More than Darwin: An Encyclopedia of the People and Places of the Evolution-Creationism Controversy

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Overview

Since the middle of the 19th century, debates over evolution have occurred almost non-stop. From the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species to the recent Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, there has rarely been a time in which scientists, educators, theologians, politicians, and judges have not been involved in these debates. How can anyone keep all of these individuals straight without a scorecard? More than Darwin: An Encyclopedia of the People and Places of the Evolution-Creationism Controversy is that resource, providing accessible and balanced synopses of every major person, organization, and place involved in the long history of the evolution-creationism controversies.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"It is a marvelous trove for the curious browser, who will be constantly tempted to pull the book off the shelf to read a random entry and discover a new fact or two."

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Reports of the National Center for Science Education

"Meet the players, large and small, from Darwin's assistent on the Beagle, Syms Covington, to Michael Behe, the Lehigh University professor who currently champions the cause of Intelligent Design. Extensive, alphabetically arranged, and fair and balanced in reportage, this is a useful reference tool."

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School Library Journal

"Although there are many books that discuss the theories of evolution and creationism, this 415-page encyclopedia is unique in emphasizing the people and places that have played an important role in the evolution-creationism debate over the years. . . . Entries are well written, descriptive, and take an objective tone. . . . Overall, this book meets its stated goals and is recommended for a general audience through first-year college students."

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ARBA

"This book is a balanced look at the players in this 150-year-old debate, written to be accessible to readers from high school on. Although it is a reference book, it is surprisingly interesting as a general primer on the topic, leading the reader easily from entry to entry. …Highly recommended for public and high school libraries; also useful for undergraduates approaching these topics for the first time."

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Reference & User Services Quarterly

"… not only a valuable reference, but also an engaging source of intellectual entertainment of the sort that can be picked through whenever the compulsion may strike."

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Science & Education

VOYA - Sophie Brookover
As accessible as they are authoritative, each entry in this single-volume encyclopedia offers clear explications of the many people, places, and events that have played a role in the continuing debate over the origins of life on Earth. The authors cover an impressive amount of ground here, from the famous (Thomas Huxley, known as "Darwin's bulldog") to the infamous (The Scopes Trial) and from the obscure (Fuegians) to the whimsical (The Flintsones). Every subject receives earnest, scholarly treatment, even when the entries are brief. Longer entries are very informative but not exhaustive and frequently include suggested further reading. The reader may detect a dry humor around the edges of the entries concerning creationism's more staunch advocates. It usually takes the form of offering, without comment, potentially embarrassing facts, such as televangelist Jimmy Swaggart's 1988 self-comparison to King David following the publication of photographs of him with a prostitute. This presentation is balanced by a similar appreciation of the unintentionally humorous aspects of the lives of evolutionary heroes such as Carl Linnaeus, who in a fit of pique (or was it pettiness?) named a common weed after Johann Siegesbeck, who called the Linnean classification system "loathsome harlotry." In short, the authors have done their homework, are appropriately critical, and do not pull their punches. Although it is a highly specialized reference work, students looking for concise background information on a wide variety of participants in the ongoing, lively debate will not be disappointed. Reviewer: Sophie Brookover
Library Journal

This book provides an accessible and balanced synopsis of every major person, organization, and place involved in the long and controversial history of the evolution-creationism question. It is a major source of information on the subject, covering the entire range of topics in the history of the debate. Moore, who has been the editor of American Biology Teacher for more than 20 years, and Decker, who holds a Ph.D. in conservation biology, discuss and describe evolution and creationism in terms of the peoples and places that created and influenced the controversy. The authors neither condemn nor support the scientific or religious sides of the spectrum; instead, their main goal is simply to present an objective and accurate description of the debate and the major players involved with it. The 500-plus entries are mostly short (averaging 800 to 1000 words in length), are easy to comprehend, and often include lists of recommended readings for a more in-depth study.
—Luis J. Gonzalez

School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

The vast majority of these nearly 500 entries cover individuals, but they also include organizations, locations, and important court cases. Articles range in length from a few sentences to several pages, and about a quarter of them list further reading (usually one popular literature citation). The authors are carefully neutral. However, Charles Darwin and the Scopes Trial are overemphasized, with every person and place even remotely connected to them noted. The book is surprisingly unprofessional. There are neither cross-references nor a glossary. Evolution and creationism are never defined; while much of the material is accessible to high school students, the authors at times assume a college-level scientific and religious background. This results in some difficult, unexplained vocabulary ("biblical flat-Earthism," "Young-Earth creationism," "pangenesis"). Many articles omit key facts or are tantalizingly incomplete. Human-interest material abounds, including awards and prizes, marriage(s), children, and burial places, while scientific relevance is underplayed. Minor individuals get a limited snapshot relating to evolution or creationism; the entry on Sinclair Lewis, for example, only mentions his novel Elmer Gantry . Major players receive more comprehensive biographies, which plunge into their lives without concisely identifying their significance, and lack summaries. There are scattered black-and-white illustrations. The preface mentions the publisher's related Web site without indicating its address. Finally, the index oddly includes quotations, many under "A," "An," or "The," as are book titles. Stanley A. Rice's Encyclopedia of Evolution (Facts On File,2006) provides more complete coverage. Nothing similar is available on creationism.-Ann W. Moore, Schenectady County Public Library, NY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780313341557
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/30/2008
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

RANDY MOORE is H.T. Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Biology at the University of Minnesota. He edited The American Biology Teacher for 20 years, teaches courses about evolution and creationism, and has written several books about the evolution-creationism controversy, including Evolution 101 (Greenwood 2006), which he co-wrote with Janice Moore.

MARK D. DECKER has a Ph.D. in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota, where he is now Associate Director for Scholarship and Teaching in the Biology Program. Mark is interested in all aspects of science teaching, particularly science literacy among non-science college majors.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations

Preface

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Appendix 1: A Guide to the Sites of the Scopes Trial

General Bibliography

About the Authors

Index

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