What to Read About the New Atheism

Some folks have declared April 1 to be National Atheist Day. Be that as it may, in the past four or five years a spate of titles has appeared by the new atheists. Volumes by Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris and Dennett, for example, have sold very well indeed as a new militant and evangelistic strand of atheism has come to the fore.

As an illustration of this resurgence, consider a Melbourne bookstore I visited several years ago. At the front of the shop it featured its top five best sellers. This is what was hot at least as of June 8, 2007:

1. God is Not Great, How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens
2. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
3. Romulus, My Father by Raimond Gaita
4. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins
5. Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam by Michel Onfray

Thus three of the top five books were atheist manifestos, while one was a book about New Age mumbo jumbo. But the atheist crusade has not gone unanswered. There have been a number of works written in response to these missionaries of atheism.

There have been at least forty such titles which have appeared in the past several years (I should know, since I own all of them). I list them here, along with some other titles, for those wishing to pursue these matters further. But given that there are so many titles listed here, perhaps I might suggest a few which I find especially helpful.

The new book by Andrews is really quite helpful, with a strong emphasis on science. Berlinski does a terrific demolition job of much of the pretence of atheism and the scientism it embraces. D’Sousa’s volume is one of the best to cover all the main bases in the debate.

Feser offers a detailed philosophical critique, largely based on the thought of Aristotle and Aquinas. The volume by Hahn and Wiker is an especially good dissection of Dawkins. Peter Hitchens is interesting for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that he is the brother of atheist Christopher Hitchens.

Keller and McGrath are both well worth reading. Spiegel looks at the psychological roots of atheism (a moral rebellion against God). Wilson is usually helpful, and Zacharias is always good value. So with these many good titles on offer, I commend them to you. Happy reading.

Critiques of atheism

Aikman, David, The Delusion of Disbelief. SaltRiver, 2008.
Andrews, Edgar, Who Made God? EP Books, 2009.
Berlinski, David, The Devil’s Delusion: Atheism and its Scientific Pretensions. Crown Forum, 2008.
Blanchard, John, Does God Believe in Atheists? Evangelical Press, 2000.
Crean, Thomas, God is No Delusion: A Refutation of Richard Dawkins. Ignatius, 2007.
Day, Vox, The Irrational Atheist: Dissecting the Unholy Trinity of Dawkins, Harris, and Hitchens. Benbella, 2008.
De Lubac, Henri, The Drama of Atheist Humanism. Meridian Books, 1965.
D’Sousa, Dinesh, What’s So Great About Christianity? Regnery, 2007.
Fernandes, Phil, The Atheist Delusion. Xulon Press, 2009.
Feser, Edward, The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism. St. Augustine’s Press, 2008.
Flew, Antony, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. HarperOne, 2007.
Ganssle, Gregory, A Reasonable God: Engaging the New Face of Atheism. Baylor University Press, 2009.
Garrison, Becky, The New Atheist Crusaders. Thomas Nelson, 2007.
Geisler, Norman and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be an Atheist. Crossway Books, 2004.
Guillen, Michael, Can a Smart Person Believe in God? Nelson Books, 2004.
Gumbel, Nicky, Is God a Delusion? London: Alpha, 2008.
Hahn, Scott and Benjamin Wiker, Answering the New Atheism. Emmaus Road Publishing, 2008.
Hart, David Bentley, Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies. Yale University Press, 2009.
Hedges, Chris, I Don’t Believe in Atheists. Continuum, 2008.
Hitchens, Peter, The Rage Against God. Zondervan, 2010.
Keller, Tim, The Reason for God. Dutton, 2008.
McGrath, Alister, Dawkins’ God: Genes, Memes, and the Meaning of Life. Blackwell, 2004.
McGrath, Alister, The Dawkins’ Delusion. 2007.
McGrath, Alister, The Twilight of Atheism. Doubleday, 2006.
Markham, Ian, Against Atheism: Why Dawkins, Hitchens, and Harris Are Fundamentally Wrong. Wiley-Blackwell, 2010
Marshall, David, The Truth Behind the New Atheism. Harvest House, 2007.
Miceli, Vincent, The Gods of Atheism. Arlington House, 1971.
Mohler, Albert, Atheism Remix. Crossway Books, 2008.
Morey, Robert, The New Atheism and the Erosion of Freedom. Presbyterian and Reformed, 1986.
Poole, Michael, The ‘New’ Atheism: 10 Arguments That Don’t Hold Water. Lion, 2009.
Rhodes, Ron, Answering the Objections of Atheists, Agnostics, and Skeptics. Harvest House, 2006.
Robertson, David, The Dawkins Letters. Christian Focus, 2007.
Slane, Rob, The God Reality. DayOne, 2008.
Spiegel, Jim, The Making of an Atheist. Moody Press, 2010.
Ward, Keith, Why There Almost Certainly Is a God: Doubting Dawkins. Lion, 2008.
Williams, Peter, A Sceptic’s Guide to Atheism. Paternoster, 2009.
Wilson, Andrew, Deluded by Dawkins? 2007.
Wilson, Doug, The Deluded Atheist: A Response to Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion. American Vision, 2008.
Wilson, Doug, God Is. How Christianity Explains Everything. American Vision, 2008.
Wilson, Doug, Letter from a Christian Citizen. American Vision, 2007.
Zacharias, Ravi, Can Man Live Without God? Thomas Nelson, 2004.
Zacharias, Ravi, The Real Face of Atheism? Baker, 2004.

Some key atheist titles

Dawkins, Richard, The God Delusion. Houghton Mifflin, 2006.
Dennett, Daniel, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. Viking Adult, 2006.
Grayling, A.C., Against All Gods. Oberon Books, 2007.
Harris, Sam, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason. Norton, 2005.
Harris, Sam, Letter to a Christian Nation. Knopf, 2006.
Hitchens, Christopher, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Twelve, 2007.
Hitchens, Christopher, ed., The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever. Da Capo Press, 2007.
Onfray, Michel, Atheist Manifesto: The Case Against Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Arcade, 2007.
Russell, Bertrand, Why I am Not a Christian. Touchstone, 1927, 1967.
Stenger, Victor, God: The Failed Hypothesis. How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist. Prometheus, 2007.
Stenger, Victor, The New Atheism: Taking a Stand for Science and Reason. Prometheus, 2009.

Both views

Ankerberg, John, ed., Antony Flew and Gary Habermas, Resurrected?: An Atheist and Theist Dialogue. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005.
Craig, William Lane and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, God: A Debate Between a Christian and an Atheist. Oxford University Press, 2004.
Hitchens, Christopher and Douglas Wilson, Is Christianity Good for the World?: A Debate. Canon Press, 2008.
Moreland, J.P. and Kai Nielsen, Does God Exist?: The Debate Between Theists & Atheists. Prometheus, 1993.
Plantinga, Alvin and Michael Tooley, Knowledge of God (Great Debates in Philosophy). Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.
Sire, James and Carl Peraino, Deepest Differences: A Christian-Atheist Dialogue. IVP, 2009.
Stewart, Robert, ed., The Future of Atheism: Alister McGrath and Daniel Dennett in Dialogue. Fortress, 2008.
Wallace, Stan, ed., Does God Exist?: The Craig-Flew Debate. Ashgate Pub., 2003.

Debates on DVD

Can Atheism Save Europe?: Christopher Hitchens vs. John Lennox. 2008.
Collision: Christopher Hitchens vs. Douglas Wilson. 2009.
Does God Exist?: Christopher Hitchens vs. William Lane Craig. 2009.
The God Delusion Debate: Richard Dawkins vs. John Lennox. 2007.
God on Trial: A Debate on the Existence of God: Christopher Hitchens vs. Dinesh D’Souza. 2008.
Has Science Buried God?: Richard Dawkins vs. John Lennox. 2008.
Is God Great?: Christopher Hitchens vs. John Lennox. 2009.

(Most of the books authored by Christians – and many of the DVDs – can be obtained in Australia at Koorong Books.)

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29 Replies to “What to Read About the New Atheism”

  1. What about Sarfati’s, “The Greatest Hoax on Earth” pointedly written to refute Dawkins, “The Greatest Show on Earth”?

    John Nelson

  2. Thanks John

    I have not read it yet – I hope to. But yes it is basically a response to Dawkin’s new book on evolution, The Greatest Show on Earth. Thus it is more about evolution than atheism, although Dawkins is into both big time. Thus I would put Sarfati’s new book in my Science and Evolution bibliography, an older version of which can be found here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2008/03/09/readings-in-science-and-creation/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  3. Along with your site Bill, William Lane Craig’s site, Reasonable Faith (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/site/PageServer), is one of my “must read on a regular basis” sites. I think that many commentators on this site would appreciate his incisive debating skills. One great Christian apologist/philosopher whose absence from your list surprised me is Francis Schaeffer – love his work!

    Whatever happens Bill, please don’t give up on this blog. God has clearly gifted you as an apologist and commentator. I send links to your blogs to many, many people and pray that they read. Some do.

    Richest blessings,
    Kev Downes

  4. Thanks Kev

    Yes I very much enjoy Craig, and I do mention him in the DVD section. But his many books are more to be put under the heading of philosophy of religion and apologetics in general than rebutting the new atheism in particular.

    And Schaeffer also was an apologist. Indeed, this list is about the new atheists, whose writings have only appeared in the past five years or so. Schaeffer of course passed away in 1984, well before the emergence of the so-called new atheists.

    So Craig and Schaeffer feature very prominently indeed in my expensive bibliography on apologetics. Indeed, that biblio, taking up five pages of small print, features nearly 300 titles. I may post that on my site one day as well.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  5. I never wanted to read The God Delusion but I had to read that book first before reading The Dawkins Delusion by Alister McGrath and Deluded By Dawkins by Andrew Wilson. I would have been closed minded if I just read the responses to Dawkins book. As a result I found the critics more meaninful and I hope that as a result if I do speak to people they would take me more seriously as a result of reading Dawkins book (which I never really want to read again). At least one athesist who use to be a christian said that many she knew would never read antichristian books like what I do. John G West, Darwin Day In America, is also a good book too.
    Carl Strehlow

  6. Thanks Bill.

    This is a really handy list, as I have been encountering tough opposition recently. I’m looking forward to reading Peter Hitchens’ book. Reading Doug Wilson’s blog put me on to that one.

    Simon Kennedy, Victoria

  7. Although I can’t claim to have read all these books, or even most of them, I would count Feser’s as one of the most important. In that work he doesn’t only take down atheism but also the false philosophical and metaphysical meta-theories, such as Humanism, that has given atheism (and countless other isms) more plausibility than it deserves.

    Besides this the Aristotelean-Thomistic metaphysics is quite germane to serious philosophising about causation which I am discovering in my own research. Many of today’s top thinkers on causation such as Nancy Cartwright, Alexander Bird, Stephen Mumford and our own Brian Ellis and George Molnar have advocated something akin to the A-T theory.

    It’s all a very interesting development!

    Damien Spillane

  8. One irony in all this is, correct me if I am wrong, that Peter Hitchens is the brother of Christopher Hitchens. The former writes “The Rage against God”, the latter crusades for atheism. It’s a bit like Peter and Tim Costello, but on a grander scale, and a much more intense level.
    Murray R. Adamthwaite

  9. Thanks Murray

    Yes it is quite interesting that they are brothers, as I mention in my article. This may pose a small problem for those who want to argue for a god gene or some such thing, especially if they were identical twins!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  10. Bill, have you read The Divinity Code by Ian Wishart? It blows Dawkins, Spong and Hitchens out of the water. Some very good reviews on Amazon if you haven’t read it yet.
    Neville Wilcox

  11. On a side note – This week in the local Advertiser tuesday – once again we are treated to a sermon on the merits of atheism by Tory Sheperd who barely goes a week without attacking christianity and promoting atheism, abortion etc …. It’s the typical stuff they always write – never being able to move from “ought to is” etc…


    I have tried many times to write into this paper and show the obvious weaknesses in these types of articles but they will never pubish them.

    Jeremy Woods

  12. But which God-idea are you promoting?

    There is a book in my local library that lists 2000 names of God–each name has a brief description of its cultual origin.

    I much prefer this description of God.

    Happiness is the now-and-forever Mystery that IS the Real Heart and the Only Real God of every one.

    Sue Caldwell

  13. Thanks Sue

    But now we finally get down to where you are really at (given your comments on other articles): you simply want to invent the god you are comfortable with. But I’m afraid it doesn’t work that way. If God exists, then by definition he calls the shots, not us. Instead of inventing god in our own image, the purpose of life is to discover and worship the one true God. Jesus has revealed God to us, and made it clear what he demands of us his creatures. We either play by his rules or we don’t.

    And Jesus made it quite clear (as we already mentioned to you in other posts), that there are not a million roads to God, but only one. That road is through the cross of Christ, and our responsibility is to agree with God about our condition: we are sinners alienated from God, and the only way of being reconciled to God is to acknowledge our sins, and receive the forgiveness that Jesus offers.

    But sinful humans find that to be narrow and intolerant. It does cut across human pride big time. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Until we humble ourselves before almighty God, and admit our sin and selfishness, God cannot really do anything for us. It is our choice, but I encourage everyone to think carefully here, and to take seriously the truth claims made by Christ. Sure, his way is much more demanding than simply inventing the sort of god we are happy with. But if Jesus is telling the truth, then the consequences are of eternal significance.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  14. Richard Dawkins is not only an Atheist, which is sad and tragic, but a militant & evangelical atheist, which is quite scary.

    But he is also a brilliant scientist with a trenchant mind and writing style. I found his book “The Greatest Show” to be absolutely fascinating.

    I am a Christian who also accepts that evolution almost certainly has taken place. There is such an avalanche of evidence supporting the theory, and so little that refutes it, that I find I must read books that attempt to reconcile the book of Genesis with what we know from many decades of scientific research.

    Two such books are “The Language of God” by Francis Collins (another brilliant scientist who is a Christian) and “The Science of God” by Gerald Schroeder.

    Interestingly enough, the writings of Dawkins and his ilk actually strengthen my faith as they challenge me to continue believing in the face of what can sometimes look like ‘evidence’ that there is no God. I continually come to the conclusion that there is!!!

    David Williams

  15. Thanks Bill for the link but I have done a reasonably extensive study of the evolution/creation/age-of-the-earth debate and I have to say that I have come to the conclusion that mainstream science wins – we live live on an ancient earth in an ancient universe, and simple lifeforms existed before more complex ones. Dinosaurs lived and perished long before humans arrived on the scene. There were no dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark.

    Where does this leave the Bible? Where it has always been; as a rock of truth & wisdom.

    Now you can look at a rock from different angles in different light and it will look a bit different. But it is the same rock. For instance the Bible says “God’s power holds everything together”. Imagine the picture that this would bring to the mind of someone living 2000 years ago. But today we know about atoms and the nuclear forces.

    Same rock; that God upholds creation. Different viewing angle; natural forces do the work.

    Why is all this important? Because I wonder how many will reject the Gospel because they are told that belief in Christ requires a belief in a worldview of creation that is just not tenable in light of the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    Is the thinking person’s response to YEC Evangelism to become an Atheist? Has this been responsible for leading people to Atheism? It is – or should be – a sobering thought.

    David Williams

  16. And here are some more recent titles:

    Averick, Moshe, Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. CreateSpace, 2011.
    Blanchard, John, Does God Believe in Atheists? 2nd rev. ed. Evangelical Press, 2000, 2011.
    Eberstadt, Mary,The Loser Letters. Ignatius Press, 2010.
    Haught, John, God and the New Atheists. Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.
    Johnson, Phillip and John Mark Reynolds, Against All Gods: What’s Right and Wrong About the New Atheism. IVP, 2010.
    Lennox, John, Gunning for God: A Critique of the New Atheism. Lion, 2011.
    McDowell, Sean and Jonathan Morrow, Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised By the New Atheists. Kregel, 2010.
    McGrath, Alister, Why God Won’t Go Away: Engaging with the New Atheism. SPCK, 2011.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  17. Hahaha… April 1 for Atheists day – I love it!
    Will Psalm 14:1 be their slogan?

    As to the books, I can say that John Blanchard’s book, is a good one, with a humourous title: “Does God Believe in Atheists?” Evangelical Press, 2000

    And McGrath’s – The Twilight of Atheism, is a good read too.

    Trevor Faggotter

  18. The best evidence there is that there exists zero evidence for the neo-darwinian goo-to-you-via-the-zoo hypothesis is the fact that evolutionists have completely given up on the fossil record as evidence for neo-darwinism, all they have left is similarities in DNA, which only proves common design and not common descent… People who say the evidence best supports the neo-darwinian tale are just bluffing…. I’m yet to find any evolutionist who can present any reason to believe that the neo-darwinian tale is true other than “such-and-such authority says so”, well I can find plenty of authorities who says not… but don’t take my word for it… actually go out and find ANY evolutionist today who’s written any critique of creationist argument that is up to date (that is, not some critique of something Henry Morris or Duane Gish wrote back in 1965) or ANY evidence at all for goo-2-U that doesn’t try to argue that natural selection = evolution… after all one can’t even find a mechanism for creating or increasing genetic information in the DNA anywhere in the scientific literature… if there is please show scientific America or the science department at Harvard University as they are desperate for it…
    Joel van der Horst

  19. Hey Bill, Dr Bill Craig has written (or should I say, edited) two books that directly respond to the “new atheists” called: “Contending with Christianity’s Critics: Answering New Atheists & Other Objectors” and “God is Great, God is Good”
    Joel van der Horst

  20. Thanks Joel

    Yes I have those two volumes and they are both very good. But as any librarian will tell you, cross-referencing becomes a problem here. I in fact put both these books in my general apologetics biblio, as they seem to fit a tad better there. Of course there is lots of overlap, and most apologetics and philosophy of religion books deal with the same sorts of questions as the responses to the new atheists do: the existence of God, the problem of evil, the resurrection, etc.

    So yes, one could add those titles in my atheism biblio, but then I should probably add another 100 or so others as well! In a fallen world, even book classification gets messed up!

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  21. BTW, when I went to get those 2 books off my shelves, I found that I had one in my general apologetics section, and one in my atheism section! Oh well, I can’t even win here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  22. David Williams it is not possible to believe in evolution and the Bible at the same time since if there was no original Fall, there would have been no need for Jesus.

    Evolution is not science, it is a hypothesis of what some think happened in the past. In fact science consigns it to the waste paper basket. Let me explain. There are three main hypotheses on which evolutionists, atheists and fellow traveller place their faith:
    1. In the beginning there was nothing; not a molecule, not an atom, not even light. It went bang and from that explosion came everything; all matter and energy all the laws of science that are present today. They are forced into this position because if it was something that exploded, then the logical question would be: Who created what exploded?
    There are many problems with this idea, the first being, it is illogical because we know that nothing remains as nothing—it can’t do anything least of all create everything. The second is that it is not supported by the Cosmological Argument which basically states that for every effect there must have been a cause—if there is an explosion, then something must have caused it. The First Law of Thermodynamics is another problem because it states that the total energy plus matter in a closed system must remain constant. So to go from no energy/matter to all of the energy/matter that there is, is a violation. Also there is a violation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics which in effect states that entropy will increase for a closed system. That is, it will go from order to less order. So the idea of chaos (an explosion) going to cosmos is a violation.
    2. They then propose that a group of molecules, which came from nothing, joined together and formed themselves into living, replicating cells of incomprehensible complexity. This is known as Chemical Evolution and defies all known laws of chemical combination. I know as someone holding a PhD in synthetic organic chemistry how difficult it is to get a chemical reaction to proceed to the desired result; if everything is not exactly right the result is a tarry mess. Molecules simply do not lie around waiting for other molecules to come along and join to them—they breakdown to smaller molecules.
    3. Darwin’s theory is that all life came from living single cell species, he seemingly did not worry about where the living cells came from, and diversity came about by a process of natural selection and later, people added mutations as a cause of diversity. However, both processes can be shown to reduce functional genetic information, while evolution requires a huge increase. For example, a single cell bacterium has about 500,000 nucleotides joined together to form its DNA, whereas humans have in excess of 3 billion. It is the order of the nucleotides in the DNA (there are four types) which provide the information for the species to construct itself. Atheists, evolutionists and fellow travellers are unable to propose viable mechanisms for this enormous increase.
    I give many more examples of the impossibility of life coming from non-life in my book; A Defence of the Bible. However I will leave the last word on the subject to George Wald, a 1967 Nobel Prize winner and an evolutionist who states:
    When it comes to the origin of life there are only two possibilities–creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved one hundred years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance!
    Gary J Baxter

  23. David Williams: Sarfati’s ‘The Greatest Hoax on Earth’ exposes Dawkins’ ‘Evolution, The Greatest Show’ as a great hoax.

    It may seem off-topic but creation-evolution is central to whether atheists or Christians have logic on their side. Put simply, logic is on the side of Genesis as history, but if Genesis is myth, then Christianity is illogical as atheists delight to expose.

    But first, let’s comment on David’s assumptions re age of the earth:

    Why do coal and diamonds, allegedly millions and billions of years old, carbon date at not more than a few hundred thousand years old? If 100+ dating methods (see http://creation.com/age-of-the-earth) give a MAXIMUM age of the earth many times lower that claimed by evolutionists, then why rely on evolutionists’ metaphysical (religious) assumptions that can’t be proved? The real problem is that evolution is a religious belief masquerading as science. If it was science, it would not need to rely on four miracles with zero evidence:-

    Miracle #1: Cosmic Evolution: Nothing turned into everything (space matter and time) for no known reason, with no purpose. This contradicts known science: a) that matter+energy is constant (which implies no beginning): and, b) that nothing can happen without a cause.

    Miracle #2: Chemical Evolution: Lifeless matter turned into living matter by no known mechanism, for no purpose. This contradicts known science that life is only ever observed to come from life.

    Miracle #3: Biological Evolution: Life got more complex over time. This contradicts: a) the evidence that natural selection only ever simplifies, eliminates or reduces genetic information, tending towards extinction; b) that no mutations are known that produce the complex new co-ordinated features necessary for evolution from simple to complex creatures; and c) that there are no known mechanisms to naturally select and retain minor mutations that are supposedly part-way to a complex new feature while waiting for the next step to happen by chance.

    Miracle #4: Accelerating Evolution
    Evolution shows more complex creatures crowded toward more recent times. This defies logic and science. More complex genomes should take longer to ‘evolve’ – hence the fossil record should show evolution slowing rather than accelerating.

    If you want more evidence that evolution is hoax, read the book “The Altenberg 16: an expose of the evolution industry”, by evolutionist Suzan Mazur. She reports that inner-circle evolutionary theorists (The Altenberg 16 in July 2008) do not believe that current evolutionary core theory (Miracle 3 above) is capable of causing evolution.

    The Altenberg 16 have a substitute theory under wraps because it relies on self-organisation of inanimate matter. That means self organising into highly improbable unstable states where many such improbabilities are required to exist simultaneously and then combine to form life.

    If I can rephrase Edgar Andrews’ idea (see Bill’s list above: “even a flat-pack from Ikea, where all the parts fit together perfectly, doesn’t self-organise or assemble without intelligence and hard work”. So self organisation is a new mythology they want to introduce – IFF they can spin it such that it doesn’t sound like intelligent design. Or as Mazur quotes one of the Altenberg 16, only if it’s not “going to allow creationists to slip through the door as well.” So the hoax continues.

    And. NO, we don’t have to believe in young earth creation to be a Christian! But a plain reading of the Bible clearly says God created the heavens and the Earth in six days about 6,000 years ago. And it’s easier to defend that logically than it is to defend any scheme that tries to say Genesis is poetry and/or myth.

    And that is why Dawkins has consistently refused to debate young-earth creationists since he and John Maynard Smith debated Edgar Andrews (see Bill’s list) and A. E. Wilder-Smith at the Oxford Union debating society in 1986. Dawkins’ side won, 198-115, which, considering the venue and the audience, was such an embarrassment to Dawkins (who had pleaded with the audience to not give a single vote to the creationists) that he afterwards stated he would never debate creationists again. You see Wilder-Smith and Andrews held a young earth position and could logically defend the Bible and logically expose the mythology in evolution.

    But Dawkins and others are happy to debate Christians who believe Genesis is myth etc. E.g. On Monday Australian ABC’s Q&A had Dawkins against Cardinal George Pell (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-04-10/george-pell-and-richard-dawkins-on-qanda/3941782). Pell did well under adverse conditions. But he clearly conceded that evolution was fact and that Adam and Eve were mythology. He did not answer questions re where the Bible changed from myth to fact, or give a scriptural reason for the problem of death, suffering or evil. In other words, he did not, or could not, defend the Bible as being factually reliable.

    It is this belief that science has proven the Bible wrong that makes it easy for atheists to attack young Christians such that they lose their faith: and that makes it hard for non-Christians to even consider the claims of Christianity.

    So where David asks “Is the thinking person’s response to YEC Evangelism to become an Atheist?” I’d answer, NO, to the contrary the billions of years compromise of many Christians opens the door to atheism.

    Peter Newland

  24. The bane of Evolution

    Let me start this by quoting The World Book Dictionary.

    Evolution: In Philosophy:

    The Theory that a process of progressive change and development of more complex entities characterizes all force and matter in the Universe. Evolution is the advance from the simple to the complex.


    To Evolve: Biologically
    To develop by Genetic change to a more highly organised condition.
    To be developed by evolution…

    Ok first and foremost we have to have life and a beginning of that life in its simplest single cell form. Anything more than that and we have to have a creator.
    We could say that life came about (commenced) when a series of amino acids possibly struck by lighting or some other event were transformed into a living cell. Now it is hardly likely that this occurred on a mass scale but more likely that this chance incident this freak of Nature! Oops sorry not nature because at that time there was no nature in the sense or form that we know it (I.e. living organisms, Trees, plants & bugs etc etc). alive at that time.
    Ok I am going to keep this as brief and as simple as possible.
    So lets us assume that we have had some life creating freak of Nature in terms of weather, lightning, wind and clouds etc and now have a living organism that requires a number of things to progress beyond the slime pool into the greater scene of a very arid world.
    Top of the list will be food. But in a living form there was none. I.e. Predominately all food comes from other living things. Grass, wheat and other living flora, plus proteins and nutrition from other living beings/cells/Amoeba’s/bacteria etc. But! Wait there was none.
    Yes maybe water and dust may have kept it alive but not for long especially as it is now a living entity and will require protein and other living food to “evolve”.

    Then of course at some point we have to have replication. And this cell needs to have the genetic ability to know this. I mean we’re starting from scratch here with no previous examples or teachings to follow and no hereditary knowledge passed on from any ancestors.
    But lets presume (another presumption) it knows how to do this and move along a few million years.
    The cell has managed to replicate itself by division and each cell has somehow gained some formidable knowledge of what it wants’ to be. Maybe a bacteria or a flea (no that’s to complicated). Have you ever seen a flea under the microscope???
    Technologically speaking it would be a massive feat far greater than landing a man on the moon. However let us presume (another presumption) some complexity has developed from the original cell concept and that whatever it now is, it is going to change during the next self replicating cycle. How in heavens name it knows this is anyone’s guess. Ok some form of mutation has occurred (again and again and again) in that reproductive process and finally a Flea is born. Oh hang on a minute from which orifice –if any- does it come out from? Has it been growing inside it’s host under it’s own direction or even self fertilization or has it simply mutated from a number of lost cells with nothing better to do. The supply of the DNA necessary to make this quantum leap is staggering if indeed impossible.
    OK we have a flea and possibly a few other variants of the cell have occurred elsewhere round the world. But we still have the food problem and what the Flea needs now is some big hairy dog with some of these other variants residing thereon.
    Never mind we’ll hop about a bit and find some of these other poor “souls” and have a feed or maybe become the feed.,
    Possibly around this time some variant cell has fallen on the ground and decided it wants’ to be a grain of wheat or a flower or even tree of some sort. Again one can only wonder where the DNA variations or instructions are coming from or how even the original complexity and blueprint of any DNA construction variations came from. To credit one single cell formed by some accidental electrolytic action with the power and the mathematical or constructive prowess to invent and diversify into all known creatures of the day is a monumental delusion that boggles the mind and demands an even a greater belief in the ludicrously ridiculous THEORY of Evolution than the sensible faith of a spiritual Christian in the belief of our God the creator of all things.

    End of part 1.

    Dennis Newland

  25. Bill,

    Thanks for another great list. I’ve long been interested in apologetics issues and am trying to construct a systematic program of self-education in these areas, since, unfortunately, I lack the financial resources to pursue more formal avenues of training. I’m well aware that, without a plan, much time and energy can be wasted. I find these Recommended Reading lists, as well as your accompanying brief annotations and suggestions, quite helpful in suggesting directions to pursue. Your site as a whole has been very educational, and I especially learn from your approach in interactions with others.

    May the Lord continue to bless and prosper your efforts for His kingdom.

    Lamar Boll

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