Synopses & Reviews
More than eighty years after the Scopes trial, the debate over teaching evolution continues in spite of the emptiness of the creationist positions. This accessible resource, now completely revised and updated, provides an essential introduction to the ongoing disputeand#8217;s many facetsand#151;the scientific evidence for evolution, the legal and educational basis for its teaching, and the various religious points of viewand#151;as well as a concise history of the evolution-creationism controversy. This second edition also contains a discussion of the legal history, updated to include the seminal case of Kitzmiller v. Dover as well as a new chapter on public opinion and media coverage.
Examines the newest strategies at undermining evolution teaching and other aspects of the never-ending evolution and creationism controversy.
In the inaugural volume in our new History and Philosophy of Education series, Adam Laats and Harvey Siegel examine both the historical and philosophical issues at the heart of the controversies about evolution. What Americans say we “know” about evolution has become hopelessly muddled in what we “believe.” Yet by placing those who opposed the teaching of evolution within their historical context, historian Adam Laats shows how these individuals were not eccentric or idiosyncratic, but rather must be understood as part of a long tradition of religious dissent in American education. The status of evolution-opposition as a minority position held by a dissenting group inevitably raises key philosophical issues, which philosopher Harvey Siegel addresses in the second half of the book. Siegel aims to disentangle questions of knowledge from questions of belief, addressing such problems as what scientific theory is, what the State’s obligation is with respect to biology education, and whether it must be neutral in its curriculums. The authors argue that biology teachers need to aim to foster student knowledge and understanding of evolution, if not necessarily belief in it. It is, they assert, the best extant scientific account of its domain, and should be taught as such. With their combined historical and philosophical perspective, Laats and Siegel suggest ways of overcoming the controversy that give both evolutionary theory its scientific due and its opponents’ objections to it religious legitimacy.
About the Author
Eugenie C. Scott is Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education. She has written extensively on the evolution-creationism controversy and is past president of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists. Scott is the 2010 recipient of the National Academy of Science's Public Welfare Medal.
Table of Contents
Introduction The Evolution of an Educational Controversy
1 Higher Education and a New Culture of Science
2 Evolution Education in a Jazz Age
3 The Dog That Didn’t Bark
4 A New Minority
5 Evolution, Creation, Science, Religion, and Public Education
6 Beyond “Creation Science”: The Scientific Status of Intelligent Design
7 Science Education: Aims and Constraints; Belief versus Understanding
8 A Question of Culture?
Conclusion Evolution as Education