Mano's captivating new book draws on his knowledge of both history and science to provide an expert analysis of the ongoing opposition to the teaching of evolution in America's public schools. He offers a clearly written, concise explanation of the evolution-religion controversy which has continued to play out in local school districts across the country. This is an absolute "must read" for school officials and community members alike . . . indeed for anyone interested in a fascinating illustration of who decides what should be taught in our nation's schools.
In recounting the history of creationism through major legal cases, Professor Singham correctly exposes the fear that drives creationists to keep searching for ways to undermine the teaching of evolution despite consistent defeats in the federal courts. He shows convincingly that, while religious objections to evolution persist, such objections are ultimately powerless to stop the advancement of science. This book expands the growing list of excellent books available for anyone who wants to understand the phenomenon of American creationism.
Who wins in court cases when it's God vs. Darwin? So far, Darwin has been the victor. Physicist Singham (The Achievement Gap in U.S. Education) explains why antievolutionists encounter obstacles when attempting to have creationism and/or intelligent design taught alongside evolution in public schools. Singham begins with the 1925 Scopes trial (actually staged by city leaders for publicity and tourism), then relates the history of education in America, from pre-Constitution days to the present. Although the original purpose of education in the Western world was to teach religious doctrine, our country's founders were aware of the problems associated with a government linking itself with a particular set of beliefs; they legislated separation between government and religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment and the "Lemon test" (from the 1971 decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman) continue to ensure that no single religious ideology is favored above others in public schools. VERDICT Those who read this with an open mind, from either side of the controversy, should better understand the value of separation of church and state. Readers unaccustomed to legalese may have difficulty wading through some of the court cases discussed.—Terry Christner, Hutchinson P.L., KS
The book is a history of attempts to restrict teaching in evolution.... This slim book is remarkably helpful in understanding how and why teaching religion in public schools has been vexed throughout history.... Recommended.