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The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth Hardcover – 19 Sep 2006

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co. (19 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393062171
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393062175
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 2 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,240,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"The wise and lovely work of a truly learned man." -- Matthew Scully "If humankind finds a way to live in peace together, and in harmony with nature, E. O. Wilson will have played a unique role in that deliverance." -- Jeffrey Sachs "One of our greatest thinkers says we can only rescue the earth by starting with its smallest inhabitants. ... Read this book." "Rarely has the divide between secular science and revealed religion been bridged so gracefully." -- Robert Lee Holtz "A contemporary jeremiad ... at times searing, at times soaring." -- Tom Levinson "Beautiful and passionate." -- David B. Williams --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

E.O. WILSON, a Harvard professor for nearly five decades, has conducted field research throughout the world and written more than twenty books. His awards include two Pulitzer Prizes and the National Medal of Science.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on 3 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
When Charles Darwin published "The Origin of Species" he declared it to be "one long argument". Today, less than 150 years later, Edward O. Wilson explains that the one species omitted [except for one sentence] from the "argument" is devastating the life of the planet. In one long appeal to a fictional Baptist pastor, Wilson describes what is clear to all but a few dedicated die-hards - life on this planet is in deep trouble. The die-hards are firmly identified in the opening passages; Christians in the US who regard themselves as "biblical literalists". Such folk expect the Apocalypse soon and saving the environment is of little concern.

Wilson clearly knows his potential audience and addresses it. He understands the opinions his readers hold and addresses them in language familiar to them. "Biology" he contends, "now leads in reconstructing the human self-image". That means that biology can explain what is happening to the life around us and how we are dealing with it. He carefully allows the potential for a deity to have a role, but it isn't one dealing with the current situation. Because it is humanity stripping the rainforests, causing the oceans to warm and destroying life in them, or filling the atmosphere with chemicals it cannot absorb, it is up to people to take the steps necessary to halt these degradations.

In showing his "pastor" the interconnectivity of all life, the author utilises clear, undemanding prose. Whether one believes a god plays a role in this network is immaterial. People and their actions are unweaving that network. Species extinction is forever, and whatever biology can explain, it hasn't had the time or opportunity to assess the impact of what is occurring. The job, he says, is clearly too vast, and the relationships are too intricate.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy Williams on 2 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
Written to a hypothetical Southern Baptist pastor, The Creation is effectively an open letter to American evangelicals. Locked in its defense of a literal view of the Genesis creation, the church has made science an enemy. The tragedy, says Wilson, is that there is plenty of common ground, and that a global crisis is being ignored while we squabble over matters of origin.

More than that though, this is a loosely themed book that lets one of the world's best biologists ramble about what he's most passionate about. He talks about ants, birds and plants, describing each species as "a masterpiece of biology". He laments the destructiveness of mankind, a species that is altering the climate, "all by our bipedal, wobbly-headed selves." He estimates that we may only know as little as one millionth of what biology will eventually know. He calls for better, more hands-on teaching of science. It's a little fragmented, but overall the book adds up to a celebration of biodiversity, of the infinite complexity and beauty of nature, something that we must be able to appreciate regardless of how we believe it came into existence.

As a Christian who shares many of Wilson's frustrations, it's great to see an attempt at a rapprochement between science and faith coming from the atheist side. I don't know if it'll work, but I hope we might have the humility to reciprocate.
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With the current environmental crises. I thought first of all this book was a must read,
especially for myself, as I am passionate advocate for saving our environment and wildlife.
This is why I bought it. I give talks on Brown Bears and the environment to schools.
And I thought it might be helpful in putting across the seriousness of our environmental situation to
classes. However this book is about mr Wilson's letters to some Pastor making an appeal to him.
What the point of writing to a pastor about the wonders of science and biology is suppose to achieve
I do not know. It goes too much into biology can work with religion if you ask me. And he talks like he trying to persuade the
pastor to focus on environmental issues, like that would ever work. I mean mr Wilson maybe a great
biologist but his idea that he can change the thinking of a Pastor through scientific facts is BS.
And because its written to the Pastor he writes the book like he is teaching a kid basic biology lessons haha.
Its not really what I was looking for. A book more for the passionate about nature lovers would have
probably been written better and would have not had to use such silly arguments, such as pastor
we both agree that creation is a wonderful thing blah blah blah, booooring!!!!
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