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Darwin on Trial [Paperback]

By Phillip E. Johnson (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   220
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.38" Width: 5.36" Height: 0.67"
Weight:   0.58 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 2000
Publisher   IVP-InterVarsity Press
ISBN  0830813241  
EAN  9780830813247  


Availability  0 units.


Item Description...
Overview
Here's the book that has rocked the scientific--and Christian--establishment.

Phillip Johnson's critique of Darwinian evolution touched off explosions among scientists and theologians almost from the day of its publication in 1992. The volatile debate was at first carried on in academic journals and in magazines like Nature and Scientific American. It even engaged the attention of leading evolutionists like Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg and prominent naturalist Stephen Jay Gould. Johnson was invited to debate several of his opponents at universities across the country. And he was himself the subject of debate: Michael Ruse, author of Darwinism Defended, spoke at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the topic "Nonliteralist Anti-Evolutionism: The Case of Phillip Johnson."

Publishers Description
In 2006, Christianity Today voted this title to be one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals! A Christianity Today 1992 Book of the Year Runner-up! Recipient of a Christianity Today 1992 Readers' Choice Award! Here's the book that has rocked the scientific--and Christian--establishment. Phillip Johnson's critique of Darwinian evolution touched off explosions among scientists and theologians almost from the day of its publication in 1992. The volatile debate was at first carried on in academic journals and in magazines like Nature and Scientific American. It even engaged the attention of leading evolutionists like Nobel Laureate physicist Steven Weinberg and prominent naturalist Stephen Jay Gould. Johnson was invited to debate several of his opponents at universities across the country. And he was himself the subject of debate: Michael Ruse, author of Darwinism Defended, spoke at an annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the topic "Nonliteralist Anti-Evolutionism: The Case of Phillip Johnson." Darwin on Trial also shook up theistic evolutionists. William Hasker (Huntington College, Indiana) in the Christian Scholar's Review, Howard Van Till (Calvin College, Michigan) in First Things and Owen Gingerich (Harvard Center for Astrophysics) in Perspectives on Science & the Christian Faith all published their critiques of Darwin on Trial. Clearly, Johnson's arguments have been taken seriously by Darwinists of every sort. And though at first the mainstream press seemed to be out of earshot (except for reviews in Publisher's Weekly and The National Review), news of Darwin on Trial eventually reached wider audiences. Last summer, Johnson appeared with William F. Buckley on Firing Line. And in May 1995 he was interviewed on the PBS telecast In the Beginning: The Creationist Controversy with Randall Balmer. These and other indications of expanding interest in his critique is good news for all who wish to bring the debate over Darwinism into the bright light of day.

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More About Phillip E. Johnson

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Phillip E. Johnson taught law for more than thirty years at the University of California--Berkeley where he is professor emeritus. He is recognized as a leading spokesman for the intelligent design movement, and is the author of many books, including Darwin on Trial, Reason in the Balance and Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds.

Phillip E. Johnson currently resides in the state of California. Phillip E. Johnson was born in 1940.

Phillip E. Johnson has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Lawyer Puts Darwinism on Trial


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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Professional & Technical > Professional Science > Evolution > General   [850  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( J ) > Johnson, Phillip E.   [9  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy   [1924  similar products]
5Books > Subjects > Science > Biological Sciences > Biology > General   [5619  similar products]
6Books > Subjects > Science > Evolution > General   [1285  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Poorly thought out and poorly researched  Mar 21, 2007
Science, by its very nature, can consider only natural explanations. Philosophers generally refer to this as "methodological naturalism". Johnson's main point here is to argue that this unfairly excludes supernatural explanations. He clearly wants to redefine science in a way that allows supernatural explanations.

However, he fundamentaly misunderstands the very nature of science. Scientific progress ultimately depends upon the fact that there are regularities in the natural world -- if you drop a rock from the top of a building, it will consistently fall. Two atoms of hydrogen bonded to one atom of oxygen consistently produces a substance with particular properties. Matter does not spontaneously appear out of nothing. Recognition of (and understanding of) these regularities permits us to predict the outcome of future experiments. When these predictions are disconfirmed, we know that we need to refine our understanding of nature. The success of this process depends crucially upon our ability to "weed out" hypotheses that prove to be inconsistent with experiment. If a belief cannot be falsified by any conceivable observation, then scientific data become irrelevant.

A supernatural event is, by definition, something that is unconstrained by natural laws. To put it another way, a miracle need not follow any of the regularities that we have observed in nature. That is not to say that miracles don't happen -- it's just that they necessarily lie outside of what science can investigate. If a belief is completely unconstrained by natural law, then we can't falsify it, which makes experiment and scientific data irrelevant.

Suppose you brought a team of physicists back in time to the day that Jesus walked on water. Ask yourself what kind of experiment you would perform to figure out how He did it. You might, for example, see whether or not He was walking on a sandbar that isn't visible from a distance. Or, you might ask whether He is held by some kind of invisible suspension system, etc. In other words, you would test NATURAL explanations! It's not because you are excluding the possibility that it was a miracle -- you may, in fact, have a deep conviction that it WAS a miracle. But, if you make it your mission to investigate it scientifically, the only experiments that even remotely make sense are the ones that test natural, falsifiable explanations.

Therefore, when scientists exclude supernatural explanations, it is not an evil crusade to promote atheism as Johnson naievely thinks. Methodological naturalism is simply the only way that science CAN operate. Johnson seems to fundamentally misunderstand this basic concept.

Johnson does, indeed, apply a lawyer's thinking to the issue of evolution. That is, he is an ADVOCATE for a particular point of view that he held before the evidence was even presented. That type of approach is great in a court of law, but lousy in a scientific laboratory.
 
Awesome book  Feb 10, 2007
It is obvious by reading many of the negative reviews on this book, those people have not actually read this book. It is amazing how worried Darwinists are becoming as their faith in evolution is being tested by the real lack of evidence of this theory. Most supporters will do anything to discredit any attack on this theory.

All I ask is people read this book with an open mind. You may come away still believing evolution is true, and that is fine, just actually read this book before writing your review. However, I think it will at least have you re-evaluating your views on the truth of evolution. If you want more critical analysis go to [...]
 
Great book for truth seekers!  Jul 21, 2006
This book is a great introduction to some of the major scientific challenges to the theory of Darwinian Evolution.

Read this book whether you are a Creationist or a Naturalist. We all want to know the truth but we often don't ask the right questions (Or we ask only questions for which we aren't afraid of the answer). Johnson's book will help you ask questions about Darwinian evolution that need to be answered.

Be warned. This book may leave you with more questions than answers. But that is the place where science and learning start. Good luck.
 
Does Evolution Rest Upon Scientific Evidence or a Philosophy of Naturalism?  Jun 21, 2006
Darwin on Trial was responsible for alerting many among the public and in the scientific community to the deficiencies of Darwinism. UC Berkeley law professor Phillip E. Johnson applies his skills as an analyzer of evidence to ask if Darwin's theory holds up to scrutiny.

Johnson begins by recognizing a stark contradiction in the law: creationism has been banned by the courts because it is "religion," yet evolution is permitted despite the fact that evolutionary literature is full of anti-religious arguments. Johnson might be willing to tolerate this hypocrisy if evolution proves correct. But he argues that when natural selection proves to be a tautology, whose empirical power has proven to cause little more than oscillations in the sizes of finch beaks, he has just cause to be skeptical.

When looking at the fossil record, Johnson finds a landscape starkly lacking in evidence of evolutionary transitions but rich in stasis (i.e. no significant change in a given biological form). The few which are allegedly called "transitional" do little to tip the scales in favor of evolution. Molecular evidence for evolution turns out to be based upon assumptions, and molecular evolutionary intermediates are beyond the reach of scientific investigation. Finally, Johnson reveals that the evidence for prebiological evolution is contradicted by geochemistry.

Evolution clearly loses a trial based upon the evidence. Why, then, does the jury of the scientific community overwhelmingly vote in favor of Darwin's theory? Johnson argues that Darwinism is propped up by a question-begging definition of science, one that requires naturalistic causes in keeping with the philosophy of naturalism.

Though many volumes by design proponents have covered similar topics, none summarizes the range of evidence against evolution and its philosophical underpinnings more lucidly or succinctly than Darwin on Trial.
 
Interesting presentation of creationist viewpoint  Mar 16, 2006
Were a plumber or an an auto mechanic to look for supernatural causes behind a pipe clog or engine problem, you might think his skills questionable. But according to this book, if a biologist is not willing to accept supernatural causes for the origin of species, he is imposing anti-religious views on the rest of us. As with most conservative thinkers, Johnson seems intent on splitting the country into two halves. Those who think like him are good and believe in God, those who do not are atheists who believe in evolution. While this has worked well for conservatives on political issues, it is less effective in this case since it is rather clear that many if not most of the scientists supporting evolution are Christians, not atheists as Johnson insists. It is one of many lapses in this poorly written and overrated book. His contention that the US is a Christian country which at best tolerates other religious viewpoints suggests that he looks on the constitutional guarantee of freedom of religion as simply a suggestion. It also has nothing to do with evolutionary theory and everything to do with the author's own prejudices. Johnson feels that any unexplained gap in evolution supports the theory of an intelligent designer by default. For Johnson, if the theory of evolution cannot shed like on everything instantly, it sheds light on nothing. The author feels that as a Christian it is inappropriate to tolerate any suggestion of a natural explanation for creation of the universe, creation of the earth, or the creation of man. Johnson's view seems to be that certain things related to Christian theology should be off limits to ANY sort of scientific examination. In spite of the failings of the author, the publisher has presented the book well. The physical quality is quite good and belies the sloppiness of the writing. I am not sure if this is the best place to get an understanding of the thinking behind the anti-evolution movement but I think it is a good place to start. I suspect the muddled and misguided presentation of the author is endemic to this type of book. It is also an outgrowth of the book's basic conceit, that a lawyer can provide objective insights into science. In fact, scientists may pretend to objectivity but lawyers specialize in advocacy and this book presents a lawyer at his worst. He misreads evolutionary theory as meaningless. In fact it provides a predictive model. Organisms are the sum total of both ancestral characteristics and those variations which permit the organism to function and survive within its environment. It is a fundamental point that gives the theory its strength, something which Johnson either does not understand or choses to ignore. Unfortunately, there is no voice to correct him. If Johnson proves anything, it is that when he is permitted to provide the defense, he can win any prosecution. Putting a dead man on trial with no voice raised in his defense: this must be an attorney's dream come true.
 

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