Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Evolution vs. Creationism - Part3

[Long posts scare me. Read time: 2min]

I've been using the books.google.com version of the book, but I'm quickly running out of preview pages.

Inter-Library Loan had better come through for me quickly! <smile>

This evening I got through the "Pillars of Creationism" after briefly glancing at the Preface.

One thing that Scott says that may be noteworthy--though, I'd never thought of it myself, nor saw it mentioned in any of the books I've read on the topic--is that Darwin proposed two major ideas: Common ancestors and natural selection. These are distinct ideas that do not rely on one another. [xxii]

I'll try to keep that in mind as the book gets going. Though I am skeptical that it will ever resurface as an issue.

"Religious objections to evolution are far more important in motivating antievolutionism than are scientific objections to evolution as a weak or unsupported theory." [xxiii] This after a mention of Christians rejecting macro evolution, which is not addressed at all here. Hopefully this critique is answered in the coming chapters. But for now, it feels really awkward to state that there are so few scientific objections to evolution after mentioning in an off-hand way the major definitional one of which I am aware.

It's just odd.

"Educators and scientists argue that a student must understand evolution to be scientifically literate, and insist that the science curriculum would be deficient if evolution were omitted." [xxiv] Sadly, despite four years in a public high school--where I took Advanced Biology among other science courses--I still do not feel like I "understand evolution"... nor do, it seems, most others, as is mentioned earlier in the book as to why Scott is writing this title: "Students [lack] enough basic science .. to understand why creationist critiques of evolution are resisted so strongly by scientists" [xvii]. Again, it's the odd combination of statements that seem to put this book off-kilter.

But I'm still in the introductory comments. I really need to withhold judgment until Scott has started presenting points. Until that time, I'm merely picking at things.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Rebecca on The Homefront said...

I'm coming into this discussion at post 3, but scrolled back to review the others. It sounds as though you're picking up details the same way I would...and they certainly do raise questions, don't they? I may have to hunt this book up and read it for myself. Thanks for posting your thoughts as you go.

Heather the Mama Duk said...

Interesting. I think you are right that a thorough exposure to evolution doesn't mean someone is going to understand it. Likewise, a cursory exposure to it doesn't mean they won't understand it at all. My kids have a rudimentary understanding of evolution (and why we don't believe we came from monkeys) just from watching the Discovery Channel.

Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd add that only someone with *no* understanding of evolution would believe that "we came from monkeys."