Evolution and Religious Creation Myths: How Scientists Respond

Hardcover | May 20, 2007

byPaul F. Lurquin, Linda Stone

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Polls show that 45% of the American public believes that humans were created about 10,000 years ago and that evolution is a fictitious myth. Another 25% believes that changes in the natural world are directed by a supernatural being with a particular goal in mind. This thinking clashes headon with scientific findings from the past 150 years, and there is a dearth of public critical thinking about the natural world within a scientific framework. Evolution and Religious Creation Myths seeks to educate and arm the public on the differences between myth and science, fiction and theory. The book begins with a whirlwind tour of creation stories from several religions. The authors then explore how certain forms of religious fundamentalism clashwith the science of evolution. They review how creationists and intelligent design proponents misuse and misrepresent scientific terminology and conclusions to further their own agendas. How do scientists respond to this threat? Modern science, which includes a level of indeterminacy, or chance,cannot support the premise that a supernatural designer engineered nature for a particular purpose in a deterministic fashion. This holds true for the creation of the universe, the appearance of the first biological molecules, chemical evolution, and the evolution of life forms through mutation,natural selection, and genetic drift. Instead, human biological and cultural evolution is described within a genetic framework. Scientists use a barrage of genetic tests and DNA phylogenies to support the scientific basis for evolution. For anyone who has ever needed to argue why evolution andcreationism are not both valid theories that deserve equal attention, this book clearly defines the difference between theory and myth. Scientists, teachers, and defenders of the truth should read this book in preparation for when they are called upon to respond.

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Polls show that 45% of the American public believes that humans were created about 10,000 years ago and that evolution is a fictitious myth. Another 25% believes that changes in the natural world are directed by a supernatural being with a particular goal in mind. This thinking clashes headon with scientific findings from the past 15...

Paul Lurquin is at the School of Molecular Biosciences at Washington State University. Linda Stone is Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:240 pages, 6.3 × 9.29 × 0.79 inPublished:May 20, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195315383

ISBN - 13:9780195315387

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Creationism and Intelligent Design: The evolution of an idea.Chapter 2. What is evolutionary biology and where is it coming from?Chapter 3. Creationist purpose and irreducible complexity rebuttedChapter 4. The origins and evolution of Homo sapiensChapter 5. The origins of life and the cosmos as evolutionary themesChapter 6. Evolution of the DNA world and the chance events that accompanied it. More about complexityChapter 7. The dangers of creationismAppendix I: The BrusselatorAppendix II: Experiments for educatorsGlossaryFurther Reading

Editorial Reviews

"This densely packed and meticulously researched volume offers many strategies and facts to use to combat the creationists and neocreationists who are busily engaged in attempts to stultify science and science education in the US today. In all cases...this book makes for good and usefulreading." --CHOICE