Hearts & Minds BookNotes

annotations, blurbs and ruminations

to enlarge the heart & stimulate the mind

and to happily generate mail order business for Hearts & Minds bookstore

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Location: Dallastown, PA

My lovely wife Beth and I own and operate--proprietors makes us sound more classy than we really are--a cluttered, diverse and independent bookstore in Central Pennsylvania. After well over 20 years, we are still not sure what to say when people ask if our shop is a "Christian bookstore." I do a monthly book review column over at our website; we hope that these new blogged bits will afford friends and customers the chance to see other books I happen to be reading, wishing to read, pretending that I read or at least believe that others should, if not read, know about. We have three children, attend a Presbyterian church in York, PA and have no hobbies.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Okay bloggers: "Get Reaaady to Rum-baaaaalllll"

Michael J. Behe is a heck of a pleasant fellow and, as far as I can tell (ah, the rumble will start here, I'm sure) a very thoughtful scholar. He made his name with the New York Times reviewed--that would be a positive review---Darwin's Black Box and his work in what the intelligent design movement calls "irreducible complexity." Dr. Behe is a researcher and professor at Lehigh University here in Pennsylvania, and many of us truly respect him. Even now I grind my teeth when I recall how a friend in the local paper mocked his testimony at the infamous Dover "panda trial" implying he was some sort of wacko. A wacko he is not. Even most reasonable Darwinists who disagree with him see it fit to debate his work, and take him seriously.

The long awaited The Edge of Evolution: The Search for the Limits of Darwinism has just been released by the very presitigous The Free Press. Michael Denton, of course, has a nice blurb on the back as does Dr. Philip Skell, Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at Penn State, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences, who says this:
Until the past decade and the genomics revolution, Darwin's theory rested on indirect evidence and reasonable speculation. Now, however, we have begun to scratch the surface of direct evidence, of which this book offers the best possible treatment. Though many critics won't want to admit it, The Edge of Evolution is very balanced, careful, and devastating. A tremendously important work.
Another scholar we admire, and have also met, and who also is a fine fella and an extraordinary scholar, is Francis S. Collins, the well-known evangelical who heads the Human Genome Project. His book, The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief will be out in paperback in July, with a new, updated chapter. It has some critique of the ID movement, and affirms the processes of evolution in ways that are consistent with the Christian faith. We highly recommend it, and the new edition will be a very important addition to the faith and science dialogue. We'll let readers know the day it arrives.

Would, in this ideological and scientific smack-down, that all those fighting for their views were as gentlemanly (and smart) as these two good men. When hard-core Darwinists pull stunts like stopping exceptional scholars from getting tenure, and when fundamentalist Christians send death threats to evolutionists, we know that we need examples of civil and thoughtful discourse. We've had some fun debates on this blog, in fact, about this stuff, and we are grateful for those who chime in. (Pray for Neil, by the way, who was in a very serious biking accident.) I am confident that Behe's new book will be one of the most discussed and debated titles of the year. He may take the intelligent design movement in a new direction, and he will certainly advance the conversation. For anyone interested in the sciences, it is truly a must-read.

The Edge of Evolution
regularly $27
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now $17
(more than 30% off)