MAN AND HIS PLANET by James E. Jr. Strickling

MAN AND HIS PLANET

An Unauthorized History

KIRKUS REVIEW

Challenging evolution and creationism, Strickling concludes that Earth's past, including the creation of life, is largely shaped by the planet's history of catastrophic events.

The appearance of the word "unauthorized" often implies a bit of scandal can be found between a book's covers. Strickling's harsh handling of Darwin (and the corresponding "isms") satisfies in that regard, as he rails against the rigidity of an entrenched evolutionist establishment. Likewise, though much less disdainfully, the author refutes creationist viewpoints through his reasoned analysis. His critical investigation of these two conventional positions stimulates the reader to revisit the staunch doctrines of their science teachers and/or religious leaders. A well-organized, educated and compelling "unbiased examination" illustrates the supposed inaccuracies and shortcomings of both evolution and creationism, and encourages the reader to think open-mindedly. The latter two-thirds of the book, on the other hand, offer the newly open-minded reader something with which to fill the void: catastrophism. Strickling offers an unusual picture of Earth's history, from early formation to modern era, during which time the planet experienced several catastrophic events that induced the creation and development of life, and other times caused entire species to become extinct. These speculations upend prevailing beliefs about the geological timetable, Pangea, the origin of species, homo sapiens and so on. Not content with a thorough revision of the Earth's natural history, Strickling also applies his catastrophism model to ancient myths. From the great deluge and Noah's Ark, to the burning bush and the Arc of the Covenant, religious legends across the world are, sometimes tediously, linked to the planet’s tumultuous past. While Strickling attempts to methodically legitimize the catastrophism model, the argument apparently requires the reader to disregard the book's previously mentioned criticisms of science with regard to evolution. At times Strickling even seems to be demonstrating the fallacy of evolution by offering an equally plausible alternative–if it makes sense, why not make it true?

A readable, enjoyable, even believable book whose greatest value is the promotion of unbiased critical analysis.

Pub Date: Oct. 27th, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-60693-099-1
Program: Kirkus Indie
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