Where Darwin Meets the Bible

by Larry A. Witham, Oxford University Press, 2002,
ISBN 0-19-515045-7

When I ordered this book, I thought it would be a scientific attempt to relate Darwin's work to the Bible. It is nothing like that. The author is a reporter and senior editor for the Washington Times, and this book is written in more of a historical context than a scientific one. It would be my belief that a more accurate title would be "Darwin meets Denominational Creationism" because that is what it deals with.

What Witham has done is to do a historically exhaustive study of the conduct and beliefs of people in the scientific community and people in the denominational world. The scientific community is represented by Stephen Gould, Eugenie Scott, Ernest Mays, and Richard Dawkins. The opposing side is represented by Michael Behe, Phillip Johnson, Henry Morris, Duane Gish, and Ken Ham. There are also shorter presentations of other people on both sides of the issues, but these are the main players. The story of how the Institute for Creation Research broke away from the American Scientific Affiliation over the flood issue is an old one that is retold. There is an exhaustive listing of debates that have been held, and a number of theological explanations of various denominational viewpoints about how science and faith interact. American presidents are included and the history of all kinds of religious and scientific organizations are given.

Witham is pretty typical of the major journalist writers of our day. When he discusses the scientific leaders in the evolution/creation debate he is polished and positive and uses complimentary rhetoric. When he talks about the religious spokesman, he is much more condescending and uses much less flattering descriptions; but it is obvious that he is trying to be as objective as he can, and the book is not one-sided in its facts, just in its tone. Witham does not actually state a position on the issues but tries to just give a historical listing of all that has gone on.

This book is a useful resource for the evolution/creation controversy in America. It does not resolve anything and has very little apologetic value. We recommend it as a historical resource for college students and readers interested in how we got to where we are in the evolution/creation issue in America today.

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