01/11/2008. Contributed by Geoff Willmetts
pub: Prometheus Books. 552 page illustrated with index large hardback. Price: $ 62.98 (US). £27.95 (UK on Amazon) . ISBN: 1-57392-717-1.
check out website: www.prometheusbooks.com
If you were keen to have a comparison between what science says about the world and that of Creationists adherence to the Bible, then do I have a book for you. As author Arthur Strahler points out in comparison, there are many science books and very few expanding on the Creationist belief let alone comparing the two which makes it even more remarkable that it is taken seriously by even Presidential hopefuls. Creationism I mean, not this book which really should be required reading at senior school.
If you thought the Fundamental Creationist belief only started off with the biblical depiction of Adam and Eve being kicked out of Eden some six thousand years ago then you also have to look at the another aspect from the Bible. This one is the Great Flood where Noah and his family take pairs of most animals and stashes them in an ark for forty days and nights. Think about that flood. It would make our tsunamis look tame in comparison, wiping out all land-living life. I doubt no matter how massive the ark was that it would survive such a beating. The ratio of marine-life to land-life would be drastically altered, not to mention the lack of genetic diversity from the ark population which would need a long time to diverse let alone re-populate the world. I mean, why did the marsupials go home to Australia and not leave any trace of themselves in the rest of the world? Creationist theories fall apart on the most simplest areas of logic.
Strahler is also a specialist in geology and does he show through a large chunk of this book why the Creationists are so wrong with the evidence to back it up. By the time you finish with his evidence, you also have an exceptional knowledge of geology to add to the strings in your bow. The Creationists don't just rely on the Bible but only a few people who make an interpretation of it. Anything that doesn't fit the pattern they say God made it that way to confound the scientists.
In many respects, a large chunk of the early parts of the Bible wouldn't be out of place in a fantasy novel. I would hesitate to say it would fit in a Science Fiction reality simply because of the reliance of a divine deux ex machina to make everything work. Considering the Flood wasn't even described from Noah's point of view but from another perspective, one would have to ask who was recording or telling the events?
I think the real problem is that too many people take the Bible as...er...gospel in terms of everything in it is based on truth. Even those who preach from it have said that the parables and such were instruction stories not reality. The Bible is rife with tales of the downfall of people who offended God so there's no wonder such tales put the fear up them and turn to Christianity to be 'saved'.
Interestingly, even when Strahler gets to looking at human evolution he shows the evidence to back it up and although stops short at the lack of Creationist evidence to back up their claims, there are the occasional signs that I could see which would wear his patience. Come to that, they'd probably wear out mine as well. Granted not all people are going to grasp science but thinking all the answers can be found in the Bible tends to be short-sighted and those who preach manipulative of their flock. To have a multitude of species to suddenly appear with nothing to connect them is far-fetched. If God had done it, why only six thousand years and why does the DNA show common ancestry which would take far longer to evolve?
This book is massive, mostly cos the text is in two columns. Had it been placed in a conventional-sized book, the page count would be double what we have here. It is a hefty book to digest and I have to confess I spread it over nearly a month to absorb it all properly.
I doubt if the Creationists would ever read such a book more's the pity. However, if you're looking for a book with the necessary info to take them on then this one is a must.
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