Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism by Robert T. Pennock A Must Read!The face of creationism has been through some major plastic surgery inthe past decade or so. The leading proponents of intelligent design theoryhave left the ranting flat-earth types behind and found respected positionsin the academic world from which to launch attacks on mainstreamscience. Philosopher of science Robert T. Pennock has explored all sidesof the ongoing debate, which remains (despite the prote stations of manycreationists) more about biblical inerrancy than scientific evidence. Hisbook Tower of Babel examines the new directions antievolutionists havetaken lately, but goes beyond a mere recounting of recent history byproposing a new avenue of counterattack: linguistics. The parallels arestriking once we look closely: Genesis proclaims that God created allhuman languages at one stroke, while modern scientific thought proposeslinguistic evolution similar in form to genetics. Best of all for scientists,though, linguistic change is much more rapid than biological change, and
we have actually observed what might be called speciation events to haveoccurred historically in languages. While not meant to supplant traditionalarguments against creationism, Pennocks ideas certainly supplement themand will be useful to educators and researchers alike. His sense of urgencyis compelling; he sees the future of scientific education and freedom atstake and argues strongly for a separation between private beliefs andpublic knowledge. --Rob LightnerFeatures:* ISBN13: 9780262661652* Condition: NEW* Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.Personal Review: Tower of Babel: The Evidence against theNew Creationism by Robert T. Pennock"Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism" is a cogenthistory of creationism and its sophistic spawn "creation science" - and adevastating refutation of the inane bibliolatrous arguments utilized by anti -Darwinists as the gaps available for polemics become increasinglycircumscribed by the explanatory power of science. Pennock refutescreationist babble through a novel discussion of linguistic evolution andpays special attention to Paleyesque fallacies embedded in the "IntelligentDesign" movement.Pennocks bestiary classifies all anti-evolution Christians as creationists -kinds include Young Earth Creationists, Old Earth Creationists,Evolutionary Creationists, Progressive Creationists, and Intelligent DesignCreationists - squabbling schisms whose theologically impelledsupernaturalism places all variants well outside a scientific mainstreamunited in support of methodological naturalism.Internecine creationist spats receive a useful historical, theological, andsocial context treatment, and the preponderance of crank creationistwebsites is ruefully noted - along with their intellectual and ethical squalor.Pennock debunks the most egregious examples, including the infamous"Lady Hope" hoax (Darwins fraudulent deathbed conversion andrecantation).After lampooning creationist comedy websites (Google AiG for a slick butsick example), Pennock discusses the Genesis myth meme echoed in thetitle - the Tower of Babel. Scholars realized that languages were shapedby evolutionary processes and common descent before Darwin burst onthe scene. Biological and linguistic evolution contradicts special revelationhallucination, and both have been obdurately attacked by bloviating biblicalliteralists. Like species and higher biological taxa, languages blur atboundaries and form sub-taxon variants known as dialects. Pennockutilizes these facts to illustrate creationist misinformation about evolution,including the spurious missing link objection, and epistemological issuesencountered when science deals with past events - particularly the lack of
direct observation and the status of evolution as both factual andtheoretical.Utilizing language illustrates evolutionary taxonomy (classification) andphylogeny (development) and "descent over time with modification" asspoken languages developed from precursors (e.g. Romance languagesfrom Indo-European and Proto-Indo European). This approach exhibitsthe same quirks as biological evolution including loss through extinction,incomplete preservation, convergence, and horizontal transfer.Neo-medieval creationists crib from postmodernist rivals by asserting thatDarwinism is "a secular religion." Both also deny that human cognitiveenterprises can approach the truth. Pennock skewers figures such asAlvin Plantinga, Paul Nelson, William Dembski, Michael Behe, and PhilipJohnson who proffer ostensibly scientific lines of reasoning that devolveinto theological hand waving and philosophical special pleading upon closeexamination. Johnsons implicit conflation of ontological naturalism(materialism) with methodological naturalism is artfully deconstructed andPennock shows that if science were to embrace miracles it would becomeuseless as a way of knowing; an omnipotent and capricious deity wou ldpull seemingly empirical strings. Pennocks characterization of IntelligentDesign as a science of the gaps that hamstrings what science could inprinciple explain is devastating - and portends rampant intellectual sloth"God said/did it, that settles it" - along with endemic theological or politicalmeddling.Pennock utilizes one of Behes own examples to shred irreduciblycomplex systems. Behe lays out the probability that a groundhog couldmate across an eight-lane freeway to rebut speciation and adaptation.Pennocks version substitutes a population of groundhogs with survivorswho make it to the center divider and reproduce before tackling the nextlane, succinctly illustrating Darwinian processes. Behes claims are thenrelated to Dembskis opaque notion of complex specified information (CSI)an arcane reimagining of Aquinass argument from design and amathematically absurd attempt to turn information theory against Darwin.Pennock lucidly explains what is wrong with CSI without overwhelming thereader with mathematical equations or technical terms - unlike Dembskiwho deliberately uses both to camouflage vacuous arguments.Creationism and politics go together in America like bibles and thumping.The tortuous maneuvers creationists use to cross-dress theologicallymotivated political and educational agendas as science are exposed indetail. Creationists incessantly beaver away at court rulings prohibitingstate funded public schools from promoting a religious viewpoint withbunko biblical hermeneutics and revelation repackaged as research.Pennocks defense of reason and science in the face of rampantsuperstition and magical thinking is passionate and compelling - andshould be read into the minutes of every local school board or curri culumstandards committee meeting.
Highly recommended on all counts - this is an erudite and necessary book. For More 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price:Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism by Robert T. Pennock 5 Star Customer Reviews and Lowest Price!