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

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  86 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Why do so many Americans reject the modern theory of evolution? Seeking answers, mathematician Jason Rosenhouse became a regular attendee at creationist conferences and other gatherings. After ten years of attending events like the giant Creation Mega-Conference in Lynchburg, Virginia, and visiting sites like the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky, and after hundreds ...more
Hardcover, 257 pages
Published April 10th 2012 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published March 1st 2012)
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Brian Clegg
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
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
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
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
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
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
Steve Masler
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Mills College Library
231.7652 R8139 2012
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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