World History - 6th Edition

By William J. Duiker and Jackson J. Spielvogel 

Published by Wadsworth Cengage Learning

ISBN-13: 978-0-495-56901-5
ISBN-10: 0-495-56901-1
Review by Glen E. Simmonds and Bill Humpf



This history book is extremely biased on several fronts.  Most obvious is a pro-Islam and anti-Christian, anti-Bibilical bias. The accuracy of the Bible is contested repeatedly. No other Holy Book from any other religion is attacked - only the Bible. Secondly, it is anti-European, anti-Western. Thirdly, it is pro-socialist and anti-capitalist. In many cases these biases are evidenced through the use of descriptive language.  In other cases only one side of an event or series of events is presented.  In still other cases, omissions of critical information lead the reader to a conclusion that may not be historically correct and is definitely incomplete. There are instances that the information is simply false. Below is a list of excerpts that reveal the serious shortcomings of this book that make this book unreliable for students.


Page 17 -  The Great Flood. The great epic poem of Mesopotamian literature, The Epic of Gilgamesh, includes an account by Utnapishtim (a Mesopotamian version of the later biblical Noah), who had built a ship and survived the flood unleashed by the gods to destroy humankind. . .”

COMMENT: The authors claim the Mesopotamian account was written before the Biblical account. 

The Great Flood occurred about 3000 BC. Many ancient civilizations had their own version of The Great Flood, so The Flood was world wide. There are 12 Clay tablets that contain the Gilgamesh tale but the 12th tablet contradicts the other eleven. They are dated to about 650 B.C., so they were written about 2,300 years after the event. All writings about the flood all came hundreds of years after it happened. The Genesis account of The Flood is unique. It has specific details and only one version.  In Luke 17:26–27, Jesus makes a reference to The Flood. The Genesis account was the original and pagan myths arose as distortions of that original account.(A)

The Ark described in the Gilgamesh tale was to be 660 X 660 feet and 6 decks high. Noah’s Ark was 450 x 75 x 45 feet. According to the Euler-Bernoulli beam theory, the strength of a wooden beam weakens as it gets longer. Building a 660 foot cube 6 decks high that would not break up in rough seas is an impossibility. 

The interesting thing about Noah's ark is its measurements are on a 1:6 ratio. Naval architecture reveals that this is a very stable ratio for an ocean-going vessel. It could have easily survived even big ocean waves and would be next to impossible to capsize. 

Mountains have waterborne fossils.(B) However, this does not mean the waters had to be deep enough to cover modern Mt. Everest and other high mountains. Mountains were uplifted by the pressures on the earth's mantle as a result of a world wide flood. It is unfortunate that most students of geology do not take the Great Flood into consideration as they attempt to interpret the geological data.(C)




Page 27:  In a section titled “The Hebrews: The Children of Israel” there is a statement that “Many scholars today doubt that the biblical account reflects the true history of the early Israelites. They argue that the early books of the Bible, written centuries after the events described, preserve only what the Israelites came to believe about themselves and that recent archaeological evidence often contradicts the details of the biblical account. Some of these scholars have even argued that the Israelites were not nomadic invaders but indigenous people in the Canaanite hill country.”  

COMMENT: Note that the Bible is the only Holy Book the authors charge with misinformation. This accusation isn’t made against any other religious book. To make a general statement like this without identifying exactly where they believe the Old Testament is wrong is irresponsible writing. Archaeology verifies the validity of the Bible.(D)

Non Jewish kingdoms in the ancient world did not record bad things that happened to them or else they lied about it. The Old Testament is unique in recording Israel’s defeats in battle and God’s condemnation of the Israelites when they practiced ungodly behavior. “The fulfillment of biblical prophecy has always been a great embarrassment to the critics of the Bible, and their only escape route is to believe that the prophecies were written long after the event predicted. One significant problem with this conjecture is that no one has been able to explain how the “prophetic con men” managed to pull off their “deception” so consistently, convincingly, and completely over so many centuries!(E)

There have been claims in the past that archaeological discoveries have proven the Bible wrong, but additional findings have proven the Bible to be correct. For instance, in 1985, the Biblical Archaeology Society declared that the Biblical city of Ai did not exist. “The problem of Ai is simply stated. The Bible tells us that an important battle in the Israelite conquest of Canaan occurred at Ai. . . However, extensive and sophisticated archaeological excavations have produced no evidence of human occupation at the site during the period when the Israelites supposedly settled in Canaan. In short, the evidence shows that there was no city at Ai for the Israelites to conquer.”(F)

However, more recent excavations have shown that the location of Ai was .6 miles west, at Khirbet el-Maqatir, proving the Bible is correct.(G) This discovery and others also proves that the Israelites invaded Canaan and were NOT indigenous to the land of Canaan.