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The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  936 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Dear Pastor:

We have not met, yet I feel I know you well enough to call you friend. First of all, we grew up in the same faith. Although I no longer belong to that faith, I am confident that if we met and spoke privately of our deepest beliefs, it would be in a spirit of mutual respect and goodwill. I write to you now for your counsel and help. Let us see if we can, and you
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 17th 2006 by W. W. Norton Company (first published 2006)
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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  936 ratings  ·  118 reviews

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Alisse Metge
Aug 24, 2012 rated it liked it
E.O. Wilson-- a giant in biology, a thoughtful and, I believe, good-hearted person whose scientific work and soft-spoken manner I admire. But even in this honest and sincere effort, his writing does not successfully escape the deeply-ingrained scientism so typical of Wilson, in which nothing outside science (e.g. religion) is ultimately allowed any grounding in reality. He continues to make his hallmark mistake of omitting the defining line between science and philosophy. Hence, most of his argu ...more
Apr 12, 2016 added it
Shelves: non-fic

If Wilson's premise was to reach out to Christians to talk about how science and religion have compatible views about preserving the environment, then I think he missed the mark. He veers between being aggressive to condescending about religious beliefs. I don't see how he is taking in to consideration his purported audience. (btw, I am not at all a religious person, but I am a person who believes in courtesy and in effective communication)

I did like it when Wilson nerded out and started talk
Jun 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is perhaps the best non-fiction book I've ever read. Ostensibly, it's an argument, an attempt to find common ground with fundamentalists in order to save the earth, but really it's a meditation on the universe and life on this planet.
Feb 18, 2011 added it
Shelves: non-fiction, nature
This book was not at all what I thought it would be. I totally understand and support the science behind what Wilson says. What bothered me was the way in which he says it.

The book purports to be a call for unity, for "bi-partisanship," if you will, between Scientists and Religious Leaders. Wilson even addresses the beginning (and sometimes the end, and sometimes the middle) of each chapter to a nameless Pastor. Things start out well: Wilson suggests that they each put aside their thoughts on ho
Roger DeBlanck
Jan 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
As a world-renowned biologist and self-described “secular humanist,” Wilson calls upon leaders in the various scientific fields and in the widespread religious communities to put aside their differences and endeavor together to save the natural world. His chief aim is to open up dialogue, which is built upon optimism and mutual respect. He uses the curiosity of science and the intellection of religion as the basis for understanding the connection of humans to nature. He stresses the inherent nob ...more
Ray Zimmerman
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Pastor, I am grateful for your attention. As a scientist who has spent a lifetime studying the creation, I have done my best here to brief you and others on subjects I hope will be more a part of out common concern. My foundation of reference has been the culture of science and some of secularism based on science, as I understand them. From that foundation I have focused on the interaction of three problems that affect everyone: the decline of the living environment, the inadequacy of scientifi ...more
Jul 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
This book is the author's attempt to bring scientists and Christian leaders together in saving the environment. The book is addressed "to a Southern Baptist pastor", which is the author's childhood denomination, and he seeks common ground between his own "secular" viewpoint and the Christian one. Personally, I don't think this book is likely to achieve the author's goals. It's a short book but I found it too obnoxious to read after just 4 chapters. Since I'm an evangelical Christian who already ...more
Jun 25, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Environmental Students
I was recommended this book by a professer with a degree in soil or sounded interesting. He told me I should rent it from the library, not buy it...but I love to write in books, so I looked all over and found it in a couple places for $20.00+. I wasn't about to spend that for a 170 page I finally found it in a library.

Anyway, it's pretty interesting. I was hoping it would be more along the lines of: these are specific examples of what we're doing wrong, now go change it
Samuel Viana
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Edward Wilson is a passionated person: in this book he explains almost like a religious believer its love for all the biodiversity in this planet (that it calls in this book 'Biophilia') and proposes steps that can be made in order for people to love nature in the same way he feels it. He tries to show his passion in line could be made into something that could be almost as a religion,
Nov 02, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I heard Bill Moyer interview Wilson on a podcast the other day, talking about this book. Knew I had to read it. Sigh...the list just keeps on growing.
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
This book appears to stem out of a singular frustration: why is religion often so at odds with preserving our environment, nature, the creation. E.O. Wilson, a secular humanist, pleads with a strawman "pastor" to join him in saving the creation we all depend upon. While he makes many an argument for evolution and the importance of biology, in the end, he appeals to this pastor that one's origin belief is irrelevant. We have an emergency (he largely focuses on mass extinction of countless species ...more
Margarita Carrillo
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recomiendo este libro a todos los naturalistas de corazón, biólogos, ambientólogos, religiosos, etc. El libro está escrito como si fuera una carta a un pastor bautista. En esta carta E.O. Wilson, explica como la religión y la ciencia pueden luchar para salvar la naturaleza (la creación). El autor muestra que a pesar de que ciencia y religión tienen ideas opuestas en cuanto al origen de la vida o del universo mismo, existen algunas cosas en las que pueden unirse y trabajar por un fin común que se ...more
Theresa Leone Davidson
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautifully written plea to save the natural world by Pulitzer Prize winning, Harvard University professor and biologist, Edward Wilson. The book is written in the form of a letter to an evangelical minister because, unfortunately, educated, intelligent people still have to convince the witless, superstitious, and happily ignorant folks to help save the planet if there is any chance for it to be saved. Wilson's writing is accessible, and his argument is clear and factual; the problem i ...more
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, science
I really liked this book. It was my favorite of the three E.O. Wilson books I've read so far. However, I agree with another reviewer that many religious individuals would probably reject this book wholeheartedly. While I don't think he means to, Wilson does sound extremely condescending when addressing the hypothetical pastor that this book is addressed to. Another problem is that he doesn't get into any religious-based reasons that Christians/other religious people should care about the environ ...more
Feb 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Mmh. I'm not sure why this book is titled The Creation. I'm glad E. O. Wilson makes an effort to reach out to Christians in taking care of the earth. Not a ton is discussed concerning that but Wilson does a good job at painting this Earth and the wonders within which we barely understand 10% of it. It makes me uneasy why an appeal would be needed by a scientist for Christians to care for the Earth, because Christians ought to be the ones taking care of creation extremely serious and there needs ...more
Lauren Schnoebelen
I wanted to rate this lower because I already knew a wide amount of the information that was presented in this book. If I was going off of that I would have probably given it 3 stars but reflecting on the way the information was explained as well as the general communication techniques is was really won me over. E O Wilson has an excellent way of communicating science to the general public and specific groups that generally push back against the scientific community; especially on topics like cl ...more
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I had some problems with this book. I really liked the argument format in theory and I think the idea of writing about biodiversity aimed at traditionalist Christian ministers was really interesting. However, I found that the argument seemed to carry a very narrow scope and often seemed to forget about the literal Bible interpretation audience that it is posed to speak to. I also just found a lot of the discussion of biodiversity dull, but that is more of a personal interest thing, not as much o ...more
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
The authors pleads with religious conservatives that more unites us than divides us about conservation and saving the planet. An entomologist by trade, much of the book focuses on the loss of habitat and insects - which ins't the sexiest approach. Maybe pandas and polar bears would have made it more engaging. And even though I would not describe myself as a religious conservative, I appreciated his gracious approach to preaching the word of conservation. He truly does seek to unite all of our in ...more
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ecology

E.O. Wilson, one of America's foremost scientists and secular humanists, has
penned a moving appeal for religionist and scientist alike to set aside their
differences and focus together on preserving Earth's biological diversity for
the benefit of today's and future generations (which, in the case of many
bacteria and insects, will also begin and end today). In a beautiful prose
reminiscent – no doubt intentionally – of Aldo Leopold, Wilson moves directly
to share his sense of awe in the face of

Franz Mueter
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another compelling read by one of my favorite science writers, this time in the form of a passionate letter to evangelical leaders to join in the movement for the conservation of biological diversity. The title was of course chosen to appeal to the evangelical community, but is not meant to imply a creator but rather seeks to find common ground between humanists and evangelicals.
Joel Doetsch
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, nonfiction
Beautifully written call to action towards religious leaders to help prevent the continued loss of Earth's biodiversity. Amazed at how passionate this man is about this subject without getting preachy about it. Would definitely recommend to that religious person you know.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
Beautifully written in the form of a letter, appealing to the morality of religious folk in getting them to see why the fight to save the planet should matter to them!
Aedan Lake
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The apparent lack of concern of the religious for the state of this world has always niggled at me a little, and it seems that it also preys on far greater minds than my own, judging by E O Wilson's decision to frame his "appeal to save life on Earth" with the device of a letter to an unnamed Southern Baptist Pastor. A straw-man, of sorts, but one based on Wilson's own experience of growing up as a Baptist in the Southern USA, and one that explicitly calls on the spirit of Southern Hospitality t ...more
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
I had high hopes for this one, given the original recommendation I received, and it seemed particularly timely to look for an appeal to the religious side to get involved in conservation. Sadly, I'd give it only 1-2 stars for accomplishing its intent, while the writing itself gets 4 stars.

Apparently Wilson's idea of "finding common ground" is that the religious side should acknowledge they are wrong and embrace science for the good of all humanity. Aside from beginning each chapter addressing a
E.O Wilson targets a tough crowd: Fundamentalist Southern Baptist Christians. The subject matter of this book is very personal to me as a current Environmental Science major who doubles as a Christian. Despite the wide-scale, increasingly consequential beatings the environment has received in the past 50 years, it has never made an appearance on the prayer request list in my local Baptist community. "Environmentalism" seems to be a taboo word on it's own without "climate change" and "tax increas ...more
Mason Wiebe
Jan 30, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone concerned abou saving the earth
Written by one of the most respected and accomplished biologists of our time (one of Time magazine’s most important people of the 20th century), The Creation is written as a letter from Wilson to a fictional member of the clergy, Pastor. It is an appeal for science and religion to put aside differences and work together to save The Creation (Earth, life, the biosphere…). There are lots of facts relating to biodiversity and the rapid loss of it since the agricultural revolution. His main argument ...more
Andrew Georgiadis
Understanding the biological diversity of life on Earth should not be the exclusive province of a few (the Ph.Ds of our university zoology departments, namely). E.O. Wilson has made a career of two things: entomology, which is less accessible, and transmuting his love of the natural world into tomes imploring the average person to a sociobiological ethic. He does this most effectively when his books are barren of any appeals to the supernatural.

"The Creation" has magical moments, but Wilson succ
Aug 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ecology
Written as a series of letters to a pastor, E.O. Wilson pleads for finding common ground between the two most powerful forces for human behavior - religion and science. Wilson is, of course, responding to religion as he has known it, and has argued against the science he cherishes, which is, indeed, a subset of religious beliefs and teachings. There are other religious people, across the spectrum of religions, who already embrace science, able to hold quite well both the teachings and beliefs of ...more
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was ok
E. O. Wilson is very clear on the intent of the book: make an argument to religiously-minded people that nature is amazing and beautiful and in dire need of our protection and wise stewardship. Secular scientists and God-followers should overlook their differences, find common ground and fight together to protect our special home. Wow, that’s a great idea! Unfortunately, Wilson’s effort is a jaw-dropping failure for delivering that message.

While the book does a reasonably okay job on the “Wow,
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was first introduced to the work of E.O. Wilson in an animal behavior class in college. Called the "Father of Sociobiology", his work has at times come under fire, but this work is fabulous. Wilson writes a letter to a Baptist pastor about why the environment with all its ecosystems must be allowed to exist and regenerate. Wilson was not as pessimistic as some of the authors I have read, so I'm not quite as hopeless feeling as I was after reading Hot, Flat and Crowded by Friedmann.
Also, the l
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E. O. Wilson 1 13 Jul 16, 2008 03:41PM  
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Edward Osborne Wilson is an American biologist, researcher, theorist, and author. His biological specialty is myrmecology, a branch of entomology. A two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, Wilson is known for his career as a scientist, his advocacy for environmentalism, and his secular-humanist ideas pertaining to religious and ethical matters. He is Pellegrino University Re ...more
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