Kenneth Miller: five books against creationism

by Matthew Cobb

The excellent website TheBrowser.com has a feature called “FiveBooks”, which also comes in the form of a weekly e-mailed newsletter. A leading writer is asked to highlight five books on a particular subject. In this week’s version, biologist and Catholic Kenneth Miller chooses five books that “we should read to understand the battle being fought between scientists and creationists”. I’ll spoil the fun by saying that WEIT isn’t one of them (though the first commenter on the interview, “markalan” suggests it (are you out there, markalan?)).

Jerry has crossed swords with Ken Miller a number of times here, but irrespective of that (or maybe because of that) I thought his choices would interest readers of this blog (ha! that’ll teach Jerry to give me the keys to the car).

Miller’s five choices are:

The Blind Watchmaker by Richard Dawkins

Endless Forms Most Beautiful by Sean B Carroll

Evolution by Carl Zimmer

Creationism’s Trojan Horse by Barbara Forrest and Paul R Gross

The Devil in Dover by Lauri Lebo.

So what do you think about Miller’s choices? What books would you add (apart from WEIT), and which would you subtract, and why?

87 Comments

  1. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    I would definitely add Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters by Don Prothero. One of my faves, if a bit dense, and focuses on fossils which I think (as tangible and visible entities) always make for a good introductory piece of evidence.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Seconded – a magnificent account.

      • Golkarian
        Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Third

        • Golkarian
          Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, I got confused with another book, haven’t read that one yet

  2. Griff
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Don Prothero’s book Fossils – it’s exhaustive. from a paleontological perspective. Ken Millers own book. And without wanting to sound like a sycophant, I did think Jerry’s own book was to the point,

  3. chriskg
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    That’s easy. I’d add “Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters” by
    Donald R. Prothero. If, however, we are suggesting that a Creationist read these books, then I would recommend a good coloring book with the 64-crayon collection.

    • gruebait
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      Well, I guess I don’t have to go to the trouble and labour of mentioning Prothero’s _Evolution_.

      (Whew, dodged another dirty job…)

  4. Posted October 12, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Monkey Girl by Edward Humes.
    Not in our Classrooms by Eugenie C. Scott and Glenn Branch.

  5. Carl
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    The Selfish Gene Richard Dawkins
    The Counter-Creationism Handbook Mark Isaak
    On the origin of Species Charles Darwin
    Why Evolution is True Jerry Coyne
    The Ancestors tale Richard Dawkins

    Just because I thought theses would be more helpful also.

    • Matt G
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      The Ancestor’s Tale is excellent! Dense, but excellent.

  6. Nathan
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I really liked Dan Barker’s “Godless”.

    First half is his personal story which is well written and interesting.

    Second half completely rips to shreds every argument for Christianity…

    I guess it is not so much a book against a 6,000 year old earth as it is against religion. But they go hand in hand.

  7. Mark
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I teach AP Biology in PA, and my students read all of WEIT and write chapter reaction papers.
    They also read excerpts from:

    Your Inner Fish – Shubin
    The Greatest Show on Earth – Dawkins
    What Evolution Is – Mayr
    and of course…
    On the Origin of Species – Darwin

    • cermak_rd
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      How is “Your Inner Fish”? Amazon recommended it based on other purchases I’ve made (bunch of Dawkins books, WEIT…).

      • Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

        It is excellent. Just get it. You won’t be disappointed.

      • alnitak
        Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Inner Fish tells a great *story*. Fun to read and a good way to undermine the notion that we popped out of god’s forehead.

      • Matt G
        Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        I did not enjoy Your Inner Fish very much, I’m sorry to say. I thought the writing and/or editing was poor. The contrast is especially stark when you consider the work of a brilliant writer like Dawkins. The content of YIF is good (for the layperson), but the writing is simplistic and sloppy. Sorry, Niel, I love your research!

        • Matt G
          Posted October 15, 2012 at 5:18 am | Permalink

          Shoot! I’m also sorry for misspelling your name.

      • Mark
        Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        Shubin does an admirable job of explaining developmental biology, in particular the role of hox genes as they pertain to the common ancestry of organisms as different as insects, fish, amphibians, mice and humans.
        Of course, the book also sheds light on the predictive power of science (where on Earth might one find a 325-350 million year-old fossil?) in addition to explaining how Tiktaalik was discovered, what it means to our understanding of how/why fish moved onto land. I feel that the book is technical detailed yet easy to understand. Shubin is both concise and thorough.

      • JohnnieCanuck
        Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        I found it very much to my liking.

      • David Ratnasabapathy
        Posted October 16, 2012 at 1:30 am | Permalink

        I loved Inner Fish. Every chapter is filled with something to make you go “Wow.” The chapter on bones for example — did you know the first fish had teeth but no bones? Bones are modified teeth!

        And when you look at a bone, well, ignore the hard bit. It’s just dead minerals. What matters, what makes the bone alive, is the network of osteocytes threaded through it. They shit bone! They’re the source! Bones are cell poo!

        So yeah, it was eye-opening. Highly recommended.

  8. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    I’m not that familiar with all the literature so I can’t speak to this being tops, but “Tower of Babel” by Robert Pennock is pretty good.

    • alnitak
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

      “Tower” is very well argued and an easy read. Once you see how languages evolve, you’re hooked.

  9. Griff
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    First 3 votes for Prothero then! But I do think it has so much going for it. Informative, comprehensive, and physically beautiful as a book (shallow, I know!)

  10. Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Another vote for Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin. Probably best read after reading WEIT. Does a great job at dispelling the creationists’ arguments that (1) there are no transitional fossils, and (2) paleontologists just wander around until they find an old bone lying on the ground and then make up a story about how it got there.

  11. Posted October 12, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    This is hard because of Dawkins. It reminds of “Name your top ten favorite songs (or albums) not including The Beatles or Dylan,” because otherwise it’d just be a list of Beatles and Dylan songs/albums. WEIT and Greatest Show cover the same general topic, so give it WEIT, just to keep Dawkins humble (because they are equally good). I’d add “The Origins of Virtue” by Matt Ridley – only because so many people (I’m looking at you Francis Collins) seem to bolster their creationism with the idea that morality couldn’t have evolved, and this book explains why they are wrong.

    Also maybe add in the Bible. The bible does a pretty good job of making creationism look stupid.

  12. hazur_99
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Nothing wrong about Miller’s choices, don’t you think? Also, nice to see Dawkins among them.

    • infiniteimprobabilit
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 3:27 am | Permalink

      +1 on that.

      Also, I’d pick Blind Watchmaker (Miller’s choice) over Selfish Gene or Ancestor’s Tale simply because it’s shorter, written in a readable style that grabs your attention, and it directly tackles the Argument From Design.

      Though I must admit I may be biassed, Blind Watchmaker was the first of Dawkins’ books I read and it answered my ‘how’ questions.

  13. jose
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    Since this is about creationism, I would include The First Human. Creationism, deep down, is all about “I didn’t come from a monkey. I ain’t no monkey!”. I think it’s appropiate to include one book that tackles that issue specifically – our origin.

    • Matt G
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      It doesn’t help that they are also told they are created in the image of god. Arrogant bastards!

      • Hempenstein
        Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Hence, “…The pig is taught by sermons and epistles
        / To think the God of Swine has snout and bristles.”
        -Ambrose Bierce, filed under Piety

        • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink

          Or, from 2300 years earlier:

          “The Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black, the Thracians that theirs have gray eyes and red hair.

          Now if horses or oxen or lions had hands or the power to paint and to make the works that men make, then each one would represent their gods in painting and sculpture with the same bodies and forms as each one possesses.”

          And Xenophanes wasn’t even an atheist!

          As for things to read, for those with historical interest I’d actually recommend reading the intellectual predecessors that formed the debate *before* it was settled too. So read the preSocratic fragments (Democrtius and Empedocles, notably) on the subject and Aristotle (though that’s quite a job).

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      Who is the author of that book?

      • jose
        Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        Hi, the author of the book is Ann Gibbons.

        • Matt G
          Posted October 13, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

          How appropriate!

  14. Rik Smith
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Thought I’d throw in a plug for “Among the Creationists” as an enjoyable read. Has some great examples of exchanges the author (Jason Rosenhouse) had with creationists at their own conferences and meetings.

  15. Posted October 12, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Considering the reading list as an answer to what “we should read to understand the battle being fought between scientists and creationists”, I’d say Miller did a damned good job. Putting the “Origin of Species” on the list makes little sense to me, as it doesn’t speak to a war between rationality and dogma… it just puts forward rationality (as it should).

    A good read that I’m in the middle of which speaks to the entire history of the war against rationality – a considerable portion of which concerns the creationism movement past and present: Stenger’s “God and the Folly of Faith”. It provides mentions of the works on Miller’s list in a historical context. It may be too broad for inclusion on a list addressing merely the “scientists vs. creationists” schism, and it certainly won’t be read by fundies because of the title alone, but it does a damned good job of cataloging the advance of human reason and the basic incompatibility of science and religion.

    • Cremnomaniac
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

      I second the Stenger book. I don’t think we can seperate “creationists from religion in general, can we? After all, their beliefs inevitably lead to some form of supernatural creation.

      It seems the term creationism has come to imply a more orthodox belief, such as those of the creation museum (AKA, 6K krakpots). The less orthodox, that somehow profess belief and accept evolution is oxymoronic. I think the inclusion of all religion in discussions of creationism is inescapable.

      • Posted October 12, 2012 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. And to generalize the discussion a bit more, Stenger’s book addresses anti-science themes rooted in simple authoritarianism (e.g. how Aristotle’s school of thought held progress back, merely because it was adopted by the religious — when the religious could possibly have gone the other way a thousand years earlier). Or the embrace of quantum woo by those who seem to worship scientific precepts they do not understand, as long as they respect Mr. Chopra as their messenger. This book gets at the heart of various epistemologies, although it keeps science-religion incompatibility smack-dab in the cross-hairs.

  16. Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    In terms of the actual evolutionary processes, why not

    Speciation by Jerry Coyne and Allen Orr

    (OK, maybe it’s not for the layperson but it is the definitive book on that subject).

  17. Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    I’d add

    - every book and article creationists frequently quote mine when it comes to particular subjects, just so they don’t get the opportunity to be deceptive when it comes to what people have said.

    In general, books on
    - Genetics
    - Biochemistry
    (Last two are to have an understanding of what those in favor of Intelligent Design exploit)
    - Ecology
    - Paleoflora
    - Paleofauna
    - Geology
    (last three are to have a better understanding of palaeontology, a field that most creationists are eager to exploit the general population’s ignorance of)
    - Anatomy
    (to have a better understanding of how some traits that creationists like to argue couldn’t have evolved did)

  18. CJ
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    “The Making Of The Fittest” by Sean B. Carroll.

    This book rarely seems to get mentioned for some reason. It’s right up there with WEIT, and covers a lot of different areas.

  19. Marella
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    I second many of the recommendations above, but I would also add “The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature” by Matt Ridley. I enjoyed that no end and sex is always a good way to get people interested in things. ;-)

  20. Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Damnit people — now I’m never going to get caught up on my reading!

    b&

  21. CJ
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    http://www.thebooksproject.co/book-lists/

    Another website with great book recommendations, including those from some familiar faces.

  22. Dermot C
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone ever done the Maths (math, for you Amer’cuns) on Bishop’s Berkeley’s dating of the earth? (Which I assume is where the creationist date comes from).

    It must be do-able, if some nerd is willing to wander through the OT.

    Is this worth one day of your life? Mebbe not.

    • Posted October 12, 2012 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Aluminum. Elevator. Escalator. Bus. Taxi.

      Now that I’ve got that off my chest…

      I’m unfamiliar with Berkeley dating the Earth, but it seems an odd endeavor for somebody who denied the reality of the material world.

      I’m more familiar with creationists latching onto Bishop Ussher, whose chronology apparently didn’t differ much from Kepler’s. Weird stuff, but lots available on the web pointing to the evolution of estimates, depending on the text used.

      • Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Whoops. I take taxi back.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 13, 2012 at 3:37 am | Permalink

          Better take back ‘bus’ and ‘escalator’ too. AFAIK the usage is the same in both American and ‘British English’.

          OTOH, most parts of cars (automobiles) seem to differ – hood/bonnet, soft top/hood, fender/bumper, trunk/boot, gas/petrol, throttle/accelerator…

      • Dermot C
        Posted October 13, 2012 at 1:48 am | Permalink

        Of course, SQM; moral, never post when p*ssed.

        • infiniteimprobabilit
          Posted October 13, 2012 at 3:48 am | Permalink

          I assume that would be the British English meaning of p*ssed (i.e. having over-indulged in alcoholic beverages), rather than the American meaning (annoyed, which in British is rendered as ‘p*ssed off’, but only when quoted in the objective or intransitive case; in the imperative i.e. ‘p*ss off’ it means ‘go away’. A very versatile word indeed is ‘p*ss’). ;)

          • Dermot C
            Posted October 13, 2012 at 4:32 am | Permalink

            Utterlutely, infinite…, I wss blootered, as the newt, walking the wobbly line, a friend of Dick Swiveller.

            • Filippo
              Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

              In the Appalachian South, there’s the description, “tighter than Dick’s hatband.”

        • Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          PISSED? WHAT MAKES YOU THINK I’M ANGRY, GODDAMMIT!!!!!1!!!!!!!

          (gets out Yank phrasebook…)

          …my hovercraft is full of eels.

          • Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

            Look out — his nipples are about to explode!

            b&

            • Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

              I have another theory…

              That’s what Thomas was apparently telling everyone else in Mattia Preti’s painting, but that’s a different thread.

              • Mark Joseph
                Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:13 am | Permalink

                Wouldn’t that technically be a “hypothesis”?
                (ducking and running ;-)

              • Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:21 am | Permalink

                I think I need a drink.

              • Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

                …bouncy bouncy?

                b&

          • Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

            Oh. YOU were pissed. If I said anything to make you angry… (gets out internet slang dictionary) soz.

            • Dermot C
              Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

              Not angry at all, SQM; 2 cultures separated by a common language etc.

              Cheers.

              • Posted October 13, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

                I know… just trying not to spoil the joke with too many winkie-winkies. But here’s one anyway. ;-)

              • Dermot C
                Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

                Musician, eh, SQM? Bassist, meself, psychedelic Brit sneer-pop. Got a John Peel all-dayer gig coming up soon, much-needed rehearsals weekend. Whaddya play/compose?

              • Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

                Keyboardist since birth, mostly sneer jazz… also play drums. Hardly any time for that though, so I usually just play with myself. When things slow down, I hope to track together some weirdness and upload it, just for the funnovit. I listen to stuff most people cannot bear for a minute, so it’s a good thing it’s only a hobby. :-)

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      I think you must mean Usher.

  23. Joe Dickinson
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    “The Blind Watchmaker” is still one of my all-time favorites. It’s everything a popular, but rigorous, exposition should be.

  24. Cremnomaniac
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    This isn’t a book recommend, but I just ran across this really great 10 minute video on Youtube entitled “Evolution”.

    It explains evolution in a very succinct way. I particularly like the graphics of the Jellywolf, Rhinopus, and Hammerhorse.
    Now how do we get creationists to watch it?

    • Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      That is an excellent video.

      Thanks for posting it.

  25. kelskye
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    The two I’ve read are both really good. Edward Hume’s Monkey Girl would be an equal substitute for The Devil In Dover, and Sean Carroll’s The Making Of The Fittest for The Blind Watchmaker. I must read the Barbara Forrest book soon!

    (Apart from WEIT) Your Inner Fish is one that I would have loved to have seen on the list. It was very readable, and very informative.

    • kelskye
      Posted October 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Ken Miller’s Only A Theory would be a very good addition to the list, even though I can understand an author’s reticence in engaging in self-promotion.

  26. Mark Joseph
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    My five, limiting it to books that (1) specifically address science vs. creationism, and (2) I have already read:

    Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth
    Coyne, Why Evolution is True
    Carroll, The Making of the Fittest
    Prothero, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters.
    Petto & Godfrey (eds): Scientists Confront Creationism

    I have no problem recommending both Dawkins and Coyne as, *if* creationists were really interested in learning what science has to say, these would be the two books that I would most want them to read, as they give great overviews of all of the major lines of evidence. Carroll (DNA) and Prothero (fossils) hardly need my approbation. The last mentioned book is filled with excellent chapters by numerous scientists refuting different aspects of creationism.

    Just missing the cut, but ones I thought were excellent are Young & Strode, Why Evolution Works (and Why Creationism Fails); Weiner, The Beak of the Finch; and Shermer, Why Darwin Matters (yes, I know it’s not perfect and it’s a bit accommodationist, but it’s a great dismantling of ID).

    I’ve read the first nine of Gould’s ten books of essays; I gather that his accommodationism is not particularly welcome here (I don’t much like it myself), but I’ve learned a lot from him, and at least a couple of his essays are mainstays of my anti-creationism arsenal.

    On the political side, The Devil in Dover is excellent. I would *not* recommend Creationism’s Trojan Horse to a casual reader—it is far too detailed to be interesting. Though there are some good sections, there are simply too many lists of creationist conferences, and who said what when, to be able to recommend it to any but a historian.

    I have not yet read Ridley’s Red Queen, Shubin’s Inner Fish, or Dalrymple’s Ancient Earth, Ancient Skies: The Age of Earth and Its Cosmic Surroundings (after all, geology and cosmology have just as much to say against creationism as biology does), but have all three on my list.

    I’m very much forward looking to see what other books are recommended.

  27. David R
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    If I were limited to five choices….. man that is a tough one. There have been so many great books published the last few years…. here are five awesome books that I don’t think have been mentioned.

    The “Origin” Then and Now: An Interpretive Guide to the “Origin of Species” by David Reznick
    Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA by Daniel Fairbanks (his latest book, Evolving is excellent as well)
    The Tangled Bank by Carl Zimmer
    Finding Darwin’s God by Ken Miller (his other book, Only A Theory is excellent as well).

    • Uncle Ebeneezer
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I would add At The Water’s Edge, by Carl Zimmer. It’s not so much about the creationism/evolution debate, but it covers one of the most common fronts of the battle; transitional fossils.

  28. Miles_Teg
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    The Blind Watchmaker is the only book I’ve heard of. Would recommend that, can’t really comment on the others mentioned.

  29. Michael Fugate
    Posted October 12, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    One book that is older but addresses creationist arguments very completely is Arthur N. Strahler’s Science and Earth History: The Evolution/Creation Controversy. I think the 2nd edition is from 1999.

  30. Posted October 13, 2012 at 4:10 am | Permalink

    I think that a couple of older books are still good: one is Scientists Confront Creationism (1983) (Lauri Godfrey) and another is Futuyma’s book: Science on Trial: the case for evolution.

    The former is a series of essays written by different authors.

  31. Jonathan Smith
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 5:03 am | Permalink

    Anyone mention “Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design” by Michael Shermer?

    • kelskye
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      I really liked that book, and think it would be a good companion book to Miller’s Only A Theory to give a theist/nontheist counterpoint on the same topic.

      (It was mentioned by Mark Joseph in reply 26)

  32. Jonathan Smith
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    BTW Sermers book has a great quote which I use with my students “Darwin matters because evolution matters. Evolution matters because science matters. Science matters because it is the preeminent story of our age, an epic saga about who we are, where we came from, and where we are going.”

  33. chriskg
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Oh, I almost forgot. Has anyone mentioned “Before the Dawn: Recovering the Lost History of Our Ancestors” by Nicholas Wade? It’s a great book on human evolution.

  34. David R
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    I just ordered a copy of “Your Inner Fish” for my cousin, since he’s a high school student interested in biology, and I noticed that Neil Shubin’s coming out with another book in January! It’s called “The Universe Within: Discovering the Common History of Rocks, Planets, and People”.

    Looking at the blurbs, and based on the fact that Your Inner Fish was excellent, I can’t wait for this book. Here’s what Lawrence Krauss and Carl Zimmer had to say about the book.

    “This is beautiful story, beautifully told. Our very bodies store within them the entire arc of cosmic history, and Neil Shubin’s tale weaves, with great authority, accuracy and a wonderfully light touch, a grand synthesis that manages to incorporate forefront research in astronomy, geology, paleontology, and genetics. He captures not only the excitement of the scientific enterprise, but also the many personalities from many different fields, countries, and eras, each of whose lifelong contributions have helped continue to further reveal the ever more subtle and remarkable cosmic connections that each of us has with the cosmos.” –Lawrence M. Krauss, Director of the Origins Project and Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, and the author of numerous books including The Physics of Star Trek, Quantum Man, and most recently A Universe from Nothing

    “‘We are stardust,’ goes the old song, but most of us don’t give the fact much thought. The Universe Within will change that. Neil Shubin roots around our physiology and finds the history of the cosmos lodged in our cells. And in the process, he makes the familiar wondrous.” –Carl Zimmer, author of Evolution: Making Sense of Life and A Planet of Viruses

  35. Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I have my Amazon List Mania List on this topic:

    http://www.amazon.com/Anti-Creationist/lm/R24GGH4LXX8V76/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

    Of course, I´m not famous!

    This list for books focusing on Darwin:
    http://www.amazon.com/Darwin-Basic-and-Origins/lm/R3IJRBID2YDGXY/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

    And this one for more generic on Evolution and Darwinism:

    http://www.amazon.com/Darwin-s-Dangerous-amp-Outrageous-Books/lm/R1B8U3BLNQHT85/ref=cm_lm_byauthor_title_full

    Compiling five (5) from my 3 lists…. hum, let´s see:
    * Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism, Pennock
    * What Evolution Is, Mayr
    * The Blind Watchmaker: Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe without Design, Dawkins
    * The Counter-Creationism Handbook, Mark Isaak
    * Scientists Confront Creationism by Laurie R. Godfrey

    And of course you have to read On the Origin of Species, first edition by Charles Darwin

    • Mark Joseph
      Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      If I’m, understanding correctly, the first link is to a list that you yourself put up. While there is nothing wrong with the list, I do think it might be a good idea not to put up so many items that you haven’t read as that does give place to the possibility of an “appeal to authority” rejoinder (which, to be fair, you noted).

      But a good thing is that the page itself has, in the margin, other lists on the same topic. And there are few things I like more than book lists!

  36. grl1
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for a wonderful list of books for me to read!. I’ve copied out a half dozen titles that I must get. Especially “The Inner Fish” and “The Tower of Babel”.
    On the subject of books for Creationists to read: they will not read anything with the word “Evolution” in the
    title, nor will they read anything by Darwin or Dawkins. I have tried to get some of my Creationist friends to read these books. They say they are the DEVIL’S WORKS.
    I am going to try and see if any of them will read “The Inner Fish”, and “The Tower of Babel”. I have more hopes for the “Tower of Babel” than the other one.

  37. Golkarian
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure what I’d replace (besides I’ve only read the first two), but I’d recommend WEIT as a good case for evolution, Finding Darwin’s God as a good case against creationism, and Written in Stone: Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature if they’re still willing to read.

  38. Felix
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Evolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie Scott

  39. Thanny
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I’d have to add Darwin’s Dangerous Idea by Dan Dennett to the list.

  40. El Schwalmo
    Posted November 4, 2012 at 2:48 am | Permalink

    The most profound, albeit mostly historical, work concerning that issues:

    Rieppel, O. (2011) ‘Evolutionary Theory and the Creation Controversy’ , Berlin; Heidelberg; New York; Tokyo, Springer


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