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a review by Gert Korthof
8 Feb 1999
"One outcome from all this is that scientists now spend more time
than they did before, thinking about the nature of science,
its strengths and limitations"
How many books have been written on the Evolution- Creation controversy? James Hayward collected 447 books and claims it is not an exhaustive bibliography! He divided historical works in those published between 1543 and 1980 (the classics) and the ones published between 1981 and 1996. The rest of the books are grouped under subject headings: Philosophical/Theological/General, Physics/Cosmology, Earth Science, Biology/Anthropology. Each of these 4 chapters have a useful subdivision: Theist/Nontheist. In those 4 chapters 225 books are in the Theist group and only 102 in the Nontheist group. This is caused by the group Philosophical/Theological/General: theists write more about theological questions than Nontheists. However Nontheists write more about Biology/Anthropology. The subdivision theist/nontheist is a crude one. A theist can have scientific arguments for or against evolution and in that case the religious background does not matter. Sometimes a strange classification is made: Lloyd Bailey, a professor of Hebrew Bible, is listed under NonTheist references.
For every book there is a short and balanced characterisation, just enough to decide: read/not read. If any book belongs to the category 'Both Sides of the Controversy', then it is this one. Of course a printed bibliography cannot be kept up to date. No works after 1996 are included. One needs online Internet resources to keep up to date.
A major omission is Douglas Futuyma's defence of evolution against creationist attacks: Science on Trial. The Case for Evolution (1995). Douglas Futuyma is the author of a widely used college textbook on evolution: Evolutionary Biology and has been editor of Evolution, the leading international journal of evolutionary research. Further omissions are the theist David Foster (1993): The Philosophical Scientists, the neo-Darwinist and anti-creationist George C. Williams (1996): Plan & Purpose in Nature and the theist Langdon Gilkey (1985) Maker of Heaven and Earth. The Christian Doctrine of Creation in the Light of Modern Knowledge. A minor error: Paul Davies is in the book, but not in the index.
Conclusion: Hayward produced a very useful guide to the literature.
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|Copyright © 1999 G.Korthof .||First published: Feb 01 1999||updated: Feb 08 1999|