Saving Darwin

HarperOne | June, 2008

Saving Darwin explores the history of the controversy that swirls around evolution science, from Darwin to current challenges, and shows why—and how—it is possible to believe in God and evolution at the same time.

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Drawing on his fundamentalist upbringing and experience teaching physics at an evangelical college, Giberson has a native understanding of how conservative Christians feel and think about evolution. As a Christian evolutionist, he finds himself occupying a frequently misunderstood middle ground in the midst of a culture war, fought with culture-war weapons by culture warriors. Behind the culture war, Giberson sketches an engaging historical narrative including Darwin’s background in intelligent design, what really happened at the Scopes monkey trial and how catastrophist geology derived from Seventh Day Adventism found an audience among the evangelical mainstream in the post-Sputnik era. By tackling the debate in cultural as well as scientific terms, Giberson does greater justice to the motivations of Christians who reject evolution. Yet he does not conceal his frustration—on theological as well as scientific grounds—with the rubbish of scientific creationism, which has climbed onto the radar screens of American intellectual culture only as a bad joke. Giberson’s sarcasm, however honestly come by, may cause the book to alienate an evangelical audience it might otherwise engage.
— Publishers Weekly
A much-needed book . . . a powerful contribution.
— Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D.
A poignant account of [Giberson’s] Christian pilgrimage from Creationist to Evolutionist. He offers a sympathetic historical analysis laced with trenchant criticism of both misguided intelligent design advocates and hard core atheists.
— Kenneth R. Miller, Professor of Biology, Brown University, and author of Finding Darwin's God
An intensely personal account of [Giberson’s] intellectual journey from creationism to the acceptance of evolution . . . By situating his own story in the context of larger social and scientific developments, Giberson’s book can serve as a guide for other Christians on a similar trek.
— Edward J. Larson, author of the Pulitzer Prize winning Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and the American Controversy over Creation and Evolution.
Giberson makes the case, persuasively and with considerable wit, that there’s no irreconcilable conflict between robust Christian faith and evolutionary biology, rightly understood. This is a wonderfully readable book: humane, modest, and wise.
— John Wilson, Editor, Books & Culture
Karl Giberson here presents a poignant account of his Christian pilgrimage from Creationist to Evolutionist. He offers a sympathetic historical analysis laced with trenchant criticism of both misguided intelligent design advocates and hard core atheists.
— Owen Gingerich, author of God's Universe, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy & History of Science, Harvard University
Karl Giberson skillfully unravels the tangled skein of argument about creation and evolution, showing that there need be no incompatibility between Christianity and Darwinism. His writing is lively, in a style that is both informal and informed. This is a book that many will find helpful.
— John Polkinghorne, author of Belief in God in an Age of Science
Giberson posesses a boundless inquisitiveness typical of many scientiests, but also displays the wry wit of a seasoned polemicist. He seems to know how to counteract your best arguments before you have even made them.
— Salon.com
This sensitively written and convincingly argued book succeeds in respecting both religious beliefs and scientific facts in discussing thoeries surrounding the creation of the world. . . A truly courageous work.
— Library Journal
Writing in nontechnical, engaging prose, [Giberson] tells the 150-year story of Christianity’s engagement with evolution, along the way staking out a position midway between Richard Dawkins, the apostle of atheism, and Ken Ham, the huckster of creationism.
— Ronald L. Numbers, Hilldale Professor of the History of Science and Medicine, Department of Medical History and Bioethics, University of Wisconsin