40 Classic Books and Monographs on the Creation/Evolution Controversy

Author: Jerry Bergman, Ph.D.
Subject: Overviews
Date: 08/14/2004

There are now many classic works that discuss the evolution-creation issue in a fairly objective manner suitable for secular libraries that have stood the test of time.  Following is a list of some of the more useful books.  Some are out of print but can be obtained from supply houses that furnish used books such as www.addall.com (used section).  Although not without their shortcomings, they all are fairly well done, and many contain information that is devastating against evolution.  Most are by well-known scientists or authors, and most are published by secular presses.  As most either do not mention the religious arguments for the creationist alternative, or mention it only in passing, they are thus all suitable for public libraries.  Librarians will often not accept openly creationist works but should have few reservations about most of those books on this list.
A brief review of each is provided in order to help the reviewer discern its focus and the usefulness of each title.  To help balance public, university, or even school libraries it is suggested that the reader request his or her local branch to order select titles from this list.  Most provide a form which can be completed by the patron for this purpose.  Often libraries are glad to receive book suggestions, although many will not order a work if they feel it is biased (which is often the case with openly creationist books, yet not with openly anti-creation works).  A library can obtain the specifics of these books (such as the price, etc.) by doing a search on the OCLC system or Books in Print.  The listed books either support creationism and/or are critical of evolution.  Most were published by non-creationist presses, many by non-creationists.  Also, included are books against or critical of major aspects of evolution.

  1. Allford, Dorothy.  Instant Creation—Not Evolution.  New York, N.Y.:  Stein and Day, 1978.  A very readable, excellent, general defense of creation by a secular publisher.  The author, an M. D. and medical researcher, includes much excellent useful information on the human bodythat refutes evolution.
  2. Behe, Michael J.  Darwin’s Black Box; The Biochemical Challenge To Evolution.  New York, NY: The Free Press, 1996, 307 pp.  A best seller and one of the major texts of the intelligent design movement which argues that irreducible complexity renders the macroevolution paradigm impossible, at least in its early stages.  Focuses specifically on the origin of life, of the cell, and of the major life forms.  In this work Behe develops his famous mouse trap analogy arguing that a mouse trap is totally functionless unless it has a certain minimum number of parts, and below this cannot function, and thus is an irreducibly complex machine.  Behe then argues that the cell and many the structures in the cell are likewise irreducibly complex.
  3. Bender, David L. et al, (ed.). Science and Religion; Opposing Viewpoints.  St. Paul, Minnesota:  Greenhaven Press, 1988.  This is a fairly well balanced collection of chapters written by both creationists and evolutionists mostly on the creation evolution issue.  It is one of the few secular press books that “allows” the creationists side in.
  4. Bergman, Jerry. “Teaching About the Creation-Evolution Controversy.”  Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation,  Bloomington, Indiana.  Bergman briefly reviews the history of the creation-evolution controversy and discusses various means of arriving at conclusions, called “ways of knowing.”  He notes that one of the most effective teaching techniques is “teaching by contrasts,” requiring teaching both sides of the controversy.  It is stressed that public schools are to be foremost a forum for discussion and debate on controversial issues.  Thus, to exclude one side of a controversy is pernicious to the extreme.  Unfortunately, many persons are often guilty of labeling, and after the labeling process is completed, excluding the side which has been adversely labeled.  For example, evolutionism is often labeled “scientific” and creationism “religious,” and then creationism is excluded from the curriculum on these grounds.  The publisher, Phi Delta Kappa, is a highly respected education organization.
  5. Bird, Wendell R. The Yale Law Journal, Vol. 87, No. 3, Jan, 1978.  Bird, a graduate of Yale Law School, concludes that the Establishment Clause of the constitution requires neutralization in teaching evolution, requiring teaching either both evolution and creation, or neither theory.  The preferred solution, Bird stresses, is the two-model approach.  Bird also concludes that scientific creationism is a viable alternative to evolution.  Although problems exist in his discussion with definitions (as is true of most articles on this topic) Bird, is nonetheless able to specifically contrast the “general theory of evolution,” which states that all life forms on Earth have arisen from a single source (which itself came from an inorganic form), to the special or limited theory of evolution, which states that many living animals can be observed over the course of time to undergo changes due to limited genetic variation and minor “mutations” (copying errors).  Bird notes that the chief tenets of creationism are also outside the realm of science, although reality as covered by science points to the origin and development of man and the living and non-living universe as a product and result of purpose and design.
  6. 6.   Bird, Wendell R.  “Freedom From Establishment and Non Neutrality in Public School Instruction and Religious School Regulation.”  Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy,  2, June, 1979, pp. 125-205.  Bird here summarizes the meaning of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the constitution, concluding that it permits public school instruction in creationism along with evolution, and prohibits public school instruction in evolution alone.  Bird also proposes what he calls a “substantive neutrality test” that he concludes should replace the present tripartite test in construing and applying the First Amendment.  He concludes that his proposal would “restore the neutrality requirement intended by the framers of the First Amendment so that government would neither advance nor oppose religion, in place of the absolute separation requirement that often creates tension between the Establishment and Free Exercise classes and suppresses free exercise of religion.”  Bird is specifically referring to programs and curricula in school that actually advance atheistic or humanistic orientations and that are often openly hostile towards all theistic religions.
  7. 7.   Bird, Wendell R. The Origin of Species Revisited; The Theories of Evolution and of Abrupt Appearance.  New York, N.Y.:  Philosophical Library.  The book is in two hardback volumes of 550 pages each, with 5400 footnotes.  Volume 1 assesses scientific claims of the theory of evolution (330 pages) and of the theory of abrupt appearance (200 pages) about the origins of the universe, the first life, and the various organisms, with a summary chapter.  It sketches punctuationalist, macromutationist, neutral selectionist, structuralist, and other challenges to orthodox Darwinism, as well as the natural order systematics, transformed cladist, panspermia, discontinuitist, and creationist attacks on macroevolution.  Volume 2 compares the scientific, non-religious, historical, educational, and constitutional natures of the theory of evolution and the theory of abrupt appearance.  It discusses the definitions of science and religion, their applicability to theories of origins, the scientific and religious history of the origins conflict, the educational rationale for alternative explanations and non indoctrination, and the constitutional requirements of academic freedom and separation of church and state.
  8. Broad, William and Nicholas Wade. Betrayers of the Truth.  New York, N.Y.:  Simon & Schuster, 1982.  Discusses the serious corruption common in science and how science actually works.  A must for those who worship modern science, as do many anti-creationists.  Shows that fraud and decent has been common historically and is common today.
  9. Cohen, H. I.Darwin Was Wrong; A Study of Probabilities.   Greenville, N.Y.:  Research Publications, Inc., 1984.  This work primarily evaluates the probabilities of various structures evolving.  It covers a wide variety of topics, from punctuated equilibrium to trilobites, eyes, botany, and other subjects.  It is an intriguing pendulum of a variety of topics, some that appear as more of a collection of articles, all of which conform to the author’s conclusions and support of his thesis.  Evaluates the highlights of the past concepts of evolution and translates these into a series of conclusions, among which is that the millions of nucleotides within a DNA spiral could not be a result of random mutations, thus species could not be the result of evolution based on mutations.
  10. Dembski, William A. (ed).  Mere Creation; Science, Faith & Intelligent Design.  Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1998, 475 pp.  A discussion of the intelligent design movement by several of its leading proponents.
  11. ______. The Design Inference; Eliminating Chance through Small Probabilities. Cambridge University Press, 1998, 244 pp.  A discussion of the evidence for design and how this evidence can be evaluated.
  12. ______. No Free Lunch; Why Specified Complexity Cannot Be Purchased without Intelligence.  Lanham, MA:Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2002, 404 pp.
  13. ______ and James M.Kushiner(editors).  Signs of Intelligence; Understanding Intelligent Design.  Grand Rapids, MI: Brazo Press, a division of Baker Book House Co., 2001, 224 pp.  A review of intelligent design theory for the general reader.  The 14 essays included discuss the evidence and problems of the intelligent design worldview and philosophy.
  14. ______ and Jay Wesley Richards. Unapologetic Apologetics. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001, 280 pp.  Apologetics from an intelligent design world view.  Many of the authors are Princeton graduates and often refer to Christian work done at Princeton.
  15. Denton, Michael,Evolution:  A Theory in Crisis.  New York, N.Y.: Adler and Adler, 1986.  The author clearly shows that evolution suffers from many major scientific problems.  He focuses on the biochemical problems, but covers many others as well.  He reviews some of the basically empirical and scientific arguments against Darwinism specifically focusing on the missing link problem, the puzzle of perfection, and especially the problems in biochemistry in demonstrating evolution.  Also, is critical of some of the basic theories used to support evolution such as homologies that have been adequately covered elsewhere.  Discusses Creationism primarily in historical context relative to its overthrow and replacement with Darwinism.
  16. Donald, E.Chittick.  The Controversy:  Roots of the Creation-Evolution Conflict.  Multnomah Press, 1985.  A brief overtly creationist review of both the science and Biblical arguments for creation by a secular publisher.  This work, although very basic, is a good introduction to many of the issues for non-scientists.
  17. Drlica, Karl.  Understanding DNA and Gene Cloning.  New York, N.Y.:  John Wiley and Sons, 1985.  A must for those who assume that recent developments “prove” evolution.  Although written for laymen, it is a very useful, brief review of current thought, in this area.
  18. Eads,Buryl R.  Let the Evidence Speak.  Atlanta, GA:  Peachtree Press, 1982.  A useful short book from a popular standpoint in support of creation using largely a secular orientation.
  19. Fix, William. The Bone Peddlers.  New York, N.Y.:  Macmillan Co., 1984.  An absolute must!  Fix shows the severe problems in “making up theories” about human evolution and the dishonesty of many physical anthropologists.  The author, not a creationist, shows evolution to be seriously lacking in scientific support and the methods used to support the theory highly questionable.  It is highly readable and flows like a detective novel.
  20. Gale, Barry. Evolution Without Evidence.  Albuquerque, N.M.: University of New Mexico Press.  This work demonstrates that Darwin actually had little evidence of any kind when he formulated his theory.  It is obvious from his work that many of the same problems still exist with evolution today.
  21. Grasse, Pierre P. The Evolution of Living Organisms.  New York, N.Y.:  Academic Press, 1977.  One of the best attacks on several of the major aspects of evolution by a leading, world-famous zoologist.  Clearly college level, but extremely useful for advanced high school students.  He focuses on arguments and data from biology.
  22. Hedtke, Randall.  The Secret of the 6th Edition.  New York, N.Y.:  Vantage Press, 1983.  Shows that Darwin himself later lost belief in much of his own theory, even his cornerstone of evolution, natural selection.  An excellent work that is very readable, and highly accurate.  He relies mostly on original sources for his conclusions.
  23. Hitching, Francis. The Neck of the Giraffe – Where Darwin Went Wrong.  New York, N.Y.;  Ticknor and Fields, 1982.  An excellent broad, general readable review for the general reader about the many major problems with evolution.  Not a creationist work, but shows the evidence is clearly against atheistic evolution.  A must for all high schools and public libraries.
  24. Kelly, Alfred. The Descent of Darwin.  North Carolina:  University of N.C. Press, 1981.  Reviews the history of Darwinism, and some of its many serious major problems.  A good study of some historical aspects of the controversy, and the actual sources of Darwin’s ideas.
  25. Kerkut, G.A. Implications of Evolution.  New York, N.Y.:  Pergamon Press, 1960.  A must for all libraries.  This small book shows that classical Neo Darwinism is impossible.  Much useful information, even though it was printed 44 years ago.  It is far more readable than what most non-biologists expect.
  26. Lovtrup, Soren.  Darwinism:  The Refutation of a Myth.  New York, N.Y.:  Methuen.  The author reviews what he calls a half a century of biology’s dead end caused by micro mutation theory.  He concludes that the micro mutations that do occur cannot alone account for evolutionary change, an unfalsifiable, hence metaphysical theory.  He also stresses that it is a great misfortune that an entire branch of science has become addicted to a false theory, but this is what has happened in biology.  He concludes that for a long time evolutionary problems were set in a “Darwinian” vocabulary—“adaptation,” “selection pressure,” “natural selection,” etc., in the belief that these ideas contributed to the explanation of natural events, which they do not—and the sooner this is discovered, he concludes, the sooner we shall be able to make more rapid progress in science.
  27. Monsma, John Clover. (editor)  The Evidence of God in an Expanding Universe. New York, NY: Putnam, 1958, 250 pp.  A compilation of 40 American scientists, who range from conservative creationists such as John William Klotz to those who would be classified as progressive creationists, all writing about the evidence for creationism and what they conclude are the positive aspects of religion.  The chapters cover topics from God in a modern medical practice, to the evidence of God as the controller of the universe.  Most deal with origins or cosmology, and many criticize evolution.
  28. ______. (ed.) Science and Religion. New York, N.Y.: Putnam, 1962, 253 pp.  A compilation of the writings of 23 creationists in the area of science, its limitations, use, advantages, disadvantages and select other areas of the religious science conflict.  Many focus on historical or current conflicts that relate to the question of origins and cosmology in general, and several of the writers focus on the problem of scientism, although many discuss the abuses by both scientists and theologians.
  29. ______. (ed.) Behind the Dim Unknown. New York, NY: Putnam, 1966, 256 pp.  A compilation of 26  “notable scientists” and their conclusions or thoughts on origins; includes a number of well known creationists such as Duane Gish, A. Kurt Weiss, Harold Hartzler.  The topics cover the gamut from botany, to cytology, thermodynamics, astronomy, meteorology, nuclear physics, electrodynamics, geology, geophysics, zoology, natural law and psychophysics.  This useful collection includes several authors who are strict conservative creationists, but most accept the progressive creationist view.
  30. Moorhead, Paul and Martin Kaplan. Mathematical Challenges to the Neo Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution.  Philadelphia, PA:  The Winston Press, 1967.  A very scholarly attack on evolution by a group of prominent scientists.  A must for all college libraries.
  31. Pitman, Michael. Adam and Evolution.  London, England: Rider, 1984.  More openly creationist (but not overtly so) than most books listed here, it is nonetheless thoroughly researched.  I could not find any major problems with this work for public libraries.  It is an excellent historical and scientific summary of the evidence for creation by an Oxford University graduate.
  32. ReMine, Walter James. The Biotic Message; Evolution Versus Message Theory.  St. Paul, MN: St. Paul Science, 1993.  Argues that the natural biological world is designed to look like it was designed and did not evolve.  This is the “message” found in creation which, the author argues, is clear if the biological creation is objectively studied.
  33. Roth, Ariel A.  Origins; Linking Science and Scripture.  Hagerstown, MD: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1998, 384 pp.  Considered one of the most scholarly recent books defending creationism.  Dr. Roth is a professor at Loma Linda University.
  34. Shapiro, Robert. Origins; A Skeptic’s Guide to the Creation of Life on Earth.  New York, N.Y.:  Summit, 1986.  Discusses a lot of the problems of not only evolution but also creationism which it titles “Religion as Science.”  Includes a great deal of historical background which is necessary to understand various theories of origins.
  35. Sunderland, Luther. Darwin’s Enigma; Fossils and Other Problems.  San Diego, California:  Master Books, 2nd Ed., 1988.  An excellent review of some of the major serious problems of evolution.  Many reviews have been highly favorable, even in some secular journals.  This work does not openly, formally discuss creationism, although the author was a creationist.  Its focus is the position that the abrupt appearance theory fits the evidence better than gradual evolution.
  36. Taylor, Ian T. In the Minds of Men; Darwin and the New Word Order.  Toronto, Canada:  T.S.E. Publishers, 1984.  This is an excellent history of the whole creation-evolution affair.  A wealth of information from history, philosophy and science is presented that is easy to follow.  Its scholarly style tactfully, but forcefully, presents the creationist position.  The work cites primarily scholarly and highly accepted sources.
  37. Taylor, Gordon Rattray.  The Great Evolution Mystery.  New York, N.Y.:  Harper and Row, 1983.  This excellent work by a major British evolutionist/author discusses some of the many major problems of evolution.  It is well written and easy to follow.
  38. Thaxton, Charles et al.  The Mystery of Life’s Origin:  Reassessing Current Theories.  New York, N.Y.:  Philosophical Library, 1984.  Shows that atheistic evolution is impossible.  The authors focus on the problems of atheistic theories of biogenesis.  An excellent review of all currently held secular origin of life theories.  Most all references are from highly “respectable” sources.
  39. Thurman, L. Duane. How To Think About Evolution.  Downers Grove, Illinois:  The InterVarsity Press.  Thurman, a botany Ph. D. from the University of California at Berkeley, holds somewhat of a “middle of the road position” on the creation/evolution issue, but shows the creationist’s side to be more viable on most areas of the debate.  His work includes a good review of the creation/evolution textbook controversy in California and a discussion of the problems of knowing if something is scientifically true, and the process of arriving at scientific conclusions.  It is an excellent beginning source for one interested in the scientific aspects of the conflict.
  40. Willis, John C. The Course of Evolution.  New York: Hafner Press, 1940.  Discusses some of the many serious problems with the neo Darwinian evolution model.  Dated but still very useful to show the many major flaws with neo Darwinian.