From the Preview Pages
Why this book
So why another book on this subject? There are books that look at this complex controversy from historical, legal, educational, political, scientific, and religious perspectives– but no single book that looks at the controversy from all of these views. For those needing a survey of the creationism/evolution controversy, Creationism and Evolution: An Introduction provides “one-stop shopping,” so to speak, providing the reader a foundation in the ideas that have shaped this controversy. And, for those who are intrigued enough to pursue the topic in more detail, the additional resources will lead to a deeper understanding. Predictably, the Internet has scores of Web sites promoting various sides of the controversy, but equally predictably, sites vary enormously in their accuracy– regardless of which side the site supports. This book gives students and their teachers a foundation in science and religion that they can use as a roadmap to help avoid the potholes on the “information superhighway.”
ID Creationists refuse
Unfortunately, proponents of Intelligent Design (ID) Creationism Stephen Meyer, David DeWolf, Percival Davis, Dean Kenyon, Michael Behe, Jonathan Wells, Walter Bradley, Charles Thaxton, and Roger Olson refused, en masse, to grant me permission to reproduce their works. Through their representative at the Seattle-based ID think tank, the Discovery Institute, these authors refused permission to reprint readily available material. The major complaint was that the popular books and articles (such as opinion-editorial articles, and magazine articles) that I sought to reprint would not do justice to the complexity of ID “theory.” This rationale does make one wonder why such apparently inadequate works were published in the first place and continue, in several cases, to be available on or linked to from the Discovery Institute’s Web site. Their “my way or the highway” response mirrors the refusal of Discovery Institute fellows to participate in the 2001 NOVA television series “Evolution,” on PBS, on the grounds that they wanted the hour-long episode addressing the creationism/evolution controversy to focus on ID’s perspective, objecting to sharing the time with proponents of Creation Science.
YEC creationists accept
I would like to thank Henry M. Morris, John Morris, and other personnel at the Institute for Creation Research for the professional manner in which they treated my requests to use selections from ICR authors in this book. They were aware that their works would be juxtaposed with the writings of individuals who disagree with them, but they did not consider this sufficient reason to deny an honest presentation of their views. I also thank Don Batten of Answers in Genesis, who worked with me in a professional manner to resolve disagreements over selections from literature published by AIG.
A thank you to Glenn Branch
A very special thanks to my colleague, NCSE Deputy Director Glenn Branch, who has contributed substantially to this book from its planning to its completion. Glenn provided valuable suggestions on the organization of chapters as well as their content, and skillfully edited the whole volume, making my prose much clearer. The usefulness of this book will owe much to his efforts. Glenn also assembled most of the Further Reading section, which benefited greatly from his encyclopedic appetite for books and resources and his phenomenal recall of just about everything he has ever read.
Endorsement From Niles Eldredge The American Museum of Natural History
From the Foreword:
Perhaps someday schools in the US will catch up to those in other developed countries and treat evolution as a normal scientific subject. Before that happens, though, people need to understand evolution, and also understand the creationism and evolution controversy. Evolution vs. Creationism: An Introduction is a step towards this goal, and readers will indeed learn a great deal about the scientific, religious, educational, political and legal aspects of this controversy.
Almost 80 years after the Scopes trial, the debate over the teaching of evolution continues. There is no easy resolution–it is a complex topic with profound scientific, religious, educational, and legal implications. How can a student or parent understand this issue that is so vital a part of education? Evolution vs. Creationism provides the comprehensive and balanced survey that is so badly needed. Written by one of the leading advocates for the teaching of evolution in the United States, this accessible resource provides an introduction to the many facets of the current debate–the scientific evidence for evolution, the legal and educational basis for its teaching, the various religious points of view–as well as a concise history of the evolution-creationism controversy.
Each of the four sections of Evolution vs. Creationism provides a resource that will assist the reader in better understanding these issues. The first section addresses the nature of how evolution works as part of the scientific enterprise, as well as a summary of the relationship between religious beliefs and science. A section on the history of the evolution versus creationism controversy provides a handy synopsis of the lengthy struggles, from before Darwin to the present day, between advocates of creationism and the proponents of evolution. A collection of primary source documents, addressing cosmology, law, education, and religious issues from all sides of the debate, make up the third section. The volume concludes with a selection of resources for further information for those readers who wish to study the topic in more depth.
Table of Contents:
- Science, Evolution, Religion, and Creationism
- Science: “Truth without Certainty”
- Beliefs: Religion, Creationism, and Naturalism
- A History of the Creationism/Evolution Controversy
- Before Darwin to the 20th Century
- Eliminating Evolution, Inventing Creation Science
- Selections from the Literature
- Cosmology, Astronomy, Geology
- Patterns and Processes of Biological Evolution
- Legal Issues
- Educational Issues
- Religious Issues
- The Nature of Science
- References for Further Exploration