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Defeating Darwinism by Opening Minds

3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  272 ratings  ·  35 reviews
With all of the complicated scientific debate swirling around the topic of evolution, is there an easy way to understand the basic issues without oversimplifying? Phillip Johnson says there is: the key to defeating the false claims of Darwinism is to open our minds to good thinking habits. Here is first-rate advice on avoiding common mistakes in discussions about evolution ...more
Paperback, 132 pages
Published July 7th 1997 by IVP Books (first published July 1997)
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This book is why LAWYERS shouldn't write books about EVOLUTION!

Johnson is a major pawn in the game of "creationism vs. evolution." With apparently no knowledge of biology, evolution, or the mechanics of natural selection, Johnson tries to convince us to "open our minds" to the possibilities of a "theory" other than evolution. What he doesn't tell you is that all scientists are open-minded, but natural selection is (so far) the best mechanism to describe the well-documented theory of evolution. H
If the book were titled more honestly, it'd read "A Brief Sociological History of Evolution and its Detractors". But then, who would buy that?

Frankly, this book won't defeat Darwinism. It will provide a better insight into the mind of someone who believes in Intelligent Design and the difficulties they face in the marketplace of ideas. Media bias is real, the difference between scientific method and scientific philosophy, the difference in outlook between Feynman and Dawkins: these, this book ex
Apr 07, 2014 Dolly rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people who want to defend Creationism
Not overly impressed with this book. It was given to me in an attempt to convince me that Evolutionary thought is flawed. This book is heavy on accusations and assurances that his science and philosophy is correct, but light on proof.

He mentions his other books are more science-based and that this one is more for kids, parents and teacher who want permission to think in ways that are contrary to current teaching in the public school system. I can appreciate that, but even as a layperson who is
Phillip Johnson wrote this in 1997 to equip students for the intellectual battle over evolution in philosophy and science. While it discusses a few scientific points, the primary focus is on the philosophical naturalism that often undergirds evolution-affirming science (and which often remains unacknowledged), and how to challenge it.

That question--is philosophical naturalism necessarily and inextricably tied in with the real scientific elements of evolution?--is the primary idea I've pondered
I found the book to be quite well written, if a little simplistic. However, it is this paragraph (found on page 55), that made me give the book a four-star review:

"History has taught us that an established religion tends to fall into bad habits, and the same thing may be true when a scientific establishment starts to act like a govermental body with an official ideology to uphold. The price of having that kind of position is that you are tempted to protect your power and wealth by defending thi
Kip Lowery
This is a good book for students, parents and other adults alike who are looking for perspective on the claims of Darwinism. It is less technical than other books I have read, but is more for development of critical thinking. It does a great job in illustrating the bias of the media through the example of the Scopes trial, through a comparison of the facts and the distorted lens of the play/movie “Inherit the Wind.” I didn’t know much about this subject, and anti-religious bias is so clear.

Johnson's book, Defeating Darwinism, is a much needed antidote to Darwinian naturalism and the ruling elite that religiously promote it within the sacred halls of learning. He shows that materialist scientists can be quite "unscientific" in the handling of evidence that contradicts their worldview. With the rise of molecular biology and the irreducible complexity of the cell that was once thought of by Darwin (and other scientists of the turn of the century) to be a "simple" organism, biologists ...more
Todd Stockslager
I was hoping for more evidence to use to confront Darwinism with reason and science. Instead, it seems what Johnson has written is the outline for that book, with an introduction to the radical philosophical materialism of Darwinism, and the fissure that the wedge of DNA opens in the scientific monolith protected by force of law and public ridicule from the scientific community.

DNA encodes information. Information is organization, not material. It represents design. Design assumes intelligence,
I wish there had been more actual evidence.
In reading this book, I didn't hate it because I understand where Johnson is coming from - I may not agree with him on EVERYTHING, but he has good points about the way creationists and their ideas are treated in the public sphere. The problem is, the whole book is more or less repetition of this same point, with little exploration of the evidence that Johnson claims is so overwhelming to support his view.
I still believe the earth was created by God at
It was hard to decide how to rate this book. On one hand, the information in it was phenomenal. The author lays out a fantastic argument against Darwinism. On the other hand, there are many times in reading it that I had to reread many times a paragraph or even a page and try to figure out just what he was trying to say. Then he would make a fantastic point in very easy to understand writing. Rather frustrating. I read this with my 15 year old son, who is reading it as part of his classical educ ...more
Jessica Petree
It's good to know all points of view.
Oh boy, what a hornet's nest evolution has become! This book simply stabs the nest with a thorny twig. I have NEVER understood why there are two sides of this issue that simply cannot just accept that the other side believes something different. It honestly amazes me how absolutely adamant people become about forcing their beliefs on other people. If you believe in evolution, great. If not, great. What you believe does not affect me in any way, shape, or form.

This book acts as a primer for all
This is a wonderful introduction to the issue of evolution and creation (creation broadly speaking) by one of the clearest thinkers ever to touch the subject. The book is specifically written for junior and senior high school kids and is meant to be a non-technical primer on the issue. The book is only about 120 pages (maybe), so it can be read in one sitting. I would strongly recommend most Christian parents of college students to read this just to get a grip on this issue that will effect your ...more
Johnson offers arguments for how to approach those who have an evolutionary view of origins that excludes any other possibility.
My son, who is in 8th grade, is reading this book as part of his origins science cirriculum. I have been reading and discussing it with him. While the essence of the author's arguments and theses are intellegent and well reasoned, the execution of the writing would have benefitted from better development and flow. I understand the book to be a synopsis of much larger works of the writer. In reducing the greater topics to lesser summaries a certain amount of the natural transition from point to p ...more
Peter Coleman
There's a dancing dinosaur on the front. I had to read this for a class and I thought, "dancing dinosaur? Really? This book'll be a waste of my time."

But it actually was a competent introductory treatment of the matter. Having been familiar with many of the issues it raised, it didn't bring much to my attention, but for someone just getting into the matter, this book would be a great starting place, especially since it doesn't go too deeply into the science in a way that the scientific layman wo
Feb 08, 2014 Marci added it
Shelves: school
Read for school
Fairly stupid. The bad rating/opinion probably reflects my stance on creationism (and friends) more than anything else. Still, I remember getting this notion of 'let's defeat Darwinism by attacking the fundamental tenants of science'... which prompted a 'say what?' and 'but materialism is exactly the point!' reaction. Eh what do I know? Maybe I'm just closed-minded.
This book is actually not that bad... if you read it as comedy.

I burned through it in nothing flat, and every last argument in it was not just debunked but DEMOLISHED years and years BEFORE it was written.

I wouldn't necessarily call it a pack of lies, but, well, that really is the most likely explanation for the level of inaccuracy and misinformation in it.
Really really liked this book. The only critique I have is that it is somewhat dated-1997. But still worth the read. I got my $2 worth that I spent on it at goodwill. I think it is fair to say the average rating for this book is lower than it should be because is has not been objectively rated by Darwinists.
The perfect introduction to the Creation/Evolution debate. Johnson does not write about the scientific issues, but rather about the political and social issues that are involved in the debate today. A must-read for understanding the debate from a birds eye view. The book delivers: it opens minds.
Benjamin Wirtz
It is presented as an introduction to the idea of defending against Darwinism. He brings up some good questions and puts things in their Historical context. It's good as an introduction although he mentions some of his other books that go more into detail.
Todd Whitford
Johnson does a great job of striking at the heart of the problems with a materialist worldview. He's a little too optimistic about the downfall of the current ideological regime, however, as he reaches the concluding chapters. Overall, very helpful.
I think I might just speed read the whole book again, just to see if I missed anything to see. I wish I had more time before the test, but I can always reread it afterward. :) In short: It was amazing!
A compelling case against evolution, but if you really want to know what you're talking about you will need to devote much more study to the topic than is available in this short read.
this book was a great insight to the faults of Darwin's theory. I highly suggest it to anyone interested in defeating evolution.
Brian Dichter
Ridiculous. Actually is not a science book and should be re-catalogued with the other woo.
Rhoda Yost
In my opinion, over my daughter's head (high school). Good points in the book.
This is the easiest read in the Johnson collection on evolution.
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  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism  And Intelligent Design
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science
  • The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions about Intelligent Design
  • Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution
  • The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery
  • Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design
  • Not a Chance: God, Science, and the Revolt Against Reason
  • The Lie: Evolution
  • Persuasions: A Dream of Reason Meeting Unbelief.
  • Saving Leonardo: A Call to Resist the Secular Assault on Mind, Morals, and Meaning
  • Always Ready: Directions For Defending The Faith
  • The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus
  • Reading Between the Lines
  • A Christian Manifesto
  • Redeeming Science: A God-Centered Approach
  • Missionary Methods: St. Paul's or Our's?
  • Five Views on Apologetics
  • Beyond the Cosmos: What Recent Discoveries in Astrophysics Reveal About the Glory and Love of God
Johnson is an American born-again Christian lawyer and creationist.
More about Phillip E. Johnson...
Darwin on Trial Reason in the Balance: The Case Against Naturalism in Science, Law & Education Wedge of Truth The Right Questions: Truth, Meaning & Public Debate Objections Sustained: Subversive Essays on Evolution, Law and Culture

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“Materialism sets us free from sin-by proving that there is no such thing as sin. There's just antisocial behavior, which we can control with measures like laws and educational programs.” 10 likes
“..."science" as defined in our culture has a philosophical bias that needs to be exposed. On the one hand, science is empirical. This means that scientists rely on experiments, observations and calculations to develop theories and test them. On the other hand, contemporary science is naturalistic and materialistic in philosophy. What this means is that materialist explanations for all phenomena are assumed to exist. And what that means is that the NABT's definition of evolution as an unsupervised process is simply true by definition--regardless of the evidence! It is a waste of time to argue about the evidence if one side has already won the argument by defining the terms.” 1 likes
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