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Of Pandas and People: A Brief Review

Year: 
1999
Reviewer: 
Kenneth R. Miller
Title: 
Of Pandas and People
Author(s): 
Dean Kenyon and Percival Davis, edited by Charles Thaxton

Of Pandas and People, which pretends to be an open, objective examination of the pros and cons of evolutionary biology, is actually nothing of the sort. It is, instead, a collection of half-truths, distortions, and outright falsehoods that attempts to misrepresent biology and mislead students as to the scientific status of evolutionary biology.

A complete critique of the many problems with Pandas would take almost as many pages as the book itself, but here are a few points of special concern:

Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.
resources: 

News Coverage

The articles below cover incidents where Of Pandas and People made the news. New Creationist Book On the Way by Eugenie C Scott
Originally published in NCSE Reports 9(2).

Alabama Textbook Selection in Context
Originally published in NCSE Reports 9(5).

Science Textbook Adoptions in Alabama: Part I by Scott Brande

Bookwatch Reviews "Pandas" Issue

Year: 
1989
Reviewer: 
Eugenie C. Scott and Gordon E. Uno
Title: 
Of Pandas and People

Introduction

Why Pandas and People?

Usually, Bookwatch Reviews publishes analyses of textbooks from mainline publishers whose names and titles are familiar to the educational world. Why have we chosen to pay such attention to the first textbook published by an obscure agricultural publisher, and a supplementary text at that? The reason is that teachers in the U. S. are very likely to be exposed to Of Pandas and People during the coming months, and, as one of our reviewers says, "Teachers should be warned against using this book."

Author(s): 
Dean Kenyon and Percival Davis, edited by Charles Thaxton
Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.
resources: 

Off-site Resources


If the NCSE Resources Page on Of Pandas and People isn't enough for you, there are many offsite resources available. Note: NCSE is not responsible for the content or upkeep of other websites.

THE BOOK "OF PANDAS AND PEOPLE: THE CENTRAL QUESTION OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGINS"

Full text of "Of Pandas and People" searchable online at

They're Here!

Year: 
1989
Reviewer: 
Michael Ruse
Title: 
Of Pandas and People
Author(s): 
Dean Kenyon and Percival Davis, edited by Charles Thaxton
Several years ago, I was a witness in Arkansas testifying against a bill pased into law mandating the teaching of Biblical literalism, alongside evolution, in state schools. The ACLU brought suit on the grounds that this violated the separation of Church and State. The law was thrown out, as was right and proper, but I still remember what one of the ACLU lawyers said: "Don't think the Creationists will go away. They won't! They'll just regroup and be smarter and sneakier next time."

Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.
About the Author(s): 
Michael Ruse is Professor of Philosophy and Zoology at the University of Guelph, in Ontario, where he studies philosophy of science and the history of Darwinism. Author of several books, his most recent is The Darwinian Paradigm, published in 1989 by Routledge.

Michael Ruse (as of 2004)
Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy
Florida State University
Tallahassee, FL


This review was originally published in Bookwatch Reviews 2(11) in 1989, and republished in Reviews of Creationist Books, second edition, edited by Liz Rank Hughes (Berkeley: NCSE, 1993). Transcribed for the web by Nick Matzke.
resources: 

Gross Misrepresentation

Year: 
1989
Reviewer: 
Kevin Padian
Title: 
Of Pandas and People
Of Pandas and People is a wholesale distortion of modern biology. It is straight fundamentalist creationism, but this may not be apparent to many readers because the philosophy is couched in a user-friendly voice, with plenty of slick graphics and nice photographs. The text seems sweetly reasonable, but as one reads farther and deeper, the tone becomes angrier and the distortions of science more pervasive.

Author(s): 
Dean Kenyon and Percival Davis, edited by Charles Thaxton
Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.
About the Author(s): 

Kevin Padian (as of 2004):
Professor, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley
Curator of Paleontology, University of California Museum of Paleontology
Berkeley, CA

Kevin Padian is a paleontologist at the University of California, Berkeley. He is one of the authors of the new California Science Framework.


This review was originally published in Bookwatch Reviews 2(11) in 1989, and republished in Reviews of Creationist Books, second edition, edited by Liz Rank Hughes (Berkeley: NCSE, 1993). Transcribed for the web by Glenn Branch and Nick Matzke.

resources: 

A View From the Past

Year: 
1989
Reviewer: 
Gerald Skoog
Title: 
Of Pandas and People

Can structures such as fins, feathers, and skulls be the result of "common engineering work of an intelligent artisan?" In answering this question, Charles Thaxton, the Academic Editor for Of Pandas and People, affirmatively sums up the premise of this book which is "life is like a manufactured object, the result of intelligent shaping of matter." In striving to meet the goal of presenting data "that bear on the central question of biological origins," the authors make the following assertions:

Author(s): 
Dean Kenyon and Percival Davis, edited by Charles Thaxton
Dallas: Haughton Publishing, 1989.
About the Author(s): 

Gerald Skoog is Professor and Chairperson of Educational Leadership and Secondary Education at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, and was President of the National Science Teachers Association in 1985-86.


Note: This review was originally published in Bookwatch Reviews 2(11) in 1989, and republished in Reviews of Creationist Books, second edition, edited by Liz Rank Hughes (Berkeley: NCSE, 1993). Transcribed for the web by Nick Matzke and Glenn Branch.

resources: 

The Wedge at Work

The Wedge at Work:

How Intelligent Design Creationism Is Wedging Its Way into the Cultural and Academic Mainstream

Barbara Forrest, Ph.D.


[Electronically reprinted from Chapter 1 of the book Intelligent Design Creationism and Its Critics, ed. Robert Pennock (MIT Press, 2001). Reprinted with the kind permission of MIT Press.]

Crocodilian Hearts

Crocodilian hearts

"Icons" Critique — pdf versions

PDF versions of the entire critique and of each chapter of the critique are available at the links below.

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