Cover image for Evolution, creationism, and other modern myths : a critical inquiry
Evolution, creationism, and other modern myths : a critical inquiry
Deloria, Vine.
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Publication Information:
Golden, Colo. : Fulcrum Pub., [2002]

Physical Description:
x, 274 pages ; 24 cm
Do we need a beginning? -- The nature of science -- The primacy of science -- The logic of evolution -- The nature of the present earth history -- The nature of "religion" -- The philosophy/science of other "religions" -- The nature of history -- Efforts at synthesis -- The rocky road ahead.
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BL262 .D37 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Deloria takes Western science and religion to task in this witty and erudite assault on the current state of evolutionary theory, science, and religion. Incorporating non-Western and Native American ideas, as well as the concept of "Intelligent Design," Deloria provides us with a framework to better understand our beginnings.

Author Notes

Vine Deloria Jr. is a leading Native American scholar, whose research, writings, and teaching have encompassed history, law, religious studies, and political science. Named by Time magazine as one of the eleven greatest religious thinkers of the twentieth century, he is the author of numerous books

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

American Indian scholar Deloria has an unerring eye for the secret assumptions of American culture. In Red Earth, White Lies (1995) and God Is Red (1973), he unpacked the religious and mythological baggage that burdens Americans. Here he extends that shrewd analysis to acknowledge another kind of myth--science--as he argues that both sides in the evolution-versus-creationism debate are wrong. Far from submitting to a simple, we-are-right-and-they-are-wrong resolution, this intellectual duel finds only mistaken orthodoxies in the field, for creationism has no scientific basis, but evolution is far from proven. Indeed, Deloria argues that scientists routinely bury evidence against evolution in order to remain within the fold of scientific orthodoxy. The situation isn't that different from that of those who argue the ostensibly religious point of view, one that Deloria is quick to point out represents the creation myth of only a minority. What, he suggests, if the many cultures that have focused on emergence rather than creation are correct? What if the earth has been formed by a series of catastrophes, the memory of which is encoded in the many myths of worlds extant before this one? Certain to be controversial, likely to outrage the faithful of both camps, and a stunning good read. Patricia Monaghan

Library Journal Review

Native American author Deloria (Custer Died for Your Sins) has written an unusual and ultimately confusing book that rejects both Western religious fundamentalism and modern scientific naturalism, including theistic evolution. In his attempt to discredit geological and biological uniformitarianism, he gives credence to the catastrophic events described in both the oral traditions of ancient peoples and the controversial speculations of Immanuel Velikovsky (l895-l979). But catastrophism and uniformitarianism are not mutually exclusive explanatory frameworks to account for earth history. Deloria is guilty of misrepresentation when he deliberately ignores the recent empirical evidence from DNA analysis, paleontology, anthropology, and radiometric dating. In fact, the distinction between facts and myths is crucial; evolution is not a religious outlook, as he claims, but a scientific theory that explains organic history and is supported by established facts. Unfortunately, Deloria does not refer to the recent contributions by Richard Dawkins, Daniel C. Dennett, Ernst Mayr, and Edward O. Wilson. Moreover, he neither offers an age for this planet nor suggests how new species come into existence throughout biological time. Not recommended for science collections, but libraries collecting works on Native American thought might consider.-H. James Birx, Canisius Coll., Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. vii
1 Do We Need a Beginning?p. 1
2 The Nature of Sciencep. 23
3 The Primacy of Sciencep. 45
4 The Logic of Evolutionp. 67
5 The Nature of the Present Earth Historyp. 91
6 The Nature of "Religion"p. 113
7 The Philosophy/Science of Other "Religions"p. 137
8 The Nature of Historyp. 159
9 Efforts at Synthesisp. 181
10 The Rocky Road Aheadp. 201
Endnotesp. 223
Bibliographyp. 247
Indexp. 251