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The Creation: An Appeal to Save Life on Earthby E. O. Wilson
Synopses & Reviews
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.
"With his usual eloquence, patience and humor, Wilson, our modern-day Thoreau, adds his thoughts to the ongoing conversation between science and religion. Couched in the form of letters to a Southern Baptist pastor, the Pulitzer Prize — winning entomologist pleads for the salvation of biodiversity, arguing that both secular humanists like himself and believers in God acknowledge the glory of nature and can work together to save it. The 'depth and complexity of living Nature still exceeds human imagination,' he asserts (somewhere between 1.5 million and 1.8 million species of plants, animals and microorganisms have been discovered to date), and most of the world around us remains unknowable, as does God. Each species functions as a self-contained universe with its own evolutionary history, its own genetic structure and its own ecological role. Human life is tangled inextricably in this intricate and fragile web. Understanding these small universes, Wilson says, can foster human life. Wilson convincingly demonstrates that such rich diversity offers a compelling moral argument from biology for preserving the 'Creation.' Wilson passionately leads us by the hand into an amazing and abundantly diverse natural order, singing its wonders and its beauty and captivating our hearts and imaginations with nature's mysterious ways. 25 illus. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
In the form of a letter to a Southern Baptist minister, Wilson (biology, Harvard U.) recalls his own past as he gives compelling environmental and spiritual reasons to be concerned about pollution, global warming and the earth's rapid declining number of species. He walks the pastor, and the reader, through the wonders of the natural world and why those wonders oblige us to care, noting the parallels between wild nature and the best of human nature. In a truly frightening section he describes what will happen if people continue in their state of denial about the state of the environment. In another, more positive series of essays he explains what science has learned and what humans must learn of science to bring up a new generation of naturalists. He pleads for the continuance of life in all its forms. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this daring work, Edward O. Wilson proposes an alliance between science and religion to save Earth's vanishing biodiversity.</
The book that launched a movement: 'Wilson speaks with a humane eloquence which calls to us all' (Oliver Sacks).
'The book that launched a movement: \'Wilson speaks with a humane eloquence which calls to us all\' (Oliver Sacks).
Called 'one of the greatest men alive' by The Timesof London, E. O. Wilson proposes an historic partnership between scientists and religious leaders to preserve Earth"s rapidly vanishing biodiversity.
About the Author
Edward O. Wilsonis the author of more than twenty books, including the Pulitzer Prize'"winning The Antsand The Naturalist. Born and raised in Alabama, the Harvard biologist makes his home in Lexington, Massachusetts.
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