10)?" Indicating that there is no intellectual discourse on the subject, and, because they have already indicated that they perceive creationists as backward, asocial, and people essentially not capable of intellectual discourse on the subject; this book is done. However, and to the mystery of anyone who reads as far as the first ten pages of the book, the book lingers for more than 200 pages.
Young and Edis begin by informing their audience that, from their perspective intelligent design fails, because that is what they tell people in their title, and, if the title did not sufficiently turn readers away, the first 10 pages wherein the authors come across hostile, demeaning, and finally advise the reader there is no intelligent discourse on intelligent design to be had; that should be the end of the book and the number of people willing to read the book. "So what went wrong (p. 10)?" can be answered by the second author, who is an example of how everything goes right.
The second author, speaking on the same subject, takes a very different approach, as evidenced by his thesis statement. However, even before the thesis statement there is the suggestion in the title, the Roving Mind, that this author, Isaac Asimov, is open minded and willing to consider all the pertinent information, facts and fiction, thereby not just indicating to the reader a potentially interesting read, but a fun one too. Since the reader does not know that Asimov is taking a position on side or the other, the reader might be inclined to think that Asimov has ideas or suggestions to support their own position, or, even to persuade them to a different position; and the reader reads on.
On page 29, Asimov is advising the creationists that scientists do engage in intellectual discussion with creationists. Asimov writes:
Every once in a while, some scientist who accepts the view that the universe, life and human beings have developed over slowly over billions of years through evolutionary processes is lured into a debate with a creationist who insists that the universe, life and human beings have been brought into existence only a few thousand years ago, in just about its present form, by supernatural action (Asimov, 1997, p. 29)."
The hook, catching the creationist and the evolutionist alike, who want to know more about that debate that might prove informative, be fuel for thought, and provide debate insights. While authors Young and Edis contend that the creationists have no argument worth making, and that it is a slam dunk in lieu of the scientists in every answer to every question; Asimov holds that is not always the case (Asimov, 1997, p. 29). Asimov says, "And yet, somehow, in such debates, the creationist often appears to have it all his own way, while the scientist is reduced to an ineffective defense. Why is that? (p. 29)" Asimov gives the creationist some credit, in contrast to the other two authors, for being able to respond in an intelligent way to the evolutionists. Thus, by page 29, Asimov continues to hold the reader, and the reader, at this point, really has no sense of which side of the argument Asimov personally stands on.
Employing the opposite tactics of Young and Edis, Asimov credits the creationist with possessing certain characteristics and attributes that are appealing - especially to people who might be susceptible to conversion from evolution to creation. Asimov writes, "The creationist, however, is often a showman, and usually a polished speaker (Asimov, 1997, p. 29)." Giving the creationists credit as mixing in with and moving about society in a way that is not offensive, nor intimating that the creationist is his or herself stand out from society socially or physically. "The scientist," Asimov writes, "usually is untrained in handling such showman-tactics, and cannot respond effectively (p. 29)." Asimov explains why Young and Edis might respond in a hostile way to the creationists, because they are poorly equipped, as scientists, to respond to the showman creationists. Asimov informs the reader on the social and scientific level. Young and Edis dispense with all but the science through the use of hostile and demeaning language aimed at the non-science creationist.
Asimov moves through his book in an organized way, addressing arguments that flow logically within the context of his conversation on intelligent design and evolution. He lays out the various arguments, not just from one perspective, but various perspectives; and then addresses the arguments. What the reader discovers is that Asimov, an intelligent man, did not know the answers of the universe, but found them incredibly interesting, and the questions asked by creationists or evolutionists, and the answers in support of their theories to be equally illuminating and interesting. His the Roving Mind, rolls across the ideas and explains of both groups, and beyond, and out into the universe itself, and then back to the planet earth. He looks at all arguments from an unbiased perspective - something that Young and Edis did not do. Thus, the reader gets the author's thoughts and ideas on all angles of the questions; and the point remains - we do not know who is right or wrong. but, as Asimov points out, for either to be adamant that they are, at this point in time, right and the other irrevocably wrong; is dangerous from either side (Asimov, 1997, p. 13).
What of science and creation? Asimov says, "It can be concluded, then, that the increasing tendency to be interested science fact and science fiction is indeed part of the same phenomenon - the desire to accept and understand and, therefore, just possibly to guide change, both with the mind (science fact) and the heart (science fiction (p. 126)."
Asimov draws the reader in, and holds their attention, and he, a man of science, remains neutral, examining both sides…