A primer on biblical and scientific theories of the creation of the universe.
Robinson has a unique vantage point on the controversy regarding the origin of life: he once taught science at a school in Norris, Tennessee, just 70 miles from where another teacher, John Scopes, was fined by a court in 1925 for teaching the theory of evolution. When students asked Robinson about the topic, he had to avoid saying anything that might violate Tennessee’s anti-evolution law, which was enacted in 1925 and only repealed in 1967. In that state, the controversy is still very much alive—a newer law, for example, allows teachers to debate creationism and evolution side by side in a science classroom. In this extended essay, Robinson provides a useful overview of the “current evidence pertaining to both ways that could have been used in Creation” so that members of the current generation of American youth “might decide for themselves.” He presents the biblical evidence for creationism—the first chapter of Genesis, he says, “should be appropriately recognized for...providing answers that have satisfied the concerns of millions of people”—alongside the science of natural laws that underlies evolution. He notes that the Big Bang theory, which postulates that the universe originated with a cosmic explosion of extremely compact matter, “fails to address the fundamental question: Where did all of the compact matter come from?” Overall, the author should be commended for the clarity of his explanations. However, he says little to advance the debate in any particular way. Readers may find his included “background of essay,” “The Evolution of Anti-Evolution in Public School Science Classes,” more enlightening. In 2005, a federal judge ruled that the theory of intelligent design was a religious belief, similar to creationism, so it couldn’t be taught in public schools as being science-based. Robinson engagingly argues that intelligent-design advocates have attempted to undermine that ruling by invoking academic freedom. The “crusade to ‘protect’ teachers from reprisal for expressing their opinion or engaging in the study, debate or discussion of Intelligent Design in public school classes,” he writes, “is a contrived fallacy.”
A book that offers an effective argument against the pseudoscience of intelligent design from an unusual point of view.