The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earth

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2006 - Nature - 175 pages
7 Reviews

Dear Pastor:

We have not met, yet I feel I know you well enough to call you friend. First of all, we grew up in the same faith. Although I no longer belong to that faith, I am confident that if we met and spoke privately of our deepest beliefs, it would be in a spirit of mutual respect and goodwill. I write to you now for your counsel and help. Let us see if we can, and you are willing, to meet on the near side of metaphysics in order to deal with the real world we share. I suggest that we set aside our differences in order to save the Creation. The defense of living Nature is a universal value. It doesn't rise from nor does it promote any religious or ideological dogma. Rather, it serves without discrimination the interests of all humanity.

Pastor, we need your help. The Creation--living Nature--is in deep trouble.

The Creation is E. O. Wilson's most important work since the publications of Sociobiology and Biophilia. Like Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, it is a book about the fate of the earth and the survival of our planet. Yet while Carson was specifically concerned with insecticides and the ecological destruction of our natural resources, Wilson, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner, attempts his new social revolution by bridging the seemingly irreconcilable worlds of fundamentalism and science. Like Carson, Wilson passionately concerned about the state of the world, draws on his own personal experiences and expertise as an entomologist, and prophesies that half the species of plants and animals on Earth could either have gone or at least are fated for early extinction by the end of our present century.

Astonishingly, The Creation is not a bitter, predictable rant against fundamentalist Christians or deniers of Darwin. Rather, Wilson, a leading "secular humanist," draws upon his own rich background as a boy in Alabama who "took the waters," and seeks not to condemn this new generations of Christians but to address them on their own terms. Conceiving the book as an extended letter to a southern Baptist minister, Wilson, in stirring language that can evoke Martin Luther King's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," tells this everyman minister how, in fact, the world really came to be. He pleads with these men of the cloth to understand the cataclysmic damage that is destroying our planet and asks for their help in preventing the destruction of our Earth before it is too late. Never a pessimist, Wilson avers that there are solutions that may yet save the planet, and believes that the vision that he presents in The Creation is one that both scientists and pastors can accept, and work on together in spite of their fundamental ideological differences.

 

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THE CREATION: A Meeting of Science and Religion

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Celebrated conservationist par excellence Wilson (The Future of Life, 2002, etc.) sings familiar tunes in a short text that exhorts religionists to join in saving the planet.The author preaches to the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Rise - LibraryThing

Structured as a letter by the Harvard biologist to a Pastor, it is an attempt to seek common grounds between science and religion when it comes to dealing with the current environmental crisis. The ... Read full review

Contents

THE CREATION
1
Letter to a Southern Baptist Pastor Salutation
3
Ascending to Nature
9
What Is Nature?
15
Why Care?
26
Alien Invaders from Planet Earth
37
Two Magnificent Animals
55
Wild Nature and Human Nature
62
WHAT SCIENCE HAS LEARNED
101
Biology Is the Study of Nature
103
The Fundamental Laws of Biology
110
Exploration of a LittleKnown Planet
116
TEACHING THE CREATION
125
How to Learn Biology and How to Teach It
127
How to Raise a Naturalist
139
Citizen Science
148

DECLINE AND REDEMPTION
71
The Pauperization of Earth
73
Denial and Its Risks
82
End Game
91
REACHING ACROSS
163
An Alliance for Life
165
References and Notes
169
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

E. O. Wilson has been a Harvard University professor for nearly five decades.

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