My wife, knowing my interst in evolution, bought me a book that I was not previously familar with--"A Case for A Creator” by Lee Strobel.
I read it and here’s the book review. I don’t have a problem with Christians--I happen to be one myself. I do have a problem when they evangelize using poor theology and poor science. Mr. Strobel does that here.
In an introductory chapter, not related to his thesis, he criticizes the work of the Jesus Seminar. For those not familiar with the schlarly work of Christian thinkers, Christianity has it own version of “intelligent design"--groups of semi-scholars and conspiracy theorists willing to ignore evidence and critical of the dogmatic mainstream view. There is even a “Teach the controversy” claim and critiques of the mainstream religious worldview. I'm pretty sure that any well-established intellectual discipline has its own version of intelligent design-type of cranks and crackpots. The Jesus Seminar is one such group. Mr. Strobel’s criciticm of the Jesus Seminar demonstrates he is aware of the techniques of distortion, the one-sided misrepresentations paraded as "evidence" and spinning unproven hypthesis as “fact.” He knows crackpot theories when he sees them.
Mr. Strobel’s book represents itself as a fair-minded, even-handed attempt to convince nonbelievers and semi-believers that scientific evidence establishes God's existence. His entire book consists of interviews with Jonathan Wells, Steven Meyer, Michael Behe, Gulliermo Gonzalez and Jay Westley Richards. 'Nuff said. There are no other interviews with any scientists. He ignores all of the current scientific literature and also the vast amount of scientific and theological criticism of intelligent design. He also ignores the vast amount of theological discussion concluding that evolution itself is consistent with an informed and mature Christian worldview and has much to add to that worldview.
Let’s suppose a hypothetical person wrote a book about Christianity and Christian thought and only relies on fringe elements like:
Dan Brown, author of the Da Vinci Code
Osama Bin Laden
He specifically ignores Christian thinkers throughout the ages such as Augustine, Aquinas, C.S. Lewis or Chesterton.
He ignores this Book.
Would you think he really intended to write an intellectually honest, fair and even-handed discussion of Christianity?
I didn’t think so.
Yet, Mr. Stobel employs the same techniques as our hypothetical author above. No discussion of what evolution actually teaches. No discussion of Ernst Mayr or This is Biology; The Science of the Living World or
What Evolution Is.
No acknowledgement that his interviewees are part of a fringe movement, the "Jesus Seminar" of evolution, which has been debunked by the vast majority of real scientists, including Tower of Babel; The Evidence Against the New Creationism as just a single example.
And, of course no discussion of the book that started it all.
If you are interested in converting any of your friends to Christianity, don't give them this book.
I don't need to worry that anybody would actually mistake this book for any coherent scientific treatise.