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Origin of the Human Species [Paperback]

By Dennis Bonnette (Author)
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Item Number 102140  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   268
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6" Height: 0.8"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 31, 2005
Publisher   Sapientia Press of Ave Maria College
ISBN  1932589007  
EAN  9781932589009  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Although there are hundreds of books dealing with evolutionary theory and human origins, the large majority fall into one of two categories:

-conventional natural science that embrace either atheistic naturalism or theistic evolutionism that fails to support basic elements of Christian theology particularly the historicity of Adam and Eve and the reality of Original Sin.
-young-Earth creationism whose scientific credentials are suspect.

Origin of the Human Species differs in that is shows in great detail how conventional human evolutionary theory is entirely compatible with sound Scriptural interpretation and traditional theology. Dr. Bonnette explores the force of opposing views, but adds philosophical analysis that affirms the absolute need for Gods continuous creative presence in any metaphysically complete explanation of the world.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
An Amazing Read!!!  Feb 17, 2008
Your knowledge of evolution is insufficient if you have not read this book.

Philosophy Professor Bonnette approaches evolution from two perspectives. H first summarizes contemporary evolutionary theorists as advanced by Darwinists making the matter of evolution as clear as possible. The "perinoetic" (knowledge of sensible or common accidents by substitute signs) observations of natural science related to evolution are made clear.

Second, Professor Bonnette then approaches evolution from the perspective of metaphysician using the philosophical science of rational and ontological principles to clarify the essence of evolution as advanced. Thus the form of evolution is explored and made clear. The "dianoetic" (knowledge of essential properties or proper accidents) observations clarify the essence of natural science related to evolution.

In other words, Professor Bonnette uses the almost lost art of metaphysical thinking applying it to the contemporary phenomenon of evolution. Therefore, to read this book is to rediscover and experience ancient secrets lost in the materialist craziness of our age. Readers will witness a coup de main having you think in a way that you probably have not done before. I found it exhilariting because it reminded of some courses I took at the University of Notre Dame before it abandoned St. Thomas Aquinas for the emotional dross of superficial contemporary philosophies.

Reading Bonnette, one realizes the nothingness of Jocques Derrida's repetitive documentation of the Principle of Uncertainty and Derrida's over and over automatic self-witnessing to the proof of Godel's Theorems. You remember Derrida is applied meaninglessness, and all should just apply Derrida to himself and forget about it! Instead, apply St. Thomas to himself and savor knowledge.

Reading Bonnette, one realizes the transcendental berift virtueless anchorlessness of Peter Singer's verbose animal worship and Singer's rhetorical rationalizations for relative interests. You remember Singer is a shill for death camps and clever dishonest rectification by any means possible. Apply Singer to himself and he is a non-person howling dog for what now passes as liberalism. Again, apply St. Thomas to himself and savor knowledge.

Reading Bonnette, one realizes the conscience-of-the-world pretensions by most of our press and media offering ersatz virtue and what "sounds good" rather than Truth, Oneness, Good and Beauty. Without St. Thomas, we get pablum like Derrida, Singer and "serendipity" (a fraudulent meaningless concept): Thanks to this remarkable book, "evolution" can be added to the "3-Stooge antics of the 3 Princes of Serendip.

Actually, Bonnette neither refutes evolution nor confirms it. He places it in an intellectual frame that if it is true it can be justified as consistent with Roman Catholic theology, the Christian phenomenon, and the presence of God.

Without spoiling the book for readers, I mention Bonnette's discussion of "knowledge filtration"--a bias process whereby scientists expect fossils to fit properly on the standard theory's time scale. Any fossils not fitting must be ignored, forgotten, suppressed, or redated to fit the proper time niche )page 197)--call it a "filtration process"--automatic, pervasive, and required so that any doubts about evolutionary theory are removed. Contrary evidence is suppressed; double standars are applied to evidence; and dating is made subordinate to existing morphological shcemes; and all is described on pages 200-203. And those pages alone are worthy of the purchase of the book because they document fraudulent science by all too human quid nunc scientists who never thought about "being qua being."

The book is an amazing read. It is a challenging read. It is a sine qua non of anyone claiming to know anything about evolution.
Unique book is a must read  Sep 3, 2007
This is a unique scholarly book because Dr. Bonnette uses philosophical analysis of historical interdisciplinary sources and tentatively (he states his conclusions are speculative) concludes that human evolution's current theory appears rationally compatible with divine revelation. Thus, this book should be read by both religious fundamentalists and materialists who might gain insights and begin adding to the delicate bridge the author has started to construct. Theologians, especially those Roman Catholics who begin salvation history with God's revelation to Abraham and ignore the opening chapters of Genesis, will find this book challenging and the last three pages of the epilogue devastating. The book is not perfect. I would have liked more up to date references and addition discussion of scientific papers that mainstream scientists dismiss, but the book is a must read for anyone seriously interested in human origins.
Failed Attempt to Diminish Evolution  Dec 3, 2005
It's hard to read this kind of blindly biased Creationist rhetoric. This is like any other psuedo-analytical Evolution debunking book on the market, the author attempts to belittle Evolution (and he obviously has no real grasp on the theory) by listing supposed logical attacks by Creationists and NEVER once gives the scientific explanation to refute the mis-informed claims. Bottom line is, this is not a book which will even give you an ioda of understanding of Evolutionary Science, it is simply a collection of biased rhetoric written by a Creationist with the sole purpose of making other Creationists feel justified in their silly beliefs. If you are a person who wants FACT and TRUTH, I suggest you read something about Evolutionary Sciences, because this book just goes to show, anyone who disagrees with Evolution can't fully comprehend it and would rather find solace in some imaginary hocus-pocus God of their mind's invention.
A much needed book - very helpful  Jan 15, 2005
Origin of the Human Species by Dennis Bonnette is a book that needed to be written. Without depending on young-earth creationism, Dr. Bonnette has built a convincing case that belief in Adam and Eve still makes sense even if human evolution took place.

Those who read this book primarily as a book of science - expecting many quotes from the latest research - miss the point entirely. Dr. Bonnette does not claim to be a natural scientist. He offers a very even-handed presentation of many different scientific viewpoints, usually not trying to decide the winners. Rather, this book is a philosophical analysis of the various theories about human origins - both old and new - as they relate to evolution. It shows that sound reasons demand that God creates and sustains whatever processes, including evolution, that take place, and that there is no scientific claim that stands against the need for God to create the first true human beings, at least as to their spiritual component, the soul. In this he strikes at the heart of Darwinism, which attempts to construct an evolutionary theory without God.

The first chapters examine the debate between Darwinian evolution and scientific creationism, the nature of species, and the philosophical possibility of evolution. Then, a fascinating in-depth analysis is given of recent ape-language studies, proving that man alone has true language and a human spiritual soul. It shows that God alone can create such souls. Next, a chapter examines whether life, especially intelligent life, can exist on other planets. The next few chapters show in detail how the standard theory of human evolution might be compatible with a legitimate reading of Genesis - one that insists on Adam and Eve as our actual first parents. Then a chapter turns to the question of exactly how old man and the earth are, with various arguments involved in the young-earth vs. old-earth debate being analyzed. Finally, a chapter examines Cremo and Thompson's Forbidden Archeology - not claiming that they are right about everything - but concluding that their work at least presents a "challenge to human evolution's current theory (p. 208)" so that a reasonable person may still have "probable cause to doubt current human evolutionary theory" (p. 209). Throughout this work, Dr. Bonnette, is not playing the role of the experimental scientist, but rather as a professional philosopher, he employs "the classical metaphysician's habit of analysis, as a critical instrument of reason, well suited to judge the relative logical and epistemological merits of contending views." (p. xx).

Origin of the Human Species is a much-needed book because it cuts through the current scientific debate over human evolutionary claims so as to support some major philosophical and theological truths. These include God's existence and central role in any evolutionary process, human possession of a spiritual soul that only God can make, and the continued reasonableness of belief in Adam and Eve.
Promising book undone by lack of method  Jul 11, 2004
Dr. Dennis Bonnette is a Catholic, a thomist and a theistic evolutionist. As such, I expected him to have written a masterful treatment of the subject of human evolution, enlightened by the magisterium of the one true Church, structured by the intellectual rigor of the best philosophical system I know of, and spared the necessity of ignoring or distorting scientific evidence which plagues all creationist writings. Those expectations were all the higher as *Origin of the Human Species* seems to have received almost nothing but glowing reviews.

Unfortunately, Bonnette is not particularly interested in what the magisterium of the Catholic Church has to say. He does devote one chapter to it, but it is awkwardly located (in the middle of the book), less than nine pages long, and mostly based on the decision of the 1909 Biblical Commission, with scanty references to the Council of Trent and Pius XII's encyclicals Humani Generis and Divino Afflante Spiritu.

Bonnette's thomism, moreover, seems to have been shaped to a large extent by the writings of a 20th century Australian philosopher, Austin M. Woodbury, whose books unfortunately exist only as unpublished manuscripts; and those of Jacques Maritain, whose very Kantian distinction between dianoetic and perinoetic knowledge Bonnette makes extensive use of to undermine the certainty of scientific knowledge.

As for the scientific validity of Bonnette's arguments, it is much undermined by his endorsement of Vedic scientists Michael Cremo and Richard L. Thompson, whose books try to rewrite the whole field of paleoanthropology by using allegedly suppressed evidence and various paranormal techniques such as past-life regression. (Readers curious to learn more about Bonnette's attitude towards Cremo's books can read his own five-star reviews of two of them on this very site.)

Bonnette also claims that his evaluation of the emergence of intellect in man is «consistent with the work of anthropologist Thomas Wynn», but Wynn is not mentioned anywhere in the body of the text, the bibliography or the index, and I had to do a search on this site to learn that Wynn is the author of a 120-page study on «The Evolution of Spatial Competence» (1989.)

Summarizing his evaluation of the science in the first edition of the book, Glenn R. Morton (author of the very stimulating *Foundation, Flood and Fall* and *Adam, Apes and Anthropology*) wrote that «Bonnette's anthropological knowledge is positively paleolithic, the average age of his anthropological references being 1980 with only three references to the literature of the 1990s. Indeed, the average age of the scientific reference is 1978. Because of this, the book abounds with falsified claims.»

But perhaps the major flaw of the volume is its lack of method. Rather than a full-fledged book structured by an overall argument, with each chapter resting on what the previous chapters have established, *Origin of the Human Species* is much closer to being a collection of articles. Indeed, the longest and most praised chapter of the book, «The Significance of Recent Ape Language Studies» (with whose conclusions I wholeheartedly agree) was initially published in 1993 as an article in the Christendom Press periodical *Faith & Reason*.

The chapters themselves are often unstructured cacophonies of quotes from authors of various persuasions, generally leading to unconclusive assessments by the author. Chapter 1, for instance, on «Darwinian evolution versus scientific creationism» ends with Bonnette's willful suspension of judgment and a determination to leave to others the «ongoing great debate over the general scientific validity of biological evolution.» In chapter 14, Bonnette even confesses his fear that because of Cremo's work, his whole «effort might be in vain.»

Finally, the style is often atrocious, as Bonnette overuses the possessive case and noun determination and seems to be allergic to the definite article, creating such monstrous phrases as «gradualistic human intellective emergence» or sentences like «inability to determine presence of spontaneous movement or sense organs reveals present inability to make a definitive determination, not absence of a demarcation line within organisms» or «in alteration of DNA macromolecule genetic micro-structure, germinal material organization suffers confluence of two-fold agency». So much for the lucid and easily accessible language one of the reviewers praises. (To be honest, I must admit that these are the most horrid excerpts I came across and fortunately much of the book is better written.)

I am not saying that *Origin of the Human Species* is all bad. On the contrary, I am almost tempted to say that most of it is good. But a book should not be a grab-bag of truths, anymore than a military campaign should consist in roaming about in enemy territory and firing in all directions, which is more or less what this book feels like.


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