On the Evolution-Creation Struggle: A Book

Many years ago, a student entered my science class with a frustrated look and asked, “What is the purpose of history?” Fortunately, my answer is one that I remember and one that I frequently remind myself: To know where you are going, you must know where you are. To know where you are, you must know where you have been – that’s history.

For the past, several years I have done may share of reading about the interchange between science and theology, especially around the topic of evolution. Not all that long ago, I noticed a certain book on the library shelf, but I admit, knowing the reputation of the writer I didn’t proceed. Good news is that I gave in and I’m glad I did.

The creation-evolution debate continues today – many times in a religious context. However, this debate has a story – it has a history that should help us understand today. As it turned out, The Evolution-Creation Struggle (Michael Ruse, 2005) examines this historical perspective.

Although the core of the debate lies in the 1700s, Dr. Ruse starts the story with a view of Aristotle’s (the Great Chain of Being) that served as the baseline for many philosophical perspectives. Awareness of the thoughts before, during, and after Charles Darwin’s writings is paramount to understanding the situation.

While I differ with Dr. Ruse’s views about God, he primarily focused on the history – thus held-back his perspective until the final chapters. Surely, one can argue that Ruse injects his perspective throughout the book through his view of history, but I challenge critics to show me any unbiased analysis. Bottom line – The Evolution-Creation Struggle is worth reading because it helped me better understand the misunderstanding and misconceptions held by many.

10 thoughts on “On the Evolution-Creation Struggle: A Book

  1. Isn’t that history quote from John F. Kennedy? I never heard it directly – I got my introduction to it by Barry Manilow.
    (Pause for the groans to subside.)
    This book sounds like a good read. Of course, that requires finding a book store. Rarer than drive-thrus serving possum around here. 😉
    I knew the “creation vs. evolution” had gone on for a while, but not as far as ancient Greece! 😀 Seriously, it’ll be interesting to see what fundamentals presented by Aristotle could support the creation side of things – I have my suspicions, but I’ll avoid any “spoilers”.
    Stay dry!

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    • John,
      Not sure who is credited for saying it, although someone once told me Teddy Roosevelt. For me, it just came out …. and (at the time), I had no idea that it was already used.

      This book is a good read, especially for a historical sense. Another good one involving history is Saving Darwin by Karl Giberson. BTW, both of these book I found in the library. FYI: Not only check your local library, but also see if they are part of a larger network that share books …. and it’s FREE! Heck, your local library’s website may have the info.

      Thanks for commenting.

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  2. I have not read this book, but my guess would be that he concludes or alludes to the fact that throughout history one of the main driving engines is social control. Whether you are following a creation narrative or an evolutionist theory – the ability to control the story equals the ability to control people who buy in to the story. So both sides enter into a struggle for control – and oddly enough are far more similar than they are different.

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    • Beagz,
      It was a good read. Knowing Ruse’s belief system, I avoided this book … then decided to read it, and glad I did. Good point about control. As the sides struggle with control, part of me believes each are relying on that people believe that the “one or the other – must chose” model” is the only model. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. just a quick note. We have some heavy weather coming in, and my Emails are down, so just to let you know, I’ll probably lose my Internet shortly. Don’t worry if I’m quiet until tomorrow. Enjoy the peace! 😉 I’ll let you know when I get on tomorrow. Keep yourself safe, okay? 🙂

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  4. I wonder who decides what is unbiased? Are you telling me that you know longer take the position that you have adhered to all of your adult life? It’s okay to be biased if you are honest enough to admit that you are. If you can’t do that, then what is the purpose of trying to have an educated discussion.

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    • Randy,
      Your question needs further clarification. Are you denying that people have biases based on religion, political references, and personal experiences (including education)? Thanks for commenting.

      Like

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