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Marian

Suggested Reading?

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I just got "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins the other day, and just started reading it. It seems really good so far. There are a few other books I've picked up as well which were suggested by various friends.

 

I'm curious what other books people here would recommend for reading, regarding either evolution or intelligent design. :)

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Guest 92g

In The Beginning was Information by Dr. Werner Gitt

Not by Chance by Lee Spetner

Starlight and Time by Russel Humphries

Genesis Chapter 1 by God

 

Terry

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In The Beginning was Information by Dr. Werner Gitt

Not by Chance by Lee Spetner

Starlight and Time by Russel Humphries

Genesis Chapter 1 by God

 

Terry

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If you wouldn't mind and have time, could you give a brief explaination on why you'd recommend it? Not so much a summary (I can google that or look on Amazon, though I'm familiar with one of your recommendations :)) but why you think it's good and would recommend it, and what you got out of it. :)

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Guest Aristarchus

I just got "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins the other day, and just started reading it. It seems really good so far. There are a few other books I've picked up as well which were suggested by various friends.

 

I'm curious what other books people here would recommend for reading, regarding either evolution or intelligent design. :)

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Dawkins is an excellent writer although sometimes he is a bit too aggressive towards religious beliefs.

 

You might also like his most recent work which traces the current scientific ideas regarding the human line traced back to first life. He stops at a number of the branches along the way and tells the story of an animal that split away at the branch. Provides a nice perspective.

An Ancestor's tale. ~Richard Dawkins

 

 

My favorite book providing a broad sweeping overview is

 

Life: A Natural History of the First Four Billion Years of Life on Earth: ~ Richard Fortey.

 

He also has some fine popular books on the evolution of trilobites and another on the geology of the planet, but "life" is the best. Beautifully written.

 

 

Stephen J. Gould is also a wonderful writer. His series of books drawn from his magazine essays cover the common misconceptions regarding evolutionary theory and are great reads without requiring a background in biology. My favorites are:

Ontogeny and Phylogeny:

Ever Since Darwin

Hen's Teeth and Horse's Toes

The Flamingo's Smile

Eight Little Piggies.

 

__________________________________________________

 

For books on science and religion I would recommend

 

Rocks of Ages ~Stephen Jay Gould

Gould argues that there is a place for religion and that there is no reason that the two be at odds.

Also a short article worth reading: http://www.stephenjaygould.org/library/gou...and-theory.html

 

Summer of the Gods: Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion

~Edward J. Larson

This is an excellent overview of the creationist movement in America. He is a very balanced writer and has been praised by both sides.

 

 

The Seashell on the Mountaintop: A Story of Science, Sainthood, and the Humble Genius Who Discovered a New History of the Earth ~ Alan Cutler

This is the story of a Danish scientist and priest (who later became a 'saint') who was one of the first men to understand that the geology pointed towards an ancient earth. And good read.

 

__________________________________________________

 

I could also point you towards some more advanced books, and a few discussing the debates that exist within the community, but the above books are a great intro.

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Just finished "Revolutions in the Earth" by Baxter, the story of James Hutton. James Hutton is widely credited with the birth of geology and the understanding of an old earth (a sort of Geologies Darwin) via his vast practical exploration of the English/Scottish countryside.

 

The book is well written and very entertaining, at leat 50% of the book is about the times they lived in, the hardships, the politics, it all takes place around the times of the American war of independence, and Scottish uprisings. A single accusation could send you to the gallows, or cash flow problem to debtors prison, well worth a read just for the insight into the 1700’s

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I’ve just finished reading “Darwin’s Black Box,” by Michael J. Behe.

 

So far, I’ve taken away two profound insights from this reading – one that was purposefully intended by Behe, and the other that he is likely unaware of.

 

Actually, there is a third, and I’ll mention that first. For purely naturalistic evolutionists out there, I believe a reading of Behe should put to rest the notion that “Intelligent Designers” can’t or don’t do “science.” Try to follow his biochemical explanations set off by the little shadow boxes or in his appendixes, and you’ll agree that the man knows science.

 

Back to the insights. Behe puts in exact terms something that I believe needs to be noted over and over again in debates on this board as well as elsewhere. He says, in effect, that debating morphology and homology are merely so much scientific thrashing around, flailing each other with so many “just so” stories, when the real arguments should be made at the level of the virtually invisible world beyond the light-powered microscope.

 

Obviously, he is a biochemist. When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail. Right? However, his constant asking of the question, “How did such-and-such ‘irreducibly complex’ process come about through naturalistic means?” needs to be addressed. And addressed over and over again until naturalistic evolutionists get sick of hearing the question and decide to answer it. Behe says that failure of scientists to follow up on their claims down to the molecular level is the failure of evolution of origins.

 

Good enough … so far. However, that brings me to the second insight – one that is undoubtedly unintended by Behe.

 

He commits the same error that the naturalistic scientists do. In his ascribing creation of irreducibly complex components to an “Intelligent Designer,” he fails to follow the implications of his belief all the way through to its logical end. His belief in ID extends only to the molecular realm, and such other irreducibly complex organs as the eye. Because of that, there’s no reason why a naturalistic evolutionist should be uncomfortable with Behe’s belief in an old-age earth and other naturalistic, evolutionist processes up to and including the advent of man. And that's a problem.

 

He can’t have it both ways. Like it or not, a god, actually the God of the Bible, who created Behe’s irreducibly complex cells and organs is the same God who created everything in the heavens and the earth. Nowhere else in the Bible does God qualify his first few words, “In the beginning God created …” with statements nullifying those words.

 

“Darwin’s Black Box,” is definitely a good read. In fact, it’s a must-read, for naturalistic and “theistic” evolutionists as well as for Bible-believing Christians. On the one hand, evolutionists should feel challenged to answer Behe’s ubiquitous question. On the other hand Christians need to decide for themselves where they stand on the Intelligent Design question.

 

 

Dave

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Prompted by discussions I had in the ‘young earth old earth’ section, I got a copy of Carl Sagan’s ‘Comet’ out of the library. This book traces the, western and Chinese history, discovery and historical sightings and how men tried to understand the nature of comets, then it moves on to new initiatives in gathering data. Very readable and targeted at a general audience.

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Guest Admin3

I just got "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins the other day, and just started reading it. It seems really good so far. There are a few other books I've picked up as well which were suggested by various friends.

 

I'm curious what other books people here would recommend for reading, regarding either evolution or intelligent design. :)

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So are you looking more to prove evolution or creation? For you seem to not have any problems with books regarding evolution.

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Guest George R

I would recommend a well rounded approach ... & the above lists cover the topic from both sides. Nice.

 

Don't miss at least reading parts of all of the above.

 

If you want interesting and informative ... don't just buy on one side of the street. There is a marketplace of ideas oput there... don't stop just because "authorities" on either side tell you so..

 

I found Ernst Mayr's "What is Evolution" to be well worth a good read,. especially in the early chapters. He makes clear distinctions between Darwinism versus Darwin's evolutionary rivals... and is a good layman's introduction. There are some hiden gems ... especially for a year 2001 book... his use of Haeckel's diagrams and other icons make this book a keeper. Mayr is now passed on, but this last book of the great one of biology in the 20th century is one I read and re-read ... and see more each time.

 

Take a serious look at "Icons of Evolution" from Jonathan Wells as well. Reading them in parallel is a eye opener.

 

Read Phillip E. Johnson's "Darwin on Trial", especially if you get hold of the second edition with his epilog section. He presents a critique of the biased underpinnings of naturalism. His most successful detractors resort to ad hominem and distortion... proving his very point...

 

I found the essay book by Dawkins "the Devil's Chaplain" quite an easy read and very revealing of the kind of debate going on behind the debate.

 

Also Lee Strobel's "Case for the Creator".

 

If you are a baseball fan, Stephen Gould's "Full House"is good,... if not, its focus on a statistical approach can be a challenge ...

 

Every book has its flaws and every position depends on what burden of proof you are accepting.

 

Here's a flash... The overview articles in this month's "The Economist" magazine are also a interesting update on human origins from an evolutionary point of view.

 

If you have old biology textbooks don't toss them. I have a collection. My favorite is the 1928 Oxford University Press university level text just called "Biology". It heralds the Piltdown Man and the Nebraska Man as the "clinchers that remove all doubt" and makes it clear that doubters of these finds have a clear religious bias!!

 

Some things never change.

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Just finished reading “In The Blink of an Eyeâ€ÂÂ. An interesting perspective on the Cambrian explosion. The author links the cause of the Cambrian explosion to the evolution of the eye (from a light receptor to an object capable of vision). Basically all the rules of survival get rewritten after the eye evolves.

 

Surprisingly much of the book is not about the evolutionary consequence, but a rather detailed look at eyes (and pigmentation) in general. One gets the impression that we have been rather ‘short changed’ with the mammalian eye, as the author explores the intricacies of compound, and trilobite (which are quite different from the insect) eyes.

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Just finished reading “In The Blink of an Eye”.  An interesting perspective on the Cambrian explosion. The author links the cause of the Cambrian explosion to the evolution of the eye (from a light receptor to an object capable of vision). Basically all the rules of survival get rewritten after the eye evolves.

 

Surprisingly much of the book is not about the evolutionary consequence, but a rather detailed look at eyes (and pigmentation) in general.  One gets the impression that we have been rather ‘short changed’ with the mammalian eye, as the author explores the intricacies of compound, and trilobite (which are quite different from the insect) eyes.

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Sounds like a good addition to the fiction section of your library. :)

 

I am just about finished reading Chuck Colson's recently released 'The Good Life'. I found this to be an excellent book and would recommend it to both liberals and conservatives alike. It also touches on creation vs evolution, mostly ID. Good read, both on historical stuff related to Nixon/watergate, to our conflicting worldviews. Check out the synopsis and reviews at Amazon for more details.

 

Fred

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I have recently purchased Darwin's Black Box and so far have found it quite interesting and I agree a must buy for anyone who has a little knowledge of the sciences.

 

Some extremely good reads are The Footsteps of the Messiah and Messianic Christology by Arnold J. Fruchtenbaum. As written in Revelations verse 3

 

3Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

is an obligation for the believer to study this book (Revelations) and the promise of a blessing for those who do study it.

 

Revelations is the only book that promises a blessing for its study, there are many other blessings from reading the Bible but this blessing is the only one which is given particularly to the study of Prophecy through the book of Revelations.

 

Fruchtenbaum puts a fantastic no nonsense approach to facts and Footsteps of the Messiah uses the book of revelations as a foundation for Prophecy study but covers Biblical Prophecy in its entirety.

 

Messianic Christology has the same feel but is a study of Old Testament Prophecy of the first coming exclusively.

 

CJ

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I just got "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins the other day, and just started reading it. It seems really good so far. There are a few other books I've picked up as well which were suggested by various friends.

 

I'm curious what other books people here would recommend for reading, regarding either evolution or intelligent design. :)

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"One blood" by Ken Ham

LouieBuren.jpg

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Recently I read Eldredge's book on Darwin's transmutation notebooks:

 

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearc...n=9780393059663

 

Author conducts an in-depth analysis of Darwin's notes and shows his digression into anti-creator speculations. I lost count how many times Eldredge showed and said that geological strata contains no evidence of what evolutionary theory necessitates: intermediacy. These are free standing quotes not harmed by context.

 

Ray

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Gun's germs and steel.

 

Basically about why some civilisations have stagnated while others have invented.

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In the Beginning Was Information, by Dr Werner Gitt.

 

Free to download at http://www.werner-gitt.de/down_eng.html

 

Good points:

 

I would recommend the introductory chapters to creationist and evolutionist alike for the purposes of defining science. The explanations of what can, and cannot be, ‘proven’ for example and the definitions of ‘theory’ and hypothesis etc, are concisely explained. (Not that they were in any doubt from a scientific POV, but I have seen many people tie themselves in knots over the definition of a ‘scientific’ theory).

 

Problems:

 

Diagram quality. It’s a bit of a shame that the quality of the diagrams has been compromised by the pdf format, it does not detract from the overall reading experience but you do have to study the diagrams a bit longer than if you had the original book.

 

Style of delivery. Dr. Gitt does not employ the same standards to his hypothesis, which he so precisely defines in his opening chapters. What I mean by this is: If you are publishing some new theory, then the whole point of that document is lead up to the ‘proof’. The objective for this book (I presume) is to show how DNA contains “information†as defined by Dr. Gitt. Yet after a careful read I could not find any demonstrable argument for Dr. Gitts position.

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Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome

 

This is the best book I've read in the last year or so on the origins debate. If you like genetics, you won't be dissapointed! Click the link for more info.

 

Fred

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The Design Revolution by William Dembski. Excellent book. Covers all the concepts of Intelligent Design and all of the common criticism put forth by the critics. It's written from a scholarly perspective so it goes in depth to a great number of topics. Is ID the same thing as Creation? Is ID a theological enterprise? What's intelligent about the design in nature(a lot of things :D )? How do we detect design? As well as numerous other issues and topics. It's about 300 pages so it's not too long. I recommend it to all of you.

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"The Darwin Conspiracy – The Confessions of Sir Max Busby, a Novel"

 

By James Scott Bell

Broadman & Holman Publishers, Nashville TN 2002

 

I discovered this little gem of a novel quite by accident while browsing our local homeschool library's shelves looking for books about Freemasonry. It's written in the style of autobiography, with a twist that the biographical history is pure fiction, somewhat like Jonathan Swift's series. In any event, one has to keep reminding oneself that the title's namesake character is fiction, as well as the author of the story. Very well done, I must say.

 

I was particularly intrigued by the "Zelig" like quality of this Max Busby character. If you'll recall the old Woody Allen movie, he managed to insert himself into photos taken during many of the historical milestones. If you read this book you can look forward to watching Sir Busby come on the scene, make the acquaintence of, and influence not only Charles "Chuck" Darwin himself, but a host of other characters who played no small parts in the history of evolution theory. A whisper in the ear here, a slight influential nudge there, and evolution theory's birth is induced prematurely.

 

From the author's introduction:

 

The Busby manuscript fell into my hands through a remarkable set of circumstances.

 

I had long entertained the romantic notion that the document, authored by the mysterious figure Sir Max Busby, actually existed, if only because it added a little sparkle and mystery to life. Having studied biology in college with Dr. Hans Hinkel, one of the country's leading evolutionary theorists, I had immersed myself for a time in the lore of evolutionism as well as the so-called "scientific data:"

 

That lore included the possible existence of Sir Max Busby's own account of the story of the theory of evolution. Of Busby himself little was known. We could surmise he was an acquaintance of Darwin's. Darwin makes reference to him in a letter to his brother Erasmus (calling him "Dear Max" and "that rascal Busby," the context indicating affection). And we knew Busby was a historian of sorts. But that was about it.

 

You must decide right away who is talking, and what part of the story is "real." If that doesn't hook you into the story to come, you aint human.

 

As the story proceeds, a young Busby finds himself bunking with a naturalist aboard a sloop-brig named HMS Beagle which is getting ready to set out on a several-year voyage of discovery. It was only when once aboard and days out to sea that he learned the young chap was named Charles Darwin.

 

In Sir Busby's own words, penned just before his death:

 

It was Charles Darwin of course – the man, the seer, the sower, the key.

 

Darwin – mover of mountains, spinner of webs, chaser of bugs.

 

Darwin – loved, hated, revered, reviled.

 

This was the Darwin who would become the lever I needed, like Archimedes, to move the world.

 

No one knows the real story.

 

Now they will.

 

But, this was in 1831, long before Darwin stunned the world with his theory ...

 

Dave

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If you want an indepth history of evolution. One that you won't see in any school text book. I recommend the book by Henry Morris: The long war against God.

 

It is not just a view, or an opinion of a creationist. It is a history of evolution that is backed up through references. I have not finished reading it. But what I have read is a real eye opener. And the book is very detailed, not just a skim over.

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A new book that just hit the street last week is Billions of Missing Links by Geoffrey Simmons (I was at the book release party and he was hilarious and a nice guy too). This book tells the story of an amazing world around us. Stories of cockroaches and the Cell from Hell, and fleas and viruses etc. make you shake your head in wonder. His first book What Darwin Did Not Know is also a wonderful book. I learned more about the human body in that book that I have in the rest of my 56 plus years of existence.

 

What Happened to Me - Reflections of a journey by Randall Niles is a wonderful book. It combines a search for facts about evolution with a search for facts about the Bible. This attorney did some serious research to come to his decisions in life. You can read it online at http://www.think-works.com/

 

Uncommon Dissent is a collection of essays put together by William Dembski. Some of the authors are Michael Denton, David Berlinski and more.

 

Marvin Lubenow's Bones of Contention is a good source for knowledge of the human fossil record. It can get a little dry - you know dem bones dem bones dem dry bones.

 

 

Summer of the Gods by Edward Larson gives a vivid description of the Scopes trial.

 

Long War Against God by Henry Morris is truly a powerful book.

Behe's book, Darwin's Black Box is a must not miss as is Icons of Evolution.

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I recently read "Demon haunted World" by Carl Sagan, and it was a very good look at the way that science wotks.

 

Also, the old classic- "The Origin of the Species" by Charles Darwin

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I highly recommend Why Evolution is a Fraud: a Secular and Common-Sense Deconstruction by Tom Sutcliff. The book lives up to the brazen title by crushing evolution concisely and with surprising humor. The book takes the unique approach of forcing evolution to stand on its own. The author effectively explains why evolutionists insist on believing in a scientifically invalid theory.

 

See http://www.evofraud.com

 

Also, see the sources page on the website for other excellent reads.

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Decoding the Universe by Charles Seife

 

Great book by an evolutionist who openly admits some "distubing" discoveries concerning information and thermodynamics.

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My favorite books in no particular order:

 

Independent Birth of Organisms by periannan Senapathy, Ph.D -- a must read. This guy is not a creationist but he believes each creature emerged independently out of the primordial pond. The book reads like a creationist book because he is so anti-darwin and because of his anti-common descent stance. He's also a molecular biologist.

 

In the Beginning (Compelling Evidence for Creaiton and the Flood.) by Dr. Walt Brown. Great theory on the flood. This book is really really good.

 

Genetic Engineering: Dream or Nightmare? By Dr. Mae Wan Ho -- Don't let the title fool you. This book tears down Darwinism piece by piece. The premise is about the dangers of messing with our foods, but the first half of the book explains in detail why this concept is so dangerous..(because the science is wrong.) Great book.

 

Why is a Fly Not a Horse? by Dr. Giuseppe Sermonti -- reads more like a short story, almost poetic, but a very good book that puts genetics in perspective for the beginner (like me). :)

 

Red Earth White Lies by Vine Deloria, Jr. -- this book is written to debunk the Darwian myth of the Bering Straight crossing. Though not a Christian, Deloria is a creationist of sorts, and this guy simply has no patience for Darwinism. It's a fun read.

 

The Biology of Belief by Dr. Bruce Lipton -- Darwinist turned Gaia promoter. Explains why reductionism is dead and how lamarckian mechanisms are responsible for evolution. The first half of the book is exceptional, (and alone is worth the price of admission) the second half gets a bit tedius.

 

On the evolutionist front, I suppose my favorite books are Sudden Origins by Jeffrey Scwartz, Ph.D --- a bit boring, but at least he hasn't cornered himself into the traditional neo-darwinist playbook. I also can tolerate Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean Carrol. Evo devo is a step in the right direction and Carrol admits: "it's time to change the textbooks," indicating that the era of neo-darwinism is over. Whew!

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