Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism

Robert T. Pennock, Author
Robert T. Pennock, Author MIT Press (MA) $60 (451p) ISBN 978-0-262-16180-0
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 02/01/1999
Paperback - 452 pages - 978-0-262-66165-2
Hardcover - 1 pages - 978-0-585-15711-5
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According to University of Texas philosopher Pennock, creationism has been evolving, changing from an unsophisticated attack on biological evolution to a more refined and polished assault on the nature of science itself. Rather than offering sophomoric arguments and forged archeological displays, he contends, the new creationists are attempting to promulgate a philosophical construct, theistic science, that is both more subtle and more insidious. With great insight and good humor, Pennock catalogues the wide range of creationist beliefs, dissects their main arguments and highlights what he sees as their internal inconsistencies. He focuses most of his attention on explicating the alleged weakness of the premises of theistic science and its reliance on an ""intelligent designer,"" contending that its incorporation of miracles into its explanatory sphere undermines all aspects of science. In clear, direct prose, Pennock uses the basics of linguistic evolution to go after the foundation of the new creationism while employing sound philosophical arguments to demonstrate that an evolutionary worldview is neither immoral nor the first step toward the acceptance of atheism. With the new creationists claiming that an evolutionary perspective is responsible for virtually all of the world's ills and their desire to make amends by restructuring public education and the legal system, the stakes are huge. Pennock's response, thoughtful, thorough and respectful, deserves to be widely read. (Mar.)
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