Occasionally, I discover a book at the Fargo Public Library that I want to own. Not only do I desire to have it my personal library, it's a volume I really need on my Kindle (you Nook owners know this feeling too). Such is a book I came across recently entitled at the Carlson Southside Branch of the FPL: Among the Creationists: Dispatches from the Anti-Evolutionist Front Line by Jason Rosenhouse, published this year (2012) by Oxford University Press.
Rosenhouse, an Associate Professor of Mathematics at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, writes about his experiences at a number of conferences conducted by believers in and promoters of "creationism." This form of religious belief advocates taking the Holy Bible literally, particularly Genesis. For example: despite mountains of scientific evidence that the universe is over 13 billion years old, creationists peg that figure at only 10,000 years; some of them say that's the age of our own solar system, again, despite much scientific evidence to the contrary.
Creationists reject evolution and they have constructed the Creation Museum located near Petersburg, Kentucky, to explain--especially to children--how "God created" the Earth, the universe and all plants and animals according to the Biblical narrative. In fact, these religious fanatics reject fossilized evidence of the transition of species, despite tons of contrary and scientifically-tested science. The default response to nearly every question troublesome to their "theories" is "The Bible says so and that's all I need to know."
Rosenhouse describes his encounters and experiences at these "creationist conferences" in a non-argumentative, factual and insightful way. It's amazing the outright ignorance he runs into. Although he says he's an atheist, Rosenhouse's book causes me to think he may be more of an agnostic, as was the late scientist educator, the great Carl Sagan. Dr. Sagan trusted science and the evidence it produced. An interviewer once asked his close friend and professional associate, Ann Druyan, if Sagan "didn't want to believe?" She replied: "He didn't want to believe. He wanted to know."
After reading Among the Creationists, I conclude that creationists don't want to know. They simply want to believe, whether what they're believing is true...or not.
For more information on this excellent book and to purchase it, in hardcover or for the Kindle, click on the Amazon link below: