Sunday, November 14, 2010

Book Review: Taking Back Astronomy

Taking Back Astronomy by Jason Lisle is a fascinating little book that I recently got the chance to read and review.  Around 120 pages, it is filled with gorgeous photos, and text that even this astronomy-ignorant mama can understand.

I've seen Jason Lisle give presentations on video, and have always enjoyed his style.  He comes across in writing in much the same way -- intelligent, yet able to express himself in ordinary English.

This book does not delve deeply into anything, as it is intended as an overview or introduction to a young-earth Christian approach to the subject of astronomy.

I loved how Dr. Lisle was able to put some of these things into perspective in the opening pages.  He's talking about the immense size of the universe, and the closest star system to us is about 25 trillion miles away.  To put that number into context, he suggests creating a very miniature model of our solar system, with Pluto having an orbit only one foot in diameter.  The sun at the center of that orbit would be smaller than a period.  Where would Alpha Centauri be?  We'd have to place it over half a mile away.

Further into the book, Dr. Lisle explains current secular thinking about subjects such as the formation of the solar system, and then explains how that hypothesis would predict that any other planets we find in the universe should behave.  The problem is that the extra-solar planets we have discovered do not confirm the hypothesis.

I truly appreciated his discussion of how world view impacts how a person interprets the evidence.  The evidence is the evidence.  Your world view impacts what you do with that evidence.

While my children have not read this book for themselves yet, I think it would make an excellent high school astronomy supplement, and it would be great for a junior high student who is particularly interested in astronomy.

Disclaimer:   I received this book from New Leaf Publishing Group for the purpose of writing a review.  No other compensation was received.  The fact that I received a complimentary product does not guarantee a favorable review. 

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