An atheist professor will soon be releasing the hardback version of a book chronicling his experiences attending creation science conferences and sites.
Already available on Kindle and Nook, Jason Rosenhouse's book, titled Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolution Frontline, includes details about his visits, including to the Creation Museum.
In an interview with The Christian Post, Rosenhouse, who is an associate professor of mathematics at James Madison University in Virginia, explained his reasons for writing the book.
"In May 2000, having just finished my graduate studies in mathematics, I began a post-doc at Kansas State University. This was when the fracas over their science standards was still in full swing," said Rosenhouse.
"I found out about a conference for religious homeschoolers to be held in Wichita…It turned out that all of the keynote speakers at the conference were from Answers in Genesis. This led me to become interested in learning more about the science of evolution and what my fellow conference attendees thought about it."
As to his opinion as to whether or not the conferences on creation science that he attended made convincing arguments, Rosenhouse said that he felt that proponents of creation science made the most valid points regarding "the religious implications of evolution."
"Are we a chance end result of an unpredictable evolutionary process, or are we the special creations of a God who loves us? There is clearly tension here, and while many Christians have resolved these issues to their own satisfaction I can understand why so many others see it as an unavoidable conflict," said Rosenhouse.
Bob Sorensen, who is part of the "Question Evolution Project," told CP that he felt Rosenhouse's account of Creation Science conferences is one that is harmed by Rosenhouse's "own biases and presuppositions."
"He complained about the lack of 'scholarly literature in this area.' Yet, there are many technical articles from a variety of scientific disciplines available online. Did he bother to check those, and the credentials of the creationist scientists?" said Sorensen.
"Frankly, most evolutionists that I have encountered online who attempt to discredit creation science are woefully uninformed as to what is really taught and believed by creationists."
Rosenhouse's book comes during a time when many state legislatures are considering bills that would either insert some form of creation science into public curriculum or encourage a more critical viewpoint of the theory of evolution.
For example, in January the Indiana State Senate considered a bill that would have allowed public schools to teach other theories on the origin of life. Senate Bill 89, which was sponsored by State Senator Dennis Kruse, was defeated.
And last week the Tennessee Legislature passed a bill that would encourage "critical thinking" regarding the theory of evolution. Although SB 893 did not add creationism to the curriculum, some church-state watchdog groups believe it would lead to such teachings.
Rosenhouse's book is also coming not long after the Reason Rally was held this past Saturday at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. An estimated 20,000 people attended the event, which included several speakers and some counter demonstrations. Rosenhouse, who also attended, told CP that he felt it was "for the most part" an inspiring event.
"I think one of the big problems atheism faces is invisibility. A lot of people don't know they know an atheist. So an event like this, with the attendant press coverage can be very helpful," he said.
Sorensen, however, said the Reason Rally was another example of "New Atheists" co-opting terms like "rational" and "realist" even when their arguments lack reason.
"I have stopped many atheists in their tracks who call themselves 'rational' and who love 'reason,' but utilize the most basic logical fallacies," said Sorensen.
"Some of the greatest scientists, past and present, have been Bible-believing Christians. We need to reclaim the ground that has been surrendered to secularists, and realize that God gave us minds to use."