Item description for The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters by Ardea Skybreak...
This clear, lively, and systematic presentation examines the scientific evidence for evolution and reaches for the widest possible audience - from scientific minds to those with no science background at all. Forcefully rejecting creationist objections to evolution and including a critique of Intelligent Design, it argues that they are part of a larger social agenda. With discussion that celebrates the fascination to be found in studying the diversity and complexity of life, this examination suggests with some urgency that the science of evolution is crucial to the existence of science itself.
Awards and Recognitions The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters by Ardea Skybreak has received the following awards and recognitions -
Benjamin Franklin Award - 2007 Finalist - Environment category
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Ardea Skybreakwas formally trained as a biologist specializing in evolutionary biology and community ecology andis the author of "Primeval Steps and Future Leaps: An Essay on the Emergence of Human Beings, the Source of Women's Oppression, and the Road to Emancipation.""
Reviews - What do customers think about The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing What's Real and Why It Matters?
Great starter and refresher Feb 25, 2008
Great book for just about anybody wanting to know about evolution and how life really works. Also tells about all the religions and how they evolved and spread and how some are attacking science especially in America. For anyone wanting to know the world around them and those who want to learn more this is well written and easy to comprehend.
A Creationist's Dream Come True Jan 4, 2008
As someone passionately concerned with the direction of science education, and is bitterly opposed to creationism of any form in the classroom, I not only cannot recommend this book, but advise responsible educators to steer far clear away from it, because it's only more ammunition for the science-haters. The laudatory reviews try to pretend that the author's explicit Marxist views are subtle, but they're not: she wears them very clearly on her sleeve, and uses them to make outrageous statements and ludicrous hyperbole that ranks with the worst of Kent Hovinid or Jack Chick. She gets the science right, but she makes the mistake of using it to justify preconceived political views, something which no responsible scientist does. When she starts denying Mao's purges, she demonstrates either complete historical ignorance, or complete moral vacuity. This is the type of book the lunatic creationist fringe will embrace in order to push their idiot notion that evolution is somehow a "communist plot", Lysenko be damned. Worse yet, it will only serve to turn away those who most need to be informed about evolution and the scientific method.
Passionate defense of science Aug 4, 2007
Skybreak is solid on her biology, and the passion in her writing really helps to carry it through. The science is solid and up-to-date; for example Tiktaalik roseae, published in 2005, is one of her examples of a transitional fossil.
Skybreak takes on the Creationist claims against evolution without blinking, and also exposes their underlying (and lying) political and cultural agenda. Skybreak's own far-left political cant only shows through in brief moments.
A few small criticisms: There's a photo secion in the middle, but the book would be better if the pictures had been integrated with the text. Example: if you're explaining the few small deviations known in the gentic code, a table of codons would show just how minor these changes are. Highlighted sections that are not part of the regular text run on too long; anything that takes over a page ought to be integrated into the main text to aid continuity. Chapter 8 reiterates arguments made earlier in the book, rather than summarizes them, so it drags a bit. Up until then the book flows pretty well. Skybreak refers to evolution as "proven." This is appropriate for common language, but inside the world of science, nothing is ever "proven", only supported by overwhelming evidence. And the evidence is overwhelming, indeed.
I see a few reviews claiming this book is full of scientific mistakes; I challenge those reviewers to provide examples, because I didn't notice many at all. (I am a molecular biologist.) "The Professor" claims that the 95 - 99% conservation between the human and chimp genomes represents 150 million - 60 million base pair differences. Do the math and realize how many unchanged base pairs that means. He's playing loose with the numbers.
If you buy only one book on creationism, make it this one! Mar 29, 2007
"Everyone needs to understand the basic facts of evolution as well as the essentials of the scientific method... When people are deprived of a scientific approach to reality as a whole, they are robbed of both a full appreciation of the beauty and richness of the natural world and the means to understand the dynamics of change not only in nature but in human society as well."
-Ardea Skybreak, "The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism"
Ardea Skybreak's new book, "The Science of Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: Knowing what's real and why it matters" is a comprehensive treatment of creationism, in all of its forms, in relation to the practice and teaching of evolution and science in general. This book provides a point by point description of creationist arguments and refutation of those arguments, and a very usable summary of the related evolutionary concepts.
Skybreak describes and summarizes evolutionary theory focusing on the areas usually brought up by creationists (such as speciation, micro- vs. macro evolution, transitional fossils, etc.). She clearly positions anti-evolution arguments in a broader context as an "assault on science in the name of god" and she positions the "science of evolution" as fundamental to science itself. In her treatment of the most recent forms of creationism such as Intelligent Design Creationism, she makes the argument that IDC is largely just more of the same thing, but does not dismiss the specifics of the argument ... rather she address them. Then, of course, they are dismissed as the drivel that they are. You can expect this volume to serve as a reference tool in that it describes and carefully treats all the creationist "schools of thought" providing both convincing arguments (for fence sitters) and the tools an educator should have in addressing these issues. At present, this may be the most comprehensive discussion available, and it is certainly up to date.
The book is loaded with dozens of "supplemental" inserts, which you can think of as side-bars, on a variety of topics. For example, "Were We Bound to Evolve? -- The Role of Random and Non-Random Factors in Evolution;" "Humans and Dinosaurs?! Another Creationist Absurdity;" and "Rare Variants of the Almost Entirely Universal Genetic Code Are Evidence of Evolution, Not Design."
The author could possibly be characterized as a nontheist or atheist with Marxist or progressive leanings. Her treatment of the religious aspects of creationism's attack on evolution is crisp and dismissive. At the same time, her approach is not idealistic, but rather, appropriately materialistic and straight forward. Her philosophical comments are limited to the obvious condensate from the interaction between incredibly stupid ideas and basic science. I don't think Skybreak's book requires rejection of religion to accept evolution, but if you are looking for a way to reconcile religious belief with scientific reality, you won't (thank god) find it here.
I think you could use this book in a college biology class, because it covers the basics of evolution, along with well chosen examples. If you are interested in teaching students evolutionary biology and at the same time giving them the tools to address creationism as it rears it's ugly head in social, educational, and political contexts, then add this inexpensive and well written volume to your reading list. The book is organized in such a way that various chapters and side-bars (supplementals) can be linked to the usual reading material in any introductory or intermediate course on evolution. One could argue that setting up any straw man is good pedagogy if done correctly. This volume does a good job at teaching evolution by using creationism in its various forms as a kind of Swiss Army Knife of Straw Men.
This is the only book I have read that has encomia from both leading experts in the field as well from guys in prison... oh, and from one high school student.
This book is a joke Mar 22, 2007
I would never buy this book, but I happened to run across it at the public library...and I must say this is probably about the most unprofessional "science" book I have ever read. The author is obviously angry and full of hate towards anything and everything that hints of the Bible or the Christian religion. And what's so funny about it is the author assumes that the only people who don't believe the fairytale of selectionist evolution are evangelical creationists. Nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is evolutionary science is falling apart at the seems. They don't know if evolution happens gradually or puntually, whether or not evo devo plays a role, what the object of selection is, and other basic premises. Not only that, but evolutionists can't even pinpoint a mutation that creates a beneficial body part...how the heck is selection supposed to pick from something that doesn't happen?
There are so many flaws in this book, I don't even know where to begin. It starts with the so-called "proof" of natural selection by way of antibiotic resistance...obviously the author is not up to date in this area and does not know that resistance of all kinds comes from horizontal gene transfer; that bateria don't compete with each other, they cooperate and share genes. Oh, and what a shock -- horizontal gene transfer is not even listed in the index. But then again neither is epigenetics, gene expression, phenotypic plasticity, developmental plasticity, jumping genes, reverse transcription, non-random mutations or any of the other mechanisms that destroy any and all form of darwinism.
This book is a joke....he/she needs to grow up, stop misrepresenting his/her opposition and stop avoiding the issues that destroy her beloved theory.