Evolution and the Myth of Creationism

Tim M. Berra discusses the basic issues in the evolution/creation debate. He does so on a simple level for those who don't have much of a background in the 'controversy'. The book is easy to read and less than 200 pages in length.

Berra's arguments (which are more than mere arguments--they are scientific fact) are clearly presented with very nice illustrations showing the various fossils from some of the evolutionary periods.

The book doesn't go into even a fraction of the detail as Strahler does so you may want to read that book for further information. The middle of the book has a section which dispels many of the frequently encountered 'scientific arguments' used by creationists to show how science itself proves evolution incorrect. The appendix has a "Further Reading" section which has a comprehensive list of books available on the various topics within evolution. Rather than just a laundry list however, each book has a one sentence blurb to clue you in as to what the book deals with and what level the book is written at. He even lists the books available if you wish to further explore the creation side of the issue. All the books on the creation side are Christian Apologetics written by non-scientists and most come out of one publisher--Creation-Life in San Diego.

The following are a few quotes from the final section of the book that deal more with the overall creation/evolution debate rather than the details about how life has evolved:

"In light of the track record of scientific accomplishments, it is astonishing that the fundamentalists would assume that the world's biologists, geologists, physicists, and astronomers are all wrong. They must think a devious creator is playing games with us by providing sequential and transitional fossils in rocks that can be dated. They must think God is testing us by making it only appear that the older rocks are at the bottom and younger rocks are at the top of a stratigraphic column. If the Earth is only a few thousand years old, a devious god must have created the light that is already on its way to Earth from sources millions of light-years away. God must have an inordinate fondness for beetles to have created over 250,000 different species."

"Fundamentalists long for the return of a more moral America, an America that may never have been. All around them they see what they perceive as declining morality and spirituality. They reason that if humans share ancestry with the other animals, we have no reason to behave as anything other than animals. This view neglects the fact that humans are the only known animals with the ability to contemplate the consequences of their own actions. It also fails to recognize that there is a great deal of good in the world, the nightly news notwithstanding. Crime existed long before the theory of evolution, even before the writing of the Bible, and biologists do not like crime any more than the creationists do. Evolutionary theory is not a license to run amok, and neither is a belief in the literal interpretation of the Bible a guarantor of moral behavior."

"The proper place for the study of religious beliefs is in a church or temple, at home, or in a course on comparative religions, but not in a biology class. There is no place in our world for an ideology that seeks to close minds, force obedience, and return the world to a paradise that never was. Students should learn that the universe can be confronted and understood, that ideas and authority should be questioned, that an open mind is a good thing. Education does not exist to confirm people's superstitions, and children do not learn to think when they are fed only dogma."