Book reviews
Fri, 30 Apr 1999 23:00:23 EDT

A few weeks(?) ago I mentioned two new books, one by S.J. Gould and the other
by R.T. Pennock. I noticed today that both books are reviewed in the latest
issue of American Scientist (May-June 1999). The reviews are online via the
Sigma Xi site (Sorry but I haven't yet figured out how to
include a hotlink in my posts.)

Gould's book, Rocks of Ages, is reviewed by biologist Ursala Goodenough, who
should be familiar to readers of Zygon. One of her better lines is: "But if
there is a membrane separating the magisteria of science and religion, it is
decidedly semipermeable".

Pennock's book, Tower of Babel, is reviewed by noted historian of science
Peter J. Bowler. The flavor of his review is indicated by the following:
"The new generation of creationists, including law professor Phillip Johnson,
now try to discredit evolutionism in the name of "intelligent design
theory"--the claim that the only satisfactory explanation of complex
structures such as living things is design by a supernatural creator. Once
again, Pennock offers a detailed critique, pointing out the completely
negative character of Johnson's arguments and the inability of his "theory"
to offer any significant guide to research". Because I think ID is one of
the sillier roads evangelicals have traveled in many years, I'm sympathetic
to Bowler's comments; but check out the Sigma Xi site to see what you think!


Karl V. Evans