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The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything

"For six weeks in 2005, a courtroom in Pennsylvania became a forum for intense debates about the most fundamental matters: science, faith, and what we should teach our children about them. Gordy Slack takes us inside that courtroom, where his personal and intellectual engagement with the subject serves him exceedingly well. He has written a lively, lucid account of a fascinating trial."
—Margaret Talbot, staff writer, "Darwin in the ...

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The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything: Evolution, Intelligent Design, and a School Board in Dover, PA

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Overview

The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything

"For six weeks in 2005, a courtroom in Pennsylvania became a forum for intense debates about the most fundamental matters: science, faith, and what we should teach our children about them. Gordy Slack takes us inside that courtroom, where his personal and intellectual engagement with the subject serves him exceedingly well. He has written a lively, lucid account of a fascinating trial."
—Margaret Talbot, staff writer, "Darwin in the Dock," The New Yorker

The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything is a compelling eyewitness account of the recent courtroom drama in Dover, Pennsylvania, that put evolution and intelligent design on trial. Journalist Gordy Slack offers a riveting, personal, and often amusing first-hand account that details six weeks of some of the most widely ranging, fascinating, and just plain surreal testimony in U.S. legal history—a battle between hard science and religious conservatives wishing to promote a new version of creationism in schools.

During the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial, members of the local school board defended their effort to require teachers to present intelligent design alongside evolution as an explanation for the origins and diversity of life on Earth. The trial revealed two essentially different and conflicting views of the world and the lengths to which true believers on each side will go to promote their own. The controversial ruling by George W. Bush-appointed Judge John Jones III was full of surprises and had a profound influence on America's educational landscape.

Gordy Slack's engaging story of high drama and unforgettable characters is a sophisticated examination of the deep cultural, religious, and political faultlines that divide America. But it is also a personal account of how those same divisions cleaved his own family in two.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Slack, the former editor of natural history magazine Pacific Discovery, has long covered clashes between scientists and creationists, and he knows both sides thoroughly-his own father, an experimental psychologist, took up creationism in the late 1990s, following a conversion to fundamentalist Christianity. In 2005, online magazine Salonassigned Slack to cover a federal court case in which a group of parents sued a Pennsylvania school board after it voted to include creationist material in high school science curricula. While Slack never hides his own convictions-firmly in support of evolution-he is staunchly evenhanded throughout, giving all players the opportunity to represent themselves and their ideas. Everyone involved in the case-the presiding judge, the opposing teams of attorneys, the students and townspeople of Dover-come alive in Slack's economical yet revealing prose, and his history of both the contemporary creationist resurgence and the long-running philosophical debates behind it provide some much needed perspective on modern American culture wars. In this must-read for anyone involved in education-from federal officials to local school board voters-Slack demonstrates in crisp, clear language how science and religion are not opposites but different ways of thinking, each valuable for different purposes. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470181416
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/13/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • File size: 454 KB

Meet the Author

Gordy Slack is a science writer whose articles have appeared in Mother Jones, Wired, The Scientist, and Salon.com. He is a former senior editor of California Wild, the science and natural history magazine published by the California Academy of Sciences, and a frequent contributor to San Francisco's KQED radio. His writing often focuses on evolutionary biology and the relationship between science and religion.
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Table of Contents

Prologue.

Chapter 1: The Takeover.

Chapter 2: The Train to Dover.

Chapter 3: The Theory Is Not a Fact.

Chapter 4: Assembling Goliath.

Chapter 5: Thomas More and ID Lite.

Chapter 6: ID Heavy and the Wedge.

Chapter 7: Down by Law.

Chapter 8: Search and Replace.

Chapter 9: The Varieties of Materialistic Experience.

Chapter 10: The Flagellar Fandango.

Chapter 11: Liars for Christ.

Chapter 12: The Unraveling.

Chapter 13: The Fortieth Day.

Chapter 14: The People’s Court and the Gospel According to John Jones.

Chapter 15: Afterword.

Notes.

Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

Index.

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