One of my picks last year was the frontal attack of an atheist scientist on religion. It was Richard Dawkins' popular "The God Delusion". This month, my choice is a respectful and conciliatory appeal by entomologist E. O. Wilson for common cause between religion and science in the preservation of what is left of Eden. "The Creation" is written as an epistle to a fictitious Southern Baptist preacher. Without minimizing or compromising the scientific understanding of the processes of creation, Wilson says that we all must look past differences in understanding about the origin of life, because we cannot afford to allow them to distract us from the monumental job of cataloging and preserving the wonderfully diverse forms that exist on our planet, most of which are unknown to us. One of the things that I like about "The Creation" is that Wilson shows how ordinary citizens can contribute meaningfully to the understanding of the species of earth by participating in projects such as the BioBlitz all-species inventories that have already occurred in New York's Central Park, in the Dominican Republic, and in Forest Park in my home town of St. Louis.
E. O. Wilson