on 26 June 2011
This is hardly the most objective book, as Johnson approaches the topic matter with a clearly defined view. However, a lot of what he says makes sense, with regards to how a naturalistic worldview is currently running politics, the law and education. As a Christian I of course agree with his opinions. What I would say is I found the book quite hard going, as someone who is not overly familiar with the topic matters at hand. I think Johnson does try hard to be as simplistic as he can be without simplifying though. 6/10.
on 22 May 1999
While there are a few places where he treats the "opposition" fairly superficially, going into too much more detail would render the text unreadable. He is very careful to go for the core of the issues, though, and does a remarkable job at making sure that his reasoning is solid. You'd be a fool to only one side and not major authors on the other, but he greatly clarifies what the debate is really about. Excellent.
on 9 June 1999
Nobel laureate Kary Mullis was asked to testify as an expert witness at the O. J. Simpson trial (in the end, he didn't.) Consequently, he thought quite a lot about the nature of truth as it is seen by lawyers and by scientists. In law, the opposing sides approach a trial by collecting all the evidence that will be used in the trial, and exchanging it in discovery proceedings. At a certain point, the stream of evidence is cut off, and this finite body of information is used to reach an absolute, final verdict (truth-telling.) In science, to the contrary, the stream of evidence is never cut off, never ends, and no one ever reaches a final, absolute, unmodifiable truth. This distinction Johnson fails to understand (or at least chooses to gloss over.) He is committed to lawyer's truth and has no interest in scientific truth. That is the trouble with this book and, indeed, all of Johnson's pseudoscientific writings.