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

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Praise For The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything

"The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything is magnificent—by far the best depiction I have seen of America's culture war that pits religious concepts of the supernatural against the materialism of science. Slack's non-polemical narrative skillfully reveals the ins and outs of creationism, intelligent design, evolutionary biology, and the nature of modern science in clear and compelling prose. Slack's own story of trying to understand his father's religious ...

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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

Praise For The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything

"The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything is magnificent—by far the best depiction I have seen of America's culture war that pits religious concepts of the supernatural against the materialism of science. Slack's non-polemical narrative skillfully reveals the ins and outs of creationism, intelligent design, evolutionary biology, and the nature of modern science in clear and compelling prose. Slack's own story of trying to understand his father's religious position stands as a poignant microcosm of the larger debate—adding a personal touch that helps bring into focus the frustration and sadness that is often present, but usually not acknowledged, as the culture war rages on."

—Niles Eldredge, curator, division of paleontology; curator, Darwin exhibition, The American Museum of Natural History

"Gordy Slack's beautifully written The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything should be on absolutely everyone's must read list. Although Slack does not conceal his own evolutionary commitments, he is balanced and fair, showing above all that this is a cultural battle and not simply one of science versus religion. The book is a terrific read."

—Michael Ruse, Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy and director of the program in the history and philosophy of science, Florida State University, Tallahassee

"The Battle Over the Meaning of Everything is a well-told tale of the clash of two cultures—scientific evolution and intelligent design creationism—in a federal court of law. Gordy Slack is a gifted storyteller. If the conversation between science and religion is of interest to you, get this book. The Battle is a pleasure to read."

—Francisco J. Ayala, university professor and Donald Bren Professor of Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine

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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: 9780787987862
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/18/2007
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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.

1. The Takeover.

2. The Train to Dover.

3. The Theory Is Not A Fact.

4. Assembling Goliath.

5. Thomas More and ID Lite.

6. ID Heavy and the Wedge.

7. Down by Law.

8. Search and Replace.

9. The Varieties of Materialistic Experience.

10. The Flagellar Fandango.

11. Liars for Christ.

12. The Unraveling.

13. The Fortieth Day.

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

15. Afterword.

Notes.

Acknowledgments.

About the Author.

Index.

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