Writing in the academic journal Metascience, philosopher Stefan Blancke has reviewed Among the Creationists. Blancke is a postdoc in the Department of Philosophy at Ghent University in Belgium. Together with fellow philosophers Maarten Boudry and Johan Braeckman, is the author of an important paper calling into question some of the arguments made by the pro-evolution side with regard to methodological naturalism. Since I quote their paper favorably in the book, I was especially interested to know what Blancke thought of the book. Did he like it? Well, here’s the opening paragraph:
On a dark and cold December evening in 2008, a colleague and I were driving to a small town in Belgium to meet with two members of the creationist organization Creabel for an interview. I already had some idea of what the average creationist believes and, surely, to a large extent, the Belgian creationists confirmed the stereotype. However, what particularly struck me was their sincere concern with the fate of our souls if we were to continue to endorse evolution. This made me realize that to them, the question whether one accepts evolution or creation is not a matter of scientific fact, but in a very real sense, a matter of life and death. Although this experience was very illuminating, I have not pursued such encounters with creationists afterward and have continued my research on creationism at a more abstract level. Jason Rosenhouse, however, is different. Being a mathematician, he has developed the unlikely habit of attending creationist conferences and visiting creationist museum. During these excursions, he not only repeatedly confronts the speakers with their mistaken conceptions, but also engages in lively and fascinating conversions with the individuals who populate their audiences. As he could no find that information he thus retrieved in the literature, he decided to write a book about his experiences. The resulting volume offers an original, intriguing and well-written introduction not only to the creationist mindset, but also to several scientific, philosophical and theological issues relating to the evolution/creation debates.
And his conclusion:
To sum up, Rosenhouse has written a highly readable and captivating volume that provides us with an exceptional perspective on creationism and the people who believe in it. Because of its original personal approach, the perceptive comments and the meticulous representations of intricate discussions, I warmly recommend Rosenhouse’s Among the Creationists to everyone with even the slightest interest in creationism, fundamentalism, the relation between science and religion and the teaching of evolutionary biology; and to everyone else.
Score some more!
Folks, all the cool kids are reading my book. Don’t be the last one to hop aboard! Blancke’s review is not freely available online, but you can read the first two pages by going here and selecting the “Look Inside” option. And since the review is only three pages along, that’s pretty good!