The evidence for the ancestry of the human species among the apes is overwhelming. But the facts are never "just" facts. Human evolution has always been a value-laden scientific theory and, as anthropology makes clear, the ancestors are always sacred. They may be ghosts, or corpses, or fossils, or a naked couple in a garden, but the idea that you are part of a lineage is a powerful and universal one. Meaning and morals are at play, which most certainly transcend science and its quest for maximum accuracy.
With clarity and wit, Jonathan Marks shows that the creation/evolution debate is not science versus religion. After all, modern anti-evolutionists reject humanistic scholarship about the Bible even more fundamentally than they reject the science of our simian ancestry. Widening horizons on both sides of the debate, Marks makes clear that creationism is a theological, not a scientific, debate and that thinking perceptively about values and meanings should not be an alternative to thinking about science – it should be a key part of it.
Chapter 1: Introducing the Ancestors
Chapter 2: Scientific Stories of our Ancestors
Chapter 3: Attacking Evolution
Chapter 4: Biblical Literalism and Rationalism
Chapter 5: Myths of Science and Religion
Chapter 6: Sacred Ancestry
Jonathan Marks is a Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
"When the gadfly of contemporary anthropology turns his attention to the creationism/evolution controversy, neither creationists nor their foes emerge unscathed. Insightful and delightful."
– Glenn Branch, Deputy Director, National Center for Science Education
"This deeply thoughtful history of ideas engages evolutionary science, biblical studies, and contemporary culture to tackle head on the book's title question. In unfurling his persuasive argument, Marks shows that science and religion are both dogmatic and demonstrates the unexpected ways in which scholars of science and religion should be 'allies'. His ability to push past sweeping dismissals to actual facts is unparalleled."
– Candida Moss, Professor of Theology, University of Birmingham
"Marks argues persuasively that creationism is a theological and not a scientific debate, that its thinking about values and meanings might better be a crucial part of scientific explorations."
– Lavender Magazine
"The easy answer, of course, is that stupidity seems to be a historical constant [...]. But then no one would be wiser about this extensive movement [...]. Marks's aim is that we should try to understand what drives creationists and their opposition to scientific explanations."
– Moderne Tider