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Trial And Error

Author: Edward John Larson
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0195061438
Size: 20.14 MB
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Now available in a newly revised and updated edition, Larson's highly-acclaimed study of the debate over teaching evolution in the public schools ranges from the Scopes trial of 1925 to the creationism disputes of the 1980s.

Trial And Error

Author: Edward J. Larson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198035237
Size: 75.19 MB
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Trial and Error traces the coverage or lack thereof, of evolution in textbooks used in American public schools from the mid-1800s to the present. While the teaching of Darwinian evolution was common and not controversial in the late 19th century and into the early 20th century, the debates between evolutionists and creationists, those who argue that the Biblical theory of origins deserves equal treatment, have flared throughout the twentieth century--first in the 1920s, most famously in the Scopes trial; again in the 1960s, when the regional legislation banning the teaching of evolution was overturned, notably in Arkansas and Louisiana; and throughout the 1980s with various controversies over science textbooks, including California. Larson proposes to bring the subject up to the present through a discussion of recent trends, including the "intelligent design" movement, led by Phillip Johnson, a revised form of anti-evolutionism that gained popularity on college campuses; the impact of Michael Behe's versions of evolution; and debates over what counts as evidence for and against evolution--all of which have influenced debates over science standards, particularly at state and local levels. This new chapter will chronicle anti-evolution actions in Kansas and elsewhere and counter-actions by the National Academy of Science and other anti-creationist groups. This updated classic work presents a balanced historical interpretation of legal and educational debates over evolutionism, and will appeal to those interested in the fields of history, religion, science, and law.

The Evolution Controversy In America

Author: George Webb
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
ISBN: 0813148480
Size: 74.46 MB
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For well over a century, the United States has witnessed a prolonged debate over organic evolution and teaching of the theory in the nation's public schools. The controversy that began with the publication of Darwin's Origin of the Species had by the 1920s expanded to include theologians, politicians, and educators. The Scopes trial of 1925 provided the growing antievolution movement with significant publicity and led to a decline in the teaching of evolution in public schools. George E. Webb details how efforts to improve science education in the wake of Sputnik resurrected antievolution sentiment and led to the emergence of "creation science" as the most recent expression of that sentiment. Creationists continue to demand "balanced treatment" of theories of creation and evolution in public schools, even though their efforts have been declared unconstitutional in a series of federal court cases. Their battles have been much more successful at the grassroots level, garnering support from local politicians and educators. Webb attributes the success of creationists primarily to the lack of scientific literacy among the American public. Although a number of published studies have dealt with specific aspects of the debate, The Evolution Controversy in America represents the first complete historical survey of the topic. In it Webb provides an analysis of one of the most intriguing debates in the history of American thought.

Creationism In Europe

Author: Stefaan Blancke
Publisher: JHU Press
ISBN: 1421415623
Size: 74.94 MB
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For decades, the creationist movement was primarily situated in the United States. Then, in the 1970s, American creationists found their ideas welcomed abroad, first in Australia and New Zealand, then in Korea, India, South Africa, Brazil, and elsewhere—including Europe, where creationism plays an expanding role in public debates about science policy and school curricula. In this, the first comprehensive history of creationism in Europe, leading historians, philosophers, and scientists narrate the rise of—and response to—scientific creationism, creation science, intelligent design, and organized antievolutionism in countries and religions throughout Europe. Providing a unique map of creationism in Europe, the authors chart the surprising history of creationist activities and strategies there. Over the past forty years, creationism has spread swiftly among European Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Hindus, and Muslims, even as anti-creationists sought to smother its flames. Antievolution messages gained such widespread approval, in fact, that in 2007 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe passed a resolution advising member states to "defend and promote scientific knowledge" and "firmly oppose the teaching of creationism as a scientific discipline on an equal footing with the theory of evolution." Creationism in Europe offers a discerning introduction to the cultural history of modern Europe, the variety of worldviews in Europe, and the interplay of science and religion in a global context. It will be of interest to students and scholars in the history and philosophy of science, religious studies, and evolutionary theory, as well as policy makers and educators concerned about the spread of creationism in our time.

Evolution

Author: Donald R. Prothero
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231511426
Size: 19.66 MB
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Over the past twenty years, paleontologists have made tremendous fossil discoveries, including fossils that mark the growth of whales, manatees, and seals from land mammals and the origins of elephants, horses, and rhinos. Today there exists an amazing diversity of fossil humans, suggesting we walked upright long before we acquired large brains, and new evidence from molecules that enable scientists to decipher the tree of life as never before. The fossil record is now one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution. In this engaging and richly illustrated book, Donald R. Prothero weaves an entertaining though intellectually rigorous history out of the transitional forms and series that dot the fossil record. Beginning with a brief discussion of the nature of science and the "monkey business of creationism," Prothero tackles subjects ranging from flood geology and rock dating to neo-Darwinism and macroevolution. He covers the ingredients of the primordial soup, the effects of communal living, invertebrate transitions, the development of the backbone, the reign of the dinosaurs, the mammalian explosion, and the leap from chimpanzee to human. Prothero pays particular attention to the recent discovery of "missing links" that complete the fossil timeline and details the debate between biologists over the mechanisms driving the evolutionary process. Evolution is an absorbing combination of firsthand observation, scientific discovery, and trenchant analysis. With the teaching of evolution still an issue, there couldn't be a better moment for a book clarifying the nature and value of fossil evidence. Widely recognized as a leading expert in his field, Prothero demonstrates that the transformation of life on this planet is far more awe inspiring than the narrow view of extremists.

Homespun Gospel

Author: Todd M. Brenneman
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199989001
Size: 41.33 MB
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In popular evangelical literature, God is loving and friendly, described in heartfelt, often saccharine language that evokes nostalgia, comfortable domesticity, and familial love. This emotional style has been widely adopted by the writers most popular among American evangelicals, including such celebrity pastors as Max Lucado, Rick Warren, and Joel Osteen. Todd M. Brenneman provides groundbreaking insight into the phenomenon of evangelical sentimentality: an emotional appeal to readers' feelings about familial relationships, which can in turn be used as the basis for a relationship with God. Brenneman shows how evangelicals use tropes of God as father, human beings as children, and nostalgia for an imagined idyllic home life to provide alternate sources of social authority, intended to help evangelicals survive a culture that is philosophically at odds with conservative Christianity. Yet Brenneman also demonstrates that the sentimental focus on individual emotion and experience can undermine the evangelical agenda. Sentimentality is an effective means of achieving individual conversions, but it also promotes a narcissism that blinds evangelicals to larger social forces and impedes their ability to bring about the change they seek. Homespun Gospel offers a compelling perspective on an unexplored but vital aspect of American evangelical identity.

The Temptations Of Evolutionary Ethics

Author: Paul Lawrence Farber
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 9780520920972
Size: 22.65 MB
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Evolutionary theory tells us about our biological past; can it also guide us to a moral future? Paul Farber's compelling book describes a century-old philosophical hope held by many biologists, anthropologists, psychologists, and social thinkers: that universal ethical and social imperatives are built into human nature and can be discovered through knowledge of evolutionary theory. Farber describes three upsurges of enthusiasm for evolutionary ethics. The first came in the early years of mid-nineteenth century evolutionary theories; the second in the 1920s and '30s, in the years after the cultural catastrophe of World War I; and the third arrived with the recent grand claims of sociobiology to offer a sound biological basis for a theory of human culture. Unlike many who have written on evolutionary ethics, Farber considers the responses made by philosophers over the years. He maintains that their devastating criticisms have been forgotten—thus the history of evolutionary ethics is essentially one of oft-repeated philosophical mistakes. Historians, scientists, social scientists, and anyone concerned about the elusive basis of selflessness, altruism, and morality will welcome Farber's enlightening book.

Science Talk

Author: Daniel Patrick Thurs
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 0813541522
Size: 47.16 MB
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Science news is met by the public with a mixture of fascination and disengagement. On the one hand, Americans are inflamed by topics ranging from the question of whether or not Pluto is a planet to the ethics of stem-cell research. But the complexity of scientific research can also be confusing and overwhelming, causing many to divert their attentions elsewhere and leave science to the “experts.” Whether they follow science news closely or not, Americans take for granted that discoveries in the sciences are occurring constantly. Few, however, stop to consider how these advances—and the debates they sometimes lead to—contribute to the changing definition of the term “science” itself. Going beyond the issue-centered debates, Daniel Patrick Thurs examines what these controversies say about how we understand science now and in the future. Drawing on his analysis of magazines, newspapers, journals and other forms of public discourse, Thurs describes how science—originally used as a synonym for general knowledge—became a term to distinguish particular subjects as elite forms of study accessible only to the highly educated.

Declarations Of Dependence

Author: Gregory Downs
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 080787776X
Size: 31.51 MB
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In this highly original study, Gregory Downs argues that the most American of wars, the Civil War, created a seemingly un-American popular politics, rooted not in independence but in voluntary claims of dependence. Through an examination of the pleas and petitions of ordinary North Carolinians, Declarations of Dependence contends that the Civil War redirected, not destroyed, claims of dependence by exposing North Carolinians to the expansive but unsystematic power of Union and Confederate governments, and by loosening the legal ties that bound them to husbands, fathers, and masters. Faced with anarchy during the long reconstruction of government authority, people turned fervently to the government for protection and sustenance, pleading in fantastic, intimate ways for attention. This personalistic, or what Downs calls patronal, politics allowed for appeals from subordinate groups like freed blacks and poor whites, and also bound people emotionally to newly expanding postwar states. Downs's argument rewrites the history of the relationship between Americans and their governments, showing the deep roots of dependence, the complex impact of the Civil War upon popular politics, and the powerful role of Progressivism and segregation in submerging a politics of dependence that--in new form--rose again in the New Deal and persists today.

Evolution

Author: Edward J. Larson
Publisher: Modern Library
ISBN: 9781588365385
Size: 51.40 MB
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“I often said before starting, that I had no doubt I should frequently repent of the whole undertaking.” So wrote Charles Darwin aboard The Beagle, bound for the Galapagos Islands and what would arguably become the greatest and most controversial discovery in scientific history. But the theory of evolution did not spring full-blown from the head of Darwin. Since the dawn of humanity, priests, philosophers, and scientists have debated the origin and development of life on earth, and with modern science, that debate shifted into high gear. In this lively, deeply erudite work, Pulitzer Prize–winning science historian Edward J. Larson takes us on a guided tour of Darwin’s “dangerous idea,” from its theoretical antecedents in the early nineteenth century to the brilliant breakthroughs of Darwin and Wallace, to Watson and Crick’s stunning discovery of the DNA double helix, and to the triumphant neo-Darwinian synthesis and rising sociobiology today. Along the way, Larson expertly places the scientific upheaval of evolution in cultural perspective: the social and philosophical earthquake that was the French Revolution; the development, in England, of a laissez-faire capitalism in tune with a Darwinian ethos of “survival of the fittest”; the emergence of Social Darwinism and the dark science of eugenics against a backdrop of industrial revolution; the American Christian backlash against evolutionism that culminated in the famous Scopes trial; and on to today’s world, where religious fundamentalists litigate for the right to teach “creation science” alongside evolution in U.S. public schools, even as the theory itself continues to evolve in new and surprising directions. Throughout, Larson trains his spotlight on the lives and careers of the scientists, explorers, and eccentrics whose collaborations and competitions have driven the theory of evolution forward. Here are portraits of Cuvier, Lamarck, Darwin, Wallace, Haeckel, Galton, Huxley, Mendel, Morgan, Fisher, Dobzhansky, Watson and Crick, W. D. Hamilton, E. O. Wilson, and many others. Celebrated as one of mankind’s crowning scientific achievements and reviled as a threat to our deepest values, the theory of evolution has utterly transformed our view of life, religion, origins, and the theory itself, and remains controversial, especially in the United States (where 90% of adults do not subscribe to the full Darwinian vision). Replete with fresh material and new insights, Evolution will educate and inform while taking readers on a fascinating journey of discovery.