Trial and Error: The American Controversy over Creation and Evolution / Edition 3

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Ranging from before the 1925 Scopes trial to the creationism disputes of the 1980s, this book offers a comprehensive account of the American controversy over creation and evolution.

A study over the debate over teaching evolution in the public schools.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Admirable, non-partisan discussion of the issues at hand. Makes the legal disputes over teaching evaluation clear even to those with a limited background in American history and law. I would recommend it for any course on the relationship of science and religion, or science and government/society."--A. Bowdoin Van Riper, Northwestern University

"The book is a useful, well-documented account of the roles played by lawyers, legislators, and judges in the controversy. . . " Reviews in Anthropology

Praise for the first edition:

"In this absorbing and well-researched book, Edward Larson analyzes [his subject] with clarity and control. He ably illuminates the legal and constitutional issues that the controversy has raised, yet he is admirably aware that what transpires in statehouses and law courts usually reflects larger social forces....[A] thoughtful and arresting book."--Daniel J. Kevles, The New Republic

"[A] thoughtful and arresting book."--Daniel J. Kevles, The New Republic

"Tightly written and often persuasively argued....An important book, and as such is likely to provoke strong reactions."--Georgia Historical Quarterly

"Lucidly written and abundantly documented....Brilliantly illuminates the numerous legal arguments involved in this controversy over evolution, the historical developments which produced it, and the sociological factors which perpetuate it."--Pennsylvania History

"The ultimate arena in the battle between evolutionists and public opinion remains the courtroom, and lawyer/science historian Larson traces this American conflict exhaustively....Always well-balanced and well-documented, Larson analyzes the legal underpinnings of the battle skillfully."--Kirkus Reviews

"A concise and clearly written history of the struggle between evolution and creationism."--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"One of the finest contributions to the literature....An exciting and well-written book that deserves your attention."--The Science Teacher

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195154702
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 1/28/2003
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 5.40 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward J. Larson, former Associate Counsel for the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor, teaches History and Law at the University of Georgia.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 3
1 Scene of the Crime: Evolution in American Education Before 1920 7
2 Outlawing Evolution, 1920-1925 28
3 Enforcing the Law, 1925-1960 58
4 Legalizing Evolution, 1961-1970 93
5 Legislating Equal Time, 1970-1981 125
6 Outlawing Creation, 1981-1990 156
7 Mandating Evolution: The 1990s and Beyond 185
Conclusion 210
Appendix 214
Notes 216
Bibliographic Note 260
Index 265
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