Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction / Edition 2

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The evolution versus creationism conflict is here to stay. Even after their devastating defeat in the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, advocates of intelligent design and other forms of creationism continue to revise their strategies for undermining the teaching of evolution-and thus of science in general-in American schools. In this revision of Evolution vs. Creationism, Eugenie Scott, one of the leading proponents of teaching evolution in the schools, describes these ever-changing efforts to undermine science education and shows what students, parents, and teachers should be aware of to help ensure that American science education prepares our students to compete in the 21st century.

This second edition of Evolution vs. Creationism will help readers better understand the issues involved in these debates. It expands and updates the original work with:

• An insider's look at the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial

• A new selection of primary source documents on "The Creationism/Evolution Controversy in the Media"

• Up-to-date analysis of the most recent creationist challenges across the country

The revision also expands and updates the collection of primary source documents that address cosmology, law, education, popular culture, and religious issues from all sides of the debate, as well as the resources for further information.

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Editorial Reviews

In view of the ongoing controversy over how life began and how this question should be approached within the classroom curriculum, this timely volume provides a clearly organized and comprehensive overview of both evolution and creationism. Although there is no shortage of recent books dealing with various aspects of the controversy, this volume is unique because it offers a thorough exploration of all perspectives related to each theory, examining both from a historical, legal, educational, political, scientific, and religious point of view. Although the author is clearly a proponent of evolution and natural selection theories (she is the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, a leading evolution advocacy group), she tries hard-and for the most part succeeds-in presenting a well-balanced book. Written for advanced high school and college students, the first several chapters provide background information needed to understand why the controversy exists. The second section of the book then gives a historical overview of the issues and places the controversy within the context of current society. In particular, students who are searching for information about the theory of Intelligent Design (ID) will find the summaries of key articles written by ID proponents useful in helping them understand this hotly debated topic. Each chapter provides an extensive list of works cited, and there is also a lengthy section of references for further exploration. An excellent resource for research reports or for debate preparation, this title would be a useful tool for teachers as well. 2004, Greenwood, 296p.; Index. Source Notes. Further Reading., PLB . Ages 11 to Adult.
—Cindy Lombardo
From the Publisher
"Regardless of ones personal perspective, this book is a valuable contribution to the literature in evolution and creationism. Virtually any reader will find something of interest within its pages. It will surely raise the dander of some and bring delight to others a quality possessed by many a good book."


Science in Christian Perspective

"At last a book that both Henry Morris, of the Institute for Creation Research, and Niles Eldredge, a prominent scientist, can agree upon! Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, is an articulate and engaging author. She has written a book suitable for a wide audience: high school and college students, teachers, and nonspecialized general readers. The book is comprehensive, treating scientific evidences for evolution, religious views, and a history of the so-called evolution- creation controversy. It is a best buy for school and college libraries."


Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith

"Scott, a physical anthropologist, runs the National Center for Science Education, which defends the teaching of evolution in high schools. (She advised the parents fighting the Dover school board.) Scott be said to be the one doing God's work as she patiently rebuts people who make most other scientists spit gaskets like short-circuiting robots. Her book is both a straightforward history of the debate and an anthology of essays written by partisans on each side. Its main virtue is to explain the scientific method, which many invoke but few describe vividly. Scott also manages to lay out the astronomical, chemical, geological and biological bases of evolutionary theory in unusually plain English."


The New York Times Book Review

"The executive director of NCSE provides a comprehensive and balanced introduction to the many facets of the current debate—the scientific evidence for evolution, the legal and educational basis for its teaching, and the various religious perspectives—as well as a concise history of the evolution/creationism controversy. Recommended."


School Library Journal

"[S]peaks directly to the reader in an energetic, engaging manner and explains material ranging from biological and earth sciences to the philosophy of science….[a]n insightful must-have for students and teachers from high school and beyond and a should-read for interested laypersons."


Science Books & Films

"The author, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, has done an outstanding job presenting background to the tension between evolution and creationism. In addition to carefully explaining science and evolution to her reader, she has also accomplished a long-needed task of describing the full range of creationists such that the reader can see and understand the history, politics, and range of views in this complex cluster of beliefs….Highly recommended for any library whose readers range from the general public to teachers or experts in field of evolution. Understanding the sides in an ever-lasting political battle is crucial, and this book helps that understanding."



"[A]n excellent resource for any science teacher….Teachers who engage in this scholarly book will come away with a deep and valuable understanding of the scientific and social implications of the creationist movement….[a]n excellent tool for teachers who are questioned by students and parents about the evolution-creationism convtroversy….Teachers will have a hard time finding a more comprehensive overview of the evolution-creationism controversy."


NSTA recommends

"With the evolution vs. creationsism debate as an issue today, this thorough overview of the contributors and theories wil be a welcome addition to the high school collection….Science and social studies classes will find a wealth of background information for research projects. This informative work provides the reader with a clear, insightful summary of the complicated issues and viewpoints surrounding the evolution/creationism debate. Recommended."


Library Media Connection

"In view of the ongoing controversy over how life began and how this question should be approached within the classroom curriculum, this timely volume provides a clearly organized and comprehensive overview of both evolution and creationism. Although there is no shortage of recent books dealing with various aspects of the controversy, this volume is unique becuase it offeers a thorough exploration of all perspectives related to each theory, examining both from a historical, legal, educational, political, scientific, and religious point of view….An excellent resource for research reports of for debate preparation this title would be a useful tool for teachers as well."



"[L]ooks at the controversy from historical, legal, education, political, scientific, and religious perspectives, something no other single book does."


Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal Skeptical

"Evolution vs. Creationism [i]s an ideal introduction to the concepts of evolution and creationism. Methodical, adhering to the highest standards of academic research, and superbly organized in its presentation….Strongly recommended for both school and community library collections, Evolution vs. Creationism is significantly enhanced with ten pages of References for Further Study; as well as a Name Index and a Subject Index."


Internet Bookwatch

"[N]otable for its coverage of the history of the creationist movement and its presentation of the past and current legal issues surrounding the controversy. With creationists continuing to mount court challenges to the teaching of evolution, the currency of this work is crucial for libraries trying to keep up with developments….Many libraries may not own creationist books or journals, so this new title is an excellent way to provide access to that literature while keeping it in a scientific, scholarly context….Highly recommended. Lower- and upper-level undergraduates; general readers."



"The executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which advocates the teaching of evolution in U.S. schools, has written a valuable manual to the debate. It includes a section on evolution as part of the scientific process, a history of creationism, primary source materials from both sides, and a list of further resources."


Library Journal, Starred Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520261877
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 8/3/2009
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 579,862
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Eugenie C. Scott is Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. She has written extensively on the evolution-creationism controversy and is past president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Niles Eldredge is Curator in the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

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Table of Contents

Foreword : the unmetabolized Darwin
Introduction : the pillars of creationism
Pt. I Science, evolution, religion, and creationism 1
Ch. 1 Science : "truth without certainty" 3
Ch. 2 Evolution 23
Ch. 3 Beliefs : religion, creationism, and naturalism 47
Pt. II A history of the creationism/evolution controversy 71
Ch. 4 Before Darwin to the twentieth century 73
Ch. 5 Eliminating evolution, inventing creation science 91
Ch. 6 Neocreationism 113
Pt. III Selections from the literature 135
Ch. 7 Cosmology, astronomy, geology 137
Ch. 8 Patterns and processes of biological evolution 163
Ch. 9 Legal issues 193
Ch. 10 Educational issues 211
Ch. 11 Religious issues 225
Ch. 12 The nature of science 237
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