Evolution: The Grand Experiment
One sad fact about creationism is that the materials printed have generally been very poorly done. They not only contain scientific error and a lack of understanding of the issues, but they have been poorly documented, they have used creationist sources that do not have training in the fields they are writing about, and they have used misleading and poorly done illustrations. There are exceptions of course, and our book of the month is one of those exceptions. This 262-page book is a quality production, with coated paper, massive photographs from museums all over the world, and interviews with experts in their own field. It is pricey because of the quality ($29.99), and also has a Teacher's Manual that would make it extremely useful for homeschoolers. (The manual is $16.99 and its ISBN-13: 978-0892216840.)
The back cover of this book has a statement that reads "A Book that Challenges Your Views and Demands a Verdict." In the front the dedication says, "Dedicated to those who have the courage to question." The book has 22 chapters, three appendices, a glossary, and a bibliography. It starts with "The Origin of Life: Two Opposing Views." The next five chapters deal with the mechanisms of evolution--spontaneous generation, acquired characteristics, natural selection and mutations, similarities as a proof of evolution and Darwin's predictions, and the fossil record. The next ten chapters deal with the fossil record of invertebrates, fish, bats, pinnipeds, flying reptiles, dinosaurs, whales, birds, feathered dinosaurs, and flowering plants. The next three chapters deal with the molecular basis of evolution--DNA, proteins, and amino acids. Chapter 20 and the appendices compare the two views of evolution and creation, discuss the number of fossils, and present a dinosaur and fish evolution chart.
This book must have around 1,000 four-color pictures in it. The pictures are wonderful and the organization is clear. Points are made by quoting experts in the field--not creationists who are out of their field. Duane Gish is about the only American creationist quoted extensively, and most of the other quotes are from evolutionists. The quotes are designed to show the lack of evidence. Skeptics will be quick to claim the statements are taken out of context and do not show the views of those quoted, but in most cases the researchers quoted state their belief that the gaps in evidence will be filled. The fact is that the gaps in evidence are clearly shown and well documented.
The teacher's manual has tests, class discussion questions, and objectives. There is a DVD series that goes with the material. It is this reviewer's view that this material could be used for eighth grade through college age very effectively. It is the best teaching material on creationism we have seen. It is based on evidence, it challenges the student to think, and the quality of the material is superb. While atheistic evolutionary arguments are not presented in detail, the faith aspects of evolutionary theory are clearly shown. We recommend this material highly. It is well worth its high cost.
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