Books on Creationism and Intelligent Design

This is going to be a comprehensive list of books on the religious pseudoscience of creationism and its newest reincarnation, intelligent design from various perspectives, both scientific, philosophical and religious.

Books on Creationism and Intelligent Design

1. Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design is a book written by Michael Shermer. It is a great and lucid introduction to intelligent design and its scientific flaws. It also argues that evolution is compatible with religion and that science and religion represents two non-overlapping fields of inquiry and that truth cannot contradict truth.

2. Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism is a book edited by Matt Young and Taner Edis that contains several different chapters written by different leading scientists in the field responding to claims made by the intelligent design creationists, such as the evolution of the avian flight apparatus, the bacterial flagellum, the origin of genetic information and complexity and so on. This is a slightly technical book, but a must for anyone wanting to get a thorough treatment of the flaws of intelligent design creationism.

3. Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design is a book by Barbara Forrest and Paul Gross examining the intelligent design movement. It is a deep and penetrative analysis that exposes the creationist origin of its new incarnation of intelligent design.

4. God, the Devil, and Darwin: A Critique of Intelligent Design Theory is a book written by Niall Shanks that painstakingly demonstrates the utter intellectual poverty of intelligent design creationism and demolishes their core arguments. It is a close and detailed analysis and is well worth reading.

5. Deception by Design: The Intelligent Design Movement in America is a detailed investigation into the history of the anti-evolution movements in the United States, from the Scopes trial in the 1920s and the rise of “creation science” to intelligent design, the newest reincarnation of creationism. This book includes a copy of Wedge Document, a leaked internal document that spells out the theocratic political goals of the intelligent design creationists. This book is also available online.

6. The Counter-Creationism Handbook contains detailed refutations of several hundred of the most commonly used creationist arguments. The book is written by Mark Isaak, a long-time contributer to the website talkorigins, where the book is also available online. This is a must-read for anyone who is serious about understanding the complete failure of creationism.

7. Scientists Confront Intelligent Design and Creationism is a new edition of an earlier book investigating creationism and it contains mostly new essays and some revised holdovers from the original edition by prominent scientists such as Kevin Padian, Victor Stenger, Eugenie C. Scott and Robert T. Pennock. It covers the relationship between creationism and intelligent design, biological complexity and emergence, the origin of life and more. It works as a great overview of the situation as well as in-depth treatment of selected issues.

8. Intelligent Thought: Science versus the Intelligent Design Movement is another collection of essays from leading scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Steven Pinker, Neil H. Shubin and Lee Smolin, refuting the claims of intelligent design creationism. It describes areas such as human evolution, cosmology and ethics.

9. Unintelligent Design is a book by Mark Perakh that examines the falsehood of creationist mathematics and physics. The first section gives leading creationist such as Dembski and Behe each a chapter, detailing their flawed reasoning. The second section is a critique against religious writers claiming that the bible is compatible with science and the last section deals with bible codes and general creationist misuse of probability. An excellent book for more technical topics.

10. Tower of Babel: The Evidence against the New Creationism is an early book written by philosopher of science Robert T. Pennock, a witness for science in the 2005 Dover trial. The book includes answers to common creationist arguments, describing the history of creationism, the evidence for evolution, the relationship between evolution and ethics as well as various principles in the philosophy of science such as methodological naturalism.

11. Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction is an introductory book written by Eugenie Scott, the director of the National Center for Science Education, which is an organization with the goal of protection the education system in the United States from anti-scientific attacks. This book is a very readable for the lay person and covers the history and method of creationists as well as discuss various religious and legal issues. The second edition has new content added regarding the Dover trial, public opinion and the media.

12. Science, Evolution, and Creationism is book written by various experts from National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine that explains the fundamental methods of science, why creationism is not science and provides legal and scientific reasons why it should not be taught in the science classroom. Also available online here.

13. The Creationists: From Scientific Creationism to Intelligent Design is an in-depth look at the historical roots of creationism and how it evolved over time to intelligent design. It is written by the renowned historian of science Ronald Numbers and although it is big as a brick, it is well worth the read.

14. Only A Theory: Evolution and the Battle for America’s Soul is a terrific book by Kenneth Miller, a catholic cell biologist who has been of the prime fighters against creationism, from debating Henry Morris in the early 1980s to defending evolution in the Dover Trial of 2005. It examines the evidence for evolution and the problems with the arguments put forward by intelligent design creationists, especially at the Dover trial.

15. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution is a lucid and clear book about the major lines of evidence for common descent by the evolutionary zoologist Richard Dawkins. Compared with his earlier book criticizing theism, this is Dawkins back at his best; methodical and unrelentless.

More to be added… Any suggestions?

Emil Karlsson

Debunker of pseudoscience.

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