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Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Front Line

3.93  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Why do so many Americans reject the modern theory of evolution? Why does creationism, thoroughly refuted by scientists, retain such popularity among the public? Is the perceived conflict between evolution and Christianity genuine, or is it merely an illusion peculiar to Protestant fundamentalism?
Seeking answers to these questions, mathematician Jason Rosenhouse became a r
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 1st 2012)
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Brian Clegg
Mar 25, 2014 Brian Clegg rated it really liked it
Subtitled 'dispatches from the anti-evolution front line', Jason Rodenhouse's book is a fascinating look at creationism from the outside. Rather than simply poke fun at silly creationist ideas, a game that palls rather quickly, Rodenhouse attends creationist and ID (Intelligent Design) conferences, visits centres and generally immerses himself in the culture, in particular its interface with science. While he does this from the point of view of an atheist, he is respectful of those he is meeting ...more
Morgan Dhu
Nov 12, 2015 Morgan Dhu rated it liked it
Jason Rosenhouse's Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Frontline is an interesting look at the culture of creationists from the perspective of an outsider - a mathematician and atheist - who has spent time observing and interacting with creationists.

"This book has three main purposes. It is a memoir recounting some interesting experiences I’ve had socializing with people whose worldview differs greatly from my own. It is also an explication of the beliefs and attitudes
Jan 18, 2013 Carl rated it really liked it
A rousing travelogue by an adventurous atheist who visits strange tribes of creationists, going to their conferences, to their museums and revival meetings, and reading their books and other literature. Doctor Rosenhouse, a staunch evolutionist, reports that the natives are harmless and friendly, but sadly muddled in the head. He often has amicable arguments with them, but is always heavily outnumbered and usually can’t slip a word in edgewise to make a point and stamp out their ignorance.

The au
Jun 12, 2013 Warreni rated it really liked it
This book isn't exactly what it appears to be. The title leads you to think that this is primarily a tale of a card-carrying rationalist's experiences diving headlong into the insular world of American creationism and challenging the silly and ill-conceived scientific critiques promulgated by its most ardent proponents. It is this, in part; it is also an exploration of the author's views on science and religion; it is also a critique of the deification of naturalism among defenders of science; a ...more
Aug 06, 2012 Leah rated it really liked it
This is a very interesting look into the world of creationists. The author is a Jewish, atheist, math professor who decides to learn more about creationism after landing a teaching job in Kansas. He explains the difference between intelligent design, young-earth creationism, and evolutionary creationism and tells stories of attending ID and "creation science" conferences.

All in all, it's a revealing book, especially for those of us who are more firmly based in reality. Rosenhouse does a good job
Jan 11, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
This is the story of Rosenhouse's exploration of Creationism. Rosenhouse is an intelligent, rational mathematician and declared atheist (though the way he describes his beliefs I'd put him in the agnostic category myself). He decided in college to explore the seemingly irrational views of ultra-conservative Christians to try to understand how they can possibly deny evolution. This book describes his journey through conferences, museums, and personal conversations. It also has a light smattering ...more
Nov 22, 2014 Judy rated it liked it
I read some and skimmed some of this book. I don't care any more about the scientific "proofs" one way or the other. Well, not as much as I used to, anyway. Science seems to change every 20 years or so, and I am just not intelligent enough (or educated enough, or interested enough) to argue with brilliant minds on either (or all) sides of this debate. It seems to me that people believe what they really want to believe, and then find the "proofs" that satisfy them. "A man convinced against his wi ...more
Melissa Becker
Feb 28, 2015 Melissa Becker rated it it was amazing
I'm someone who is always wanting to understand the "why" of other people. I'm a Buddhist who believes in evolution and sees the science as obvious. This book does a good job of helping to explain why creationist reject the science of evolution because of the threat it has to their worldview. Not simply in showing that God did not create the world, but in making humanity less special because it is not touched by the divine.

The author does a good job explaining various types of Creationist argum
Jun 07, 2014 Ernesto rated it really liked it
I was familiar with the name of Jason Rosenhouse since the 90s because of his chess career and recently re-discovered him as an active mathematician, blogger and player on the ongoing “culture wars” and evolution vs. creation “controversy” (The quoting is necessary: no controversy exist on scientific circles regarding the validity of evolutionary theory). In this entertaining book he presents a series of detailed field reports on his attendances of several creationist events, conferences and ven ...more
May 27, 2014 Adam rated it really liked it
Mathematics professor (and outspoken atheist) Jason Rosenhouse wades into the debate between science and religion via conferences and presentations by Young-Earth Creationists and Intelligent Design proponents. Weaving personal anecdotes with an informed history of the evolution/creation conflict and his own views on the philosophical and practical difficulties in reconciling the fruits of faith and reason, he condenses a pretty wide range of arguments and objections to both sides into a short, ...more
Todd Martin
Ever since Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species in 1859, scientists have amassed vast amounts of evidence from a wide variety of disciplines, published thousands of peer reviewed papers, and made predictions that have been confirmed experimentally to make the theory of evolution by natural selection the foundational cornerstone of modern biology. Add to this the fact that no disconfirming evidence has ever been found (such as the proverbial fossil rabbit in Precambrian rock layers) ...more
Steve Masler
Feb 03, 2013 Steve Masler rated it really liked it
Sometimes there is a book that sounds as if my own constantly chattering inner voice is talking to me from its pages. This is one of them. His encounters with Ken Ham, director of Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum mirror my own in which I attended a lecture by Ham, expecting to be amused by his version of creationism but instead left shaken by his theology and the acceptance of his preaching by 4000 of my fellow attendees. Jason Rosenhouse, a mathematician wonders how and why creationis ...more
Chris Branch
Jun 29, 2013 Chris Branch rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I guess the target audience for this book might be described as those atheists who know very little about Christians beyond the fact that they think evolution is false. So the author goes to great pains to explain that there are some smart people on the other side of the debate, even though it's clear to him that they're wrong. Rosenhouse is not only a sharp thinker, but obviously a genuinely nice guy, and he tries to set a good example of how rational people should behave when confronted (eithe ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Carl rated it it was amazing
After reading this book, I am full of admiration for Prof. Rosenhouse. I admire his courage, patience, and decency for trying to engage those who choose to deny the facts from multiple disciplines in order to hold on to their foregone conclusions. I admire his apparently self-taught knowledge of biology, geology, and philosophy, which allows him to more than hold his ground when discussing these issues. I do wonder when he has time to teach math.

The result is an admirable piece of writing, in wh
Peter Stanbridge
This is a terrific book. Jason Rosenhouse takes one on a journey into the world of American fundamentalist christianity. Jason has spent a number of years attending conferences and exhibitions created by fundamentalist christian groups. This includes young earth creationists and intelligent design supporters. The book is a combination of anecdotal conversations, conference speaker transcriptions and analysis. The chapters are short, which makes it a great bed time read.

Jason has found his exper
Sep 05, 2013 Zachary rated it it was amazing
Extremely well written, very well thought out, and cogent examination of creationism from a math professor who has spent years going to creationist meetings, interacting with creationists, and examining creationist literature and arguments. Granted, there is a lot here that is a bit of a retreat for those who have read a lot of popular pro-evolution treatments, but what is different is the humane way that Rosenhouse examines the phenomenon of creationism because he has actually talked in a civil ...more
Jun 11, 2013 Wesley rated it it was amazing
Absolutely well-written. Jason depicts a well thought-out approach to the creationist-evolutionist dilemma. I walk away much better informed about both sides' viewpoints. I also feel much more attuned with the evidence-based approach to understanding our world and ourselves, even though before reading it I have not come close to acceptance of the creationist or intelligent design concept. I remain as confident in science as before I read it. All that has changed is a gain in the importance of ed ...more
Dec 23, 2013 Perpetualstudent rated it liked it
Since I followed his blog, I had already read many of the stories of his encounters already. Overall it was a good book and a relatively easy read. I was hoping for more rigor in his argument when discussing theological/philosophical and scientific issues, but then again these are not his fields of expertise.
Oct 26, 2015 John rated it really liked it
surprisingly interesting picture of a strange people.
Mills College Library
231.7652 R8139 2012
Nov 29, 2012 Danny rated it really liked it
Really great insight into the evolution vs. creationism/intelligent design debate from a scientist's point of view. The author, an atheist and mathematician, spent several years learning about creationism and intelligent design and recounts discussions and encounters he had with Christians who devoutly espouse creationism and intelligent design. Good to get a perspective from the "other side". He's surprisingly very knowledgeable about biblical matters as well. Good reading if you want to learn ...more
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