The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism

Phillip E. Johnson, Author InterVarsity Press $18 (220p) ISBN 978-0-8308-2267-6
Johnson (UC-Berkeley law professor and author of Darwin on Trial) has a reputation as a relentless critic of Darwinism, armed with a shrewd and engaging rhetoric comparable to that of evolution defenders Richard Dawkins and Stephen Jay Gould. Here, he addresses evolution-creation questions but also has a broader focus, looking at the often confused and confusing relationship between science itself and the naturalistic worldview prevalent among individual scientists and scientific organizations. Johnson takes issue with the way naturalistic allegiances come into play when Darwinian interpretations of evolution are defended with orthodox zeal in the name of science. A case in point, in Johnson's view, is the 1999 controversy surrounding Kansas state edu-cation standards for teaching evolution. Johnson argues that despite the high profile given to the dispute, the media generally missed the real story by indulging in ""Inherit the Wind"" stereotypes of heartland funda-mentalists, rather than dealing with the considerably more nuanced facts of the debate. Readers who are interested in the nuances, especially touching on the social, political and theological implications of evolution debates, should find this to be a helpful, or challenging, resource--depending on their own persuasion. Johnson makes no claims to be unbiased, and does not conceal his Christian agenda. But his appeal for both sides to see the ""religious"" commitments involved in the debate should have credibility even for readers outside his primarily Christian audience. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/31/2000
Release date: 08/01/2000
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