Book Review

Tornado in a Junkyard

by James Perloff

This excellent summary of creationist arguments against the theory of evolution comes from an unlikely source. Perloff’s previous book was The Shadows of Power, an exposé of private influence on American foreign policy. Perloff isn’t a professional creationist. He just seems to be an intelligent individual who reads technical literature and understands the reasons why modern scientists are rejecting the theory of evolution.

Chapter 1 tells us about the author’s anti-Christian, liberal background. Being the same age as the author, I enjoyed his nostalgic look back at the 1960’s. I suspect younger readers would not. The good stuff starts at chapter 2.

Chapter 2 deals with the fossil record. Rather than proving evolution, the fossil record presents evolutionists with problems they must explain away. Perloff gives a good overview of the basic problems.

Chapter 3 explains why genetic mutations can’t create higher life forms.

There are some obvious logical problems with Darwinian evolution, which are explored in chapter 4. Darwinian evolution must answer the question, “What good is half an eye?” Perloff’s brief, but adequate, explanation of irreducible complexity explains why half an organ won’t win any battles for survival. Then he points out that the classification system (taxonomy) is based on the fact that there are distinct differences in species. If evolution were true, it should be hard to classify animals because there should be so many intermediate forms. It would be like trying to divide a rainbow into distinct colors. (Exactly where does Orange end and Red begin?) But animals are easily classified because there are such obvious differences between species.

In chapter 4 he also points out that salamanders have 20 times more DNA than humans. Does that mean salamanders are more highly evolved than humans? Chapter 4 ends by asking why extinction rates today are so high, and modern evolution is unknown.

Darwinian evolution depends on the premise that there is no limit to the changes that can be achieved by selective breeding. Chapter 5 points out the well-known limits to breeding. Species can vary only as much as the pre-existing genetic material allows. You cannot breed a dog into a horse.

In chapter 6, Perloff quotes some modern Nobel Prize-winning scientists who find that the scientific evidence points to intelligent design rather than evolution.

According to evolutionists, pre-biotic molecules came together by chance and formed the first living cell. Chapter 7 examines the probabilities of this happening. Statistical analysis proves it simply can’t happen.

Chapters 8 and 9 tell some surprising things most people don’t know about the supposed “missing links” between man and ape.

Chapter 10 exposes Haeckel’s fraudulent drawings that evolutionists formerly used to prove that the human fetus evolves from a fish to an amphibian, etc., all the way up to humanity in the womb. This chapter also contains many more quotes from respected modern scientists who explain why, in their areas of expertise, the theory of evolution is implausible.

In chapter 11, the focus moves to astronomy, beginning with an explanation of some of the problems with the Big Bang Theory. This leads into the discussion of the age of the Earth in chapter 12, and the invalid assumptions made by radioactive dating in chapter 13. Geologic evidence against evolution and an “old” Earth is presented in chapter 14.

Chapter 15 presents anthropological evidence from several different cultures that all have legends about a global flood. Then chapter 16 cites some ancient literary sources that seem to describe dinosaurs. Was it just coincidence that ancient writers imagined beasts that look just like dinosaurs, or did they really see them?

The Scopes Monkey Trial was used by the ACLU to unfairly characterize creationist positions. The movie Inherit the Wind, which was based on the trial, magnified these distortions. Chapters 17 thorough 20 document these, and other untruths, which have been used to prejudice the general public against creation. Chapter 20 also includes a list of famous scientists who have believed in creation.

The book ends with a brief overview of Christian beliefs, and instructions how to “be saved.”

Tornado in a Junkyard doesn’t go into depth on any one particular problem with the theory of evolution. Instead, it gives you a broad overview of all the issues. If you want to read just one book to understand the creation/evolution controversy, this is the book to read.

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