Shapes of a Wedge

From: Al Koop <koopa@gvsu.edu>
Date: Sat May 15 2004 - 14:27:03 EDT

The Science journal of 7 May 2004 has a book review (that is worth
reading) of 3 creation/evolution books: Darwinism, Design, and Public
Education by John Angus Campbell and Stephen Meyer eds. of the Discovery
Institute; God, the Devil, and Darwin: A Critique of Intelligent Design
Theory by Niall Shanks, and Creationism's Trojan Horse: The Wedge of
Intelligent Design by Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross. It seems to me
that fewer of the people now involved in the public discussion of the
evolution controversey are scientists. John Angus Cambell is a
communications professor from the University of Memphis. Shanks is a
philopsophy professor at East Tennessee State and Forrest a philosophy
professor at Louisana State.

The reviewer, Steve Olson, a science writer says: "...creationism
appears to again be in a period of ascendancy." I think that today's
discussion presented to average citizen (who can understand little
science in my opinion) has little to to with the principles of science
and much more to do with the rhetorical and political skills of those on
either side, along with an appeal to a religious position. The
antievolution folk are ahead of the proevolution folk in this regard,
and if the proevolution folk wish to stem the tide they are going to
have to write a far different type of book than the books by Shanks and
Forrest and Gross, which the general public will never read. The people
writing these new books will probably have to take a more political and
rhetorical approach, as well, if their goal is to move people, rather
than just pointing out the scientific evidence in favor of evolution to
the few who can grasp it. There does not seem to be anybody out there
yet who can come close to filling the shoes of Stephen Gould, much less
anyone exceeding his ability to engage the general public, at least to
some degree. Somebody is going to have to get a proevolution book on the
best sellers list like Hawking and Greene managed to do with cosmology.
Received on Sat May 15 14:27:45 2004

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