapters just a dozen were written by proponents of Intelligent Design >>
None of the books written by proponents of IDC have EVER included so much... Read more
Published on Dec 9 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Fixed match
One reviewer said this book 'amounts to a wrestling-style "smackdown"', and indeed the bout was fixed from the start. Read more
Published on Aug. 31 2002
1.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics
I was going to buy this book--I confess I've only skimmed it, but wanted to first find out what the Intelligent Design people quoted in the book thought about it. Read more
Published on May 25 2002 by J. Bray
1.0 out of 5 stars Retreads and Bias
There is virtually nothing new here -- most of the articles are retreads. What's more, many of the articles are readily available online (and not difficult to access as Robert... Read more
Published on May 2 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice Resource, but not very original or up to date
This collection of essays and commentary on Intelligent Design is a nice resource for those who are following the debate closely. Read more
Published on April 22 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Side-by-Side Comparisons of Evolution and ID/Creationism
This is a truly useful and comprehensive compendium of articles on both sides of the divide between evolution and ID/creationism. Read more
Published on April 12 2002 by Dr. Michael E. Maguire
5.0 out of 5 stars Designs on culture
This is a useful compendium of articles on the current Darwin debate over Intelligent Design, edited by Robert Pennock, the author of Tower of Babel, containing a lot of material... Read more
Published on Feb. 18 2002 by John C. Landon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource
Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC) is the latest manifestation of anti-evolutionism, a social movement which owes it's roots to pre-Darwinian opposition to the idea of... Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2002 by John Lynch
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