The Evolution Wars

Overview

It's been more than 70 years since Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan debated the controversial topic of evolution versus creation. The Evolution Wars draws on history, science, and philosophy to examine the development of evolutionary thought through the past two and a half centuries. It focuses on the great debates, including the 19th century clash over the nature of classification and debates about the fossil record, genetics, and human nature.

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Overview

It's been more than 70 years since Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan debated the controversial topic of evolution versus creation. The Evolution Wars draws on history, science, and philosophy to examine the development of evolutionary thought through the past two and a half centuries. It focuses on the great debates, including the 19th century clash over the nature of classification and debates about the fossil record, genetics, and human nature.

Much attention is paid to external factors and the underlying motives of scientists. In these pages you will meet Charles Darwin's ebullient grandfather Erasmus, the contentious Frenchmen Georges Cuvier and Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, new creationist Phillip Johnson, the brilliant J. B. S. Haldane, and many other stars of the debates.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"…an engaging, thought-provoking, and witty analysis of the history of evolutionary thought … The evolution controversies are themselves fascinating subjects, and Ruse makes them much more understandable by placing them in the historical, social, religious, and even personal contexts of their times … A must read for students of evolution and the philosophy of science, but also for anyone interested in a fascinating history of a most radical and continuing change in scientific thought that (like it or not) permeates all of biology and society today."

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Choice

"The text is interesting and readable for the nonscientist, while maintaining a scholarly style. Students in advanced placement natural and social science courses will find this book interesting and useful in the study of evolution."

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The Book Report

"…highly recommended for academic and public libraries."

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American Reference Books Annual

"This guide provides teachers in major disciplines with a gold mine of information to get the big picture."

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VOYA

VOYA
Evolution encompasses disciplines from history and philosophy to sociology and biology. Historian and philosopher of science Ruse is able to incorporate his vast knowledge into this guide to understand the status of evolutionary thought today and how humankind has arrived at this point. Edward O. Wilson, author of On Human Nature (Harvard University Press, 1978), in his foreword selects this book as the one he would choose if he were to begin his reeducation on evolution from ground zero. The personalities and feuds as well as the science behind these positions are portrayed in lively narration. Some of these personalities, such as Charles Darwin and George Mendel, are frequently acknowledged. Others, such as Aleksandr Oparin and Charles Wolcott, are not as well known but are significant in the development of the contemporary concept of evolution. The chronology begins with Copernicus in 1543 and ends with the edict on teaching science from the State of Kansas in 1999. A remarkable selection of documents for each chapter includes an exchange of ideas between Asa Gray and Charles Darwin, a message from Pope John Paul II to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and discussions in sociobiology by Edward O. Wilson. This guide provides teachers in major disciplines with a gold mine of information to get the big picture. Unfortunately, only the most interested and sophisticated high school students will be inclined to do any more than select specific information for debates or research papers. Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Charts. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. Chronology. 2000, ABC-CLIO, 428p. PLB Ages 16 to Adult. Reviewer: Marilyn Brien SOURCE: VOYA, April 2001 (Vol. 24,No.1)
Library Journal

This thought-provoking update to the 2000 edition is divided into five segments, two of which are subdivided into 12 total chapters. These chronologically chart evolution's birth and development. While Ruse (Darwin and Design) offers his own survey of the subject's major issues, an additional segment assembles the scholarship of major figures like Donald Johanson and Stephen Jay Gould. Conspicuously absent is discussion of Kitzmiller v. Dover School District(2005), which rekindled a longstanding national debate over evolutionary curricula. However, Ruse's subject guide is otherwise detailed, jargon-free, and highly engaging.


—Savannah Schroll Guz
Booknews
Beginning with the lividity of Georges Cuvier at Etienne Geoffroy Saint Hillaire for daring to suggest, in 1830, the anatomical similarity between humans and animals and ending with the current efforts of creationists to discredit Darwinism with scientific-sounding jargon, this work provides an overview of the intellectual debates that have raged between supporters and detractors of Darwin, as well as within the ranks of his adherents (classicists, neo- Darwinists, sociobiologists, etc.). The author summarizes the arguments of the various factions and offers his own assessments of the relative values of the cases. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781576071854
  • Publisher: ABC-Clio, LLC
  • Publication date: 6/23/2000
  • Series: Controversies in Science Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 1,468,319
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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