Rumor has it that more than 20 books on creationism/evolution are in the publishers pipelines. A few have already appeared. The goal of all will be to try to explain to a confused and often unenlightened citizenry that there are not two equally valid cientific theories for the origin and evolution of universe and life. Cosmology, geology, and iology have provided a consistent, unified, and constantly improving account of what happened. "Scientific" creationism, which is being pushed by some for "equal time" in the classrooms whenever the scientific accounts of evolution are given, is based on religion, not science. Virtually all scientists and the majority of non-fundamentalist religious leaders have come to regard "scientific" creationism as bad science and bad religion.
The first four chapters of Kitchers book give a very brief introduction to evolution. At appropriate places, he introduces the criticisms of the creationists and provides answers. In the last three chapters, he takes off his gloves and gives the creationists a good beating. He describes their programmes and tactics, and, for those unfamiliar with the ways of creationists, the extent of their deception and distortion may come as an unpleasant surprise. When their basic motivation is religious, one might have expected more Christian behavior.
Kitcher is philosopher, and this may account, in part, for the clarity And fectiveness of his arguments. The non-specialist will be able to obtain at least a notion of the sorts of data and argument that support evolutionary theory. The final chapter on the creationists will be extremely clear to all. On the dust jacket of this fine book, Stephen Jay Gould says: "This book stands for reason itself." And so it does - and all would be well were reason the only judge in the creationism/evolution debate.