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Species of Origin

Species of Origins: America’s Search for a Creation Story

Rowman & Littlefield | December 2002

In Species of Origins, Karl Giberson and Donald Yerxa examine America’s controversial conversation about creation and evolution, while noting that part of the discord stems from growing cultural and religious diversity of the United States. They argue powerfully that the real issue is the headlong confrontation between two seemingly incompatible world views upon which millions of Americans rely: modern naturalistic science and the Judeo-Christian religions.

Purpose:  “Species of Origins will not resolve complex issues; in fact, we will argue that the disagreements that separate creationists from evolutionists are basically unresolvable. We will, however, give readers a clearer picture of a landscape that for many must seem to be shrouded in an impenetrable fog. Species of Origins counters the notion that there are only two positions at play in America’s origins controversy: atheistic evolution and biblical creationism. By profiling creationism, materialistic evolution, intelligent design, and theistic evolution from a sympathetic perspective we offer readers a way to understand the different perspectives and, more importantly, why those perspectives are enthusiastically embraced by some while being aggressively rejected by others.”


Foreword: Donald A. Yerxa




All too often, writings on creations and evolution have been marred by special pleading, ignorance, or a lack of civility. Giberson (a scientist) and Yerxa (a historian) have collaborated to produce the most accessible, accurate, and evenhanded introduction to the subject that I have read in a long time.
— Ronald L. Numbers, Author of The Creationist and Darwinism Comes to America

Yerxa and Giberson are to be commended on their superb and highly readable accounts of modern American debates over creation. An essential resource for anyone wanting to understand what is at stake and how the various options shape up.
— Alister McGrath, Professor of Historical Theology, Oxford University

A refreshing book that transcends the stereotypes and caricatures so common to the controversy over biological origins. If you really want to understand America’s search for a creation story, read Species of Origins.
— William A. Dembski, Author of No Free Lunch and The Design Inference

An excellent survey of modern religious and anti-religious debates on the origins of the universe. It can be highly commended as providing a balanced, readable, and comprehensive account of the debate and its leading proponents.
— Keith Ward, Regius Professor of Divinity, Oxford University

Species of Origins is the most comprehensive analytical survey of the various positions with respect to the evolution-creation issue known to me. It is lucidly written, well balanced, sociologically informed, and humanely aimed at promoting empathetic understanding of the clashing world views of a deeply divided American public.
— John C. Greene, Author of Debating Darwin: Adventures of a Scholar