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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your objectivity on trial!
I bought this book as a gift for friends who are enthralled by a book they just read by a leading scientist on the Theory of Evolution. I believe that this will give them (and you) food for thought as it is a thought-provoking analysis of the very basis of the arguments and propositions of the theory. I read this book years ago and think it is a stimulating read...
Published 21 months ago by Mirandina

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lawyer Applies Tests of Proof
"Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother." -- Zechariah 7:9 (NKJV)

If you have been interested in evolution for any length of time, you know about the Scopes trial where William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow squared off over evolution. In Darwin on Trial, professor and attorney Phillip Johnson plays judge in...
Published 23 months ago by Donald Mitchell


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Your objectivity on trial!, 9 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Paperback)
I bought this book as a gift for friends who are enthralled by a book they just read by a leading scientist on the Theory of Evolution. I believe that this will give them (and you) food for thought as it is a thought-provoking analysis of the very basis of the arguments and propositions of the theory. I read this book years ago and think it is a stimulating read which promotes critical thinking about the basis, the underlying premises of scientifc theories.Darwin on Trial
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lawyer Applies Tests of Proof, 29 Aug 2012
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Hardcover)
"Execute true justice,
Show mercy and compassion
Everyone to his brother." -- Zechariah 7:9 (NKJV)

If you have been interested in evolution for any length of time, you know about the Scopes trial where William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow squared off over evolution. In Darwin on Trial, professor and attorney Phillip Johnson plays judge in assessing the proof for and against Darwin's theory of evolution, Neo-Darwinism, and more recent arguments. In doing so, he relies on legal rules and principles. As an attorney, I am familiar with such rules, but I fear that most readers aren't. Consequently, I believe that those who will get the most from this book are legally trained readers, rather than scientists or laypeople.

Professor Johnson states what many people don't realize: That micro-evolution on a small and limited scale within a species is accepted by almost everyone.

Differences of opinion come in terms of whether major classes of life emerge from prior classes. Since none of us were there, we have to rely on indirect evidence.

Professor Johnson leans most heavily on what has been located in the fossil record and what has been learned about biological divergences among species. These items of evidence don't show a continuous evolution from single-celled creatures to man because there are large gaps in the fossil record, transitional types are missing, and it's hard to imagine how some biological gaps might have been crossed (if they were).

He also looks at how many arguments in popular literature about evolution rely on examples that don't prove the case for what might have happened earlier, ways that the conclusion is assumed from the way the question is posed, and the nature of scientific thought holding to a theory until a replacement comes along.

In using different perspective to look at the argument for evolution, much of the ground is covered several times to make different points. That way of organizing the book will make it less accessible to those who would prefer a single line of argument that avoids repetition of evidence. At times, I felt I was back in law school.

But if you want to read a non-scientific, non-Scriptural look at evolution, Darwin on Trial can be a useful starting point to appreciate the major arguments for and against evolution.
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling case for 'more to life than Darwinism?', 27 Nov 2001
This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Paperback)
A respected law professor turned theologian, Johnson presents a fascinating and logical examination of Darwinism and more current forms of evolutionary theory. Johnson's book is refreshingly free from blanket statements about his subject. He seeks to open the debate on evolution, acknowledging the contributions of the scientific community at large whilst recognising the limited 'proof' that the available evidence provides.
For anyone interested in a subversive but balanced view of Darwinist evolutionary theory as ideology, or anyone clinging to the hope that their purpose in life is more than producing reproductive offspring, this is compelling reading. It ought to be compelling and challenging reading for Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins fans too - if they are brave enough to read it. Johnson has become Gould and Dawkins' nominated nemesis - due, in no small part to the strength and profound logic of his arguments. Definitely worthy of your further investigation.
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic analysis of the evidence for Evolution, 26 Aug 2008
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Mr. S. A. Blake (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Paperback)
Before reading this book I was always curious as to what actually is the evidence for the theory of Evolution - all I had ever heard from devout Naturalists was that there was "mountains of evidence" to support the theory without actually telling me any of it!
Johnson assesses the evidence for the theory in a typically lawyer-type-fashion and aptly demonstrates that the evidence is far from conclusive and certainly not convincing.
If you want to see the evidence put on the table so that you can make your own conclusions, read this brilliant book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars You be the judge., 10 April 2014
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Lloyd To (Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Paperback)
Molecular biologist Michael Denton considered this book "Unquestionably the best critique of Darwinism I have ever read". Professor of Biological Science Michael Behe calls it a "classic masterpiece". David Raup, Avery Distinguished Service Professor (emeritus) of Geophysical Sciences, Evolutionary Biology, and The Conceptual Foundations of Science at the University of Chicago, said in an interview with journalist Larry Witham, "Phil's done a superb Job. He's really done his homework. It's phenomenal the way he absorbed the field. Now, many people would say, 'He doesn't know anything. That's obvious from the first page.' That's often said without *reading* the first page." In a phone call to Thomas Woodward (Ass. Prof. of Communication, Science and Theology, Trinity College of Florida, Tampa) Raup said “Johnson’s work is very good scholarship, and of course, this is widely denied. He cannot be faulted; he did his homework, and he understands 99 percent of evolutionary biology.”

Raup is a committed evolutionist, yet is fair-minded enough to give full credit to an opponent, a rare quality in committed evolutionists. Far more common is the attitude of those who charge the author with ignorance while ignoring his arguments. Such critics are more interested in reinforcing their prejudices than in truth.

Reinforcing prejudices was exemplified by the editors of Scientific American. They published a scathing review by Stephen Gould of the book's first edition, that occupied four pages in their July 1992 issue, yet "refused to print my response or any letters from readers, although I know they received many." They obviously thought it was their business to shield their readers from the author's heresies. Such censorship was an insult to the intelligence of their readers, who should have been allowed to hear both sides of the argument and decide for themselves.

The book deals not only with the scientific aspect of evolution, but also the equally important philosophical and social aspects. The chapters entitled "Darwinist Education" and "Science and Pseudoscience" are especially informative.

The author carefully documents his sources in the Research Notes at the back of his book, so readers can check them out. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so read the book, chew over its arguments, and make up your own mind.
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18 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Demolishing darwin? - not at all, 3 Jan 2011
This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Paperback)
This is a well structured and coherent text in which the eminent law professor clearly lays out his arguments. The premise is that a non-biologist may offer a convincing riposte to the vast body of evidence built up in favour of evolution. However, the book is far too short to offer any kind of convincing argument, and while the author has done a good job of choosing relevant information to make himself appear knowledgable, the case he presents is at worst disingenuous, as he neglects to paint the whole picture of the supporting evidence from the entire subject of biology, as set out in, for example, Dawkins' book "The Greatest Show on Earth".

My big problem is, what makes a law professor think that he can offer convincing arguments against one of the most established scientific theories of our time? I suspect that he would not be so bold as to present arguments against inflationary theory in cosmology (far less evidence) or the heliocentric model of the solar system (about as equally convincing as evolution). No, the only reason that any non-specialist would feel so confident in writing about such a subject is that it is evolution - and the man clearly lays out early on, lest he be accused of bias, that he is a christian. Although not said explicitly, the idea that God could possibly interfere to guide or accelerate the evolutionary process clearly appeals to him, as he fails to provide a suitable alternative explanation, other than supernatural, for the processes which he feels are not explained adequately by the modern synthesis. The sad thing is, the man will be preaching to the converted to many people whose religious beliefs guide them away from accepting the truth of evolutionary fact and it's excellent explanatory power.

The claim that Johnson is, as a professor of law, highly qualified to pronounce on the truth or otherwise of scientific theories surprises me further when the level or proof that would seem to satisfy the author is far greater than that required in a court of law to convict a murderer or rapist. the book argues that because there are gaps in the fossil record and because we have never seen speciation happen right in front of our eyes (how would this be possible anyway?!), this somehow undermines the entire edifice and network of supporting evidence. Yet such is the level of determined disbelief that the actual requirement of 'proof' is absurdly high. He also states that the theory cannot be falsified - well perhaps in the strict Popperian sense, but most scientists regard that requirement as far too strict for the requirement of working scientists. Anyway, as Haldane said, the theory could easily be falsified by "rabbits in the Precambrian". It hasn't been.

Anyway, this book will only convince people who are already convinced. Do yourself a favour and read a book that sets out the beauty of the theory in relation to all of the subjects - biology, zoology, genetics, geology etc. that provide the level of supporting evidence that has led to the theory being accepted, in full not part, not only by scientists, but the pope, the Archbishop etc.
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darwinist hot air ballon brought down, 8 Dec 2004
By 
alex (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Paperback)
This book puts into words a lot of the feelings of implausibility that I often have when Darwinism is presented. As Johnson points out, Darwinists are as "religious" as anyone else and some have blown this whole thing up out of proportion by wishful atheistic philosophical conjecture. It is high time this hot air ballon was punctured by some pinpricks of reality and brought down to size. What is left is empirical evidence for evolution which points only to slight deviations in population, not an explanation for how life began or the human kind came to be.
Furthermore this kind of conjecture that postulates survival of the fittest, rather than a good Creator God as the ultimate cause and value can be(and has been) very damaging in its implications for our world
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent analysis on the philosophical bias of Darwinism, 30 Sep 2010
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This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Paperback)
With this work, Professor Johnson provides an intelligent critique on the theory of evolution but, most importantly, explains how philosophically biased Darwinism has become, and that it requires as much faith as any religious system.
This book demonstrates that scientists don't have all the answers as they would like us to believe, and that they do not really have a clue on how we got here, but they insist on presenting evolution as the truth to keep their academic credibility.
The book provides many interesting points for discussion and I highly recommend it to anybody interested in today's debate on evolution.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Darwin on Trial, 23 Nov 2010
This review is from: Darwin on Trial (Paperback)
Very quick delivery and excellent service from Amazon and considering it was second hand, the book was in very good condition.
The book is very well written and extremely interesting, particularly for someone who believes in an intelligent designer or for someone with an open mind.
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Darwin on Trial by Philip E. Johnson (Paperback - 21 Jan 2011)
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