Item description for What's Darwin Got to Do With It: A Friendly Conversation About Evolution by Robert C. Newman, Jonathan Moneymaker & John L. Wiester...
Overview Enjoy a friendly conversation between two professors on evolution and what science can explain about life in this entertaining cartoon book. Find out what logic's got to do with it. See if the changing beak sizes of Galapogos Island finches prove Darwinism. And enjoy the exciting adventures of those Darwinian superstars Mutaman and Selecta. There's more to it all than you ever thought! The whimsical format of this book presents evolutionary issues in a way that's sure to engage your mind and your smile.
Publishers Description What's Darwin got to do with it? When it comes to evolution, quite a bit But many people don't understand Darwin, creationism and intelligent design. Here's a book that makes sense of it all A group of scholars, teachers, writers and illustrators have teamed up to create an easy-to-read introduction and critique to this important issue. You'll enjoy the lively and funny conversation that unfolds between two professors and they explore what science can explain about life. You'll find out what logic has to do with it. You'll see whether the changing beak sizes of Galapagos Islands finches prove Darwinism. And you'll enjoy the adventures of Darwinian superstars "Mutaman" and "Selecta." There's more to it all than you ever thought. But this witty and wise book makes it easier to understand than ever before
Citations And Professional Reviews What's Darwin Got to Do With It: A Friendly Conversation About Evolution by Robert C. Newman, Jonathan Moneymaker & John L. Wiester has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 01/31/2000 page 102
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Studio: InterVarsity Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.23" Width: 5.48" Height: 0.45" Weight: 0.4 lbs.
Release Date Feb 14, 2000
Publisher IVP-InterVarsity Press
Grade Level High School
ISBN 0830822496 ISBN13 9780830822492
Availability 0 units.
More About Robert C. Newman, Jonathan Moneymaker & John L. Wiester
Reviews - What do customers think about What's Darwin Got to Do With It: A Friendly Conversation About Evolution?
Persuasion through confusion Jul 4, 2006
What a great book for brainwashing the youngsters. Hopefully soon all American middle schools will carry this book, then biology class will be as simple as saying 'God did it!' 'Recess!' and us Americans can finally have our children get better grades then those other snobby countries with all that fancy evolution jibber jabber that requires students to 'study'. Children study?! - what nonsense!
Evolution Made Easy! Jun 22, 2006
Feeling primitive? Unevolved? Inorganic? Then try a bowl of Primordial Soup! What's Darwin Got To Do With It? is an illustrated friendly conversation about evolution and what science can explain about life. Aimed at younger students, this comic-book style work helps students understand if finch beaks really prove Darwinism is true or if the encoded message in DNA implies an intelligent designer.
The book opens by helping students to understand important terminology. What does evolution mean? Some people say evolution just means change through time. But simple evidence of change does not necessarily mean that new phyla can emerge or new body structures can evolve. Thus, we have microevolution and macroevolution.
The book explains in illustrated form why intelligent design is the best explanation for life. When we see letters on a hillside spelling out "Welcome to Victoria," we have a valid rationale to believe that that the letters were designed. Similarly, if a radio signal from outer space said "hello earthlings," we would have good reason to infer design. But what about when we find an encoded sequence in our DNA which, using a complicated sequence of biochemical commands, creates miniature motors which resemble human-designed engines? This and other topics concerning intelligent design are presented in clear language with a wealth of illustrations.
This book is a must read for young students who are still learning the basics of science but want to understand evolution and design. As Phillip Johnson wrote when he reviewed the book, it's "more fun than a barrel of Australopithecines."
Major Flaws in the book's reasoning. Mar 18, 2006
I read this book to see what is going on in the Creationist's mind. Boy, oh, boy, I learnt a lot.
A lot about how totally idiotic many of the arguments are, that is. I was just skimming through the book and not thinking about anything carefully, and I found no less than 17 Flaws in the book's reasoning. Considering the fact that the book is mostly pictures, 17 flaws when a boy is just flicking through is pathetic.
One of the main flaws of this book is it assumes that with evolution, you rearrange the Genetic Code all at once and said it was like scrambling a computer program's code. That is simply not true. Evolution is the slow manipulation of the Genetic Code. The Genetic Code is changed little by little. You don't just turn the Genetic Code on it's head. If the code works, it progresses from there. If it does not, the Mutation is just one of Billions of Genetic Dead Ends, and nothing happens until the next mutation comes along.
It is also self Contradicting, and there are massive Loopholes in it's logic. The most blatant example is the fact that it doesn't actually try to prove Intelligent Design/creationism is true, it merely tries to prove evolution is wrong (Albiet, Unsuccesfully), working by the analogy that: "If Intelligent Design is correct, then Evolution is wrong." However, Just because something is true doesn't mean the opposite is ture. In other words, IF Evolution is wrong, it doesn't mean Intelligent Design/Creationism is correct. This is along the lines of one of the things they said in the book.
A terrible book.
Lighten up! Sep 25, 2005
This may look like a comic book, but don't assume its authors are shallow! Newman has doctorates in both science (astrophysics from Cornell) and in theology. He understands science and has thought deeply about these issues. But he also has a lively sense of humor and a dry wit.
I gave it a one-star deduction for being a little unfair to the evolutionist. He stacks the deck a little. But, hey, the evolutionists run just about everything, and when was the last time they let someone else have a say? Anyone who doesn't buy into the Neo-Darwinian dogma is labeled by them a *creationist*, lumping him in with Young Earth hicks. So Newman should get a little latitude, don't you think?
The final section is the best.
Go read one of the other more serious Intelligent Design books by William Dembski, Hugh Ross, Michael Behe, Stephen Meyers (Newman has a very good essay in the collection edited by Dembski entitled *Mere Creation*). But when you want to lighten up and have some fun with this subject, get this book!
Where's the intelligence in Intelligent Design? Jun 4, 2005
WDGTDWI is a good introduction to creationist literature and its misleading rhetorical tricks, illogical arguments, sly ad hominem attacks, and inconsistent statements.
WDGTDWI makes a great show of explaining logical concepts, apparently believing that claiming to be logical is the same as actually being logical; but the errors in logic are many and obvious, starting with the book's format, a fictional debate between an evolutionist and a creationist. That debate format sets up a clever little debating trick, called a "false dichotomy," that creationists use all the time.
False dichotomy arguments have three steps. First, the creationist presents Darwinism and intelligent design creationism (IDC) as the only two possible choices. Second, he points out alleged flaws in Darwinism. Finally, he argues that if Darwinism is flawed, then creationism must necessarily be correct, since it is the only other option available.
Notice that this strategy allows the creationist to focus exclusively on the flaws, real or imagined, of evolution, while keeping creationism itself safely out of the spotlight. That is crucial, because creationism is so flimsy, it cannot withstand even the slightest scrutiny.
The false dichotomy strategy places great emphasis on mud-slinging, which is why creationists "go negative" so much. Think back to books or conversations you've had with creationists. I bet they rarely offered positive arguments for creationism, and instead spent most of their time attacking evolution. That's the false dichotomy strategy. And it's completely illogical. (Which makes it pretty funny to see favorable reviewers gushing about how "logical" the authors were!)
For dichotomy arguments to be valid, the two options must be cumulatively exhaustive (no other options are possible) AND mutually exclusive (they can't both be true simultaneously). For example, let's say X is found dead in a locked room, along with suspects A and B. If A proves that he could not possibly have killed X, does that necessarily mean that B is guilty? Not at all. A and B are not cumulatively exhaustive. There are other possibilities. X may have killed himself, died of natural causes, or been killed by C, before A or B entered the room. So proving A innocent, does NOT prove B guilty. Furthermore, A and B are not mutually exclusive either; they could have co-operated in murdering X. So proving B guilty does NOT necessarily prove A innocent.
WDGTDWI's dichotomy argument has exactly the same flaws. Regarding the cause of the origin of species, Darwinism and IDC are not cumulatively exhaustive options. There are other options available, including theistic evolution (TE), deistic evolution (DE), non-theistic design theories, such as Raelianism, and other options, such as panspermia, self-organization, Lamarckism, etc. So even if the authors showed "Darwinism" to be wrong, it would still not follow that IDC must be correct, since TE, DE, or some other option might be correct instead.
Nor are the two options mutually exclusive. On 139, the authors admit that the designer might use common descent (evolution) in accomplishing his design. This is a huge blunder, completely destroying WDGTDWI's entire argument.
In short, since "Darwinism" and IDC are neither cumulatively exhaustive nor mutually exclusive options, WDGTDWI's dichotomy argument fails. The whole book is one big error in logic.
There are other serious blunders too.
IDCs desperately covet the mantle of scientific respectability, so they can weasel their way into public school science classes; thus the authors insist (16) that their most important rule is "stick to the evidence," apparently accepting traditional science's emphasis on empirical data. But two pages earlier, the authors stated that IDC relies on non-empirical, non-objective evidence (whatever that means; Scripture perhaps?). It seems that IDCs want the same respect that scientists have, but they refuse to do what scientists do to earn that respect.
WDGTDWI insists that IDC is based on scientific evidence, NOT on religious appeals to Scripture (p. 140); but WDGTDWI repeatedly refers to divine purpose, indicates that divine purpose is a necessary aspect of design, takes great pains to link evolution to atheism and IDC to theism, and the book's one specific citation (p. 9) is to the Bible. How is that NOT religious?
On 75, rebutting Steven Gould's argument that the panda's thumb doesn't look designed, the authors correctly state that just because the thumb doesn't fit Gould's idea of design, that doesn't mean it couldn't fit someone else's idea of design. The authors' analysis is completely correct, but that same analysis demolishes their own, anti-evolutionist argument. Just because evolution doesn't fit their idea of design, that doesn't mean it couldn't fit someone else's idea of design. Evolution itself may be a designed process, so it's completely illogical for creationists to insist that evidence of design negates evolution. The "design negates evolution" argument is a complete non sequitur, showing how illogical creationists are.
On 102, the authors state that Darwinism implies that man's life has no purpose, and that's bad. Then on 104, they state that Darwinism implies that man's life does have purpose, and that's bad too! Huh??? Expecting consistency in a creationist comic book is probably expecting too much, but couldn't they keep their story straight just for three consecutive pages?
WDGTDWI implicitly rejects the Genesis story that Earth is only a few thousand years old and that Noah's Flood was a worldwide catastrophe (p. 10). Unlike other IDC spokesmen, WDGTDWI doesn't openly insult Young-Earth literalists, but YECs are still not going to be happy with WDGTDWI's anti-literalist position.
Finally, on 145, the authors state that "Darwinism," as they define it, is rarely, if ever, contained in high school textbooks. So why did the authors spend 145 pages bashing a theory that apparently exists only in their own minds? Can you spell S-T-R-A-W-M-A-N?
WDGTDWI highlights the comic-book level of IDC "thinking." Faulty logic, glaring inconsistencies, and, finally, an admission that their target was just a meaningless strawman. And that's "intelligent" design!