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Voted one of Christianity Today's 1998 Books of the Year For decades, Christians have felt voiceless in the critical debate over evolution. Until now. Finally, ordinary Christians have the opportunity and the resources to defeat the false claims of Darwinism. With all of the complicated scientific debate swirling around the topic of evolution, Christians need an easy way t Voted one of Christianity Today's 1998 Books of the Year For decades, Christians have felt voiceless in the critical debate over evolution. Until now. Finally, ordinary Christians have the opportunity and the resources to defeat the false claims of Darwinism. With all of the complicated scientific debate swirling around the topic of evolution, Christians need an easy way to understand the basic issues without oversimplifying. Phillip Johnson has the answer: the key to defeating the false claims of Darwinism is to open our minds to good thinking habits. Here is first-rate advice on avoiding common mistakes in discussions about evolution, understanding the legacy of the Scopes trial, spotting deceptive arguments, and grasping the basic scientific issues without getting bogged down in unnecessary details. In the bestselling and critically acclaimed Darwin on Trial and Reason in the Balance, Phillip Johnson took on the academic elites and exposed the misleading claims of evolutionary naturalism. Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds provides a new and powerful treatment of these issues for high-school students, parents, teachers, pastors, youth advisors and ordinary readers. Johnson aims not just to defeat a bad theory, but to defeat it in the right way-by opening minds to the truth.


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Voted one of Christianity Today's 1998 Books of the Year For decades, Christians have felt voiceless in the critical debate over evolution. Until now. Finally, ordinary Christians have the opportunity and the resources to defeat the false claims of Darwinism. With all of the complicated scientific debate swirling around the topic of evolution, Christians need an easy way t Voted one of Christianity Today's 1998 Books of the Year For decades, Christians have felt voiceless in the critical debate over evolution. Until now. Finally, ordinary Christians have the opportunity and the resources to defeat the false claims of Darwinism. With all of the complicated scientific debate swirling around the topic of evolution, Christians need an easy way to understand the basic issues without oversimplifying. Phillip Johnson has the answer: the key to defeating the false claims of Darwinism is to open our minds to good thinking habits. Here is first-rate advice on avoiding common mistakes in discussions about evolution, understanding the legacy of the Scopes trial, spotting deceptive arguments, and grasping the basic scientific issues without getting bogged down in unnecessary details. In the bestselling and critically acclaimed Darwin on Trial and Reason in the Balance, Phillip Johnson took on the academic elites and exposed the misleading claims of evolutionary naturalism. Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds provides a new and powerful treatment of these issues for high-school students, parents, teachers, pastors, youth advisors and ordinary readers. Johnson aims not just to defeat a bad theory, but to defeat it in the right way-by opening minds to the truth.

30 review for Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kris

    This book is why LAWYERS shouldn't write books about EVOLUTION! Johnson is a major pawn in the game of "creationism vs. evolution." With apparently no knowledge of biology, evolution, or the mechanics of natural selection, Johnson tries to convince us to "open our minds" to the possibilities of a "theory" other than evolution. What he doesn't tell you is that all scientists are open-minded, but natural selection is (so far) the best mechanism to describe the well-documented theory of evolution. H This book is why LAWYERS shouldn't write books about EVOLUTION! Johnson is a major pawn in the game of "creationism vs. evolution." With apparently no knowledge of biology, evolution, or the mechanics of natural selection, Johnson tries to convince us to "open our minds" to the possibilities of a "theory" other than evolution. What he doesn't tell you is that all scientists are open-minded, but natural selection is (so far) the best mechanism to describe the well-documented theory of evolution. He also doesn't tell you that he is NOT open-minded; he has already decided that he is right (God did it all) and we are wrong. Johnson is a co-founder and consultant (whatever that means) to the Intelligent Design movement and the Discovery Institute--a conservative, right-wing, think tank that lobbies for policy that supports its particular brew of pseudoscience. This book misses the mark (if its title is the mark), because you cannot defeat the unifying theory of modern biology by trying to argue it in court. Or by trying to close minds that are already open.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    This one is not as detailed as Darwin on Trial, I think because it has a different purpose. It's shorter and simpler, aimed at a younger audience, or perhaps the unaware layman parents of that audience. Here, Johnson very much keeps the focus on education. He highlights Inherit the Wind more frequently, he dips into postmodernism and the culture wars of the 1960's. He keeps the focus on the framework in which we view evolutionism v. creationsim in schools, connecting it to the flaws of materiali This one is not as detailed as Darwin on Trial, I think because it has a different purpose. It's shorter and simpler, aimed at a younger audience, or perhaps the unaware layman parents of that audience. Here, Johnson very much keeps the focus on education. He highlights Inherit the Wind more frequently, he dips into postmodernism and the culture wars of the 1960's. He keeps the focus on the framework in which we view evolutionism v. creationsim in schools, connecting it to the flaws of materialism. Though both are dated to the late 1990's, I prefer Darwin on Trial, simply because it delves more deeply into the flaws of macroevolution. Regardless, they are good ones to read along with Icons of Evolution: Science or Myth? Why Much of What We Teach About Evolution Is Wrong. In this book, Johnson mentions Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution, which I'm looking forward to reading next. I also want to read A Meaningful World: How the Arts and Sciences Reveal the Genius of Nature. Quotes: "The predictable result of this one-sided educational and legal regime is that evolution has become the focus of a culture war instead of a subject that can be discussed constructively in educational institutions or in the political realm of negotiation and compromise."

  3. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    I found the book to be quite well written, if a little simplistic. However, it is this paragraph (found on page 55), that made me give the book a four-star review: "History has taught us that an established religion tends to fall into bad habits, and the same thing may be true when a scientific establishment starts to act like a govermental body with an official ideology to uphold. The price of having that kind of position is that you are tempted to protect your power and wealth by defending thi I found the book to be quite well written, if a little simplistic. However, it is this paragraph (found on page 55), that made me give the book a four-star review: "History has taught us that an established religion tends to fall into bad habits, and the same thing may be true when a scientific establishment starts to act like a govermental body with an official ideology to uphold. The price of having that kind of position is that you are tempted to protect your power and wealth by defending things you shouldn't be defending, with methods (like doubletalk and threats of legal action) that you shouldn't be using. these become bad habits, and they eventually lead you into massive hypocrisy and self-deception. When you preach baloney detecting as the essential tool of science but make students turn their baloney detectors off when they get to the really important questions of origins, you convict yourselves every day of hypocrisy. You also lose the ability to think critically about your own beliefs, and eventually you set yourself up for the kind of embarrassment that destroyed Matthew Harrison Brady [a character from 'Inherit the Wind'.]"

  4. 5 out of 5

    quinn

    I was forced to read this. I hate this book with all of my being. Do yourself a favor and don't indulge in this stupid, fat, ugly, dumb book that is boring and lame and somehow scored a 3.53 star rating. Who did that? Who let this monstrosity of a book receive 3.53 stars? I was forced to read this. I hate this book with all of my being. Do yourself a favor and don't indulge in this stupid, fat, ugly, dumb book that is boring and lame and somehow scored a 3.53 star rating. Who did that? Who let this monstrosity of a book receive 3.53 stars?

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This was a school read; definitely interesting!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Youp

    This has to be one of the most intellectually baffling books I've ever read...in a bad sense. I'm afraid it may have caused my IQ to drop a few points just by being exposed to it. The first clue about the value of this book (if you ignore it's written by a professor of Law) comes from the back of the book. If you cannot find someone better to quote for praising your work than Charles Colson or a professor of philosophy, you might want to reconsider your life choices. When actually reading 'Defeat This has to be one of the most intellectually baffling books I've ever read...in a bad sense. I'm afraid it may have caused my IQ to drop a few points just by being exposed to it. The first clue about the value of this book (if you ignore it's written by a professor of Law) comes from the back of the book. If you cannot find someone better to quote for praising your work than Charles Colson or a professor of philosophy, you might want to reconsider your life choices. When actually reading 'Defeating Darwinism', you'll be astounded by the amount of ridiculous statements one can squeeze into 132 pages. Some examples: "...scientists, and professors in general, are often confused about evolution." "Emilio has to learn that "science" as defined in our culture has a philosophical bias that needs to be exposed." "Learn to distinguish between theories that put themselves at risk-that is, invite testing by observation of experiment-and theories that can't be shown to be either true or false." (This statement itself is correct, not the underlying implication that evolution is untestable.) "Naturalistic evolution is identified with science itself, and any alternative is automatically disqualified as "religion"." "[Scientists] are afraid we will come to the wrong answers if we do our own thinking, and so they try to bluff and intimidate us." "Contemporary scientists don't investigate what the Supreme Court called "the religious viewpoint that a supernatural being created humankind..." "That is why it is so important for [biologists] to insist that "evolution is a fact." Change that to "evolution is a philosophy," and the game is over. It gets even better when the author has to reside to quoting Niles Eldredge, a scientist who wrote several publications against creationism. When all else fails, Johnson does a great job of playing the victim role. As if all those pesky biologists and paleontologists are conspiring together, just to misinform the public and make themselves more important. This book is the creationist equivalent of kids screaming and spilling spaghetti on their shirts, and then complaining why they cannot sit at the adult table.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Cousintine

    This is a GREAT book! I found it very useful when I went camping. Makes excellent tinder, and itdoes the job when you need something to hang in the outhouse when you forget the Charmin. As for the ink on the pages...well that's totally worthless, unless you are looking for a good example of lying for Jesus, and trying to further place obstacles in learning science. A non scientist, with a very obvious agenda, and spin that not only showcases his lack of integrity and honesty, but has him laughin This is a GREAT book! I found it very useful when I went camping. Makes excellent tinder, and itdoes the job when you need something to hang in the outhouse when you forget the Charmin. As for the ink on the pages...well that's totally worthless, unless you are looking for a good example of lying for Jesus, and trying to further place obstacles in learning science. A non scientist, with a very obvious agenda, and spin that not only showcases his lack of integrity and honesty, but has him laughing all the way to the bank, because the crop of ignorant "maroons" just seems to be growing by leaps and bounds. It's no wonder that collective IQ of people in the United States is continuing to spiral downwards, and the rest of the educated world sits back laughing, as well as sighing in sadness and exasperation. The fact that this written to fog the minds of young people, as well as people who should be old enough to think rationally is damning indeed. What happened to critical thinking skills? When religious dogma, and outright and blatant lies are ponied up as "real" science, and religious beliefs mean more than facts, it is just another example of how far "the mighty have fallen". That people cannot see the damage that books like this do, and how raising a generation of ignorant people is in no way beneficial, except for those who wish to keep the populous stupid, and dumbed down, baffles me. What kind of future is there to be for those who cannot even understand the fundamentals of science and how the world actually works? Don't complain when you and your children cannot get decent jobs, and those who actually do have a decent education and transferable skills take them from you, either in your own country or overseas, or across the border. You'll have none to blame except yourselves in your purposeful ignorance, and in the destruction of your children's futures.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kayla dawson

    I was forced to read this for school. Maybe that took out my enjoyment or the fact that I had to outline every chapter. I don't remember much of anything okay maybe two things. Inherit the wind ( which was mentioned a million times) . And something about cells and soup . I don't remember what the point of this book it was maybe something About Jesus. There are two reasons I gave it two stars. It was nice to learn about the different religions and it was nice to discuss in class (sometimes ). I d I was forced to read this for school. Maybe that took out my enjoyment or the fact that I had to outline every chapter. I don't remember much of anything okay maybe two things. Inherit the wind ( which was mentioned a million times) . And something about cells and soup . I don't remember what the point of this book it was maybe something About Jesus. There are two reasons I gave it two stars. It was nice to learn about the different religions and it was nice to discuss in class (sometimes ). I didn't have an enjoyable experience reading it . I just struggled.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rod Horncastle

    Great short book. Not necessarily about ALL the ridiculous flaws in Darwinian Evolution: but mostly about how to easily find them. These lazy pseudoscientists aren't even trying. It's weird with all the crazy conspiracy Nuts looking everywhere for a global deception... they can't spot a bit of shoddy academics (and political foolery) that's yelling right in front of them. Sure, they see aliens, and 2nd gunmen, and gov't's blowing up their own buildings ---- but they can't see an atheist lie that Great short book. Not necessarily about ALL the ridiculous flaws in Darwinian Evolution: but mostly about how to easily find them. These lazy pseudoscientists aren't even trying. It's weird with all the crazy conspiracy Nuts looking everywhere for a global deception... they can't spot a bit of shoddy academics (and political foolery) that's yelling right in front of them. Sure, they see aliens, and 2nd gunmen, and gov't's blowing up their own buildings ---- but they can't see an atheist lie that fills thousands of text books and bad tv shows. Here's some fun - ask any Neo-Darwinist to discuss the numerous issues and disagreements amongst evolutionary scientists. Most will stare at you blankly... these so-called Facts are comically disagreed upon by many in the field. Most ignore it all and desperately try to babble about finches to keep you from seeing the embarrassing truth. One of the funnest common experiences I have with militant atheists is discussing and debating Darwinian Evolutionary BELIEF with them. They love to boast that anyone who disagrees with them simply does not properly understand Evolution. Comically, neither do they. (Neither does almost anyone for that matter). Why? Because those who love and embrace it keep its meaning fluid so that you can't trap them in their lie and bad use of the scientific method. So how do you prove something Is or Isn't about magical Time/Chance/randomness of micro or macro evolution? The same as you do about Pink Flying Unicorns: Just keep adjusting the topic so nobody realizes the huge elephant in the room. I've caught hundreds of Darwinian loyalists while they shift their beliefs from Origins to non-Origins, from natural selection to meaningless random selection, from micro to macro (whichever embarrasses them the least at that moment). Comically, All humans (and even those crazy Christians) easily accept micro-evolution. Yes, dogs and cats and bugs and skin color and... But only an idiot thinks that is the actual argument at hand. Simple Cells to MAN is the issue. Most like to focus on finches that remain finches while they slightly adjust their finchyness. But a Finch is a finch. This Great little book deals with the issue behind the issues. Believing BAD faulty science isn't really the issue. What's at stake is the real issue. The Agenda and endgame of this evolutionary scam is what needs to be discussed. This isn't science verse religion. That's too easy. This is BAD pseudo-science vs. the right to do REAL science that upsets people's precious worldviews. This is about the impact the Darwinian Evolutionary Agenda has on human freedom and meaning. What would happen if a somewhat unknown successful scientist walked into a major university and declared "I can prove that Darwinian Evolution is simply not true"... Nothing. Nobody would even be allowed to listen. They wouldn't even want to. Which is strange since this belief isn't REAL science: it isn't Testable, Repeatable, Predictable, Observable. It fails every arena of true workable science --- and yet is forced on the masses in our schools WITHOUT question. Let the games begin. It's a fun book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Seth

    Phillip Johnson wrote this in 1997 to equip students for the intellectual battle over evolution in philosophy and science. While it discusses a few scientific points, the primary focus is on the philosophical naturalism that often undergirds evolution-affirming science (and which often remains unacknowledged), and how to challenge it. That question--is philosophical naturalism necessarily and inextricably tied in with the real scientific elements of evolution?--is the primary idea I've pondered Phillip Johnson wrote this in 1997 to equip students for the intellectual battle over evolution in philosophy and science. While it discusses a few scientific points, the primary focus is on the philosophical naturalism that often undergirds evolution-affirming science (and which often remains unacknowledged), and how to challenge it. That question--is philosophical naturalism necessarily and inextricably tied in with the real scientific elements of evolution?--is the primary idea I've pondered about this issue for a number of years now. The answer to that sets the stage and defines the parameters for what I am willing to accept and consider in this realm. Johnson makes a compelling case that the two are indeed inextricably linked, and thus must be challenged and fought. For having been written almost 20 years ago, it's surprisingly relevant: scientific research--particularly in the field of genetics--has continued to undermine the credibility of blind natural selection as an explanatory theory. And many of his tips about how to engage/challenge both lay persons and scientists are still helpful. I'll end with one prediction of the author's, from the final chapter: Every history of the twentieth century lists three thinkers as preeminent in influence: Darwin, Marx and Freud. All three were regarded as "scientific" (and hence far more reliable than anything "religious") in their heyday. Yet Marx and Freud have fallen, and even their dwindling bands of followers no longer claim that their insights were based on any methodology remotely comparable to that of experimental science. I am convinced that Darwin is next on the block. His fall will be by far the mightiest of the three. (113)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kip Lowery

    This is a good book for students, parents and other adults alike who are looking for perspective on the claims of Darwinism. It is less technical than other books I have read, but is more for development of critical thinking. It does a great job in illustrating the bias of the media through the example of the Scopes trial, through a comparison of the facts and the distorted lens of the play/movie “Inherit the Wind.” I didn’t know much about this subject, and anti-religious bias is so clear. One This is a good book for students, parents and other adults alike who are looking for perspective on the claims of Darwinism. It is less technical than other books I have read, but is more for development of critical thinking. It does a great job in illustrating the bias of the media through the example of the Scopes trial, through a comparison of the facts and the distorted lens of the play/movie “Inherit the Wind.” I didn’t know much about this subject, and anti-religious bias is so clear. One notable quote in the book is from James Shapiro, professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago. He said in response to Michael Behe’s book “Darwin’s Black Box”: “There are no detailed Darwinian accounts for the evolution of any fundamental biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations. It is remarkable that Darwinism is accepted as a satisfactory explanation for such a vast subject—evolution—with so little rigorous examination of how well its basic theses work in illuminating specific instances of biological adaptation or diversity.” Is Shapiro an ID advocate? Not in the least! Yet he can look at Darwinism and evaluate it openly for what it is and what it lacks. He thinks critically, and that is what this book seeks to promote. Overall, a fine book. It will help you see the difference between the scientific evidence and the materialistic philosophy that dominates the culture.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gimmickless

    If the book were titled more honestly, it'd read "A Brief Sociological History of Evolution and its Detractors". But then, who would buy that? Frankly, this book won't defeat Darwinism. It will provide a better insight into the mind of someone who believes in Intelligent Design and the difficulties they face in the marketplace of ideas. Media bias is real, the difference between scientific method and scientific philosophy, the difference in outlook between Feynman and Dawkins: these, this book ex If the book were titled more honestly, it'd read "A Brief Sociological History of Evolution and its Detractors". But then, who would buy that? Frankly, this book won't defeat Darwinism. It will provide a better insight into the mind of someone who believes in Intelligent Design and the difficulties they face in the marketplace of ideas. Media bias is real, the difference between scientific method and scientific philosophy, the difference in outlook between Feynman and Dawkins: these, this book explains well enough. No big surprise, since this book is written by a law professor instead of by a scientist. It's a shame that the author completely glosses over the hard evidence that calls evolution-as-we-know-it into question. Put simply, if the biology of the eye is irreducibly complex, how could it have evolved? (A question I admittedly cannot yet answer.) Also, why does the fossil record fail to fit the theory of steady changes over time? (Hint: punctuated equilibrium is a possibility.) If you can find it at a book sale like I did, it might be worth few dollars. It's nowhere near worth its retail price.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Petree

    It's good to know all points of view. It's good to know all points of view.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Weber

    Phillip Johnson writes clearly and compellingly in this "Easy-to-Understand Guide" designed to help students and teachers think critically about Darwinian theories of evolution. Numerous scientific explanations and examples make it evident that the modern view of evolution is ultimately more of an underlying philosophy than it is a manifestation of true science. Evolution, as proposed by such notable individuals as Darwin, Dawkins, and Sagan, is a purely materialistic worldview that leaves no ro Phillip Johnson writes clearly and compellingly in this "Easy-to-Understand Guide" designed to help students and teachers think critically about Darwinian theories of evolution. Numerous scientific explanations and examples make it evident that the modern view of evolution is ultimately more of an underlying philosophy than it is a manifestation of true science. Evolution, as proposed by such notable individuals as Darwin, Dawkins, and Sagan, is a purely materialistic worldview that leaves no room for the God of the Bible. Attempts by well-meaning Christians to syncretize Evolution (properly understood as an explanation for the "origin of the species") with Creationism (intentional creation by an intelligent, active, and loving God) relegates Christianity to a realm of nonsense divorced from reason and credibility in the real world. Johnson summarizes and draws heavily on the "Inherit the Wind" propaganda film that vilified and stereotyped Christians who hold to the authority of the Bible, while championing those who embrace Evolution as progressives and free-thinkers. We have yet to recover from this cultural blow, but Johnson argues that we must resist the pressure to accept the dichotomy of faith and reason and continue to fight with confidence on an intellectual level by asking probing questions and pressing those who believe in Evolution to acknowledge their undying loyalty to materialistic philosophy. This quote in the final chapter was a great summary and call to intellectual honesty for all those who would take the time to study and form views about the existence and origin of life and the world in which we live: "There is no satisfactory way to bring two such fundamentally different stories (biblical Christianity and Evolutionary theory) together, although various bogus intellectual systems offer a superficial compromise to those who are willing to overlook a logical contradiction or two. A clear thinker simply has to go one way or another."

  15. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    I wish there had been more actual evidence. In reading this book, I didn't hate it because I understand where Johnson is coming from - I may not agree with him on EVERYTHING, but he has good points about the way creationists and their ideas are treated in the public sphere. The problem is, the whole book is more or less repetition of this same point, with little exploration of the evidence that Johnson claims is so overwhelming to support his view. I still believe the earth was created by God at I wish there had been more actual evidence. In reading this book, I didn't hate it because I understand where Johnson is coming from - I may not agree with him on EVERYTHING, but he has good points about the way creationists and their ideas are treated in the public sphere. The problem is, the whole book is more or less repetition of this same point, with little exploration of the evidence that Johnson claims is so overwhelming to support his view. I still believe the earth was created by God at some point and by some means. I don't pretend to be sure what those means and that time frame were/are. I don't agree that evolution and the idea that the earth is older than 6,000-10,000 years is as ludicrous as Johnson says it is, and I don't agree that to be a Christian you have to accept young-earth creationism, but I agree with the idea in the book that the creation-evolution debate has become more about philosophy than science and that creationism is treated in a rather unfair way. Long story short I don't regret reading the book, and if you're looking for philosophical and moral support you've found it, but if you're looking to find evidence, you should probably look elsewhere.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dolly

    Not overly impressed with this book. It was given to me in an attempt to convince me that Evolutionary thought is flawed. This book is heavy on accusations and assurances that his science and philosophy is correct, but light on proof. He mentions his other books are more science-based and that this one is more for kids, parents and teacher who want permission to think in ways that are contrary to current teaching in the public school system. I can appreciate that, but even as a layperson who is Not overly impressed with this book. It was given to me in an attempt to convince me that Evolutionary thought is flawed. This book is heavy on accusations and assurances that his science and philosophy is correct, but light on proof. He mentions his other books are more science-based and that this one is more for kids, parents and teacher who want permission to think in ways that are contrary to current teaching in the public school system. I can appreciate that, but even as a layperson who is not that educated in the sciences, I wanted more explanation, less platitudes. Richard Dawkins disputes most, if not all of the arguments in his book, The God Delusion. Interesting perspective, if nothing else... new word: lineaments

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lucas

    Although the Intelligent Design Movement has few successes to its credit, my mind is more open to the idea. Tremble in the presence of the Lord. My experience tells me that it cannot be for me to decide the answer. I will never take my understanding as the end/purpose of the creation, and I believe there is one. In the future, there will be successful scientists openly rejecting materialism. Darwinism has within it a kernel of human-denial, not just denial of the divine. It will not be the expla Although the Intelligent Design Movement has few successes to its credit, my mind is more open to the idea. Tremble in the presence of the Lord. My experience tells me that it cannot be for me to decide the answer. I will never take my understanding as the end/purpose of the creation, and I believe there is one. In the future, there will be successful scientists openly rejecting materialism. Darwinism has within it a kernel of human-denial, not just denial of the divine. It will not be the explanation for all time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Megan {A Barefoot Gal}

    Kind of repetitive and a little boring to me, but the author made some good and helpful points and I enjoyed a lot of this book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    John Barbour

    Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds by Phillip E. Johnson Phillip Johnson performs a great service by making things clear and concise. This book is a readable 120 page book that covers a very difficult subject for people. It is not that a person can't understand the basic ideas behind Darwinism; it is rather a problem of how to make any headway in critical discussions about Darwinism in a culture that has uncritically accepted modernist naturalism as truth and has accepted materialistic science Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds by Phillip E. Johnson Phillip Johnson performs a great service by making things clear and concise. This book is a readable 120 page book that covers a very difficult subject for people. It is not that a person can't understand the basic ideas behind Darwinism; it is rather a problem of how to make any headway in critical discussions about Darwinism in a culture that has uncritically accepted modernist naturalism as truth and has accepted materialistic science as a way of supporting that truth. Darwinism fits like a glove on a hand in this kind of culture. But how can people ( scientists included) who do not share that philosophy have a decent conversation without being ignored or relegated to a realm of make-believe and/or a "faith" that excludes facts? What you have in reality is a worldview problem that has two entirely different ways of defining truth. And an establishment that controls the flow of information to the public via the educational system and the media. Regarding the first problem: Is reality merely material ( matter and energy) as taught by the materialistic scientists that dominate academia? Or is it much more complex? What role does information play for example? And what is DNA by the way? Is it merely a chemical made up of nucleotides or is it information and that mysterious thing we call life itself? Regarding the second problem: The inconvenient truth is that now that Darwin's black box has been opened by molecular biologists and biochemists; the science of Darwinism is becoming more and more disconnected from the materialistic philosophy of Darwinism and not only are the scientists reluctant to admit this, the populace is largely unaware of this also. As a consequence, two different definitions of the word "science"," evolution", and other terms are used in discussion. The result is often a bait and switch so that not only is the general populace fooled; but many scientists, also end up fooling themselves. What is left is a grand evolutionary story that becomes the dominant myth in the culture The goal of this book is to help make the important distinction between science as investigating the evidence wherever it leads and science as merely a tool to support this grand story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kerrie

    It was hard to decide how to rate this book. On one hand, the information in it was phenomenal. The author lays out a fantastic argument against Darwinism. On the other hand, there are many times in reading it that I had to reread many times a paragraph or even a page and try to figure out just what he was trying to say. Then he would make a fantastic point in very easy to understand writing. Rather frustrating. I read this with my 15 year old son, who is reading it as part of his classical educ It was hard to decide how to rate this book. On one hand, the information in it was phenomenal. The author lays out a fantastic argument against Darwinism. On the other hand, there are many times in reading it that I had to reread many times a paragraph or even a page and try to figure out just what he was trying to say. Then he would make a fantastic point in very easy to understand writing. Rather frustrating. I read this with my 15 year old son, who is reading it as part of his classical education group's science unit. We read a chapter a week, so it took a while to finish it. I'm glad I did read it because I have many more tools in my box now for intelligent, fact base discussions that I might have in the future about why I don't believe in Darwinism and why Intelligent Design is a very scientific option that rarely gets the credit it deserves. This book is clearly meant for an upper high school/college level class. Even my 50 year old brain had a hard time wrapping my mind around some of the concepts and ideas, especially the way they were written. Still glad I read it though.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah

    This is a wonderful introduction to the issue of evolution and creation (creation broadly speaking) by one of the clearest thinkers ever to touch the subject. The book is specifically written for junior and senior high school kids and is meant to be a non-technical primer on the issue. The book is only about 120 pages (maybe), so it can be read in one sitting. I would strongly recommend most Christian parents of college students to read this just to get a grip on this issue that will effect your This is a wonderful introduction to the issue of evolution and creation (creation broadly speaking) by one of the clearest thinkers ever to touch the subject. The book is specifically written for junior and senior high school kids and is meant to be a non-technical primer on the issue. The book is only about 120 pages (maybe), so it can be read in one sitting. I would strongly recommend most Christian parents of college students to read this just to get a grip on this issue that will effect your children, because of how it's wormed its way into other subjects, whether you're even that interested in it or not. Read it and discuss it with your kids so that they aren't without some understanding of why evolution is false and why creation can be defended. For a more technical discussion of this subject by Johnson see his book Darwin on Trial.

  22. 4 out of 5

    AllisonStiles

    the fact that this book was written by a LAWYER in 1997, shows just how ridiculous it is that I was forced to read this book for "Science." One of the biggest problems about this book is that the title is "Defeating Darwinism" but Johnson doesn't give any evidence against evolution, and instead he says attempts to attack Darwinism by saying that "the point of Darwinism is to refute the otherwise compelling teaching of Romans 1:20, which is that God's eternal power and deity have always been evide the fact that this book was written by a LAWYER in 1997, shows just how ridiculous it is that I was forced to read this book for "Science." One of the biggest problems about this book is that the title is "Defeating Darwinism" but Johnson doesn't give any evidence against evolution, and instead he says attempts to attack Darwinism by saying that "the point of Darwinism is to refute the otherwise compelling teaching of Romans 1:20, which is that God's eternal power and deity have always been evident from the things that were created." Johnson also pretends like there are only two options, Evolution or Creation. However there are many different viewpoints and Evolution can peacefully co-exist with creation. Don't waste your time. It's a no from me.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Hart

    Excellent book on the philosophy of naturalism and materialism. You say evolution is science, not philosophy? What exactly do you mean by "evolution"? If those 3 sentences have you fuming, I challenge you to read this short book. It is not a debunking of Darwin's theory of evolution per se, but a reasoned case (the author is a law professor) to evaluate what is taught about evolution. Are you willing to follow the evidence where it leads you? What are you afraid of? Excellent book on the philosophy of naturalism and materialism. You say evolution is science, not philosophy? What exactly do you mean by "evolution"? If those 3 sentences have you fuming, I challenge you to read this short book. It is not a debunking of Darwin's theory of evolution per se, but a reasoned case (the author is a law professor) to evaluate what is taught about evolution. Are you willing to follow the evidence where it leads you? What are you afraid of?

  24. 4 out of 5

    Eric

    Fairly stupid. The bad rating/opinion probably reflects my stance on creationism (and friends) more than anything else. Still, I remember getting this notion of 'let's defeat Darwinism by attacking the fundamental tenants of science'... which prompted a 'say what?' and 'but materialism is exactly the point!' reaction. Eh what do I know? Maybe I'm just closed-minded. Fairly stupid. The bad rating/opinion probably reflects my stance on creationism (and friends) more than anything else. Still, I remember getting this notion of 'let's defeat Darwinism by attacking the fundamental tenants of science'... which prompted a 'say what?' and 'but materialism is exactly the point!' reaction. Eh what do I know? Maybe I'm just closed-minded.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    Really really liked this book. The only critique I have is that it is somewhat dated-1997. But still worth the read. I got my $2 worth that I spent on it at goodwill. I think it is fair to say the average rating for this book is lower than it should be because is has not been objectively rated by Darwinists.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mike Day

    I read this many years ago, but Phillip Johnson did work to show how the argument is framed. Their is evidence both for and against evolution. I would say that as seekers of truth, we should approach the evidence seeking for truth, without preconceived notions or hidden agendas. But, alas, there is so much at stake for both sides.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Eli

    The perfect introduction to the Creation/Evolution debate. Johnson does not write about the scientific issues, but rather about the political and social issues that are involved in the debate today. A must-read for understanding the debate from a birds eye view. The book delivers: it opens minds.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Benjamin Wirtz

    It is presented as an introduction to the idea of defending against Darwinism. He brings up some good questions and puts things in their Historical context. It's good as an introduction although he mentions some of his other books that go more into detail. It is presented as an introduction to the idea of defending against Darwinism. He brings up some good questions and puts things in their Historical context. It's good as an introduction although he mentions some of his other books that go more into detail.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Todd Whitford

    Johnson does a great job of striking at the heart of the problems with a materialist worldview. He's a little too optimistic about the downfall of the current ideological regime, however, as he reaches the concluding chapters. Overall, very helpful. Johnson does a great job of striking at the heart of the problems with a materialist worldview. He's a little too optimistic about the downfall of the current ideological regime, however, as he reaches the concluding chapters. Overall, very helpful.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ciera

    this book was a great insight to the faults of Darwin's theory. I highly suggest it to anyone interested in defeating evolution. this book was a great insight to the faults of Darwin's theory. I highly suggest it to anyone interested in defeating evolution.

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