7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Game, set and match to Pennock,
This review is from: Tower of Babel: The Evidence Against the New Creationism (Bradford Book) (Bradford Books) (Hardcover)
The author has written a full defence of evolution in science and education - emphasizing its centrality to biological research, and also its appearance in linguistics and some moral theory. His defence is more of an assault on the "Intelligent Design" Creationists, especially Philip Johnson, and his brilliant exposure of Johnson is the centrepiece of the book.
Being an American, Pennock does not explore why Creationism is so particularly American. Except for fundamentalist sects, it carries little or no weight outside the US, where even powerful politicians like Bush and Reagan have made fools of themselves with the "only a theory" escape clause. Another puzzle is why Catholicism has no truck with Creationism whatsoever. It is a pity that this is not explored some more. Clearly, it is related to the position of the Bible, which is less central to Catholic dogma as opposed to the authority of the Pope.
Another reason (which is more interesting) is the position of the Catholic religious orders in relation to science and education. Orders like the Jesuits and the Dominicians have always played a significant role in education (sometimes malignant!). Gregor Mendel, after all, was a Catholic monk. It would be interesting to see a more in-depth investigation of evolution in Catholic educational institutions like Notre Dame University. Catholicism is after all the largest single Christian church in the USA.
Besides that facet, this is an excellent book, and very good to learn about evolution, even if you don't have to defend your local school from rampant Creationists.
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